If you haven’t been watching 30 Rock, first, slap yourself. Second, go buy seasons one and two and watch them. If you’re still reading this, chances are you watch 30 Rock or you simply don’t care for humor (it’s OK, someone’s got to keep Two and a Half Men on the air).
This shit Rocks
If you haven’t been watching 30 Rock, first, slap yourself. Second, go buy seasons one and two and watch them.
If you’re still reading this, chances are you watch 30 Rock or you simply don’t care for humor (it’s OK, someone’s got to keep Two and a Half Men on the air).
For ye unfortunate outsiders, 30 Rock is the seven-time Emmy winning comedy masterpiece of Tina Fey, who has, as of late, been channeling Sarah Palin on the occasional episode of SNL. But now that the election season is over, you can get all the Tina Fey you want on 30 Rock. The show follows the exploits of the cast and crew of The Girlie Show, an SNL style sketch comedy program produced and broadcast by an alternate-universe NBC.
In 2006, a month before 30 Rock first hit the air, ABC launched it’s own sketch-show-within-a-show that leaned more toward the dramatic, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. Even though Studio 60 aired on a different night and time, critics were eager to compare the two shows.
But, despite a timeslot switch for the second half of it’s run, Studio 60, which managed to be more of a primetime soap than a dramedy, was ultimately dropped, with 30 Rock declared the inadvertent champion. By the way, if you’re confused by the title of the show, 30 Rock takes its name from the GE (NBC’s parent company) building, located at 30 Rockefeller Place in New York City, home to NBC studios.
Former SNL head writer Fey hilariously portrays The Girlie Show‘s nerdy, over-worked head writer Liz Lemon, a woman who spends her time playing den mother to a roomful of adolescent-minded writers, waiting on the prima donna cast of the show and appeasing her demanding boss.
Liz’s cohorts are outstanding, particularly Jack Donaghy, the “Vice President of East Coast Television and Microwave Oven Programming” for General Electric. Donaghy is played with gravelly finesse by the inimitable Alec Baldwin, who plays the character as a merciless Republican businessman who claims that business gets him off and that he once showered with Greta Van Susteren (a recurring joke on the show is Jack’s celebrity love interests, including current Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice).
Easily, 30 Rock‘s strongest element is its cast. One could extol the comedic El Dorado that is the program’s dramatis personae, alas such a task is not one suited to the brevity requisite of this commentary. Suffice it to say, 30 Rock‘s expansive and hilarious cast, including secondary and recurring characters, delivers in nearly every episode.
Sure, there are a few duds here and there, and there are the occasional cameos that fall flat, but it’s all made up for when guests such as SNL alumna Rachel Dratch show up playing parts such as Barbara Walters or Elizabeth Taylor.
30 Rock employs the flashback/flash-away comedic technique pioneered by FOX’s Family Guy that has been a point of contention for those in the industry (especially to one Trey Parker). In the case of 30 Rock however, these brief retrospectives are not reserved for extraneous pop-culture references; instead the time is used to highlight relevant and often hilarious character points.
This past Thursday marked 30 Rock‘s third season premiere in which Liz attempts to convince an adoption agent (an uptight Megan Mullally, Will & Grace) that she would make a suitable mother, and Jack spars with fellow GE exec Devon Banks (the outstanding Will Arnett, Arrested Development). The third season is already shaping up to be impressive, with guest stars such as Steve Martin and Jennifer Aniston. And tomorrow night Oprah herself appears, much to the delight of Liz.
30 Rock is easily the funniest show currently on network television, and with a time slot directly following The Office, it means you can get a double dose of humor on Thursday nights. (Unless you’d rather catch the last half of Grey’s Anatomy, but you’re reading the Vanguard, so I assume you have some self-respect.)