Tuesday, October 26, 2010

30 Rock

PREMISE: Tina Fey's brainchild is based loosely on her experiences as head writer of SNL; she plays exasperated Liz Lemon, head writer of NBC's TGS With Tracy Jordan, or just TGS. The two stars of TGS, mentally unstable Tracy Jordan (Tracy Morgan) and attention-craving Jenna Maroney (Jane Krakowski), are almost always causing some mayhem around the studio, which Liz inevitably has to clean up. When the cast isn't causing problems, Liz's writing team usually finds some way to make her life difficult, constantly mocking her for whatever is going wrong in her life (usually her inability to find/keep a steady boyfriend). Keeping her and her crew in line is CEO Jack Donaghy (the hilarious Alec Baldwin), the extremely professional and very slick network executive. Fey and Baldwin have both received multiple Emmy nods for their roles in this show.

I can't believe it took me three years to discover this gem. I didn't even know it existed until it was already into its third season. I stumbled upon an episode during its regular airing time, and went to the Internet to discover more. Over the course of about a week, I had completely caught myself up. This show is very addicting, and hilarious. The situations borderline on the ridiculous, which is great for the show. The cast's antics are often over the top, such as Tracy trying to keep "up" his reputation by convincing people he is a lecherous, alcoholic party animal, and Jenna participating in a drug trial which causes her to stay awake indefinitely. Jack's character is often portrayed as eccentric and sickeningly rich; he has made such claims as owning his own island, having Jimmy Buffet on his speed dial, and even dating Condoleezza Rica. The show's large cast works well together, usually playing off of each other's misfortunes and creating hilarious stuations. Although this is a very comedy-heavy show, it has serious plot arcs and pays attention to detail. Relationships are a big part of the characters' stories. Liz's fears that she won't find someone before it's too late to settle down, and Jack sometimes worries that he will become too old to have children. Celebrities often make cameos; such stars as Gladys Knight, Jerry Seinfeld, James Franco, and even Al Gore have all made guest appearances as themselves. The growing, changing cast keeps the show fresh and fun.

30 Rock has more comedy than just about any workplace sitcom out there, without all the canned laughter. If you like your funny to be fast-paced and often ridiculously over-the-top, then you should definitely check it out.

Favorite quotations:
Jack: "Where do you invest your money, Lemon?"
Liz: "I’ve got like twelve grand in checking."
Jack: "Are you an immigrant?"

Tracy: "I’m just going through the classic stages of grief: fear, denial, horniness, wisdom, sleepiness and now depression."

Jack: "Lemon, I’m impressed. You're beginning to think like a businessman."
Liz: "A businesswoman."
Jack: "I don’t think that’s a word."

30 Rock: 8.5/10