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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Why '30 Rock' May Be the Best Show on TV ...

Recently I came down with bronchitis (I said bronchitis, not swine flu ... just to be clear) and had the pleasure of re-watching Season 1 of "30 Rock" for two straight days while I recovered.

In my sick and extremely drugged-up state, I had an epiphany. It just doesn't get better than "30 Rock."

I'll admit, I'm a latecomer in the "30 Rock" fan base, only catching on after "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip" was quickly cancelled. Clearly, I had chosen the wrong NBC show about the production of live, sketch comedy. My bad.

Having seen the error of my ways, I'm now completely on the bandwagon. Me love "30 Rock" long time.

I didn't realize how great of a show it truly was until I went back to the beginning. Now, I don't believe I've ever said this next statement -- not even for my all-time favorite shows -- but traveling back in time to where it all began, I have to admit even the pilot was spot on. It had a frumpy Liz Lemon who was all about the show's credibility and writing for the fans, not the fame. It had a new Jack -- one who brazenly stormed in to shake things up and rip on Lemon's fashion sense, or lack there of. It was funny -- which is tough to say for a pilot -- and it had a lot of potential, even early on.

Here's why the show works:

-- It's a comedy about sketch comedy that's written by a previous sketch comedy actress. Brilliant.

-- Would Elvis Costello, Mary J. Blige, Sheryl Crow, Adam Levine, Cyndi Lauper, etc., etc. all guest star on one single episode if the show wasn't the greatest thing on TV? I think not. Well, maybe Clay Aiken would.

-- It has a clear purpose: to make people laugh. Whether that's through odd plotlines, poo jokes or Liz Lemon's sound effects (remember "Blargh?"), it's all about the laughs. They won't try to get all sentimental on you -- not when Jack's father is suffering from kidney failure, not when Floyd and Liz break up, not even when Kenneth creepily talks to his skeleton mother.

-- Two words: Tracy Jordan. I remember watching Tracy Morgan on SNL and I never recall him being so spot on as he is with Tracy Jordan. Perhaps that's because it's just an alter ego of his actual personality but whatever it is, it's working. I laugh every time he calls his doctor "Dr. Space Man" and find his slight retardation and self-deprecating racism to be hilar.

-- Kenneth the Page can do no wrong. Honestly, Kenneth could read the phonebook and I'd be in tears laughing.

-- Who doesn't want to be Liz Lemon? Sure, she forgets her own birthday and tends to wear clothing only meant for homeless people or petite men, but Liz Lemon's the coolest. If your man says he wouldn't want you to be like Liz Lemon ... that's a dealbreaker, ladies!

-- Why did Alec Baldwin ever do serious roles? I'm seriously asking. This man is a comedic genius and it pains me to think of the years he wasted as an actor that took himself seriously. Remember that phone call he made to his daughter? Hil-ar-i-ous.

-- It's made it past the third season curse with flying colors. There are a number of shows that have a solid first season, hit a stride in the second season then tend to drift in the third before hopefully regaining strength in a fourth season. "30 Rock" is not one of those shows. It can't miss.

Think I'm full of it? Have a show that you think tops "30 Rock?" Sound off now!

-- Sara Boyd,

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"30 Rock" is so consistently hilarious, I take it for granted. It's probably the most quotable comedy since "Arrested Development." Well, "It's Always Sunny" is up there, too, but those lines usually can't be repeated on this blog.

Among my favorites this season:

"Or should I say, Declan MacManus: International Art Thief ..."

“Those girls pretend they're not women yet, but they are.”

"If we find any human remains in there, I'm going to throw up all over your face."

“We’re dressing monkeys up like people and monkeys are treating people like toys!”

“Act like the chicken farted!”

“If you’re just joining us, we’re with Tracy Jordan, who’s giving guitar icon Peter Frampton enigmatic clues about a secret treasure.”

“As I said in my non-hit movie Cruise Boat, I am getting too old for this ship!”

"Is it more embarrassing than your CD collection? I had no idea Michael Buble had so many albums."

"Why are they smiling so much? Who's being ostracized?"


-- Tom

By Blogger Press-Gazette blogger, At May 19, 2009 at 1:13 PM  

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