Wednesday, October 11, 2006

30 Rock: Plugs within plugs

Since I had already watched the "30 Rock" pilot (both the Dratch and Krakowski versions), I didn't bother tuning into it tonight, but my buddy Phil just called me to point out that, shortly after a scene where Alec Baldwin's character talks up a certain type of GE oven, NBC actually ran an ad for said oven. Anybody else catch this?

Also, feel free to use this thread as a place to comment on both "30 Rock" and "Twenty Good Years," for anyone who watched.

20 comments:

EzekielRawlins said...

Yeah, you couldn't but notice the oven ad after they did a entire bit about it. I already find Tracy Morgan annoying and some of the humor seems forced.

Regarding 20 Good Years-how unnecessary is that laugh track? Wait, is that the guy from Star Trek...

Matt said...

A question--how different was the Dratch version of the pilot from the Krakowski version of the pilot? Was the rest of the show basically the same, and just the scenes with that character reworked, or was there more changed?

Also, the 30 Rock sketches that we saw were even less funny than we've seen on Studio 60 thus far. But at least we know who to blame for "CAROL!" now.

Alan Sepinwall said...

The only changes made were in scenes involving the Jenna character, not just in the recasting, but also in a few minor tweaks. Instead of hemmorhoid medication (which was clearly being bought to help fight wrinkles), Dratch's Jenna was humiliated when the page brought her her diarrhea medicine.

Yes, the "Girlie Show" sketches suck even harder than "Science, Schmience" or "The Nicolas Cage Show," but the difference is that the show doesn't really matter. (We don't even see a sketch in episode two.)

Aside from Baldwin ("You have the boldness of a much younger woman"), the bit that still makes me laugh, some four or five months since I first saw the pilot, is the lame-o Ray Romano impression. "My brother's tall!"

Toby said...

If there's ever a boxed set for '30 Rock', for tele-historical purposes I hope they include the original Dratch pilot.

I really feel bad for Rachel Dratch, and even though I like Jane Krakowski a lot, I think Dratch better fits the image I have for a sketch comedienne, in the tradition of Gilda Radner and Carol Burnett.

Couldn't she at least have had a character created for her as a sidekick/fellow performer on "The Girlie Show" rather than this series of lame minor characters?

(And I have to wonder how it must have felt to do that scene as the Cat Handler opposite Krakowski who was now playing her role.)

J said...

Solid, though the flow was off. Should get funnier once all the set-up's out of the way. For all the spit and polish on Studio 60, 30 Rock's writing was sharper, more efficient. They found effective ways to introduce their characters; Sorkin just likes to throw his in a room and have them Sorkinize with each other.

Here's the key to each: Sorkin's stand-in on his show is positioned as a savior. Fey's a set-upon, fallible everywoman. Who's got your sympathy?

Some small irony that the only standout performers around "The Girlie Show" are the men. Fey's not comfortable in front of the camera, not good at physical comedy, needs to tone it down. Krakowski needs time. I just feel bad for Dratch every time she's on screen (because of what happened behind-the-scenes). But Baldwin is bedrock, Morgan's confidently crazy. They both make this show better, which helps you believe they'll make the show-w/in-show better.

Etc.:
* "You're missing 18-49 year-old males" Brilliant.
* The music is awful.
* Two ninja jokes? C'mon.

Eric said...

Not feeling the love. Might give it a couple more weeks, but it somehow feels very standard and rote to me.
Replace Tracey Morgan with Andy Dick and you've pretty much got NewsRadio.

Matt said...

Also, just the first two minutes of Twenty Good Years illustrated exactly how not to use a laugh track.

R.A. Porter said...

"Replace Tracey Morgan with Andy Dick and you've pretty much got NewsRadio."

That's a very strong endoresement in my world.

The show was pretty much what I expected: laughs whenever Alec Baldwin was around, and a few chuckles otherwise. Certainly more entertaining that an hour of Sorkin's pronouncements from Sinai.

rick said...

I don't mind the sketches in 30 Rock that much. I almost felt like they were parodying the actual SNL sketches (here's a character who likes cats!).

Though what I really want to know is if anyone laughed as hard as I did when Alec Baldwin entered the show? The image of him kicking down a sheet of plywood and announcing "Henry's dead!" about knocked me out of my chair. It's the type of gag that isn't really all that funny on paper, but the more the image swirls around in your mind the bigger your grin gets before you eventually lose it altogether (at least, that was my experience)...

Toby said...

So is there really a "trivection oven", or was that a fake GE commercial?

Luna said...

See, and here I thought Tracy Morgan was hilarious. "I'm not on crack, I'm straight up mentally ill!"

I share the Rachel Dratch love, and it's a real pity they did this, but I think this pilot made me a lot more interested in what's coming next than Studio 60 has so far.

Elayne said...

Wow, I'm much more disappointed in this than anyone else who's commented so far.

I think I laughed once, when Fay's character said to Morgan's character "It's not HBO, it's TV." And that was pretty much it.

It was pleasant enough to consider watching again, but not something I'd go out of my way to record. We did use the DVR to watch it last night (I prefer Olbermann and baseball live) so skipped right through the ad-within-an-ad, but we did notice that the show was advertising itself during its own commercials, which was weird.

"Twenty Good Years" was just painful. I couldn't make it past the seventh minute.

sm said...

Could somebody explain why Rachel Dratch left the show? Was she forced off by the network for some reason?

dez said...

"Could somebody explain why Rachel Dratch left the show? Was she forced off by the network for some reason?"

Because she's unattractive and only marginally funny at best?

Jennifer R said...

I didn't find it funny. Alec Baldwin didn't suck, but the writing was painful.

Anonymous said...

"30 Rock" didn't have a better pilot than "Studio 60." These people saying this is the best sitcom on TV are smoking crack if they're not just mentally ill.

"Twenty Good Years" would be funnier if Lithgow and Tambor switched roles and didn't have a laugh track.

R.A. Porter said...

Who are "[t]hese people saying this is the best sitcom on TV"? For me, that would be "HIMYM", though most would argue for "The Office" or "Earl". All I can say about "30 Rock" is that it was three times as entertaining as "Studio 60" in half the time.

Bearing in mind that my wife and I shut off the S60 pilot around the 30-minute mark, that's not really a ringing endorsement.

Anonymous said...

R.A. Porter

Among the people saying 30 Rock is the best sitcom on TV are Herc form Ain't It Cool News and a little paper called the LA Times.

"30 Rock" wishes it had a modicum of the wit in the "Studio 60" pilot.

The S60 pilot was riveting, geniusly written, paced, everything.

Every episode thereafter was dogshit, but thats beside the point

dez said...

I actually liked the 30 Rock premiere. Even if the rest of it turns out to be crap, I'll wade through it just for the moments of Alec Baldwin's genius. He had me laughing every time he was onscreen. I can always FF through any Dratch appearances, heh heh.

I checked out that oven on GE's website. It appears to be real, and now I want one....

R.A. Porter said...

Oh thank goodness someone else doesn't like Rachel Dratch.