Thursday, April 05, 2007

Long live Liz Lemon!

Today's column is an ode to "30 Rock," along with some belated thoughts on all the cancellations from Black Monday:
Sometimes, the good guys do win.

Case in point: "30 Rock," the funniest comedy on television at the moment ("The Office" may be deeper and more artful, but it's a distant second in the laugh category) just was renewed for next season by NBC, even though the ratings have been on the wrong side of mediocre all season.

When "30 Rock" debuted in October, I was lukewarm in my praise of it, too caught up in comparisons to the similarly-themed "Studio 60" -- which, like "30 Rock," was set backstage at a fake version of "Saturday Night Live" -- and the history of failed behind-the-scenes showbiz series to judge it on its own merits. But even its biggest fans have to admit that the show has improved by quantum leaps and bounds over the last few months, and as it returns from a brief hiatus tonight at 8:44 (as part of one of NBC's wacky, TiVo-baiting "super-sized" nights), it's time to look at some of the things that make the show so much fun:
To read the full thing, click here.


jim treacher said...

What's a "Studio 60"?

rachel said...

Great article, thanks for giving 30 Rock the love it deserves. Nice to know you really love the show, as only a true fan would know to include Jack's priceless 'farmer' quote. All the article was missing was a few sentances about mind grapes.

The irony of it all is that 'Wedding Crashers' will probably turn out to be a hit and draw 3 times the audience as S60 and Donnelleys combined.

J said...

Jim, hilarious.

I wonder how much of the decision to renew 30 Rock was based around it being a quality show, and how much of it was an effort to keep Lorne Michaels happy. I sort of hope it was based on the latter, because network regime changes dictate different definitions of "quality."

And 8:44? That's the sort of dumb sh*t that makes me watch stuff on the internet. Thanks, NBC. I can definitely go out tonight.

J said...

And you know what one of my favorite Alec Baldwin moments was? In "Hard Ball," when Lemon comes in screaming that she wants to crush Josh in his contract negotiations, Baldwin totally underplays it, doesn't even smile. He just barely lets the corner of his mouth turn up.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, Wedding Crashers probably will be successful. And Sorkin and Haggis will rant and rave about how stupid America is and how the networks only cater to morons. Of course, both of their shows completely sucked, but their giant egos will prevent them from recognizing that tiny fact.

Michaela said...

*ahem* TiVo can handle weird showtimes just fine -- it's those generic DVRs you have to watch out for. You know, the ones that set up series recordings based on what timeslot the show was in when you set up the recording...?

Yay, 30 Rock.

alanna said...

Excellent article, and I particularly liked the comparison to Arrested Development. This is the first post-AD show that gets close to its manic, intelligently clever vibe without feeling forced. I've often wondered how much Tina Fey was influenced by it. Can't wait to see the Baldwin/Arnett showdown tonight, just for the growly-voice competition.

I'm currently on Spring Break (as a teacher), and I'm now inspired to spend my afternoon with a 30 Rock marathon. Good times.

Nick said...

Great article! And good news that one of my favorite comedies gets a renewal, despite everyone's initial fears... I wathced the episodes again during the hiatus and they could keep me lauging all day! I think that not only Alec Baldwin and Tina Fey, but also Jenna Krakowski, Rachel Dratch...practically the whole cast makes the show one of the season's tops.

Well done, Alan! Can't wait for tonight's episode!

Anonymous said...

I like the AD comparison, too, and it's why the show works for me.

Isn't the Seventh Heaven cancellation good news for Veronica Mars? CW has to have something to put on its schedule. Of course, I haven't watched VM since that appalling abortion mystery episode.

Amram said...

Great article! Did the NBC/GE flowchart make its debut with Liz, or when Jack was showing Tracey which company would actually be producing the "Tracy Jordan Meat Machine"?

Thomas said...

best show on television. period.