Saturday, November 17, 2007

The Jewel in the Crown of the Peacock

30 Rock is an Emmy Award winning, breathtakingly hilarious, brilliantly written comedy that is chock full of mega stars. Can somebody please tell me why this program is not in the top ten ratings every week? I don't get it. Yeah, it's sometimes too "inside" about the wacky world of TV, but there are always enough broad stroke, even slap-sticky scenes to delight even the most clueless citizen from the fly-over parts of the country. If you don't believe me, paste this link in your browser and see for yourself. Better yet, visit the NBC website where you can watch over a dozen past episodes of 30 Rock for free. NBC has one of the friendliest, easiest websites for viewing streaming video of full episodes you might have missed. You have to watch one commercial or promo to see them, but it's worth it for such a quick and simple way to watch TV from your PC.

This week's episode was insane and divine, with comedy show producer Liz Lemon (Tina Fey) convinced that her neighbors were Islamic terrorists and right wing network exec Jack Donaghy (Alec Baldwin appearing wonderfully against type) falling for a Democrat pol from Vermont, played fetchingly by Edie Falco. The "C" story followed innocent and goofy Kenneth the Page as he attempted to replace Jack's missing $2500 Tuxedo pants. Jack McBrayer plays Kenneth perfectly as a fish out of water Georgia peach in the big city. He is a modern day Gomer Pyle but more angelic than annoying.

For my money, Alex Baldwin is the funniest man on television, bar none. He reduced special guest star and NBC deity Jerry Seinfeld to playing the straight man in one episode. He brawled with Nathan Lane who played his drunken Irish brother. He once stopped mid scene and licked a poster of a steak in Liz Lemon's office. He is magnificently pompous and funny and sexy and horrible all at the same time. He struts around the Peacock's offices like a peacock, with his lips pursed in a prissy little pout that reminds me of Donald Trump. And Tiny Fey is brilliant as his foil...the girl who was always smarter and funnier than anybody else in the room but is still a couple of C cups short of confident with her femininity. She is like Rosemary from the Dick Van Dyke show if Rosemary had been really pretty and wore cool blue jeans.

30 Rock guest stars have included such comic luminaries and mega stars as Paul Reubens, Nathan Lane, Whoopi Goldberg and Isabella Rosellini. I have not seen a single episode that wasn't utterly pitch perfect and satisfying from start to finish. It's a half hour comedy that has the power and wit and speed of a terrific viral 30 second spot. Why isn't the whole world watching?

1 comment:

Lisa said...

Spot on, Jane! Tina Fey totally rocks!! I'm a newish viewer of the show and it's consistently the best comedy out there, and always delightful in unexpected ways. I don't know why I didn't watch from the beginning, but I think it may have something to do with the presence of "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip" last year. Both premiered and all the press went to the drama. "30 Rock" got lost, and still is somewhat unknown.

Compare it to some of those Monday night CBS comedies (except Big Bang which I kinda like). It's miles better than any of them, IMHO.

It does have some TV insider stuff but no more than "The Dick Van Dyke Show" did back in the day. She's just a funny gal, pretty enough to be verywatchable but not so glammy that she doesn't need wits and brains to ensure her success.

Baldwin is magnificent, I totally agree. The sexual conundrum he got himself into with his ideologically-opposite new gal pal was touching, hot, and lovably absurd. It was nice to see a couple of smart mature folks get hot and bothered -- Edie Falco was wonderful!

Really, we need to spread the word about this amazing show! Has everybody forgotten it won the Emmy and actually deserved it?

Up with "30 Rock"!