How do you end a series like "30 Rock"? Apparently by never losing sight of the surreal humor and TV industry satire, while also realizing that after seven seasons your audience has come to care about the core characters enough that emotional catharsis is possible.
The ultimate message of "30 Rock": You don't have to sacrifice the silly to get the sentiment, but you may have to sacrifice a broad audience for the sake of quality. "30 Rock" evolved into a cartoon over the past few seasons, but also managed to completely reclaim its identity and end on its own terms. It leaves the air as a model for what TV comedy is capable of when everyone involved cares about the work they're doing.
There was stray brilliance all over the place in the final hour (Liz's Yoda impression; Jenna admitting she's never met Mickey Rourke; Liz telling Jonathan: "You were in »
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