|Index||6 reviews in total|
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
We hear a voice-over of Kenneth saying "Previously on 30 Rock" as we watch scenes from the last episode. Jack's mother (Elaine Stritch) comes by Jack's office and mistakes Liz, who she likes, for Phoebe, who she doesn't. Tracy escapes to a Pennslyvania town where he goes under an assumed name and stays with Kenneth's cousin, Jesse (Sean Hayes). With Floyd in Cleveland, Liz communicates with him on the internet but when the picture "breaks up", Liz decides to do the same. So does Jack when he suffers a heart attack while simultaneously trying to make love to Phoebe and listening to his mother shout through the door. Tracy comes back to the show in time after Kenneth purposely injures himself so they can ride the emergency vehicle after getting stuck in traffic. Sitting in Jack's hospital room, Liz playfully threatens to pull the plug as we end 30 Rock's first season...Lots of funny stuff this episode with virtually everyone in the cast appearing. Hilarious performance once again from Chris Parnell as Dr. Spaceman with my favorite part being when, after checking Jack's prognosis, he appears with blood on his suit and says, "Don't worry, I was at a costume party when a dog attacked me. So I had to stab him!" Also great were Stritch and Hayes in their guest roles. Not so great was Rachel Dratch as Tina's doctor but hopefully she'll do more recurring roles next season. Hope Baldwin returns next season since the show wouldn't be the same without him. Have a nice summer, Ms. Fey, you deserved it! Bring on the next season!
I can still remember when 30 Rock came to the UK. It was grabbed up by
channel 5 and I give them credit for that because, with hindsight, it
was a hot property. However at the same time they also snapped up a
similar show, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. It then proceeded to
schedule them one after the other on the same night, with 30 Rock
following and thus starting at close to 11pm. The next thing they did,
or rather failed to do was really market them in such a way that the
show got the attention it deserved. I never bothered watching it
because, as I have read others saying, Studio 60 didn't really appeal
to me as a show to start watching and, by association, I just didn't
bother with 30 Rock.
In the US the show is now in its third season and a browse of DVD's made me think that a reduced price for the first season was perhaps worth a look given how many good things I have since heard about it. Funnily this echoes how I started watching The Wire (I picked up seasons 1 & 2 for cheap in an HMV sale) and I suppose I should have seen this as an omen. I say this because, like The Wire, 30 Rock is really, really good at what it sets out to do. Of course content and aim-wise the two shows are chalk and cheese but both now hold a special place in my heart. For a time, the word "sitcom" would have put me off from the very start but I think this is because I still think of lame BBC1 prime-time affairs, or the endless daytime TV filler sitcoms where the targets appear to be uniformity and blandness rather than laughter. 30 Rock could not be further from those because so much of it is set up purely for the purposes of comedy and it seems like the plots are built around this rather than the other way around.
The strength of it is the amount of characters that are already in place and can be called on as a part of the main narrative of each episode or simply be used for a few lines or scenes that are the funniest thing in the whole bit. Well, it is not so much the characters but rather how good the individual actors are and how sharp much of their dialogue is. Fey is the central point for much of the narrative but also gives herself plenty of laughs as well, mainly from her deadpan and slightly neurotic character. Morgan is the real hoot though. His character is clearly Martin Lawrence and he plays to that cliché really well, greatly helped by the writing, with plenty of erratic turns and twists. Krakowski surprised me with her comic touch and she plays well even if she never feels to the fore of any episode. Even more surprising though is Baldwin, with his gruff deadpan and biting remarks, he is the frequently the best thing in any given episode. As with everyone else, I love Kenneth and part of the reason is just how good McBrayer is at delivering it. In supporting roles the material is lesser but everyone is still reliable when called upon I won't list them all since there isn't really anyone who is a weak link performance wise.
Season 1 of 30 Rock is a refreshing experience. It is very funny, very fresh and the short episodes make it punchy with it. The plot doesn't matter too much but is yet good enough to provide a frame to prevent any episode just feeling like a sketch show rather than a sitcom. Well worth checking out and I'm very glad I did, the only downside of catching it on DVD being how quickly I ripped through it all.
Hiatus, the first season finale of 30 Rock, is as clever a sample of
metatelevison as there ever will be: a finale about a finale (kind of a
reversal of Seinfeld's fourth year, which ended with an episode
centered around a television pilot).
The episode begins in an unprecedented way for 20-minute comedy shows (minus the occasional two-part story on Friends): Kenneth says "Previously on 30 Rock" and we see the events from the previous show that made Tracy go in hiding after he thought the Black Crusaders were coming after him. He's now being "protected" by Kenneth's cousin Jesse (Sean Hayes), who quickly turns all Annie Wilkes on the poor comedian.
Meanwhile, panic abounds over at NBC, since they still have one episode of TGS to air before the summer hiatus and Tracy has to be in it. The stressful situation isn't doing much good for Jack's health, which gets even worse when his mother Colleen (Elaine Stritch) comes for a visit and expresses reservations about his new fiancée Phoebe (Emily Mortimer).
The brilliance in Tina Fey's writing is all the more obvious with this episode, which reflects her real-life concerns: just like Liz must find a satisfying conclusion for the 2006-2007 season of TGS, she needed a finale that would keep fans waiting for the second series. She pulls it off artfully with the usual string of quotable lines and self-referential insanity, with the addition of two guest stars whose comedic ability few would question: Hayes, always the funniest thing in NBC's hit Will & Grace, has the same flamboyant charm here, with an added hint of madness, while Stritch, who won an Emmy for her performance (bravo!), gives Alec Baldwin a run for his money with a portrayal that matches all the ghastly things we've heard about the character in previous episodes.
In short: an artistic triumph. Oh, and still very, very funny.
The twenty-first episode and season finale of the first season of 30
Rock is a near-perfect finale of the very funny first season of a
well-received show. This episode seems more different than others from
the past, but this show mainly exists to tie up loose ends. The acting
is brilliant as usual thanks to Alec Baldwin, Tina Fey, and Tracy
Morgan whom are as good as ever.
This episode, "Hiatus," has Tracy Jordan still missing. However, Kenneth knows of his whereabouts and he refuses to tell. Meanwhile, Tracy is kidnapped. Meanwhile, Liz is having trouble managing her long-distance relationship with Floyd. Jack's mother comes to visit him and takes a dislike for his fiancée.
Overall, this episode is very funny and has some amusing jokes. The guest appearance by Sean Hayes is really good and he interacts well with Tracy. Looking forward to watch a funny Season 2. I rate this episode 9/10.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The finale of a spectacular first season.
And the clever idea here is that the finale is about the season finale of their show. Tracy disappears because he hides from the Black Crusaders. He hides at Kenneth's redneck brother's place who later holds him hostage to read a script.
And Jack is so stressed out with the finale, his fiancé and mother coming that he ends up in a hospital.
I really liked the guest stars Elaine Stritch as Jack's mother and Sean Hayes as Kenneth's cousin. I didn't even recognize Sean Hayes, very well done.
The episode has a lot of action and excitement. I just didn't like the fact that the ending wasn't very spectacular that makes you incapable to wait for the next season to begin. But I guess 30 Rock didn't need it, it is a great show already.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Hiatus is the first season finale for 30 Rock, but the season doesn't
go out with as big of a bang as one might expect- it is consistently
funny but not laugh-out-loud hilarious. Picking up where the last
episode, Cleveland, left off, Hiatus has the producers of TGS looking
desperately for their star Tracy while Jack is preparing for marriage.
Ultimately, Tracy comes out of hiding when he finds it inconvenient,
and Jack's wedding is called off after he suffers a heart attack.
Some of the humour is provided by Dr. Spaceman, who, covered in blood, reassures people that he had simply been to a costume party and had stabbed a dog- a cruel, odd twist. The subplot of Tracy hiding with Kenneth's cousin also allows for some colourful jokes about the cousin's status as white trash, and in the end the cousin becomes the villain of the piece with outlandish and funny effect.
This review was revised upwards (from 8 to 8.5 stars) in April 2008.
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