Emmy Award winner Tina Fey writes, executive produces, and stars as Liz Lemon, the head writer of a live variety program in New York City. Liz's life is turned upside down when brash new network executive Jack Donaghy (Ale... more »c Baldwin in his Golden Globe winning role) interferes with her show, bringing the wildly unpredictable Tracy Jordan (Tracy Morgan) into the cast. Now it's up to Liz to manage the mayhem and still try and have a life. Join in the behind-the-scenes hilarity with the complete first season (21 episodes) on DVD.« less
"Bizarrely, NBC debuted two new series in 2006-2007 that were behind-the-scenes looks at fictional TV shows that bore astonishing resemblences to SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE. Aaron Sorkin's STUDIO 60 ON THE SUNSET STRIP, the more highly touted of the two, did set its fictional SNL on the West Coast, but never really caught on with critics or with many fans and was eventually cancelled. On the other hand, 30 ROCK was an immediate hit with critics and gradually built more and more of a fan base. Though the ratings were never especially strong, NBC has perhaps the best track record of any current network for sticking with quality shows and attempting to nurture a fan base (on any other network both 30 ROCK and FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS would have been cancelled well before the end of the season). Hopefully more fans will discover this superb show and its long term future will be assured.
While the Sorkin series had very tenuous SNL credentials, 30 ROCK's are iron clad. It was created and produced by SNL veteran Tina Fey, who along with Gilda Radner is possibly the most gifted female performer the show has produced. Lorne Michaels serves as a producer, Tracy Morgan is one of the major stars on the show, and a long line of SNL performers appear as guest stars on the show. Rachel Dratch has appeared in so many episodes (albeit as a number of different characters, from Liz Taylor to a Cat Wrangler) that she could almost be considered a regular. It wouldn't be quite correct to call this a SNL spin off, but it comes as close as possible to being that without actually being one.
The show started off as very funny from the very beginning, but it evidenced one of the marks of a good show: it got better and better as it went along. While the writing and the jokes are sharp from the very beginning, the use of the characters got really good in the second half. One of the marks of a good show is that the second half of the debut season is better than the first half. And this one certainly did.
The ensemble cast is absolutely first rate, but three people really stand out. Tina Fey is not only the driving force behind the show, she is delightful as Liz Lemon, the head writer for THE GIRLIE SHOW, the fictional series they all work on. Alec Baldwin is shockingly good as Jack Donaghy, the NBC executive who oversees. He will be certain to get an Emmy nomination, something he will definitely deserve. But for me the funniest thing on the show is Tracy Morgan as an insane (literally) movie actor who joins the show. The overall atmosphere is one of surreal chaos.
I hope the show really takes off with fans this coming season. NBC's Thursday night line up of shows is perhaps the best group of really intelligent comic series ever. Back when they promoted "Must See TV" (which I never watched), they relied mainly on sit coms filmed in front of live audiences. But the current line up features filmed comedies that are smart, funny, and a hoot to watch. And for me they are really are, in contrast to the FRIENDS era, shows that I really feel I must watch."
5 STARS per episode x 21 = 100+!! Tina Fey is a genius
Richardson | Sunny California USA | 09/30/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Okay.. I think TV stinks. A good friend of mine kept trying to get me to watch this show and I just wasn't interested. For some reason I picked up this set and in a matter of a few days blasted through the whole season. This is ridiculously funny AND intelligent stuff. I am absolutely stunned that the lead actress , Tina Fey, is also the creator AND the writer!! If you don't know just how insane that is....all I can say is its humbling to witness such an incredible talent. If your IQ reaches triple digits you will LOVE this show. Like all great sitcoms and this IS great...it operates on several levels and has multiple story lines working that all integrate perfectly. The acting is wonderful as the cast was assembled well and I must add that Alec Baldwin is just so funny its shocking."
L. Bruce | Madison, MS | 09/18/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
""30 Rock" is an example of the rare brilliant comedy that is not going to appeal to the masses. It's too frenetic, filled with lightning quick wit balanced with unabashed slapstick. And it makes it probably the best comedy on TV today, much more likely to induce a belly laugh than the entertaining, but more restrained, "Office." Like under-appreciated 00's comedies that preceded it ("Scrubs," "Arrested Development"), "30 Rock" and its pitch-perfect ensemble, led by Tina Fey, Tracy Morgan and Alec Baldwin, will probably shine best among a small group of devotees who don't like their comedy served in cookie-cutter fashion."
30 Rock - a genuinely funny freshman comedy
Jonathan Kim | Atlanta, GA USA | 09/08/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"30 Rock is a seductive comedy with humor that feels clunky in the beginning - almost like (classic) SNL's red-headed stepchild, but eventually grows into its own.
The show centers around Liz Lemon (Tina Fey) as she deals with her new boss (Alec Baldwin) and a new showcase castmember (Tracy Morgan) forced on her by her boss. Tina Fey's Liz Lemon and her supporting cast of "writers" portray a hilarious back-and-forth while her interaction with her boss show a different humorous dynamic. Alec Baldwin shines as the boss who doesn't quite "get" Liz's comedy. He plays the typical network executive to a T, but you can see Liz's influence throughout the first season as he grows to trust her in matters beyond the show. Tracy Morgan does a great job at humanizing his character even though it's obvious that he is clinically insane.
The supporting cast has a strong showing, but as with all sitcoms the supporting characters tend to become half-baked and less developed. Though worth positively noting are Rachel Dratch's multiple random characters on the show - which show that her loss as a starring character was a real shame - and Chris Parnell as recurring character, Dr. Spaceman.
The season comes to a close a bit abruptly (almost anti-climacticly), but ends on a solid positive note. "30 Rock" shows its strength by not ending with a crazy cliffhanger and still leaving you enthusiastically waiting for the second season."
Good, but not for me.
Nora Lamy | Miami Beach, Fl | 03/29/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is probably the hardest review I have written on Amazon because how do you give a show a good rating without really liking it? Well here's my attempt at answering this question.
30 Rock is a well-written, well-acted, funny show. I can see the comparisons to Arrested Development in that they are both quirky. However, I think 30 Rock has an even bigger plus because the main character (Tina Fey)is much more likable and easy to identify with, than the main character in Arrested Development.
That said, to me the sign of a great show is how badly I want to see the next episode. And in this respect 30 Rock failed miserably. To be honest, I just stopped watching it halfway through the season.
I don't know if this was the show's fault or the fact that I had just finished watching "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip", a Sorkin vehicle that treated the same subject matter (a late-night comedy show) from a dramatic perspective rather than from a comedic one. Studio 60 just blew me away, and perhaps this made me judge 30 Rock more unfairly.
Would I have changed my mind if I had stuck it out? Probably not. I watched all 3 seasons of Arrested Development, and stayed with my original feeling of overall acceptance but not total adoration; which leads me to believe that this genre (quirky comedy) may not be for me after all.
But I can honestly say that for those who love this type of show, 30 Rock is definitely a winner. Enjoy it. As for me, I will continue to wait for the next Sorkin hit.