series finale recap

'30 Rock' Ends 7-Season Marathon Of Mirth

The NBC sitcom ended its run with just the right note: the sort befitting "30 Rock," with its loopy storytelling mixed with joy in spoofing the culture of TV. Closure, if that's what it is, came in a two-minute postscript on this hour episode Thursday.
Associated Press,

NEW YORK (AP) — You wanted resolution on the "30 Rock" finale?

You got it. Sort of. At least, the sort befitting "30 Rock," with its loopy storytelling mixed with joy in spoofing the culture of TV.

Story continues after the ad

Closure, if that's what it is, came in a two-minute postscript on this hour episode Thursday on NBC. Which, among other things, included this sly touch: a reference to the snowglobe revelation with which the medical drama "St. Elsewhere" famously concluded a quarter-century ago.

But there was more. Just before the final fade-out, NBC President Kenneth the former Page (Jack McBrayer) was pitched a new comedy series taking place right there at network headquarters, 30 Rock.

Hmmm. This was no ending. It was a Mobius strip.

The comic coda proposed where many of the characters might be a year from now. But that wasn't the point of the finale, which mostly wanted to have fun. And did.

Brand Connections

This last yahoo of "30 Rock" after seven brilliant seasons took delight in tracking the unraveling of its characters as the show-within-the-show, "TGS," came to an end with its own final broadcast. After that, of course, its producer, Liz Lemon (Tina Fey), its stars, Jenna Moroney and Tracy Jordan (Jane Krakowski and Tracy Morgan) and other members of the "TGS" staff will have to leave the cozy, kooky nest of 30 Rockefeller Plaza. The prospect of doing that terrifies them all.

Meanwhile, Jack Donaghy (Alec Baldwin), the newly minted CEO of NBC parent Kabletown, was battling his own existential crisis.

He had gotten the top job he wanted all his life. And as the ultimate Republican capitalist, he had even scored a lash-out from a treasured enemy, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi.

"Jack Donaghy is an economic war criminal," Pelosi was seen declaring on a cable news network. "If the Democratic Party controls Congress, I will see to it that he is punished in the worst way possible: by having to come down here and listen to us."

Even with total victory under his belt, Jack still felt unfulfilled. What else could he do? He resigned from Kabletown and began a journey to discover what might truly make him happy.

Jack's despair included the fear that he's lost Liz as a friend.

"I don't have that many people in my life," he sobbed to Jenna. "I spend Christmas alone in the Hamptons drinking Scotch and throwing firecrackers at Billy Joel's dog."

Out of a job, Liz was miserable as a stay-at-home mom of adopted twins. Conversely, her husband, Criss (played by guest star James Marsden), hates steady employment.

"It's OK to want to work," he consoled Liz. "One of us has to. We just got it backwards: You're the dad."

"I do like ignoring your questions while I try to watch TV," Liz agreed.

(Interestingly, Liz was seen a year hence back at work producing a dumb sitcom with her children in tow. Where was hubby Criss?)

During the finale, "30 Rock" didn't hesitate to snack on its own past.

Liz and Tracy had an awkward heart-to-heart at the strip club where Tracy lured her on their first encounter on the series' premiere.

And a high point of the episode came when Jenna revisited the project she starred in years ago, a film with the lips-scrunching title "Rural Juror" (which inevitably comes out sounding something like "ruhr juhr").

On the farewell "TGS," Jenna performed the theme from her new musical adaptation of "Rural Juror," with, inevitably, almost nothing she sang recognizable as English.

It served as a reminder: "30 Rock" wasn't just a brilliant comedy series. It also forged a comic language all its own.

Related Links

Tags

Comments (0) -

Marketshare Blog Playout Blog

Twitter

TVNewsCheck

Ratings

Overnights, adults 18-49 for September 22, 2016
  • 1.
    4.0/14
  • 2.
    1.7/6
  • 3.
    1.3/5
  • 4.
    0.9/3
  • 5.
    0.6/2
  • 6.
    0.3/1
Source: Nielsen

Reviews

  • Rob Owen

    Easily fall’s best broadcast network comedy pilot, NBC’s The Good Place offers a clever high-concept premise that’s complemented with intelligent, sometimes absurdist humor. Created by Michael Schur, co-creator of NBC’s Parks and Recreation, The Good Place is a highly serialized series that’s essentially set in heaven and stars Kristen Bell and Ted Danson. NBC made five episodes of The Good Place available for review, and the show not only holds up, but also it improves, deepening characters that initially feel one-note and frequently leaving viewers guessing with cliffhanger endings to many of the episodes. The combination of snappy dialogue and winning but flawed characters makes The Good Place a great bet for fans of smart TV comedy.

  • Maureen Ryan

    Pitch has swagger, for good reason. It gets the big things right; the Fox drama about the first female baseball player in the Major Leagues is one of the year’s most assured and exciting debuts. But part of what impresses about the pilot is also the way it confidently strings together so many small but telling details. Ginny (Kylie Bunbury) is the first woman to be called up from the minors to the big leagues, and no show since Friday Night Lights has done a better job of portraying the internal and external pressures that weigh heavily on young athletes asked to do much more than merely succeed on the field. Pitch will likely do a good job of getting viewers to root for it. The hope is that the show won’t be an impressive, short-lived curiosity, but rather a long-term phenomenon.

  • Kevin Fallon

    In a fall TV season that’s already making a splash for championing diverse, distinctive voices in an array of projects that they created, wrote, and starred in, Better Things on FX stands out. The show is created by, written by, and starsPamela Adlon. She plays Sam Fox, the single mother of three daughters modeled after her own reality-show-ready experience raising three girls in Los Angeles following a divorce. Sam is also, like Adlon, a working actress — on shows both raunchy, a la Californication, and animated for children, like her role on Recess. It’s a refreshingly blunt take on single motherhood without sacrificing the warmth of parental love, portraying the dance between selfishness and selflessness that’s at the heart of being a parent — especially one weathering the hormonal fireworks of a household of four women at different ages.

  • David Wiegand

    The fall TV season doesn’t count as much as it used to — we already know that. But no matter how many retreads the broadcast networks throw at viewers in the next few months, this fall will be memorable because of the premiere of Atlanta on Tuesday, Sept. 6, on FX. The half-hour comedy created by and starring Donald Glover (Community), simply and brilliantly recalibrates our expectations of what a TV comedy is and how black lives are portrayed on the medium.

  • Louisa Ada Seltzer

    The second reboot of the 1980s John Candy movie Uncle Buck, bumped by ABC from midseason, has the same tired jokes you'll find on any second-rate sitcom. Too bad, because Mike Epps is appealing and ABC would be wise to keep him around for future shows, but there’s just not enough to this show to suggest it will last past summer. It also airs against NBC’s America’s Got Talent, summer’s No. 1 program on broadcast, which may make it even harder to find an audience.

  • Neil Genzlinger

    Bryan Cranston brings his Tony Award-winning interpretation of President Lyndon B. Johnson to television in an adaptation of the Robert Schenkkan play All the Way, and it’s still quite a sight to behold, just as it was on Broadway in 2014. Nothing beats witnessing this kind of larger-than-life portrayal onstage, of course. But the television version, presented by HBO, offers plenty of rewards, allowing Cranston to work the close-ups and liberating him from the confines of a theater set. Cranston’s performance is a gem — in his hands, this accidental president comes across as an amazing bundle of contradictions, someone who seems at once too vulgar for the job and just right for it.

This advertisement will close automatically in  second(s). You will see this ad no more than once a day. Skip ad