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Just to say, the post-recession Season Four of 30 Rock begins on Comedy Central tonight, and I’ve seen the first two episodes, which are on fire. No spoilers but the very opening lines of Ep 1 will blow your mind. Unless, of course, you don’t like 30 Rock. (I threw a reference into my intro before hosting the Q&A at Bafta with Keifer Sutherland on Friday which was met with silence: “Keifer Sutherland is Jack Bauer in the same way that James Gandolfini is Tony Soprano, John Hamm is Don Draper and Jack McBrayer is Kenneth Parcell” … tumbleweeds across the auditorium.)

As a writer of comedy scripts, I am in constant awe of the structure and style of the best US sitcoms, but 30 Rock pushes me that close to giving up: it’s not just the quality of the lines (sneak preview: “I’m in the middle of a raging period … of economic turmoil”; “I’ll give you a New York minute – that’s seven seconds”), it’s the way they set spinning five individual stories in every episode, so that Jack, Liz, Tracy, Jenna and Kenneth all get something to do, and all five stories will be satisfactorily tied up at the end. In 23 minutes?! It’s criminal.

Anyway, if you’re not up to speed and like what you see, I envy you the retro-trawl through the box sets. (By the way, typically of me, I didn’t much like the first episode of 30 Rock when it was aired. Just like I didn’t get Curb on first viewing, or House, where, again, the enthusiasm of friends eventually broke me. In short, my negative first impressions are not to be trusted. I might stop trusting them.)


12 thoughts on “Edit page

  1. By the way, I called this post Edit Page because it says that on the WordPress dashboard and the picture is of Kenneth, who is a page. Geddit?!

    Oh, and after the tantalising mention of Keifer Sutherland, I do intend to write this up once I have a pic of me and Jack, and there will also be a film of the Q&A on the Bafta website, hopefully this week.

  2. Because I’m a cheat I’ve been watching episodes online straight after they air in US, so I’m on episode 17 or 18. Needless to say despite a couple of rocky episodes 30 rock’s still got it.

    “I can’t, I’m picking up my new…tritionist and his elderly…son”

    Out of interest, have you seen any of Parks and Recreation? Don’t think any channel in UK shows it but they should. After a weak start it’s now my favourite US comedy, great ensemble cast but also, like 30 rock, loads of great one liners.

  3. Andrew, it’s Kiefer Sutherland, not Keifer!

    Oh, and 30 Rock is the best thing on TV at the moment! In my opinion, anyway. It’s so awesome.

  4. Was only moaning the other day about lack of decent USA comedy since demise of ‘friends’ and ‘frasier’ but then chastised myself swiftly on remembering the holy trinity of ‘arrested development’ & ‘curb….’ & ’30 rock’. How foolish of me!

  5. Parks And Recreation is good but… it’s from the same stable as the US Office, and it’s very, very similar in feel. Not a bad thing in itself but they’ve run on the same channel on the same night. Same channel and night as 30 Rock, funnily enough. There’s something quite scary about a network running three or four sitcoms back-to-back in Thursday night prime-time just because at some point someone noticed that when a very good comedy show was on on a Thursday night once, lots of people watched it. I can’t help thinking that somewhere at the heart of that there’s a tacit admission that they have no confidence in their ability to tell a good show from a bad one.

  6. If you like 30 rock it’d suggest Community, I was skeptical at first but I’m really starting to warm to it, and Cheevy Chase is actually likeable (in a unlikeable way)

  7. I quite like Tina Fey. Read an interview with her and she had some life of her own before she became famous and she seems pretty grounded because of it . And a cutie to boot.

  8. That’s funny because it was only your repeated ravings about The Wire that persuaded me to re-watch the first episode for a second and then a third time. I finally ‘got it’ on the third and of course went on to love the series from then on.

  9. 30 Rock is beyond clever.

    I watch and laugh and then rewind (or whatever the Sky+ does), then laugh and gape at the cleverness, the comfortness, the total pleasure of it all.

    (I gave my brother and my best friend the first 2 box-sets for Christmas and told them if they didn’t enjoy it then they were “dead to me”.)

    They didn’t get it.

    But we’re still on speaking terms.


  10. andrew,

    you should really check out Party Down which is definitely the next sitcom for people who love 30 Rock and Arrested Development. It airs on Starz in America and hasn’t gotten a lot of attention, but it’s very, very funny with an amazing cast. seek it out by any means necessary.

    and i think parks&recreation has really come into its own in season 2, it’s more consistently funny than the office.


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