30 Rock – Season 2, Episode 1 – Seinfeld Vision

October 5, 2007

It’s hard to believe that at this time last season I was panning 30 Rock.  After one episode I pretty much decided not to watch any more.  Boy was that dumb.  Somewhere around the 7th or 8th episode I ended up watching and I literally cried from laughing so hard.  I, of course, went back and watched the ones I missed and was hooked for the rest of the season.  The moral: Never judge a show based on its pilot.  But I digress….

The show kicks off with a great scene of Alec Baldwin and Tina Fey discussing the highlights of the summer TV season including MILF Island (25 hot moms, 1 caring prostitute MILF and 8 boys, no rules) and America’s Top Pirate.  But that’s nothing compared to SeinfeldVision where Seinfeld is digitally inserted into all of NBC’s shows.

Unfortunately also over the summer, Liz broke up with Floyd, Tracy’s wife threw him out (who knew freaky deakys could also do data entry) and Jenna put on a bit of weight doing Mystic Pizza the Musical.  No need to worry about Tracy though, Kenneth agreed to be his “office wife”.  In other stories Cerie is still engaged and planning her wedding.  By getting Liz and Jenna to be bridesmaids she got a twofer – bridesmaids and “something old”.   Classic.

As has been promoted for the last bunch of weeks the episode primarily revolves around Jerry’s dislike of the SeinfeldVision concept, unless he could be inserted into Lost.  Now that’s a show he likes.  If Jack doesn’t stop SeinfeldVision from airing Jerry’s going to buy NBC.  Fortunately Jack’s got a couple of days to come up with alternatives and as we all know, there are no bad ideas when it comes to brainstorming (I’m an innovation guy, I know).  As with all things Jack it comes down to negotiation and I have one thing to say – Al Rokker in a Bee costume.

The rest of the show had Liz walking around in a wedding dress and I need to end this review on two important notes:  it is my fondest desire to one day go to Grenarnia and as amazing as this show is I’m with Jack – this is going to be a great year.

Avi’s Episode Rating: A-

30 Rock Renewed – Can I get a Whoo, hoo

April 6, 2007

Here we are back with a full supersized slate of NBC’s Thursday night Comedy Night Done Right and just to celebrate NBC today announced that 30 Rock is being renewed for a second season.  As regular readers of my blog know I didn’t really like the show when it started and skipped the first few.  Then I picked it up again when it moved it to Thursday and teamed with The Office and found that the show not only frequently makes me laugh out loud but is also getting better with every episode.  I look forward to season 2 and kudos to NBC for not cancelling it despite having less than stellar ratings.  This strategy of letting the show grow worked for The Office and can only hope that it does the same for 30 Rock.

What Show Will You Save? An E! Online Poll

March 30, 2007

E!Online is running a poll asking people to vote on the one show they would save from a list of programs that are “on the bubble”.  According to Ain’t it Cool News the show that has received the most votes the last five years running has been renewed.

Of the 17 shows on the list there are 5 that I’m pulling for: 30 Rock, Friday Night Lights, How I Met Your Mother, Scrubs and Veronica Mars.  But according to the rules I can only choose one.  Last year my vote would have gone to Veronica Mars hands down but this year I have to vote for Friday Night Lights, especially after watching last night’s amazing hour  It’s not that I don’t want the rest to make it but rules are rules.

Click here to vote for your favourite and feel free to comment below and let me know your pick.

30 Rock – Season 1, Episode 17 – The Fighting Irish

March 9, 2007

If there was a better line on TV this week than “We have to synergize backwards overflow” I’d like to hear it. After a rocky start this show is now my second favourite comedy on TV (still behind The Office but catching up) passing Scrubs, Earl and How I Met Your Mother.

Tina Fey is TV’s new Elaine. From her dancing/ aerobics moves to the way she stays calm in the face of craziness around her to her poor choice of men. She’s a great centre for the show and she does make smart look sexy. Such an Elaine move to want to fire the woman dating the guy you like and great power trip. Things are sure lining up for Liz Lemon.  Thanks Jack.

There’s not much I can say about Alec Baldwin that hasn’t been said. I don’t know how NBC got him to come to TV but he’s one of the best characters on the air today. Take his management approach, showing Liz the video of the panda to soften her up before telling her she needs to fire 10% of her staff or should I say make 90% of her staff very happy. He even did the impossible – make me like Nathan Lane. I laughed very hard at their walk down memory lane – juvie, Jonestown, punching Donald Duck. All good and a great family reunion to boot.

Even the Tracey Jordan character who was kind of grating at the beginning has worn me down with his portrayal of a celebrity. Last week’s episode where he finds out his entourage has been laughing at his jokes and letting him win at video games was classic as was this week’s move of joining a church (but not the Church of Practicology or Kabbalah) pre-emptively in case he needs to appear in front of a jury.

After this week the show goes off the air for the next six weeks to be replaced by Andy Barker PI, which I hear is also pretty good. I’ll definitely miss it and can only hope NBC renews it for next season.

Avi’s Episode Rating: A+

“Comedy Night Done Right” – Who can argue with that?

March 2, 2007

Great article today on NBC’s Thursday night comedy block, the best 2 hours of comedy on TV.  I write here enough about the shows individually but it’s good to look at the block collectively and recognize that this is unique to TV today where sitcoms either have disappeared, completely suck or are the same-old, same old with the same laughs, jokes and stock characters that have been on for years.

None of those criticisms apply to this block of Earl, The Office, Scrubs and 30 Rock made more remarkable for airing on the biggest ad night against the biggest hits on TV and largely crushing the competition week after week where it counts most – the quality of the shows.

30 Rock Kicks Butt

February 1, 2007

I admit that after seeing the first episode I made a snap judgement about this show that was completely wrong.  I just didn’t really find the pilot that funny.  Especially compared to the great pilot for Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip.  Within a few weeks Studio 60 dropped further and further down my must see list (crashing even more as it shifts to a romance/ stalker focus) and 30 Rock started to show its brilliance.  Since moving to Thursday night the show has really raised its game.  Maybe it’s being in good company with the other best comedies on TV but 30 Rock is hopefully destined for a long run on NBC.

Here’s a great article that lists 30 Reasons to Love 30 Rock.  The hallmark of a great show – just thinking back to the episodes it references makes me laugh.

Series Review: A

Best of TV 2006 – Best New Show

December 20, 2006

Here are my nominees for the Best New Show of 2006.  Remember the nominees are my picks based on my favourite shows of the year, hence the omission of Ugly Betty which despite it getting lots of love from critics is likely going to make my worst of list.  Also, the show must have actually be on for the full season so ones that have been cancelled are ineligible.

Now on with the nominees:

  • 30 Rock (NBC)
  • Brothers & Sisters (ABC)
  • Friday Night Lights (NBC)
  • Heroes (NBC)
  • Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip (NBC)

30 Rock is one of those shows that has grown on me as the season has progressed.  I watched the first couple of episodes and found them okay but not great.  But all of a sudden something started to click with me in particular the brilliance of Alec Baldwin, the over the top a little goes a long way Tracey Morgan and the sarcasticly hysterical Tina Fey.  Throw in Dean Winters as Tina Fey’s girl friend and we’re nearing perfection.  Now that it’s been added to probably the best Thursday night comedy lineup ever it’s drawing power is compounded.  Only place it loses marks is the annoying Jane Krakowski.

Brothers & Sisters started off horribly.  I liked the cast generally (especially the amazing Sally Field) but just found that after the first few weeks I really didn’t care about their stories.  Then something changed and his name is Greg Berlanti fresh off the fantastic and still missed Everwood.  He took over and suddenly the show seemed to have some soul as the relationships between the characters started to matter and their interactions took centre stage.  Still, as much as I’ve come to enjoy the series when I watch, I don’t particularly miss it between episodes.

I’ve written multiple times about my love for Friday Night Lights.  I can tell you right now that this show will be on my best of the year list.  It’s as heartwarming as it is heartbreaking often in the same episode.  Kyle Chandler’s performance is dynamic and understated and I need to highlight the actor playing Jason Street as truly the best find of the year.

Heroes is also a shoo in for my best of the year list.   I’m a comic book geek so I came into this show with high expectations that were greatly exceeded.  11 weeks in and the originally separated and unbelievably interesting characters (with Hiro as the breakout) are starting to intertwine around interesting mysteries (Save the Cheerleader, Are you on the List) with weekly cliffhangers that leave you anxious for the next episode.  This show is going to be a huge hit on DVD and will likely result in many viewing marathons.  After this year’s lackluster and meandering Lost season, this show has become the must see serialized drama.  I can’t believe it’s another month until it starts again.

I’ve put Studio 60 on the list because I think it still holds promise.  Still, it’s my disappointment of the year.  I loved the pilot but the episodes since haven’t lived up to the premise.  There have been many moments of brilliance and the few episodes before the break (since the John Goodman episodes) have started to pick up steam.  I still detest the Harriet character and the show’s preachy approach to religion that seems to be a talking point in every episode.  (Contrast this heavy handed approach with the intelligent integration of religion as a backdrop in Friday Night Lights.)  As I write this I need to acknowledge that maybe this show shouldn’t be on my list.  If I had time to watch Dexter perhaps this show would have been replaced with what I hear is a great program.

And the winner is:

  • Heroes (NBC) with Friday Night Lights being a close runner up.

NBC Renews 30 Rock for a Full Season while CBS Cancels 3 LBS

December 2, 2006

NBC announced today that 30 Rock is getting a full season after it got the best ratings as part of the new Thursday Must See TV comedy block. I found the first couple of episodes to be okay but not good or great. Since then the show has definitely grown on me and I’m happy to see it get a full season. The Earl-Office-Scrubs-30 Rock block may be the best Thursday night comedy lineup ever and despite going against the powerhouse Grey’s Anatomy and CSI is my first choice on Thursdays.

CBS has at the same time canceled 3 LBS after only 3 airings. That’s 2 more episodes then I lasted watching it so no loss in my opinion. I just hope Stanley Tucci finds a show more deserving of his considerable talents – maybe something on HBO, Showtime or FX.