Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Why you (yes YOU) should be watching 30 Rock

I am not just passionate, but passionate about T.V. shows that I love. Just this morning I debated with someone for close to 10 minutes about why Fringe is an excellent show. I obsessively write to Matt Roush at T.V. Guide and Michael Ausiello at EW to give opinions and get scoop. In fact, I asked Mr. Ausiello about the fate of Mary McDonnell's Laura Roslin on Battlestar Galactica today. The answer? Prepare to weep. But even with all of my debating and flailing over shows that I love, I've never tried to persuade people to watch 30 Rock. In all honesty, I never thought I would have to. It's got Tina Fey, Alec Baldwin, snappy writing and Emmy awards falling out of it's butt. Yet, for some reason no one's watching. Why? If this show gets canceled because of you Nielsen raters not watching, I'll have to find you all and abduct your television sets.

Tina Fey is a good way to get me to watch anything. And I do mean anything. I vowed never to watch a movie with Lindsay Lohan in it, but as soon as I found out Mean Girls had Fey at the helm and with an acting part? I didn't just rent the movie - I bought it. I have to admit that all around it's a very good slice of the high school movie genre, but I only bought it to be inspired by Tina Fey. I'm not sure if I've ever disclosed this information before, but my role model? Totally Tina. She's got the looks, the wit, the education and really, I'd be crazy to choose anyone other than Tina to look up to. (I've probably never said anything because wow does that make me sound stalkerish. I swear I'm not.) Anyway, if you've been following SNL lately, then you have no doubt seen her Palin impression. By itself it's hilarious because Palin really is insane, but Tina brings to it the walk, the talk, the facial expressions and hand gestures. She's got it down pat from the winking to the posing for the camera. Now, take that awesome acting ability and put it into a sitcom. Every week you get brilliant exchanges of dialogue that make you wonder about the genius of the writers. And the head writer of the show just happens to be Tina Fey.

The brilliancy of this show does not begin and end with Tina, however. We still haven't covered Alec Baldwin. I admit, I'd never really watched him in anything before. I mean, yes, I've seen Pearl Harbor. Correction: I slept through most of Pearl Harbor, and I've heard of a lot of things he's in, but I'd never watched any of them. Except for Beetlejuice. I effing love that movie. Anyway, in 30 Rock, he's a genius. For such a strong Democrat to play a stiff Republican? Well, if that's not acting, I don't know what is. And if you haven't seen the therapy session where Jack invoked the spirit of Redd Foxx, I suggest you run to RIGHT NOW and watch it. That clip alone should make you tune in tomorrow.

The supporting cast is nothing to poo-poo about either. Tracy Morgan as Tracy Jordan is great, and on a weekly basis makes me think: 'How much of this is based on Tracy Morgan's real life experiences?'. (I want to say...probably 56%) Jack McBrayer as the lovable, goofy, flighty, but probably smarter than you think Kenneth is equally hilarious and under-used which is something I sincerely hope changes soon. Who else could deliver the line: I don't drink hot liquids of any kind. That's the Devil's temperature! with such conviction?

The bottom line with this show is that it's smart. It's not 'veg out in front of the t.v., get up 10 times to get something to eat, talk on the phone while I watch it' television. It's satirical, it's relevant, and it's hysterical. The story lines range from downright silly (Tracy making a porn video game) to touching (Liz running the gamut of emotions when she thinks she's pregnant), and in 30 minutes you might just learn a thing or two about real humor. Everyone tune in tomorrow. You won't be sorry.

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