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Wednesday, 22 of September of 2021

Tag » 30 Rock

30 Rock – “Live from Studio 6H”

“I’m gonna eat ’til I’m belly full!”

Jimmy Fallon (as young Jack) and Amy Poehler (as young Liz) shooting a phone conversation scene.

"Jimmy, I can hear you breaking from here."

This week’s Saturday Night Live is hosted by Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin with musical guest the SNL house band. And it aired on Thursday.

30 Rock has always had sketch comedy in its genes, from the series’ meta-show premise to its producers (like Lorne Micheals) and figurehead (Tina Fey) pedigrees to it’s ever-shifting balance of actual show plot and cut-aways. In fact, the cut-aways are really just nano-sketches in the way that Twitter is nano-blogging, short bursts of non-sequitor entertainment.

But the “live” episode of 30 Rock feels especially sketch-like and I’m not sure if it’s intentional or not. Perhaps the format is made that way since that’s the way those producing the show know how to run live television. Or maybe it’s a brilliant way of executing something incredibly complicated: transforming a single-camera sit-com that leans heavily on editing into a multi-cam with comparatively few edits and fewer places for actors to hide before a live studio audience.

Whatever the case, I was reminded of SNL so let’s break it down the way I would’ve for an episode late-night weekend topical sketch comedy. Here are the good, the meh, and the ugly sketches. Read more »

Podcast 10: Matt’s Challenge Fail

“Glee doing Michael Jackson is worse than Michael Jackson being a child molester.”

Even with not a whole lot going on (and down one partner in crime), the gentlemen discuss the week that was. I wish there was more I could say here but you really just have to listen to the podcast. I will say, though, that if you’re not caught up on How I Met Your Mother or Lost, you should probably get up to speed before listening or you might get — well, lost. Some items to help you with HIMYM references: The Gentleman, Slap Bet, A Gentlemen’s Agreement, Challenge Accepted. If you haven’t watched Lost — well, what are you doing here in the first place?

Topic: Place in the podcast

Running time: 64 minutes

  • How I Met Your Mother (episode 0614): 0:01:22
  • House: 0:07:38
  • Chuck: 0:15:41
  • Fairly Legal: 0:25:28
  • CW Scheduling: 0:37:08
  • The Office: 0:39:58
  • 30 Rock: 0:45:32
  • Parks & Recreation: 0:49:08
  • The Rest of NBC Thursday: 0:50:11
  • Downton Abbey: 0:52:31
  • Showtime Programming: 0:52:38
  • Cable news coverage of Egyptian unrest: 0:54:34

Podcast 005: “Serial Killers > Zombies”

“Television would lead me to believe that Miami is the worst place in the entire world.”

And television wouldn’t lie to us, would it? This week we discuss the disappointing The Walking Dead finale (in spite of Noah Emmerich’s presence), the holiday-themed episodes we watched this past week, a little CW, a little TNT, and a lot of Dexter. So hop aboard the Polar Express, mind the pterodactyl and the Christmas Attack Zones, and let’s talk it out. Or at least let us talk it out at you.

Running Time: 75 minutes

Topics: Place in the Podcast

  • The Walking Dead: 0:00:27
  • Gossip Girl: 0:22:08
  • Life Unexpected: 0:30:14
  • Holiday Episodes
    • Community: 0:33:37
    • The Office: 0:44:03
    • Glee: 0:47:55
    • Warehouse 13: 0:52:35
  • The Closer/TNT Line-Up: 0:56:32
  • Dexter: 1:02:10

Podcast 001, pt 5: “Matt Looks to Be Fired (and Talks Comedies)”

“That’s really funny, Cougartown, but you’re Cougartown and I’m not going to watch you.”

As the ABC comedy block is about to start for Wednesday night on the East Coast, listen in as Matt and Nick discuss if Modern Family lives up to the hype and what the best comedy on television is for the season thus far. Matt walks a fine line as he proposes one of the most reviled shows on Monsters to be a contender.

30 Rock – “Live Show” (Nick)

“My memory has Seinfeld money.”

While I think Noel’s summation to the 30 Rock live episode is pretty accurate, I think it’s worth looking at the show in a different lens. To me, the jokes worked (on par with the rest of the season so far at least — which may or may not be good) but I also feel the jokes they planned for this episode would have only worked for live (like this opportunity is something the writers have been waiting for).

Noel mentioned the tremendously underwhelming live episode of E.R., attempting a vérité style for a show predicated on drama. Why the episode failed is that nothing particularly “live” happened: the whole show went as planned and the only thing to come out of it was the accomplishment of getting everything off without a hitch despite the pressure of one take. Drama is the incorrect format for live television (soap operas did it out of necessity with their grueling schedules). Comedy is the only sane lens to view live television. And the modern example of this, and the one closest to 30 Rock in attempt, is The Drew Carey Show.

Read more »

30 Rock – “Live Show” (Noel)

Exciting mishap! This is live!

I wasn’t keen on a live episode of 30 Rock since live episodes of television shows today tend to feel over-rehearsed and, dare I say it?, stagy (in the worst meaning of that word) since no one wants to screw up. Saturday Night Live avoids this feeling since, well, they’re not too rehearsed and because the writing is pretty horrible. I can remember, for instance, the live E.R. being incredibly dull and lifeless: mimicked vérité style seems to work better than a semi-actual vérité style in fictional television programming.

“Live Show” more or less lived up to those expectations. It was still a funny episode of 3o Rock, but the liveness kind of sucked all the liveliness out of the show’s humor.

Read more »

30 Rock – “The Fabian Strategy”

No, wait, actually that’s a half-burned-down McDonald’s.”

If you’ve been reading along with us since we’ve started, you know I had a turbulent relationship with 30 Rock last season, and kind of came around to the show again by the end of the last season. I was prepared to start this season, season 5 as the show kept reminding me, anew with fresh (if a bit lowered) expectations and also prepared for Carol and Avery to just be off-screen characters (I was correct on at least one count).

“The Fabian Strategy” has moments of hilarity (most of them centering around The Barefoot Contessa), but much like Jack’s prized relationship strategy, I feel like 30 Rock kept running away from me so much last season that now I’m just tired and happy to have it back and will accept most anything at this point, so long as it makes me smile for most of the 22 minutes. Read more »

Top 10 Snarkiest TV Characters

Here at Monsters of Television we value one trait above all else: snark. Sure, we have to be able to write intelligently and put TV shows in academic and societal contexts, but why do it if you’re not going to be witty about it? So in tribute to both television and snark, I have compiled a list of 10 of the snarkiest, wittiest characters on television. I’m including pictures and videos for all of you out there who don’t read so good. See? Snark. Here we go. Read more »

30 Rock – “I Do Do”

It’s possible. Have you ever read Archie comics?”

I’ve talked a bit about the frustration that 30 Rock and HIMYM have put me through this season, and how their respective lead-ups to their respective finales have made me (somewhat) forgiving of their ups and downs this season. The good news is that “I Do Do” (“Oh, grow up, Lemon.”) is a pretty solid end note for the inconsistent season. It’s just a little bit tricky to tell if I’m evaluating this on a curve, or if the episode was genuinely good in the classic 30 Rock sense (and can I say “classic 30 Rock after 4 seasons?).

But the episode remains a delightful one. And with its move to 8:30, behind Community, next season, it at least means I can turn off NBC after 9:00. Thank goodness. Read more »

30 Rock – “Emanuelle Goes to Dinosaur Land”

I promise this weekend will be spent staring out windows while holding a glass of scotch.”

30 Rock, I’m starting to think you and I are in an abusive relationship. I keep coming back to you this season when I know I shouldn’t, and you’ve pretty routinely beaten me up each time. But then you do an episode like this, and it’s like you’ve suddenly swore you’re going to stop hitting me, you’ve stopped drinking, and you bought me those exceptionally yummy Premium Mint Chocolate M&Ms. 2 bags even!

And I forgive you and act like you never did horrible things like Kenneth having Donkey Fever or botch up (and come too late to)  the late night debacle or inflict an episode like “Winter Madness” on me. And then we curl up and wonder what’s going on in your writers room that you can only produce something like this so late in the season. Or were you planning on this all along? Read more »