All entries for Tuesday 02 October 2007

October 02, 2007

TV Recommendation: 30 Rock

Were I TVScoop this post would be entitled ‘Set The Video’, except do people really use video recorders anymore? A lot of stuff is on digital anyway while dual-tuner digital boxes that let you watch one channel and tape another remain rare, and the inherantly poor quality of VHS shows up far more obviously on today’s modern flat-panel hi-def TVs, while hard drive recorders like TIVO haven’t really taken off over here as they have in the US. Plus I’m sure half my readership ‘obtains’ all thier TV from internet sites of dubious legality anyway…

So anyways, last year in the US there was this show that was set behind-the-scenes of a Saturday-Night-Live style comedy sketch show, and dealt with the writers, producers and actors, the trials and tribulations of putting the show together and the difficulties of dealing with upper management. It was called Studio 60 and stared lots of famous people and was hyped to death and was mostly very good and then was cancelled.

30 Rock uses the exact same premise, but is more firmly set in the sit-com mould, rather than flitting between the funny and the dramatic. Our ‘hero’ Liz Lemon (Tina Fey) runs a failing comedy show so network head Jack Donaghy (Alec Baldwin), hired for his expertise in Microwave Oven Programming brings in Tracey Jordan (Tracey Morgan) to help revamp the show.

As we’ve mentioned, the concept isn’t exactly new (and in the US, this aired on the same network as Studio 60) and while it doesn’t have the flashes of brilliance we saw in Studio 60, it’s a much more consistent show overall. Alec Baldwin is truly a revelation as the brilliantly insane Jack Donaghy, and I think it’s fair to say he absolutely steals the show. Arrested Development fans (aka people with good taste) should look out for Willl Arnett’s appearence later in the series in one of it’s best episodes.

It did take me a little while to warm to 30 Rock. At first it just felt like a mostly average comedy, but as you get more and more into the heads of the characters it really comes into own, and is well worth checking out. It starts on Channel 5, Thursday at 10:45pm, following Californication, the new David Duchovney sit-com. I’ve not seen enough of it to judge yet, but it does features loads of naked boobies. And the sad fact is that one sentance alone will lead to more people watching it than the 300 words on 30 Rock…

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