‘30 Rock’ premiere ‘Tanks It’
Published: Thursday, October 11, 2012
Updated: Thursday, October 11, 2012 00:10
"30 Rock" entered its seventh and final season Oct. 4.
After six years, the characters Liz Lemon (Tina Fey), Jack Donaghy (Alec Baldwin) and the rest of the gang will finally be put to rest.
Although the series has produced some of television’s funniest moments – remember Dr. Spaceman (Chris Parnell), Kelsey Grammer’s one-man Abraham Lincoln play and "Werewolf Bar Mitzvah" – it may finally be time for our favorite characters to come to an end.
Last week’s premiere episode, "The Beginning of the End," was met with disappointing ratings. In fact, they were lower than any of the show’s past premieres.
Only 3.4 million viewers tuned in to watch the episode, according to www.tvline.com.
The episode centered around Jack’s attempts to create an awful fall lineup for the fictional network Kabletown, which we later discover is his way of "tanking" the show. This becomes evident when Liz sees a show on the network titled "Tank It."
Taking Jack’s advice and applying it to her own life, as Lemon often does, she decides to also "tank" her role as maid of honor in Jenna’s (Jane Krakoski)wedding.
Meanwhile, Hazel’s (Kristen Schaal) character is still a focal point of the show, as the story follows her and Kenneth’s (Jack McBrayer) dinner party for Tracy Jordan (Tracy Morgan), which is really Hazel’s feeble attempt at seducing Tracy.
There are some classic "30 Rock" moments of hilarity in the episode, including Tracy’s naively insightful remarks, the jabs at Kabletown mirroring their own network, NBC, and Liz’s "there’s no cake?!" voice.
But overall, the premiere simply wasn’t up to the standards of the past six seasons.
It seems the writers are recycling the same jokes in the seventh season – not literally, of course – but by using the same comedic points and making fun of the same things or people we’ve seen in every episode so far. They just aren’t adding anything new to the equation.
We know Kenneth is odd with his small-town, backward perspective. We know Jack is manipulative, and we’ve seen Liz get overwhelmed with work and life and then have it all come together in a Jack-induced epiphany at the end.
It’s the same tired plot.
The jokes referencing the network and other real-life people and situations are always funny, but it’s not enough to carry the show. Instead, "30 Rock" needs to find a way to go out strong, with a season that makes us say, "Oh! I remember why I love ‘30 Rock,’" rather than, "Oh, I’m totally OK with this ending."
And that is precisely how I’m feeling right now.
I will definitely continue to watch the last season, as Tina Fey is still funnier than 90 percent of everything else on television, but I still expected more of the series. Ultimately, I think the show could leave us all with feelings of disappointment and regret.
To keep watching and supporting Fey’s final season, tune in to NBC tonight at 8 p.m.
If you would rather relive the show’s glory days, revisit its first six seasons on Netflix.