BETTER LATE THAN NEVER
The season finale of 30 Rock is worth staying up for, insists Guy Davis.
but the short lifespan of shows such as FlashForward ( which started strong but soon began to splutter) indicates that it might be difficult coming up with an ongoing saga that will have viewers glued to their seats while occasionally scratching their heads in bewilderment.
But for some shows, it’s not so much a tearful last goodbye as a cheerful ‘ See you later!’ And that’s certainly the case with 30 Rock, currently a favourite sitcom ( although Community, airing on Nine’s GO! channel is hot on its heels).
As much as it hurts to admit it, 30 Rock showed a few signs of wear and tear in its fourth year, with the antics of neurotic comedy writer Liz Lemon ( played by 30 Rock creator and comic goddess Tina Fey), unhinged star Tracy Jordan ( the unhinged Tracy Morgan) and corporate titan Jack Donaghy ( Alec Baldwin – no more needs to be said) occasionally lacking the zip and snap of seasons past.
But Fey and her writers, clearly wised-up when it comes to the conventions of situation comedy, have rallied over recent weeks by coming up with a number of storylines that come together both plot-wise and thematically. And most importantly, they’re all pretty funny.
In the final episode, unlucky-in-love Liz finds herself attending three weddings on the same day, and her lack of success in finding a date among her ex-boyfriends – including Mad Men’s Jon Hamm as the handsome but incredibly dumb Drew – finds her constantly running into Wesley ( Frost/ Nixon’s Michael Sheen), an annoying Englishman convinced that he and Liz are “ settling soulmates” who will never do better than each other.
Meanwhile, Jack is facing his own romantic dilemma, having fallen in love with both glamorous go-getter Avery ( Elizabeth Banks) and gorgeous childhood sweetheart Nancy ( Julianne Moore).
As if that wasn’t enough, the selfobsessed Jenna ( Jane Krakowski, the show’s magnificent secret weapon) has finally found true love with Paul ( Will Forte) … mainly because he does a spot-on Jenna impersonation in his drag-queen act.
All of these story strands – and others! – tie together in the season finale with the help of some terrific one-liners, some unexpected plot developments and some very welcome big-name guest stars.
I believe you can gauge the quality of a show by the people willing to appear on it, and using that tenuous logic as a yardstick you could make the claim that 30 Rock is among the finest things ever seen on television. ( That theory could use some work, actually.)
But get a load of that line-up, will you? It’s enough to make you forgive any missteps 30 Rock has taken this year, and to make fans of the show eagerly await what’ll happen next season.
They rock: The whacky folks from are
calling it a day.