Thursday, March 5, 2009

Tube Steak: I Don't Get "30 Rock"

All right, I will be the first to admit that I have been wrong about shows in the past. I wrote off "The (American) Office" after its first three episodes (justifiably, I think after the atrocious Gus-Van-Sant-remake-of-Psycho approach they took to the first season of the series), only to become a big fan much later. Initially, my reaction was lukewarm to both "Freaks and Geeks" and "Firefly", seeing potential in each but not truly being grabbed until I was able to watch them in quick succession on DVD.

So I would like to open up the floor to any "30 Rock" fans who might feel compelled to argue their case for the show's worth.

To me, the show seems to be one filled with characters who are merely caricatures. Furthermore, the show seems to me to be lacking in the requisite wit that I apparently need from my comedies, and--from what I can tell--there is no heart to the show. Ultimately, it feels like an absurdist voyage into a world filled with insincerity where the only character who seems to be a good person is an effeminate simpleton.

And if the show was dark and ascerbic, I might even be able to get behind all that, but the tone the show strikes is far from that. So, fans of the "30 Rock", what about this wit-deprived, overly absurdist, heartless comedy that peddles insincerity am I supposed to find redeeming?


qwanty said...

Do you take requests? Or respond to comments? Because it seems like you don't do either, and I, as a member of your readership, find this troubling.

Little Brother said...

30 Rock is the only show that has been consistently good week in and week out since the writer's strike. If you're recent sentiments are based on last nights episode (March 5th) than you caught an off episode. It was still funny, but not nearly as strong as most every other week.

Tina Fey is great and the relationship between she and Jack (Alec Baldwin) is very entertaining. I've always liked Tracy Morgan, and him basically getting to play himself is what makes his character a success (unlike on The Tracy Morgan show). The supporting cast is strong with the exception of Jane Krakowski's character.

I don't quite understand how you don't see any wit in the show because I see it in most areas (especially with any interaction between Jack and Liz). You used to say the same thing about The Office, and I think if you give it more of a chance and start watching it regularly you'll grow to appreciate it. We see eye-to-eye on most things TV-related, so I have full faith that you'll come around.

KRD said...

I didn't get it until a friend sat me down and made me watch 3 hand-picked episodes from the first season. Then we watched the whole first two seasons together. It's like any other show--you have to sort of invest in it a little and build a relationship with the characters.

But also--I don't find it consistently funny. The thing is, when the humor is good, it is really, really good. And it feels really true, which is a weird thing to say about a show that, as you point out, is full of pretty ridiculous and maybe even unlikable characters. Maybe that's why it works--these are not people who try to hide their neuroses, ignorance, self-serving tendencies.

In this way it might be a little like the American Office, only the characters in 30 Rock are meaner. That could be a liability, I guess. But in some ways it just sort of adds to the show's ethos.

Old Man Duggan said...


I read the comments, although I find it a bit odd to respond within the comments section, so that's something I feel somewhat odd about. I do occasionally write posts that are responses to a bunch of comments and that mailbag sort of post is probably a bit overdue.

As far as requests, I am pretty sure that I've not gotten one. If I were to get a request in some alternate reality in which people read this blog in a scenario in which they did not google "soapy cock shots" or "prick tube", I can't imagine I wouldn't write something on the subject, barring an absolute ignorance on the subject (which may or may not stop me).

Was there something you wanted me to write about? More diatribes on BSG?

qwanty said...

a) I was not expecting you to reply. You have called my bluff, I think. I’m not entirely sure what that means, though, so I can’t be sure. I understand not replying in the comments, and not wanting to directly acknowledge a commenter in a post. I know I can only write if I am proceeding as though I am making drunken confessions to no one on the floor of my closet. And there are no commenters in my closet! So I get it. But yeah, I did sort of make a request: Sofia Coppola, Godfather III shittiness > Michelle Pfeiffer, Scarface shittiness? You seem like the kind of guy who might have some interesting thoughts on this. I haven’t actually seen Scarface, though, so I need to watch it before I read your comments. So take your sweet ass time.

b) I’m in Season 2 of BSG and I love it. Blah, blah plot, Lee Adama. I hate to be shallow, but that guy could wrap himself in saran wrap and slaughter cows and I would watch. And I’m pretty easily ooked out, so that’s a huge testament to his hotness. So anyway, I can’t read the BSG posts. In time. And jesus shitballs, is he hot. As is Starbuck. Who gives a fuck about the rest of it? Also: The rest of it is really good.

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