First Impressions

30 Rock

Distributed By: NBC

Reviewed by Ismael Manzano

     Well, we come at last to the last of my first impressions for this Fall’s television season.  So it is seems only fitting that I end this one as I started the first one, with a sole review.  This time, I chose NBC’s new comedy show, 30 Rock, starring Tina Fey (Saturday Night Live and Mean Girls), Alec Baldwin (too many things to list), and Tracy Morgan (Saturday Night Live). 

     Tina Fey is Liz Lemon, the producer of the popular variety program, “The Girlie Show.”  Alec Baldwin, SNL regular, plays Jack, Liz’s new boss who is determined to retool the show to his liking.  His master plan?  Bring in Tracy Jordan (Morgan), a Martin Lawrence-esque actor, to the show and hope his name alone will bring in the big bucks.  Liz is against this as Jack fired her friend in order to meet Morgan’s expected salary. 

     In an act of defiance, Liz, under the guise of recruiting Tracy Jordan, plans to leave Jack to run the studio without her help and then quit.  But to her surprise, Tracy Jordan not only agrees to join the Girlie Show, he encourages her to take charge and stand up for her job.  Can she regain control of her own show?

     Rachel Dratch joins her former SNL costars in 30 Rock, playing—what I hope is not a one-trick joke character—a cat wrangler for the show.  But the real gem of this show came from the unlikely source of Tracy Morgan, whose comic timing and delivery made even the most awkward and silly of performances funny.  I really thought the Martin Lawrence rip-off would get tiring after a while, but he made it work and quickly became my favorite character on the show. 

      As for the downside, I must say that while the show is funny, some of the jokes fall flat.  Maybe I expected more from the former head writer of SNL than a show about the producer of an SNL-like show called The Girlie Show—which, by the way, is the stupidest name for any kind of a show I have ever heard.  It just doesn’t always add up.  So, will I continue to watch the show?  Probably.  But only if it doesn’t interfere with any other Wednesday programming, and only if I remember—it doesn’t deserve a permanent DVR recording slot. 


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