Link to Top 50 Position.
Scott Adsit as Pete Hornberger
Alec Baldwin as Jack Donaghy
Tina Fey as Liz Lemon
Judah Friedlander as Frank Rossitano
Jane Krakowski Jenna Maroney
Jack McBrayer as Kenneht Parcell
Tracy Morgan as Tracy Jordan
Current number of seasons: 2 (3rd comfirmed)
Runtime: 448 mins (21 Episodes)
Number of Discs: 3
Awards: 2 Golden Globes, 1 Emmy, 2 Gracies, 1 Peabody, 1 PGA, 2 SGA, 1 TCA, 1 WGA
30 Rock is a 20 minute-ish comedy show from Tina Fey about the goings on in and around a fictional television show run entirely inside 30 Rockefella Plaza (located in the Rockefella Center, NY and home of NBC). Tina stars, writes and produces the show so it's very much her baby and it shows in it's quality.
Liz Lemon (Tina) is the head writer for a moderately successful comedy sketch show called "The Girly Show", but when a new executive - Jack Donaghy - is transferred and takes charge of the show he rapidly installs dramatic changes. Hiring the somewhat mentally disturbed film star Tracy Jordan in order to appeal to more demographics and renaming the show "TGS with Tracy Jordan" or "TGS".
Initially the show struggles a little to find its place, the first few episodes are amusing but not that funny, it's not until around episode seven (or so) that the writers find the dynamic that works best and suddenly the show transforms from being sort of funny to comically brilliant. The working relationship between Liz and Jack becomes one of the core dynamics of the show and things really begin to spark.
Once you get beyond the slightly rough start the show is consistently clever, satyrical, witty and funny. Tina gives a stunning performance as the dorky and unsure Liz, Tracy is just brilliant as 'Tracy', Judah manages to consistantly be hilarious as the unashamedly porn-obssessed nerd Frank, Jane is top notch as the insecure aging Jenna and Jack is laugh out loud funny as the country boy turned enthusiastic page Kenneth. But the real star turn is from Alec Baldwin who is just effortlessly brilliant as the bombastic and egotistical Jack, his performances are consistently brilliant and he's just great in his scenes with Tina.
I got into watching 30 Rock off the back of Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, as I was looking for another show which was based on the backstage goings in of a fictional sketch show. 30 Rock satisfied that need in some ways but ended up becoming a far more enjoyable experience in many other ways. I loved Studio 60, but the antics of the TGS crew have won a space on my DVD shelf entirely on their own merit. It's a great little comedy gem and I hope it manages to keep going and improving (which it does in the second season).
The Other Stuff:
The product comes packaged in a cardboard dust jacket with three almost identical slimline DVD cases. I am a little confused by the choice of artwork (see top of this post), it has this strange lime green colour choice for the background buildings and the three stars (Tracy, Tina and Alec) all have a slight second after image. Maybe you're supposed to view the case with some of those non-tinted 3D Glasses or something. Also the colour filters used on the actor's photographs are a little strange. Alec looks like he's a waxwork version of himself, maybe he is. Perhaps he was too busy with his custody problems to pose so they had one made up for the shot. Who knows?
Sadly, there's not a lot to talk about here beyond the packaging. This Playback release is very much no-frills. In fact, it's so no-frills that they decided to cut out the subtitles as they're obviously just an extra for people who like to read. They're not important, no of course not.
Mind you, when it comes to the extras it seems we're not missing out too much. So I won't complain that much this time.
The set can be purchased from Zavvi for £25 (which is 5.6p per min).
The Final Thoughts:
This is very much a lightweight release, you get the show and nothing else for your money. I must say (write?) it's a pretty poor decision to exclude the subtitle track and thus force any hearing impaired fans of the show into recording their own copy with subtitles. But this shouldn't take away from the experience for everyone else, the show is clever, funny and awesome in all kinds of ways.
The Final Score: