Tag Archives: 30 Rock

Community vs. 30 Rock

AKIE BERMISS: I was an early adopter of Community. It debuted when I still had cable and I still watched television live. But it was one of the last shows I did that with. Increasingly, as a man pushing thirty, I’ve found new television shows have very little to offer me. I don’t get excited by reality shows — the pseudo-drama just doesn’t do it for me — and, being a professional singer and vocal teacher, I can’t stand shows like American Idol or The Voice. So I was finding myself marginalized more and more by primetime television. Call me old fashioned but I miss the days of primetime half-hour sitcoms followed by hour-long dramas at 10pm. To me, those were the days. I guess I was young and things seemed simpler then. But also, I rather think if I am going to sit down and waste an hour, I’d rather it be scripted material performed by professionals and shot by experienced techies.

CHRIS PUMMER: I think Akie’s comparison of 30 Rock to the dynastic Bulls of Michael Jordan is apt. Because while Community is brilliant, 30 Rock has been at least that brilliant for much longer now. Continue reading

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Paul Ryan/Matthew Morrison

JESSICA BADER: If the opposition party’s official response to the State of the Union address is memorable, that is usually not a good thing for the politician who delivered that response. Just ask Bobby Jindal, Governor of Louisiana and onetime rising star of the Republican Party. Tapped to respond to Barack Obama’s first address to a joint session of Congress two years ago, Jindal’s speech is remembered for an ill-advised remark about volcano monitoring (which would end up looking even worse when a volcano erupted not long after the speech) and for his uncanny resemblance to Jack McBrayer’s Kenneth the Page character on 30 Rock. Paul Ryan, the Wisconsin congressman who chairs the House Budget Committee, steered clear of mocking efforts to manage natural disasters in his response to the State of the Union address on Tuesday night, but he couldn’t escape the resembling-a-TV-character trap.

HOWARD MEGDAL: Paul Ryan’s resemblance to Matthew Morrison is both unsurprising and apt. Both have been greatly overhyped in comparison to the substance of what they provide-in Morrison’s case, the sophomoric Glee, in Ryan’s case, a budget guru whose basic math doesn’t add up. Continue reading

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Community Season Premiere

AKIE BERMISS: Community is definitely the little show that could. Not that anybody knows it yet — but this is one of the best shows on television right now. Don’t ask me to explain why its so good. Don’t ask me how. All I know is, for some reason, I decided to watch the pilot last year and I never looked back.
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30 Rock Season Premiere

HOWARD MEGDAL: As we welcome the fifth season of 30 Rock, we have a solid understanding of what this show is and isn’t. It presents people we enjoy- old friends, well-understood in Liz and Jack. We also know what it isn’t- a show capable, nor seemingly much interested, in surprising us to the point of huge laughs. Is this a problem? No, assuming you know that is what you want.

ZOË RICE: Like Howard, I came away from the 30 Rock season 5 premiere asking, “Has 30 Rock grown?” followed swiftly by “Do I really care?” Whatever the show does best it continues to deliver–snappy lines, wacky supporting characters, funny famous guest stars, and our flawed yet hilariously sympathetic leading duo, Liz and Jack. Continue reading

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Best TV of 2009?

ZOË RICE: A best-of-2009 list for television is bound to be more variable than a best-of movies list. For one, there are just so many more TV shows, and in so many categories. Comedy and drama, yes, but also reality, news, talk shows, variety, and on and on. So while my list would have to include Glee at the top, my neighbor’s might be crowned by Jersey Shore. (I would have to judge him for that. Sorry.) I should not be surprised, then, that I disagree with a good part of the New York Observer’s Best TV of 2009.

HOWARD MEGDAL: Not surprisingly, given the subjectivity of the enterprise Zoë mentions, I disagree with Mr. Rosen and Ms. Rice. But Rosen has it exactly right when he say 2009 was “Mad Men and everything else.” Continue reading

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30 Rock Premiere

HOWARD MEGDAL:30 Rock opened Season 4 with a fair amount of self-awareness, a battle between two of the strongest-willed characters, and a reminder of why this show is watched by so devoted a following. Unfortunately, the worry often is that a show becomes too insular, and there were some red flags.

ZOË RICE: I missed you 30 Rock! Only after its return did I realize how sad it was to go so many months without the situational comedy that writes dialogue like no other. A sit-com, because really in essence, it is–that continues to surprise. What a rare little creature that is, and one to be nurtured and preserved. Continue reading

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Emmys: Where’s January Jones?

HOWARD MEGDAL: First among these shows is Mad Men, which is, to my mind, the finest program currently on television. And the 16 nominations for Mad Men seem entirely appropriate. However, I am surprised that Elisabeth Moss was nominated for best actress, while January Jones was not. This is not a slight of Moss, who is a terrific actress who does a fantastic job portraying Betty Draper. But moreover, the entirety of season 2 hinged on her acting, and she displayed tremendous emotional depth within the narrow range of outward behavior Betty’s character allows. Moss is not undeserving; Jones certainly belongs there as well.

EMILY SAIDEL: Within what categories should television shows be compared? Should actors in half-hour shows be up against actors who have the opportunity for twice the screen time? Continue reading

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