Friday, April 02, 2010

Must Watch Friday - 30 Rock

Modern/Presents author Kate Hewitt joins us this Good Friday with a fave show - 30 Rock!

Several people recommended the TV show 30 Rock to me, and since it is set in my hometown of New York City and my husband has even seen it filmed from his office window, I thought I’d give it a shot. And wow, am I so glad I did! I think it is one of the funniest, cleverest shows I’ve seen in a long time. For those of you who haven’t seen it before, 30 Rock is a sitcom written and produced by Tina Fey, the former Saturday Night Live head writer and more famously, Sarah Palin imitator. The show centers around her quirky character Liz Lemon, head writer of a comedy sketch show ( imitates life!) and her slick corporate-minded boss, Jack Donaghy, played by the incomparable Alec Baldwin.

There are so many reasons to like this show, from the offbeat plots to the host of unique secondary characters, but the biggest reason I love it is the amazing rapport between Liz and Jack. I can’t call it a romance, because it isn’t one... yet. Even so, over the course of nearly four seasons, Liz and Jack have grown from adversaries to reluctant colleagues to best friends--even if they don’t admit it! They complement each other so perfectly; Liz is a slightly wacky, politically liberal, heart-on-her-sleeve dreamer, while Jack is a straight-and-narrow conservative who is eminently practical yet naive in surprising ways. They wise each other up wonderfully! Since I can’t do justice to their relationship myself, I thought I’d give you a sample of some of their dialogue:

Liz: Why are you wearing a tux?

Jack: It’s after six. What am I, a farmer?


Jack: Lemon, I want to thank you. For showing me that I could have a pleasant evening with a woman my age.

Liz: I'm twelve years younger than you.

Jack: A woman your age then.


Jack: You've been avoiding me, Lemon.

Liz: How do you do that without turning around?

Jack: To be perfectly honest, the first couple of people I did that to were not you, but... here we are.

It’s the middle of season four now, and Jack and Liz are closer than ever. When Liz arranged her root canal on Valentine’s Day so she didn’t have to deal with the holiday, Jack was the one who picked her up and took her home, even though she was embarrassingly woozy and talkative from the anesthetic. If that doesn’t point to true love, I’m not sure what does... and yet while I watch the show on the edge of my seat hoping desperately that Jack and Liz will finally get together, another part of me is reluctant to see all the romantic tension leak out of the relationship--and the show. It seems like whenever the two romantic leads on a TV show get together--think of Ross and Rachel--the show loses its sparkle, or jumps the shark as the saying goes, and I would hate that to happen to 30 Rock, or Jack and Liz. Yet I can’t stand the thought of them not getting their happily-ever-after either... I guess I just need to keep watching!

So if you haven’t yet seen 30 Rock, I encourage you to rent the DVDs from Netflix and see the magic! What TV couples have kept you on the edge of your seat? And if or when they finally got together, was it as good as you hoped? Let me know in the comments and I’ll pick a random winner to receive a copy of my April release, Her Mediterranean Playboy!


  1. I haven't watched "30 Rock", but the cast is very talented! Alec Baldwin is one of the funniest, creepiest, smarmy-charmy actors ever!

    My favorite TV couple with the "will they or won't they" tag was the fabulous Remington Steele/Laura Holt duo from "Remington Steele"! Here are a few others: Sam & Diane from "Cheers", Dave & Maddie from "Moonlighting", Bones & Booth from "Bones", C.C. & Niles from "The Nanny", and there are so many, many more!

    Sometimes, the big moment is all that you hoped for, and more (also true in real life). Other times, it takes all the heat out of the steam : (

    gcwhiskas at aol dot com

  2. Ah, Moonlighting! I loved that show :) I must confess Billy and Alison (that was her name, right?) from the original Melrose Place had me tuning in every week.

    You're right, Alec Baldwin is so smarmy-charmy! Perfect description--and yet I can't help but love him!

  3. My first thought was Bruce Willis and Cybill Shepherd from Moonlighting, and how I thought it ruined the show when they got together. I agree with Virginia's list and your own comment about how some shows lose their sparkle, etc.

    One couple that I didn't think had lost that sparkle was Niles and Daphne on Frasier, although I don't recall if there were many episodes after their marriage. (I'm Fifty and Forgetful; sorry about that!)

    Thanks for the trip down Memory Lane, ladies!

  4. I love 30 Rock, but I don't want to see Liz and Jack get together. It would be too weird. I'm still waiting for Brennan and Seely to get together on "Bones."

  5. Jane, I know what you mean about the weirdness of Liz and Jack getting together, but don't you think the show is moving in that direction? And I do think they'd be perfect together, although actually seeing it happen might be strange...

    I agree having David & Maddie get together on Moonlighting kind of ruined the show for me too. I'm not sure when that DOESN'T happen though!!

  6. Have never heard the expression: "Jumps the shark" (how did that come about?) - but you're right about the spark going once the romantic connection has been made on a TV show....sexual tension is what makes it crackle.
    A good lesson for writers of romantic fiction!

  7. Jane, you have been selected to receive a copy of Her Mediterranean Playboy! Send me your address--my email is!