Gentle Reader... I have a confession. I am loathe to make it -- loathe to admit to you and all humanity that my television discernment skillz are so much weaker than I had previously realized. From Firefly to It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, from Dr Who to Flight of the Conchords, from The Office to disdaining 24 on principle -- forgive me Gentle 24 Fans, I only ever watched one episode all the way through, and that Jeopardy-style ticking bomb noise and constant barrage of near-death encounters just never managed to captivate me -- I've always thought my tv watching habits were fairly laudable, and rather cutting-edge. I might have even called them a bit esoteric, if I was feeling insecure about some other area of my life, and trying to reassure myself in this arena.
But now I see the error of my ways. Now I understand, in one of flash of illumination, just how foolish I was!
Friends, I have encountered 30 Rock.
It is truly a revelation unparalleled in modern history. People had tried to explain to me -- knowledgeable people who's opinions I should have trusted, had kindly attempted to enlighten me to no avail. I had been meaning (probably along with half of America) to check out the show ever since Tina Fey's SNL skits made political history, but I had put it off, blinded in the busy bustle of everyday life. I vaguely planned to add the first few seasons to my Netflicks queue, ignoring the advice of friends who patiently attempted to explain to me that I would enjoy the show regardless of where I started watching. I was determined, in my television-watching arrogance, to view the show on my terms.
I was so wrong! And now I am duly punished, by being the very opposite of avantguarde in recognizing the greatness of this show. True, I spent most of the first episode seeing Sarah Palin wandering around a tv station and doing writerly things, but I got past that soon enough. And is Alec Baldwin just playing himself? I could totally see his character leaving that strident voicemail for his daughter... A friend tells me that Tracy Morgan is also pretty much playing himself, but I hadn't heard of him before watching the show (oops, did I just unknowingly make another confession about how behind I am on my pop-culture?) so I can't vouch for that one. Kenneth is also incredibly funny... and he's local too! I'm pretty sure "South of Stone Mountain" would mean he's an Atlantan... though his family back home purportedly spends most of their time battling back killer inbred hogs from their farm, which makes the geography of his childhood a little more nebulous.
In any case, the show is gold. Horribly behind or not, I officially endorse it. And I'm kind of pleased I'm catching it late... I now have three seasons of amazingness to catch up on at my leisure.
If you are behind on this phenomenon as well take the opportunity to more fully enter the 30 Rock universe here, with tidbits like "Kenneth the WebPage" or Frank's blog, as well as full episodes.
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