30 Rock – Season 2

by Alan Rapp on October 14, 2008

in Home Video

  • Title: 30 Rock – The Complete Second Season
  • tv.com: link

“I like when a woman has ambition; it’s like seeing a dog wearing clothes.”

When 30 Rock originally aired I wasn’t impressed.  To me the first season which was slightly less fun than staring at color bars, was painfully unfunny.  So it was with more than a little trepidation when I sat down to watch the second season on DVD.  Imagine my surprise when it turned out that while I wasn’t watching the show it began to find the funny.

The show takes place in NBC Universal headquarters inside the GE Building at 30 Rockerfeller Plaza (thus the title).  Tina Fey stars as the head writer for a comedy series which stars Tracy Morgan and Jane Krakowsi.

The main focus of 30 Rock is the behind the scenes antics of those who work in the building from the other writers on the show (Scott Adsit, Frank Friedlander, Keith Powell), to the loyal page (Jack McBrayer) and the studio suit (Alec Baldwin).

30 Rock includes some very funny people, and my initial disappointment was how much of their talent was wasted.  The second season is much tighter, better written to the strengths of the entire cast, more about the characters and less about the fictional Tracy Jordan Show, and includes a larger dose of Alec Baldwin with less emphasis on Tracy Morgan’s character.

Baldwin is terrific, Fey is a good straight man for the craziness, and Krakowski is charming (though at times she does get too close to her Elaine character from Ally McBeal making me wonder why I’m not watching that on DVD instead).  And although I enjoy his character, McBrayer’s Kenneth a little too one-note in most episodes (unless he’s showing off his Olympic skills as in “Cooter”).  They need to find ways to keep the character fresh.

This second season includes some memorable episodes including “Seinfeld Vision” guest-starring a computer generated Jerry Seinfeld set into various NBC shows including Law & Order and Steve Buscemi shows up as a private eye to uncover Jack’s dark secret in The Collection.  I also enjoyed James Carville as himself in “Secrets and Lies,” and the amusing love story between Baldwin and Edie Falco as a Democratic Senator which begins in “Somebody to Love,” and the magic of “Sandwich Day.”

However the show also has a tendency to run jokes into the ground such as David Schwmimer‘s character “Greenzo” and sometimes simply miss the mark as in the little league baseball B-story from “Cougars” and the return of Dennis (Dean Winters) in “Subway Hero.”

Although I’m still not on the “greatest show on TV” bandwagon and least now I can see some improvement and am not completely bewildered by the adulation the show has received.  This second season is a good step up from the show’s mediocre beginnings and includes a nice set of features for fans of the show.

Previous post:

Next post: