Arts & Culture

Jews Watching TV: Fey And Friends Summer Vacation Starts Early

Last night was maybe one of the weirdest 30 Rock episodes of the season. Read More

By / May 6, 2011

It seems wrong to discuss last night’s Community, as the episode hasn’t ended yet (side note: How surprising was the lack of references, or even winks to Lost?)

The Office felt like a bizarro world version of a How to Avoid Gender Discrimination in the Workplace video. It also exhibited both that Will Farrell is incredibly funny and terribly fit for the show – the conference room cold open was probably his best scene of the run and the incredibly broad juggling scene his worst. The only thing really to note was how weird it was to watch the open credits sans Carell, it felt like a divorcee’s photo album where the images of the ex-spouse have been cut out.

Parks & Recreation was perfect because seemingly that is all they’re capable of. Ron Swanson’s birthday scene was probably the series single most touching moment, which is saying a lot of for a series made up of touching moments.

Still, the real story is that (apparently) 30 Rock’s season is over. Though it feels sudden, who cares, Fey and friends went out in style.

Last night’s 30 Rock was one of the best of the season and one of the absolute weirdest of the series. One explanation is that it was the first one in which comedian Hannibal Buress was given a main writing credit. For those not familiar with Buress, watch this video and start familiarizing yourself:

He is one of the two or three most talked about up and coming comedians and possesses a decidedly easy name to remember when you want to show off to your comedy nerd friends.  Either way, the message of last night’s show was pretty clear, “somehow we made it through five seasons and already got approved for a sixth, so we’re going ape shit for the finale (SPRING BREAK!)”

Here are just a few of the MANY examples of this behavior: Jack’s face when seducing Kenneth, a sheep ran a board meeting, Liz ate a raw tomato, Jenna and Paul were Jenna and Paul, Kenneth’s impression of Avery impersonating Kenneth, and there was both a flawless Dave Eggers and Judge Dredd reference. It felt like last week was supposed to be the finale but NBC made them do another episode. What they got was a 30 minutes version of a “writers” sketch that they sometimes throw at the end of SNL.

It was a victory lap for season that was a return to form for 30 Rock. Necessarily, the show evolved this year with a couple high concept episodes and the characters all growing up a little. More importantly, the show has never seemed as comfortable in its own skin before.

Yes, not having to fear cancellation must have been a relief but maybe so was not having to worry about being the best comedy on TV. The show shares a line-up with both the smartest, most ambitious comedy (Community) and the funniest (Parks & Recreation), allowing it to just kick back, relax and just be 30 Rock. Considering the team it has assembled this seems like the perfect place for it to be.

If Alec Baldwin is telling the truth, next season may or may not be 30 Rock’s last, so let’s enjoy it while we can: