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30 Rock Fodder

30 Rock: A Fan Letter

Dear 30 Rock,

How I'm going to miss you! Whatever will I do with myself until a new episode airs -- it could be MONTHS! Maybe I will go buy your first season (since nobody bought it for me for Christmas, even though I dropped a LOT of hints), just to have something of you to hold. I guess I could watch your second season on the internet, but I'm not really sure if that would make you happy or not. Would the additional ratings help you win your writer's strike? Or would you just be mad because you didn't make any money in residuals? I heard you are seeking something like $.06 per internet viewing. Can I send you a check for $2.00 to cover myself during the interim?

Speaking of those second season episodes... If you don't come back until next season, I guess that makes Episode 210 your Second Season Finale. In a way, that's kind of cool; it's like you're suddenly a cable show, or you're using the British pattern of shortened seasons. On the other hand, at that rate you'll never make it to syndication. And I'm a little worried that whatever momentum you got from your many awards and constant media attention is going to dissipate. I hate to think that Tracy Jordan got himself in all that legal trouble and doesn't get a career boost out of it. But then again, if "Everybody Loves Raymond" can stay a critical darling for 10 million years, maybe there's hope.

So, if that was the Season Finale (and it felt like one), does this mean that nothing is ever going to change? Last season, Liz almost wound up with Floyd... and then didn't. Jack had a heart attack, and then got better. Tracy ran from the Black Crusaders, and then came back. And this time? Liz almost bought an apartment, but didn't follow through. Jack almost left his job for life with C.C., and then changed his mind. Kenneth almost ran home to Georgia, and then came back.

Remember "Cheers?" The best sitcom ever? Stuff used to happen -- and nothing ever changed. Characters got married, divorced, had children. Sam lost the bar, got the bar back, etc. The basis of the show was their workplace, just like you! Let's just say, for example, Liz DID get a new apartment. Is the integrity of the show suddenly at risk? No. And I get what you are going after: Liz is always miserable. Great. Hilarious. But I don't see why she can't buy the apartment, and THEN things get worse. Maybe the new complex is built on a sacred Indian burial ground. Or Edward Herrmann does a recurring guest role as the Board Member who thinks Liz has agreed to have an affair with him if she got the apartment. Or something is wrong with the building, and Liz loses all her money. See how easy? And then it doesn't start to feel like the characters are stuck in a holding pattern.

Don't get me wrong. You do so many things right. Like that whole thing with Kenneth and the coffee? Totally gave me the giggles, especially when he was lapping up the coffee as he was pouring it from the pot into his mug. Or Tracy's warning: "Hey, slow down there, Ken. Coffee's not like alcohol. It's addictive." (Is that funny because it's true? Wish I knew why I was laughing...) And I like the way you bring little things back, like "Blurg!" The way you reference previous episodes, like the shout out to Floyd, and Liz's cringing admission to reporting Raheem to Homeland Security. And your use of guest stars? Inspired. (Usually. Let's talk.)

About this Gladys Knight incident... Now, I know this is your first attempt at a musical, and it wasn't bad. But it wasn't good. Please don't do it again. I feel bad being so direct, but really, it's for your own good. You only have one cast member who can actually sing (if you have more, shame on you for leaving them out of this), and there are other ways for Jenna to be featured singing. More importantly, you had SUCH a great opportunity, and you wasted it. You hired Gladys Knight -- and then didn't have her SING? Are you CRAZY?! I saw her live last year (for the third time), and she sounded phenomenal.

Seriously, I cannot stress this enough. Tracy, Grizz and Dot-Com as Pips might have worked, had Gladys stepped in instead of Jenna (and had it not felt... slightly racist; there, I said it. I'll take it back when the same three guys, plus Toofer, pretend to be the remaining Backstreet Boys). AFTER that point, Jenna could have tried to steal the spotlight from Gladys. But to relegate Gladys to one lame joke? Even worse, that whole Pips replacement thing isn't true and it isn't funny; Gladys went solo in 1988. Aren't you supposed to be cutting edge, 30 Rock?

(Yeah, I know, she lets Bubba follow her around and do a small set, but all his clowning around lets her take a break without requiring an intermission.)

Okay, I'm sorry. I had to get that off my chest. Don't be sad. Although I hate to say it, there's just one more thing. Liz and the increasingly self-destructive phone calls. Now I loved "Swingers" as much as the next Los Angeles bar crawler, but that joke has been done to death. (Like those commercials out right now, where the guy went out on some date and he's leaving a message the next day? Even that has a twist in that he gets to keep re-recording...) You could have done better. That's all I'm saying. Next time, okay?

But when will next time be? Not soon enough for me. Take care, 30 Rock.

Your Pal,

Posted by Chad on January 11, 2008 7:15 PM
Permalink |

lol u seem mad at this show.

-- Posted by: Mike at January 12, 2008 9:01 AM

Mike, if by "mad" you mean "crazy about" -- then yes. I'm mad. MAD, I tell you! BWA-HA-HA-HA-Haaaa. Heh. Blurg.

-- Posted by: Chad at January 12, 2008 12:38 PM

Check out the new interview with Katrina Bowden on

-- Posted by: Erik Meers at November 18, 2008 4:08 PM

it's at

-- Posted by: Anonymous at November 18, 2008 4:08 PM

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