30 Rock Watch: Series Finale - Hogcock!; Last Lunch
Author: Zac Oldenburg
published: 2013-02-01 01:53:18
30 Rock comes to a hilarious end with the show firing on all cylinders and a nice emotional catharsis for just about everyone.
Plot wise the show actually has quite a bit going on for an unserialized comedy sitcom. Liz is now a stay at home mom with TGS canceled and her mommy chat rooms just aren't cutting it. Jack has achieved what he thought was perfection in his life but is entirely unhappy. Jenna is trying to take the next step, Tracy can't say goodbye and Lutz wants to order Blimpie.
The show did a remarkable job of folding in a ton of series regulars and giving them some closure and all while making it consistently hilarious. A lot of of those moments have been sprinkled throughout the season, but the writers' room gets what they had coming for being mostly incompetent through the years; using Lutz to do so was icing on the cake. Always the butt of every joke, Lutz, seeks the ultimate revenge by ruining the "last lunch" for the staff with Blimpie. Giving Lutz a diabolical 180 turn in personality works perfectly as his dead eyes and five steps ahead plan made me laugh at every turn. A surprising bright spot of the finale and fitting fate for the mostly terrible (at their jobs) writers of TGS. Lutz's final belly flop to victory was particularly enjoyable as he secured Blimpie for all.
Jenna and Tracy have the short end of the stories to be told in the finale, but bringing both to happy and (mostly) unselfish ends felt earned and fitting after the two wreaked so much havoc through the years. Jenna's attempts to break out of television was really well done in a series of quick vignettes, with her arrival in L.A. being the real standout. Tracy on the other hand makes an interesting emotional journey in the episode as he directly addresses the reason he acts out so much. People have left him all his life and it has shaped and hurt him as he fears the end of TGS. It allows for Tracy Morgan to show off some real acting chops. One of the episode's better moments was Liz talking straight with Tracy and it was a scene played for drama and it worked wonderfully; didn't know Morgan had it in him. Oh, and it can't go without mentioning Jane Krakowski's amazing send off for Jenna, appropriately, singing The Rural Juror song; just incredible.
Liz and Jack's paths are ultimately red herrings to get the two to, platonicly, proclaim their love for one another and it seemed a fitting pre-credit send off for comedy's favorite non-couple. Seeing Jack struggle with being perfect, yet lonely or Liz needing to work over being a stay at home Mom are not new themes for the show, but letting the two leads finally admit they were essential to one another over the last seven seasons is a nice cathartic moment to end their story on. That's not to say they didn't mine some great comedy from these stories, Liz's chat room, Jack's adventure towards perfection and Baldwin playing Jack's meltdown beautifully were all highlights of the episode, using the finale to perfectly punctuate why we are going to miss these characters.
The most meta, and possibly enjoyable, element of the episode for me might have been watching Kenneth perform as the "perfect" television executive. Liz stops by to try and get a new show, pitching essentially 30 Rock, and hits a lot of Kenneth's. "No-No Words," when it comes to green lighting a show. Kenneth the executive is very good at his job if you want drivel with no creativity and the joke is basically one final FU to the TV execs and general viewers that don't "get it," hence keeping smart television off televisions. There were also an endless stream of great one liners for Kenneth to bounce off Jack and Lemon and the it was nice to finally seem Ken get some respect from everyone on the show. The storyline also served as an excellent send off for Kenneth who is happy and doing his job about as well as one could hope for, but it's the reveal that he might be immortal in the "twist" ending that really seals the deal.
Speaking of that "twist" it creates three possibilities; 1. that the run of 30 Rock was a flashback, 2. a quick thought in Ken's head while staring in a snow globe or 3. the eventual show he produced from Liz's granddaughter's pitch; either way it all really happened and I love how they spun all other series finale final "twists." The one year later wrap up for all the other characters was appropriately fitting with Hornburger's particularly satisfying after such a weird turn for the character to fake his own death.
30 Rock is arguably the best comedy of the last ten years and is easily in the top 5. Tina Fey created a remarkably funny and fast paced show that balanced meta references, celebrity cameos, pop culture and excellent writing that rarely disappointed me through the years. No show was more full of jokes and one liners and I doubt we will ever see a show go for so many hits in a half hour ever again. You will be missed 30 Rock and I am ecstatic to see the show go out on such a high note in both its final season and series finale. I was never not happy to go to there with Fey and company.
Random Ramblings: -"Chris, shoes and socks!"
-"BC HE DOESN'T RAPE"
-"You were in a wedding dress dancing with one of his suits."
-"Does that include dry heaving?"
-"Instead of penis punches."
-Moonshine and turtle meat?
-"You've always had the body for it."
-Hell of a cut joke.
-"Kabbalah monsters fingernail."
-"Where are all the baby pigeons?"
-"No, duh, into the slaughtering shoot."
-Was that Donna complaining about Jerry on Parks and Rec?
-Kris is so sweet.
-"Why did I get such a loud pacemaker."
-"God I feel like I have a macro penis right now."
-Love the Temple Grandin reference.
-"We were going to lose our virginity to each other!"
-Why the blue screen?
-"I want you to have this bag of my hairs."
-They are doing some great production gags.
-Lutz is defeated?
-One last Brian Williams slam.
-Liked the mirror montage.
-Hitlersons? And it's a double Hitler.
-"That bald salad ruiner."
-"Thank god I took that boat trip.
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