Commentary: '30 Rock' finale offered happy endings for main characters, but show could have lived on
Published: Friday, February 1, 2013
Updated: Friday, February 1, 2013 12:02
Blerg! After seven seasons on the air, NBC’s “30 Rock” aired its final episode Thursday night.
Tina Fey, former “Saturday Night Live” head writer, created “30 Rock” and based it on her time at “SNL.” The show centers on Liz Lemon, also played by Fey, and the outlandish characters she must deal with as writer of the fictional NBC sketch comedy show “TGS.”
Despite less-than-stellar ratings, “30 Rock” became somewhat of a critical success, winning three Primetime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Comedy Series and gaining a loyal audience.
I have been a member of that audience for the past five or six years, and I have enjoyed “30 Rock’s” fast-paced, sometimes absurd comedic writing, quirky characters, celebrity cameos and recurring jokes.
While I’m definitely happy that “30 Rock” was able to go out on its own terms, I was really disappointed when I first heard it was ending. I think the show could have had another good season or two left in it. I don’t feel like it was past its expiration date, like “The Office, “ which is currently in its final season.
As far as series finales go, I found it satisfying, which is something that I appreciate in a finale. “30 Rock’s” entire final season has been building toward this episode, and all of the conflicts and storylines that had been introduced were resolved. All of the characters viewers have come to care about over seven seasons got their happy endings.
Jenna Maroney, played by Jane Krakowski, returned to her first love, Broadway. Tracy Jordan, played by Tracy Morgan, learned to say goodbye. Kenneth the page, played by Jack McBrayer, became president of NBC. Jack Donaghy, played by Alec Baldwin, remained a successful business executive. And Liz Lemon, in a way, figured out how to “have it all.”
So what’s next for the multi-talented Fey? In the short-term, she appears to be focusing on acting, with “Admission” due in theaters March 22 and “The Muppets II,” out next year. She also recently signed a four-year deal with NBC Universal Television to develop new shows in which she may or may not act, according to a report by Variety. However, the deal does not give a date for when any new shows would air.
Personally, I just want to see Tina Fey write something. Anything. It could be another movie (Fey is responsible for the screenplay for “Mean Girls”), another book (a follow-up to 2011’s “Bossypants,” perhaps?) or another TV show. Fey has proved she can successfully write all three, so I was a little disappointed to see that she only seems to have acting gigs lined up for the near future. It’s not that I think she’s a bad actress (she won an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series in 2008 for her work on “30 Rock”), but that’s not how she got started in the business.
So until Fey has another writing project, “30 Rock” will live on in my Netflix instant queue and in syndication. Lemon out!