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30 Rock: The End of an Era

30 Rock - Season 7

So after seven seasons, 138 episodes and a cabinet full of awards 30 Rock has finally drawn to a close. It is sad to see it end, but is probably for the best and it has bowed out on a high.

The number of wonderful moments in this show are just too many to count. It truly was a fantastically funny show and will forever have my respect for showing me what comedy could, and should be.

Joke for joke it was absolutely the funniest show on TV.

One of the things that made it so brilliant and probably was why it wasn’t as successful as it should have been, was that it demanded your attention. It wasn’t something you could have on in the background. If you weren’t paying attention you would miss the vast majority of the jokes and the rest of them probably wouldn’t make sense.

It also tried to do interesting things. It did two live episodes, doing two performance of each, one for each coast. Each version also had minor changes. For example, on one coast they’d have a cameo by Sir Paul McCartney, on the other Kim Kardashian.

The characters were great and utterly ridiculous, though they did start  to slide into caricature in later years. Kevin and his hill-billy background brought of some the finest moments. The relationship between Liz and Jack really grounded the whole thing, in an utterly insane sort of way. The cameos and bit part characters were just amazing. For my money, I’m not sure there will ever be a better bit part than their portrayal of Kim-Jong Il (and later Kim-Jony Un).

I’m writing this before seeing the final two episodes as I hate watching finales and seeing shows I have invested years of my life in come to an end. And even though there are many, many fine shows on TV 30 Rock will always mean something special to me. Community and Parks and Recreation are also utterly brilliant shows, but I would not have found them were it not for 30 Rock and am not sure they would even exist without it.

30 Rock was a very special show and people’s appreciation of it will only grow in time. They are in many respects the Velvet Underground of 21st century sitcoms. Hardly anyone watched it, but it inspired everyone who did.

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