The Remote: A ’30 Rock’ Retrospective

Ryan Pait

To quote the great Tracy Jordan: “I have a hole in my heart, and not the one I got from eating batteries.”

It is the hole where “30 Rock” used to be.


After seven glorious years, “30 Rock” ended its run last night. I’m not quite sure what I’m supposed to do with myself anymore. I feel like I should hitch a ride with it to TV-comedy heaven.

My love affair with “30 Rock” began during my junior year of high school when I was confined to a couch with a gross sinus infection. Pleased to be missing three days of chemistry and pre-calculus, I decided to finally give “30 Rock” a try on Netflix.

I think I knew from the first moment it was love. Tina Fey, the show’s creator and star, has one of the most beautiful brains that has ever written comedy. I may be a little biased, but to say it is sublime is an understatement.

Needless to say, I blazed through every episode in a week’s time, and was left with an empty feeling once I got done. I realized exactly what needed to be done: I had to watch it again.

And I did. And then I did again. Does that make me sound crazy? Probably. Do I care? No. Liz Lemon and her wonderful cohorts had drawn me in with their comedic spell and truly wacky antics. “30 Rock” worked its way into my system like a parasite and became my favorite show of all time.

“30 Rock” has always been sharp, biting, over-the-top and ridiculous. Sometimes it’s all of these things simultaneously. That’s when it’s at its greatest.

“30 Rock” also featured some of the most original and vivid comedic characters television has ever seen. Weird as they may be, I felt a connection with each one.

There’s Liz (Tina Fey), of course, who makes me feel better about eating copious amounts of cheese and hot dogs. She also reminded me that even when everything is the worst, things will still be okay.

There’s Jack (Alec Baldwin), who reminds me that even though our friends may have different views from our own, we can still be their friend.

There’s Jenna (Jane Krakowski), whose flair for all things dramatic makes me not feel so bad about often threatening to rip off parts of my face sometimes.

There’s Tracy (Tracy Morgan), whose lovable weirdness reminds me that it’s okay to just be yourself.

And then there’s the ultimate weirdo, Kenneth the Page (Jack McBrayer), a southern boy who just loves television so much. No explanation is necessary for why I love him.

“30 Rock” is one of the few shows on television that has kept its consistent quality throughout all of its 138 episodes. IMDb puts “30 Rock”’s award nomination count at 145, and that’s not even counting its final season.

Despite ratings struggles, the show’s quality has always been top-notch — even the lesser episodes of “30 Rock” will always be 10 times better than boorish shows like “Two and a Half Men” and “Two Broke Girls.”

It’s this consistent quality and hilarity that makes “30 Rock” such a gem in the crown of television history.

So farewell, “30 Rock.” You will be missed. Especially by me.