Jan 31, 2013

30 Things We'll Miss About 30 Rock

30 Rock ends its impressive 7(SEVEN!)-season run tonight at 8pm (7pm Central) on NBC, and we have been lamenting the loss for quite a while now.  Since we recently learned to count to 30 a few days ago, we thought is was only appropriate that we look at the 30 things we'll miss the most about one of the greatest shows of our time:

Liz Lemon and MILF Island.
  • MILF Island No show was better at skewering reality television than 30 Rock, with classic episodes of Queen of Jordan, the hit reality show Homonymand the failed pilot Gold Case. None was better, though, than the hit show MILF Island, which was featured on the 30 Rock episode of the same name and hosted by the hilarious Rob Heubel. What's even better is how seamlessly the show works as a framing device for the episode - the lives of all the characters on both shows devolve into chaos and Liz learns that she may be going a little far with her devious plans.
  • The Best Friends Gang - When you want to successfully grift a TV show for hundreds of dollars, there's no better con-gang than The Best Friends, composed of Jenna Maroney, a clueless Kenneth, and Kelsey Grammar, natch. "FRAJER!"
  • Pete’s Relationship with his Wife and Kids - Pete began as the normal producer among a rotating cast of oddballs. When things got too crazy, he was the normalcy anchor. Quickly, though, with odd tales of his wife (played by the brilliant Paula Pell) and his demonic children, Pete became even more disturbed than Jenna.
  • Lutz - The eternal punching bag on TGS, Lutz (played by former SNL-scribe John Lutz) was known for many things: calling Liz something that rhymes with your favorite Todd Rundgren album, lying about his sweet car, having a quasi-gay crush on most men in the office, and being related to oft-shirtless film star Kellan Lutz.
  • Lemon Interjections - There was no better way to punctuate a scene than a well-timed 'Blerg!' or 'What the What!' NYMag's Vulture recently released a greatest hits tape, and it's fantastic.
Liz Loves Her Slanket
  • Any Type of Product Placement - When people write books about how to successfully market a product inside a TV show, they will point to 30 Rock as the best.  It's meta-tinged dialogue allowed everything from blatant Snapple mentions to fourth-wall-breaking Verizon shoutouts. The show got so good at product integration that they were accused of it even when it was unintentional.
  • Leap Day William (and the Movie Leap Dave Williams) - Like many shows, 30 Rock is at its best on the holidays. When NBC's weird scheduling of 30 Rock's sixth season meant no episodes until January, fans worried that they would miss out on holiday greatness. Thankfully, 30 Rock delivered what has to be the best Leap Day-themed TV episode of all time, constructing elaborate backstories, myths, and even a successful movie franchise surrounding the joy of having an extra day every four years. "Real life is for March!"
Dr. Drew Baird
  • The Increasingly Dumb Misadventures of Drew - Pediatrician Drew Baird is Disney-prince handsome and Disney-hyena dumb. Due to the fact that he was in an attractiveness 'Bubble,' Drew never learned quite how dumb he was, and it was fun to watch what terrible things happened to him as a result. Ultimately, his duncity led to him losing both hands and getting the hand of an executed criminal grafted onto him. It did not work out well.
  • Dennis Duffy - One 30 Rock mainstay was 'Beeper King' Dennis Duffy, Liz's ex-boyfriend who she would start dating because it was easy and he cooked her food a lot. Even though he was an exonerated Dateline predator with terrible taste in business ventures and an adopted son named 'Black Dennis,' we couldn't help but love him. Which makes us the biggest dummies of them all. 
Jenna's Muffin Top is All That
  • "Muffin Top" - Jenna's hit song has already gotten some love on this blog, but composer Jeff Richmond really tapped into something brilliant in this ode to the ballooning of fat over your pants. The fact that Yo-Yo Ma and Ghostface Killa were involved only made it sweeter. 
  • Eye Rolling - Liz was a champion eye-roller.
  • Grizz and DotCom - Tracy's entourage started out large and was whittled down to these two behemoths. DotCom was the philosoher of the group, and Grizz had a tortured love-affair with Liz. Both of them were amazing.
  • Jenna on America’s Kidz Got Singing - Jane Krakowski has had no better arena to shine than her moments on this NBC singing competition, which allowed her to be a total 'Simon' and eviscerate children's hopes and dreams. "Go jump back up your mother!"
Paula, Liz, and Pete
  • Sabor de Soledad - Liz's favorite snack food (which translates to 'Taste of Loneliness') was tangy, crunchy, and great for on-the-go eating. Sure, the tang was due to the high amounts of bull semen in each tangy cheese puff, and that semen resulted in Liz having a false positive on a pregnancy test, but it was still delicious. 
  • Colleen Donaghy's Many Hats
  • Kaylie Hooper - Granddaughter of Kabletown CEO and heir-apparent to the family business, pint-sized Kaylie (played by Chloë Grace Moretz) was the greatest competitor Jack had ever fought against, including Devon Banks.  Kaylie was calculating, manipulative, and bitchy, and her downfall was one of the sweetest moments in the show's final season.
Jackie Jormp-Jomp
  • Jackie Jormp-Jomp - Jenna's failed Janis Joplin biopic provided us with so much entertainment.
  • Wesley Snipes - Liz's possible settling soulmate, Wesley (Michael Sheen) was painfully dull and really good at spewing previously undiscovered Britishisms (footcycles, the hit show Chums). Liz and Wesley were terrible for each other, and that's what made their coupling so wonderful. Plus, she would have made him look less gay at work functions. 
  • "I Want to Go to There" - One of Liz's signature catchphrases was actually coined by Tina Fey's daughter Alice, and it perfectly encapsulates unfettered joy.
  • Legretta 'Greta' JohansenRachel Dratch played so many memorable characters during 30 Rock's run, but none were as delightful as Greta, a lesbian cat wrangler who loved Liz a little too much. She even knows that Liz likes television, because sometimes she watches her watching it.
Sandwich Day
  • Sandwich Day - What's that? You've never heard of Sandwich Day? It's the most wonderful day of the year!
  • Ludachristmas - Of the many holidays that the gang at TGS have celebrated, none is quite as awesome as Ludachristmas, a holiday that combines the commercial materialism of Christmas with eating food off strippers, dirty Santa, and cutting down the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree. It's a holiday loved by all!
  • "Werewolf Bar Mitzvah" - Tracy's novelty song was a delight, due in no small part to Donald Glover's helpful additions to the track.
  • Dr. Leo Spaceman - No recurring character was as loved as Dr. Spaceman, a morally lax 'doctor' whose antics caused quite a few near deaths over the show's run. It is Chris Parnell's greatest role.
Jenna and Tracy - Frenemies
  • Jenna and Tracy’s Friendship - Though Jenna and Tracy started out as clear rivals, the show used the character's varying levels of lunacy and self-centered behavior to form a complicated bond of friendship. It was a delight any time they banded together for what was sure to be a failed venture.
  • Kenneth’s Immortality - A running joke about Kenneth, other than his hometown full of evil pigs and hill people, was his immortality. He's been around for a long time, and yet he still remains an eternal optimist.
  • The Way Angie Jordan says "Ham" - people like it.
  • Self-Reflexivity - No show was as good at self-referential comedy than 30 Rock, which lived to skewer popular television shows, celebrities, and their parent company GE/Comcast. As Tracy Jordan once said, 30 Rock endeavored to "hold a mirror up to society, and then win world record for biggest mirror."
  • Bitch Hunter - we wish that we could see a whole episode of Bitch Hunter, the failed Will Ferrell action drama that was so offensive to women that NBC quickly green-lit Liz Lemon's The Girlie Show to make up for the faux-pas.
  • Jack and Liz - It's been great to watch the evolving friendship of Liz and Jack over seven seasons. They've fought many battles together, been drunk together, contemplated Abraham Lincoln's gayness together. They're the 'it' couple, where 'it' means business. Never more than platonic friends (despite an accidental marriage), Liz and Jack have become the greatest two-some since Batman and Robin, or chicken and a chicken container. We'll miss their friendship most of all.

There are so many things that we'll miss on 30 Rock (Blacklight Attacks, Frank's Hats, Taking the F Train) that we couldn't fit on this list, and we probably won't realize everything we're missing until the show is gone. Tonight, we'll celebrate all of the above and more as we tune in to see our good friends for the last time (not including Netflix, DVD, and syndication viewings).

Goodbye, Old Friend.
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