Sunday, October 25, 2009

Things That Are Overrated: 30 Rock

So 30 Rock just won it's third straight Emmy as the best comedy series or some such thing. This is an absolute travesty. I'm not going to try to persuade you that 30 Rock isn't a good show, it's pretty good, well it's OK, but all this praise is really unwarranted. Let's delve into this a little bit. I want to give you two examples (sorry to those who require 3 EXAMPLES!!!) of shows that are superior to this one, and I'd also like to talk about the flaws of the show.

First of all, the general format of the show is that they live in what is an obviously thwarted, but typically normal life, and then they cut away to crazy clips of strange things happening, and then they come back to the normal life. This is essentially how they show gets its laughs. Now this format isn't new, and isn't groundbreaking, and this isn't even the best show that has this format.

The best show with this format is Family Guy. Family Guy is way more edgier (yeah, I said more edgier, what are you gonna do about it?), way funnier, and amazingly is way more believable. It's much easier to carry through with this insane format in a cartoon, and I imagine that's why this show is so much more successful than any other with the absolutely arbitrary cutaways. I can't really picture a live action show where the kool-aid man blasts through the wall from time to time. Even so, this year Family Guy was actually nominated for the best comedy show along with 30 Rock, but obviously didn't win.

Another show with a similar format is Scrubs. For whatever reason Scrubs never really gained any traction, and for a show that's been on for like 7 seasons, I don't really know anyone other than me who loves this show. The format of this show is pretty similar to that of 30 Rock. JD, the main guy, walks around his real life but it is intermittently infused with these absolutely arbitrary fantasies about things he imagines happening that relate to the story in some way. This show is absolutely brilliant. The fantasy scenes are always good, and frequently astounding in their somehow being both completely random and perfectly apropos. I can't really say why this show never became super popular, especially given the popularity of both Family Guy and now 30 Rock. But this show is infinitely superior to 30 Rock.

Back to lecture at hand (perfection is perfected so i'ma let 'em understand). 30 Rock was a show that was being hailed as a work of genius by everyone before an episode ever even aired. Am I the only one who saw the first 5 episodes. Because this show took a while to find its stride. The first 5 episodes weren't just shaky, they were absolutely terrible. After that, they got into a bit of a rhythm, but it still doesn't live up its hype. I mean seriously, it's just not that funny.

Tracy Morgan, in like 15 years of being someone who I have been aware of as a comedian, has been funny like 6 times. He and Horatio Sanz should get together and start a comedy troupe of gies who were funny two times ever in their lives and somehow made a career out of it. Bring Jim Breuer with you, fellas (Jackpot!!).

The show has an ensemble cast of like 13 people who get like 2 lines each per show. I don't really understand this except it's clear that in writing this show it became apparent that the only characters who were worth anything were Jack Donaghy and Kenneth the page. The only reason this show is even watchable is because of Alec Baldwin. All of the show writers at this point are now just window dressing. And there's a third gie who supposed to be a cast member of the show who's not even in the show any more (though he did make a cameo in the season premiere in which they made fun of the fact that he's not on the show).

This show is hardly a work of genius. It is somewhat clever. It straddles the line between watchable and pretty good. There are at least 7 or 8 comedy shows on the air today that are better than this one. Family Guy, The Office, How I Met Your Mother, The Big Bang Theory, Scrubs is still technically on, this new show Modern Family is freaking hysterical. Anyway, the only reason 30 Rock gets all this praise is because whatever hipster douchebags decide these things decided that this was some kind of masterpiece without ever actually judging it. Side note, The Hipster Douchebags would be a great name for a band.

3 comments:

Side Bar said...

You are an idiot. 30 Rock is hysterical. And Tina Fey is my girl so watch it.

ChuckJerry said...

I do watch it. I've seen every episode.

Walt Clyde Frazier said...

I've never seen 30 Rock or Scrubs, but I wanted to thank you for your Horatio Sanz note. I fail to grasp how either Horatio Sanz or Carlos Mencia have a career in comedy. Do we need some funny token Latino gentlemen? While I'm on that note, how did George Lopez get his own show?