It was some time during last night's dreary Offices when it really hit me: no more 30 Rock. No more Liz Lemonisms, no more Jenna Maroney alcohol-fueled ballads, no more Tracy Jordan movies, no more Jack Donaghy business ideas, no more Lutz. Call it denial, but despite the non-stop coverage this week, I hadn't really thought about that beginning today, one of the best sitcoms ever would no longer be around (except in non-stop syndication, that is).
It's a fitting memorial for the show, I suppose. We, or at least I, took 30 Rock for granted. Before the finale tributes, it received only a fraction of the amount of coverage fellow beloved sitcoms Parks and Rec and Louie, among others, have lately, and even the only other show that can match its joke-per-second pace, Happy Endings, is the one people rally around more. That's because 30 Rock has been so good for so long that we stopped worrying about it. We didn't bemoan its low ratings, like Community, or tell all our friends to watch it, like Archer; I've never once asked someone if they've "seen 30 Rock?" because I assume every smart person does. Or did. It was the best kind of TV comfort food: reassuring (hot dog), but still hyper-intelligent (jack cheese) and ultra-witty (folded in a pizza).
And "Hogcock!" and "Last Lunch" were everything excellent about the show, in a one-hour package. The mommy blogs, Liz's confused feminism, the digs at NBC, the self-awareness (like Liz commenting that cable allows more time for jokes to land, only for the show to do a smash cut to Jenna mid-tantrum), the willing-to-do-anything guest stars (in this case, have Julianne Moore and Salma Hayek participate in a threesome and reveal their true accents), Jack being described as an "alcoholic with a great voice," not to mention all the circular callbacks, like Liz and Tracy's strip club meeting, Kenneth being immortal, and, of course, the return of The Rural Juror.
It was hilarious, with just the right amount of sentiment, and for viewers to still care about these characters after 138 episodes is a tribute to the show's rarely-flinching consistency (take a look at the things people want to do to Jim on The Office for comparison's sake). But like Liz's no-BS chat with Tracy, I'm not gonna lie: by this time next week, I'll be ecstatic that Community is back, and will have forgotten all about the 30 Rock-inspired FEELS and EMOTIONS that I went through last night. I'll always know 30 Rock is there for me, though, either on Netflix Instant or a 2 a.m. repeat on Fox, the perfect compliment to my night cheese. To quote the show's final words, "And I love it."
Not a GIF, but still excellent. (Via)
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