When I saw the first episode of "30 Rock" in 2006, it completely blew me away. Mind you, I live in Germany, which is kind of a comedy wasteland. XD I didn't know Tina Fey, I didn't know Tracy Morgan, and I'd never seen Alec Baldwin do comedy before. I mean, yeah, I knew some good comedy, but I'd rarely seen something as sharp, fast-paced, and to-the-point as "30 Rock". I know a lot of people are down on the pilot episode now because the show only got better and better from there (which is a good thing), but I was completely sold on it. (And I still really like the pilot!) I loved Liz, I loved the banter between Jack and Liz, and by the point Tracy Jordan declared "People say I'm on meth. That's racist, I'm straight-up mentally ill!" I was all-in. And I never looked back. In the following years, "30 Rock" lit a satirical firework unlike any other on television, and I've learned so much about humor and dialogue simply by watching it. Not to mention it also made me laugh. In a falling-off-the-bed kind of way.
Much like Kenneth the page, I just love television so much, I've always dreamed of working in television, I still do. And "30 Rock" was always a show about television, about putting on a show, and you could tell it was made by people who really knew what they were talking about. They never went for the easy joke, their parodies were always wonderfully specific, really capturing the craziness of TV focus grouping and hackneyed show premises. From "MILF Island" and "Bitch Hunter" ('Mazel Tov, bitches!'), "Gold Case" and "Homonym", right up to "God Cop - Crime just got a new worst friend!" and "ManCave - TV for your peen!", even the fictional shows on "30 Rock" are classics. And then, of course, there's the sweet tunes of "Muffin Top" (in a eurodisco AND a classic version!) and "Werewolf Bar Mitzvah" (co-written and co-sung by Donald Glover of "Community"!) that remain unforgettable.
But "30 Rock" is more than just parodies and pop-culture references. It has great characters, as well. I can't write this without mentioning how important Liz Lemon is to me. She's a writer, a female showrunner, she wears glasses, she's a total nerd. Of course, she's played by Tina Fey, so she's gorgeous, but not in a strictly conventional way. This'll sound really weird, but when I started watching "30 Rock", I was in my twenties, and still very obsessed with appearances. Not so much with looks, but with trying to appear cool and with it and popular. I still had this thing where I was mildly ashamed of my nerdery and couch-potatoness, and thought I had to go to all the "hot" clubs and always have to be the last person to leave a party (which can be fun, but is almost never as exciting as it sounds). Liz Lemon actually helped me realize that it's okay to want to stay home instead to play an RPG or write fanfiction (yes, Liz also writes fanfiction; "Mythbusters" fanfiction, to be exact!). That it's okay to not be the most sociable person in the room, or to get more excited about the season finale of your favorite trashy show than some social event you're invited to. Of course, Liz Lemon is more than that, she's incredibly funny, very smart, she maintains a high-maintenance job despite her hang-ups and anxieties (and weird dreams about Pizza Cat). And she's not one of those TV heroines whose only character flaw is "adorably clumsy" or "awkward with men", she's a fully-fledged character, a curmudgeonly dork who takes pride in her work (no matter how shitty said work turns out to be XD), who can be intensely selfish but still cares about her egomaniacal co-workers. Who longs for love and companionship, but doesn't let it rule her life completely. There's other great female characters out there, but Liz Lemon will be missed, and I'm sure those awesome gifs of her will be around long after "30 Rock" aired.
Not to mention I admire Tina Fey a lot. She isn't just a hilarious writer and performer, she's also bold, and outspoken, and I'm sure she's had a huge hand in having "30 Rock" maintain its excellent quality. She's been great in anything I've ever seen her in, and as a writer, she is a big inspiration to me.
There's been so many great performances in "30 Rock" that you could point out, though. Alec Baldwin took Jack Donaghy, a right-wing, libertarian blowhard with terrible opinions, and made him charming and likeable and fun. And I don't even have words to describe how awesome Jane Krakowski is as narcissistic, sociopathic famewhore Jenna Maroney. Or how Tracy Morgan's joke delivery kills me. And then there's Kenneth, Frank Rossitano, Jack's gay rival Devon Banks, Pete Hornberger (Hornberger!), Angie the Queen of Jordan ... I'll miss all of them, because there's very few ensembles as colorful and excellently written and played as the one on "30 Rock".
Last but not least, "30 Rock" is a show that my boyfriend Felix introduced me to. We always watched it together, and since our shared sense of humor is something that makes me happy every day, the show also means a lot to me in that regard.
So when the show takes its leave tonight, I'll be very sad, but I'll also be happy. Happy because "30 Rock" has stayed excellent from start to finish. There's been weaker episodes, which is not surprising after 7 seasons, but it's still the top-notch comedy I fell in love with, and I'm grateful everyone involved with it has worked so hard to have it stay that way. And when it's time to say "Shut it down!", I'll say so in a gentle whisper. ♥