30 Rock emerged from its first season into a changing comedy world. New leaders like Louis CK and Patton Oswalt were taking the standup world by storm. Even the pop-star status of Dane Cook, often reviled by hardcore comedy fans for his unadventurous material and impersonal style, represented a culture thinking about comedy as an essential need. This culture thought about comedy performers as distinct, individual voices to be followed loyally.
On television, new shows like The Sarah Silverman Program and The Naked Trucker and T-Bones Show debuted on Comedy Central. Silvermans show, in particular, was crammed with longtime alt comedy favorites like Brian Posehn, Jay Johnston, and Steve Agee. It was produced in part by Rob Schrab, creator of the cult classic comic book Scud: The Disposable Assassin.
At the cinema, The Simpsons, once the standard-bearer for an advancing vanguard of hip, post-modern, ironic, anti-establishment comedy, completed its journey into the mainstream by releasing one of the top-grossing films of 2007. Oswalt received his first major motion picture starring role in Ratatouille, a movie which ended up sweeping the major awards ceremonies in the Best Animated Film category.
MEET THE AUTHOR
Jonathan Nathan is a writer, an editor, and a comedian living in San Francisco. His work has appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle, California Northern, The Rumpus, McSweeney's Internet Tendency, BeyondChron, the Hutchinson News, and other publications. He's written about everything from politics to philosophy, from sports to cinema, from drugs to thugs.
EXCERPT FROM THE BOOK
One of the elements that Tina Fey and other creative minds behind 30 Rock sought to bring more to the forefront in the second season of the program was the idea of the strong recurrent subplot. While narrative elements had certainly appeared and reappeared throughout the shows freshman season, they had been decidedly in the background. That changed in Season 2, as a very clear throughline emerged as the prominent focal point of the show: Jack Donaghys attempts to rise in the corporate ranks at General Electric.
At the end of the first season, Donaghy had suffered a heart attack brought on by issues in his personal life stemming from conflicts with everyone in his life from his mother to his girlfriend to Liz Lemon. He comes back strong in the premiere of the second season, having had a winning offseason as a television executive. He and Lemon are both certain that this will be their year. Donaghy, in fact, is quite sure that he has a shot at becoming the next chairman of GE. The current head of the company, Don Geiss, has been sending signals that he plans to retire soon, and Donaghy believes he has a strong chance at becoming his hand-picked replacement.
However, Donaghy is thwarted by his old nemesis from the first season, Devon Banks. Banks, a gay man, has connived a brilliant plan. He narrowly worked his way through a pray the gay away program, Banks has seduced Geisss probably mentally challenged daughter, and is preparing to marry into the Geiss family. Its a smart move, and one that keeps Donaghy on his toes throughout the season. Banks and Donaghy trade jabs and blows back and forth throughout the season, and although its clear that Geiss favors Donaghy as his replacement, tragedy inevitably strikes.
Quicklet on 30 Rock Season 2
+ Troubles Brewing: A Sophomore Slump?
+ Tina Fey: A Life in Comedy
+ Main Characters
+ Key Terms
+ ...and much more
30 Rock Season 2
Flannel shirts and what Silver Jews frontman David Berman would later describe as "sarcastic hair" were the height of fashion. Every young kid in America since the second World War has probably been called a lazy, good-for-nothing slacker by his or her parents at least once, but in 1993, there was no higher compliment. Everybody was going to be an artist, a comedian, a writer, a filmmaker, an actor, a poet. And in two different grunge havens, separated by half a continent, Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein were starting their long journeys toward that dreamed-of success. Given that they both found their most widely celebrated success working together on a sketch comedy series, it is perhaps surprising that they both started out playing in cult favorite indie rock bands.
The Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life Before 8am, by Hal Elrod, is a self-help book that explores the key point that the start of a person’s day not only sets the tone for that day, but also has a profound impact on the rest of a person’s life. Indeed, Elrod explains that ninety-five percent of people struggle their entire lives because they fail to work on personal development, fail to start their day off right, and fail to choose to live differently…
This companion to The Miracle Morning includes:
Overview of the book Important People Key Takeaways Analysis of Key Takeaways and much more!
This Hyperink Quicklet includes an overall summary, chapter commentary, key characters, literary themes, fun trivia, and recommended related readings.
ABOUT THE BOOK
When Tina Fey left Saturday Night Live at the end of the 2005-2006 season to concentrate on developing, writing, and starring in a new program for NBC, reaction among comedy fans was mixed. On the one hand, SNL had lost yet another of the talented cast member who made it a resurgent hit in the late 1990s. On the other hand, anticipation of Fey’s new show was high.
Fey had originally pitched the series to NBC as a sitcom about a cable news network during early in her tenure as a writer for SNL. According to Time, when the pitch was rejected, she reworked the idea into a show revolving around a sketch comedy series and variety show not unlike SNL. NBC ordered a pilot for the show, which was well-reviewed upon its October 2006 debut, and went to series as 30 Rock.
Although 30 Rock has rarely been a ratings darling, online reviews and critical establishment barometer, Metacritic, shows that it has been one of the critical establishment’s most consistently well-reviewed television programs of the past ten years. It is also one of the best-reviewed comedies of all time.
MEET THE AUTHOR
Jonathan Nathan is a writer, an editor, and a comedian living in San Francisco. His work has appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle, California Northern, The Rumpus, McSweeney's Internet Tendency, BeyondChron, the Hutchinson News, and other publications.
EXCERPT FROM THE BOOK
There are two main storylines in the first season: Liz Lemon’s struggle to find a compatible romantic partner while balancing her work and personal life, and the adjustment of the cast and crew of TGS to the new additions of Jack Donaghy and Tracy Jordan.
Lemon’s personal life is the meatiest and most constant plotline in the season, as she is the protagonist of the series and her work/life conflicts are largely the narrative hook of the show. In the first few episodes, her love life is barely mentioned, reflective of a new series still struggling to find its voice. The third episode of the series, “Blind Date,” is the first to venture in this direction, and although it’s primarily a one-and-done, short-term story played for awkward laughs when Jack sets Liz up on a blind date with a friend of his who turns out to be a woman (because, in his words, her shoes “are definitely bi-curious”). The episode met universal acclaim and was greeted by many critics as a hopeful sign of things to come.
The plotline was more earnestly engaged a few episodes later in “Jack Meets Dennis,” when Liz takes back her ne’er-do-well ex-boyfriend, Dennis Duffy, to whom a few allusions had been made earlier in the season. Duffy is an obnoxious lout who epitomizes the stereotypes of the boorish South Bostonian, but Liz finds it hard to leave him permanently because he’s easy and low-maintenance. Jack strongly disapproves, and warns Liz that she faces a mediocre life with Dennis in her future...
Buy a copy to keep reading!