Season finale review: '30 Rock' - 'What Will Happen to the Gang Next Year?': Speak now or forever hold your peace
A review of the "30 Rock" season finale coming up just as soon as I'm living in a Bill O'Reilly erotic novel...
What we've all assumed for a while was confirmed late last week (then denied on Sunday by Bob Greenblatt, then confirmed again on Monday, because that's how NBC rolls lately): the next season of "30 Rock" will be its last. The show has been on a creative upswing for most of the past two seasons, but I can understand how everyone must be feeling burnt out, and also that Tina Fey would rather walk away while the show's still good.
And while Fey had to know the chances were good that she would get those final 13 episodes, "What Will Happen to the Gang Next Year?" definitely had (like the recent "Parks and Rec" and "Community" finales) the feeling of having been designed as a series finale, just in case. Jack and Avery's marriage comes to an amicable end after none of their loved ones have the decency (or, in the case of Avery's mom, the consciousness) to object to their vow renewal. Liz and Criss take a huge leap forward in their relationship, and Liz is even able to start saying "baby" instead of "plant." Tracy embarks on yet another bold career path, deciding to follow the Tyler Perry model, and Kenneth finally gets a (sociopathic) love interest when he and Hazel hook up. There's not much of a Jenna story, and Tofer is the only writer to appear, but we close on another one of those terrific Jack/Liz friendship scenes, and then get a tag where the not-so-late Kim Jong-il breaks the fourth wall and pleads with the writers to give us the one thing we know they (wisely) never will: a Jack/Liz romance.
I'm sure Fey has a grander plan in mind for what will be the real series finale, but this would have worked well enough. I wasn't wild about the Kenneth/Hazel subplot — among other things, the revelation that Kenneth has an elderly, borderline catatonic "roommate" he keeps in the closet and exploits to pay his rent felt really dark even by the weird standards of his character, and in general it feels like the show backslid with Kenneth after reinvigorating him during his brief Standards & Practices stint — but the rest of it was quick and funny and, in that way that "30 Rock" can be when it wants, very very sweet.
What did everybody else think? Are there particular things you want to see in the victory lap season? Characters who have to return no matter what, in your mind? With only a handful of episodes left, do you want to jump forward in time enough for us to actually meet Liz and Criss' baby, and see Liz Lemon as a mom, or would you rather the show end while birth or adoption are still off in her future?
2013 | Comedy | NRSummary: Insanely funny comedy show created by Amy Schumer, who stars in brilliantly funny sketches about sex, city living, dating, and friendship.Director: Daniel Powell, Amy Schumer (creators)
Cast: Amy Schumer, Kevin Kane, Mike Houston
2008 | Science Fiction | PGSummary: Animated series continues the story of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker as they battle the Emperor Palpatine, Count Dooku and General Grievous, but also takes time to explore other smaller characters in the Star Wars universe.Director: George Lucas (creator)
Cast: Tom Kane, Dee Bradley Baker, Matt Lanter
1995 | Mystery | NRSummary: Denzel Washington plays an out of work WWII vet who takes the wrong job and is soon neck-deep in a mess of politics, murder, and jazz in '40s Los Angeles.Director: Carl Franklin
Cast: Denzel Washington, Tom Sizemore, Jennifer Beals
2007 | Comedy | PGSummary: Newlyweds Nick (Ice Cube) and Suzanne (Long) decide to move to the suburbs to provide a better life for their two kids. But their idea of a dream home is disturbed by a contractor (McGinley) with a bizarre approach to business.Director: Steve Carr
Cast: John C. McGinley, Ice Cube, Nia Long, Aleisha Allen
2013 | Thriller | RSummary: Based on the true story of Daniel Lugo (Mark Wahlberg) a Miami bodybuilder who wants to live the American dream. He would like to have the money that other people have. So he enlists the help of fellow bodybuilder Adrian Doorbal (Anthony Mackie) and ex-convict, Christian bodybuilder Paul Doyle (D...Director: Michael Bay
Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson, Anthony Mackie, Tony Shalhoub
1993 | Sports | PGSummary: Emotionally powerful sports classic featuring Sean Astin as a skinny high school kid with big football dreams and the determination to make his way towards his dream team at Notre Dame.Director: David Anspaugh
Cast: Sean Astin, Jon Favreau, Ned Beatty
1997 | Crime | RSummary: Quentin Tarantino adaptats an Elmore Leonard novel into this story of a few increasingly desperate people scraping to get by. It has deep soul, a wicked sense of humor, and Samuel L. Jackson, Robert De Niro, Pam Grier, and Robert Forster.Director: Quentin Tarantino
Cast: Pam Grier, Samuel L. Jackson, Robert Forster
1996 | Crime | RSummary: Jerry, a small-town Minnesota car salesman is bursting at the seams with debt... but he's got a plan. He's going to hire two thugs to kidnap his wife in a scheme to collect a hefty ransom from his wealthy father-in-law. It's going to be a snap and nobody's going to get hurt... until people start ...Director: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
Cast: William H. Macy, Frances McDormand, Steve Buscemi, Peter Stormare
2013 | Drama | RSummary: Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill have boundless energy in the story of a real-life commodities crook who earned millions through scummy small-time stock trades.Director: Martin Scorsese
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie
Let Streaming Genie help you.