Tina Fey’s Emmy-nominated freshman sitcom “30 Rock” started strong, and just got better as its season went on, emerging as one of the funniest shows on TV, perhaps second only to “The Office.”
Fey plays Liz Lemon, the terminally single head writer of a “Saturday Night Live”-style sketch show that’s upended when a hotheaded NBC exec (played by a never-better Alec Baldwin) adds a volatile urban comedian (“SNL” alum Tracy Morgan) to the cast. The results are often brilliantly hilarious.
“30 Rock” is whip-smart, capturing the sophistication of New York like a Woody Allen movie, but minus the pretension. And while the show may suffer from an overstuffed cast of supporting players, all are tremendous personalities. This includes such regulars as Jane Krakowski, Judah Friedlander, Jason Sudeikis and Chris Parnell, but also guest stars as Paul Reubens (aka Pee-wee Herman), Emily Mortimer, Rip Torn, Isabella Rossellini and Ghostface Killah.
But the show’s secret weapon is Jack McBrayer as oblivious corn-fed NBC page Kenneth. Luckily, he figures into most of the three-disc set’s special features. Most notable are a series of original “An Evening with Kenneth” talk-show segments and a behind-the-scenes set visit that suggests the actor and role aren’t too far removed from one another.