Season Premiere: 30 Rock

It’s no secret that I love 30 Rock. Damn, that’s a good show and tonight it was finally back! I read a few reviews that said the season premiere was kind of lame, but I had a great time with this episode. Yes, it stuck with a lot of the same things we’ve seen before: Jack being a right wing tough guy, Tracey being, well, crazy, Kenneth being naive and innocent, and Jenna being a dunce. But isn’t that what we love about the show? In addition to the wicked sharp writing.

But even considering the familiar territory of the characters, I still laughed like crazy at Tracey outside of 30 Rock trying to make friends with people. My buddy Zach works there and I was really hoping to see him in the background, alas it wasn’t meant to be. I also really liked Jenna’s song about off season tennis, the video at the very end and how it kicked into Jay Leno’s show. I wonder how many people got the joke? And even though Kenneth played the sweet innocent mountain boy (did anyone understand his crazy mountain person speak?), I liked how he played hard ball, did the Alec Baldwin voice and stuck it to Jack at the very end, even though it didn’t get very good results. I’m hoping that Jack promotes Kenneth to some high level position at some point.

I was hoping that we’d get to see some of Liz and Pete’s search for new performers mining some of Tina Fey’s SNL experience, but maybe next episode. It was funny to see the long-missing Josh quit, fail to do the table flip (a long running inside joke amongst those of us who used to work at Wizard) and get the kind of meta commentary on how he had been missing last season (did anyone else notice when he showed up in a commercial during 30 Rock? That was pretty funny).

A few other quick notes. Tracey’s name for Nobody’s wife “Susan Walters-hyphen-nobody” is one word away from my mom’s last name. That’s just weird. Maybe it’s because we took a picture in front of the big Christmas tree outside 30 Rock last Christmas Eve. Next quick thought, Steve Buscemi looks really, REALLY creepy with a blonde lady-wig on. Seriously. They used a lot of what’s not in this episode for the promos and I can’t wait to see Liz’s encounter with the dude in the bookstore window, the return of Will Arnett and him talking to Obama’s daughters. Needless to say I’m jazzed for the rest of the season.

For whatever it’s worth, I also really enjoyed the rest of the Thursday NBC comedy line-up. Good stuff all around, especially how funny Chevy Chase was on Community. Also, did anyone else think that The Office was testing the waters in case Jim and Pam got their own show? Just saying.

"Look, Another Girl Fight Season Finale"

The above quote was straight from my lovely wife’s mouth as we watched the last episode of the third season of Alias. If you could somehow throw the word “crying” in there it would completely sum up my thoughts on this show. Season 3 really seemed to rehash a lot of previous ideas from the show (a man being betrayed by his spy wife, distrust in the organization, lying to loved ones, bad guys who just won’t die, incredibly sloppy spy stuff and crying. Lots of crying from our bad ass heroine.

The funny thing, though, is that I kind of liked these storylines better than those from the previous seasons. Maybe it’s that I knew what I was getting into when we started. Maybe it’s because the few people whose opinions I’ve heard said it was supposed to get so much worse this season, I’m not sure. I actually enjoyed this season more what with all the Rambaldi stuff taking center stage and twins and other family members coming to light. It’s not a great show, but the ticks seemed to be less (or at least less obvious) and you can see where shows like Lost and Fringe may have had their earliest seeds.

The most impressive element of this show, by far, has been the crazy amount of high quality guest stars they were able to pull in. Here’s a fairly completely list from Season 3: Scott Adsit, Djimon Hounsou, Bradley Cooper (he came back!), Richard Roundtree (seriously, Shaft is following me), David Cronenberg, Terry O’Quinn (he also came back!), Quentin Tarantino (also came back!), Isabella Rossellini (yeesh), Vivica A. Fox, Ricky Gervais (of original Office fame and general awesomeness), Raymond J. Barry, Peggy Lipton (Julie from The Mod Squad and Norma Jennings from Twin Peaks) and David Carradine (another returner). That’s a pretty impressive roster, especially when you consider that many of them made appearances in multiple episodes.

So, I’m curious to see how Season 4 and 5 go. I know there’s a twin or something. And a baby. But, since my expectations are pretty low, so I can’t really get TOO disappointed.