Premiere shows 30 Rock still packs laughs

For those of you not in the know, 30 Rock is one of the funniest shows on TV. The name refers to 30 Rockefeller Plaza in New York City, where NBC studios are. The show revolves around Liz Lemon (Tiny Fey), some kind of manager of a live comedy sketch show eerily similar to Saturday Night Live called TGS.

Tracy Jordan (Tracy Morgan) is the show’s star, who, to put it lightly, is not in touch with reality (well, not this one, anyway). He is so eccentric and kooky; his bodyguards really protect others, mentally and physically, as they are the only ones who seem to know what is going on in Mr. Jordan’s head.

As delightful as Jordan is odd, the rest of the cast, writers and executives of TGS hold their own against Tracy. There is a limelight-seeking actress, a backwoods page, an all-too-eager assistant and sarcastic writers and managers trying to understand creative processes. If you don’t watch this show, you need to start. You can watch episodes online or live every Thursday after The Office.

The season finale left 30 Rock’s status quo up in the air. The days of Liz keeping everyone’s egos and stupidity in check just may be as long gone as Jack’s (Alec Baldwin) war against his arch nemesis, Devon Banks. Before Don Geiss (the boss) can choose a successor, he slips into a coma, leaving Jack high and dry because the job went to Geiss’ ridiculous daughter who has no business experience and likes boy bands. He is offered a job in government, where his first big move is to get some pens for his office, which had never even been thought possible.

During the season finale, Liz Lemon thought she was pregnant with Dennis Duffy’s baby. However, it turns out it was merely the evaporated bull semen in her favorite Mexican cheesy puffs giving the false positive. Even though she was no longer pregnant, Liz ended up looking forward to having a baby, even if it was Dennis’s. She therefore decides to try and get an adoption.

The season finale set the show up to become vastly different. With Liz having a baby and Jack no longer at TGS, it just wouldn’t be the same 30 Rock. How could Liz put out the fires caused by Tracy’s shenanigans with a baby on her arm? It could be funny, but it would probably just be sad. And if Jack was in government, he would do what he does best and work his way up until he runs the country, which could be funny too, but it might get too satirical or weird.

Will the season premiere get everyone back on track, or is the show with critical acclaim and without viewers aiming for more commercial acclaim and willing to sacrifice some wit? Well, during the season premiere, Jack decides he must get his old job back. He works in the mailroom and makes his way back up. Again.

He becomes even more determined when he discovers the questionable business practices Devon is planning. He decides he should “boink Kathy Geiss,” and by the end of the episode, Jack convinces Kathy to let him make all decisions for her.

In addition to getting everyone back to where they belong, there is the usual banality throughout the episode involving the cast and writers, furthering the (at least my) sense of relief that the show is getting back to what the (although maybe few) viewers love. As an added bonus, there is the most awkward kiss I have ever seen (and I would know) between Jack and Liz.

30 Rock is one of the best shows on in these dark days of “reality.” It draws big name celebrity cameos and not-so-cameos. It is tightly paced, leaving nary a slow moment. The humor is a mix of (very) low and highbrow, making me feel smart and in-touch as well as pre-pubescent, all in about twenty minutes.

Tell your friends to watch this show so it does not go the way of Firefly. On Friday, when you talk about The Office, talk about 30 Rock, too.