"30 Rock", the NBC sitcom that has the most Emmy Awards (22) for a single year for a comedy series. An award-winning series that is critically acclaimed series that in its first and second year, despite being a series that critics raved about, the series has had its challenge due to its low viewership.
Fortunately, NBC has supported this series and greenlighted a fourth season because "30 ROCK" is unique and one of those rare delights that is on network television. Humorous, entertaining but literally, just a fantastic comedy that has solid writing and a talented cast.
30 Rock is the shortened address of where NBC Studios is located in New York City, ala 30 Rockefeller Plaza. The show revolves around the crew and the cast of the live sketch comedy "The Girlie Show" which is written by head writer Liz Lemon (Tina Fey, "Saturday Night Live", "Baby Mama", "Mean Girls") and stars actress Jenna Maroney (Jane Krakowski, "Ally McBeal"). But Liz's boss, Jack Donaghy (Alec Baldwin, "Knots Landing", "Beetlejuice", "Pearl Harbor") decides to add comedian Tracy Jordan (Tracy Morgan, "Saturday Night Live", "Scare Tactics") to spice up the show and rename it "TGS with Tracy Jordan".
The show focuses on what goes behind-the-scenes of the creation of the show and what is going on in the personal lives of several of the main characters (primarily focusing on the lives of Liz Lemon and Jack Donaghy) and focuses on relationships and the unique friendship that Jack and Liz tend to develop, while the two deal with their own love life but also their interaction with the writers of TGS and the NBC Page Kenneth Parcell (Jack MacBrayer, "Forgetting Sarah Marshall", "Arrested Development").
"30 ROCK - Season 3' features 22 episodes on three discs. Included are (spoilerless summaries):
* EPISODE 37 - DO-OVER - Liz wants to adopt but must must please the adoption evaluator (guest star Megan Mullally, "Will & Grace"). Meanwhile, Jack returns and wants his job back.
* EPISODE 38 - BELIEVE IN THE STARS - During a flight back from Chicago, Liz tells her life to Oprah Winfrey. Meanwhile, Tracy and Jenna try to outdo each other on who has the worst life.
* EPISODE 39 - THE ONE WITH THE CAST OF NIGHT COURT - Liz and Jenna's friend Claire (guest star Jennifer Aniston, "Friends", "Marley & Me", "Office Space") comes to visit and falls for Jack. Meanwhile, Kenneth is depressed and Tracy tries to make him happy by reuniting the cast of "Night Court" (guest star Harry Anderson, Charles Robinson and Markie Post).
* EPISODE 40 - GAVIN VOLURE - Businessman Gavin Volure (Steve Martin) falls for Liz. But Gavin has a big secret.
* EPISODE 41 - REUNION - Liz is convinced by Jack to go to her high school reunion and realizes how her fellow high school mates really feel about her.
* EPISODE 42 - CHRISTMAS SPECIAL - Liz takes pat in a charity to help underprivileged kids. Meanwhile, Jack's mother (Elaine Stritch) comes to visit and it stresses him out.
* EPISODE 43 - SENORA MACHO SOLO - Liz wants a child so bad that she mistakes a little person (Peter Dinklage) as a young boy. Meanwhile, Jack starts to fall for his mother's nurse Elisha (guest star Salma Hayek, "Ugly Betty", "Traffic", "Fools Rush In").
* EPISODE 44 - FLU SHOT - Liz fights for the TGS staff to get flu shots but only a few shots are available. Who will get them? Meanwhile, Jack and Elisha want to spend more time with each other.
* EPISODE 45 - Retreat to Move Forward - With the corporate retreat coming up, Jack makes Liz accompany him.
* EPISODE 46 - Generalissimo - Jack wants to get closer to Elisha but her mother despises him because a Spanish soap opera villain named Generalissimo looks exactly like him.
* EPISODE 47 - St. Valentine's Day - Liz goes on a date with Drew and Jack goes to church with Elisha.
* EPISODE 48 - Larry King - Tracy has an interview on "Larry King Live" and gives out bad financial advise to viewers.
* EPISODE 49 - Goodbye, My Friend - Liz becomes friends with a pregnant teenager working at the donut shop.
* EPISODE 50 - The Fun Cooker - Liz has to go to jury duty and without her to lead, the TGS staff goes nuts without her.
* EPISODE 51 - The Bubble - Liz starts to learn that her boyfriend Drew is living in a bubble and not familiar with reality.
* EPISODE 52 - Apollo, Apollo - Liz's ex-boyfriend Dennis returns and Jack plans his perfect 50th birthday.
* EPISODE 53 - Cutbacks - With corporate budget cuts, the TGS crew worry about who will get fired.
* EPISODE 54 - Jackie Jormp-Jomp - With what happened in the last episode, Liz must learn to live her new life without TGS.
* EPISODE 55 - The Ones - With Jack thinking of taking the next step with Elisha, he goes to Tracy to learn about married life.
* EPISODE 56 - The Natural Order - Tracy and Liz experience something unique. Meanwhile, Jenna adopts a pet Gibbon.
* EPISODE 57 - Mamma Mia - Liz and Tracy convince Jack to search for his real father. Meanwhile, Tracy finds out that he may have an illegitimate child.
* EPISODE 58 - Kidney Now! - Jack's father (Alan Alda) is going through major health problems, meanwhile Liz starts to get fame as a relationship expert.
VIDEO & AUDIO:
"30 ROCK - SEASON 3' is presented in Anamorphic Widescreen 1:78:1. The television series is shot via single camera and has that drama series style of quality. But for the most part, the show is anamorphic widescreen and picture quality is satisfactory for what you would expect from television on DVD.
As for audio, audio is presented in English Dolby Digital 5.1. For home theater owners with a receiver, the audio is front and channel driven with the dialogue being clear and understandable and the opening theme song coming quite lively. But for the most part, the audio is satisfactory for a comedy. Personally, I had my receiver set at stereo on all channels as my primary selection and preference in hearing the series.
Subtitles are presented in English SDH.
"30 ROCK - Season 3' includes quite a number of special features:
* Flu Shot Episode Commentary with Tina Fey & Jeff Richmond
* Goodbye, My Friend Commentary with Judah Friedlander & John Lutz
* The Bubble Commentary with Jon Hamm & Jack McBrayer
* Apollo, Apollo Commentary with Jack Burditt & Robert Carlock
* The Ones Commentary with Jane Krakowski & Jack McBrayer
* Mamma Mia Commentary with Alan Alda
* Kidney Now! Commentary with Tina Fey & Jeff Richmond
* Behind-the-Scenes with the Muppets- (3:10) Tina Fey gives commentary about the Muppets being used on the show and designed after the cast. Behind-the-scenes footage of how the Muppets are being used.
* 1-900-OKFace - (1:09) The embarrassing commercial of Liz Lemon's first and only acting role as Bijou.
* Kidney Now! Table Read - (31:26) The table read for the show with video on the top of the cast going through their scripts and the actual script being shown on the bottom.
* Making of "He Needs a Kidney" - (12:23) The Making of Kidney! Now. A featurette about the final episode of Season 3 which shows how music would become instrumental in this episode.
* Behind-the-Scenes Photo Gallery - (2:06) A photo montage of the crew and cast of "30 Rock".
* Alec Baldwin's SNL Monologue - (4:50) The opening monologue for Alec Baldwin's appearance on "Saturday Night Live" with Jack McBrayer.
* Tracy Jordan's Rant - (2:08) Tracy Jordan going off on the camera operator.
* Award Acceptance Speeches - Featuring award acceptance speeches for "Emmy's - Outstanding Lead Actress - Comedy Series" (1:19), "Emmy's - Outstanding Lead Actor - Comedy Series" (1:05) and "Golden Globes - Best Television Series - Musical or Comedy" (1:18).
I absolutely love "30 ROCK". The third season showed no signs of slowdown and every episode, you just want to laugh because the characters are hilarious but most of all, the writing is just top notch. And all 22 episodes in the third season does not disappoint at all.
With the second season DVD release from last year, the show was really facing major challenges as the Writers Guild Strike really cut down on the episodes and no one knew if NBC was going to cancel the show but they gave it some time and next thing you know, the show won many awards. The fact that the show has been nominated for 22 awards in 2009 alone is a testament of how people respect the show's writing and its talent. As mentioned earlier in my review, "30 ROCK" is one of those rare and unique shows on television and everything manages to work perfectly.
I've watched Season 3 on television and I couldn't wait to watch the episodes again, that's how much I really enjoy this series. It's witty, fun and comedy that is highly entertaining! In fact, as for favorite episodes, there is just so many. From finding out who Liz Lemon was talking to on the plane ride in the episode "Believe in the Stars", to see the reuniting of the "Night Court" characters and also see Jennifer Aniston's "Claire" getting into mischief in "The One with the Cast of Night Court", Kenneth going on a date with a blind staffer with Tracy's help in "St. Valentine's Day", Jack seeing a duplicate of himself on the Spanish soap opera in "Generalissimo" or Liz and Jack visiting Liz's high school reunion in the episode titled "Reunion". There are just too many fantastic episodes from this third season, that I can't see any fan being disappointed.
As for the DVD release of "30 ROCK - Season 3', this DVD is literally a solid release. Not only do you get all 22 episodes, 7 audio commentary (and the good news is that they give a variety of talent, even guest stars a chance to take part in the audio commentary) but you also get a good number of other special features that really round out this wonderful DVD release. Overall, the show is wonderful and the only thing I can hope for is that Universal considers releasing "30 Rock" on Blu-ray via High Definition.
But there is nothing negative I can say about this release. It's a solid release and fans of the series will definitely get their money's worth! "30 ROCK - Season 3' is highly recommended.