30 Rock: Season Four
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Revisit all the hilarity of the complete fourth season of the Primetime Emmy Award, Golden Globe, Peabody, and SAG Award-winning 30 Rock. Show creator Tina Fey and fellow Primetime Emmy Award, Golden Globe, and SAG Award winner Alec Baldwin star as TV writer Liz Lemon and conservative GE executive Jack Donaghy, who together preside over the everyday mayhem at a late-night variety show. Pretending to help them are mercurial stars Tracy Jordan and Jenna Maroney (Tracy Morgan and Jane Krakowski) as well as wide-eyed NBC page Kenneth Parcell (Jack McBrayer).
30 Rock's fourth season has more laughs than an evening at the Chuckle Hut, Stone Mountain, Georgia's premier comedy club (when it's not harvesting the chuckle part of a pig, and no, best not ask). Don't let the 0-15 Emmy® snub fool you. This is a Rock-solid season with some involving story arcs, including the search for a new TGS cast member, NBC's buyout by Kabletown, Liz resisting her "settling soul mate," and Jack sorting out a romantic triangle. This is also a particularly star-studded season, with indelible turns by Michael Sheen, Julianne Moore (sporting a wicked Boston accent), Elizabeth Banks, James Franco, Bon Jovi, and Matt Damon. Jan Hooks, too long missing in action, is introduced as Jenna's scheming mother. Jon Hamm, Dean Winters, and Jason Sudeikis return as Liz's lost loves in one of the season's best episodes, "Anna Howard Shaw Day." And only on 30 Rock will you see astronaut Buzz Aldrin taunt the moon ("Return to the night. You have no business here.") or NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams audition his comedy act. 30 Rock remains part of TV's elite and gleefully mocks the notion it should tone down its meta satire, smash-cut gags, and inside jokes (or as Donaghy calls it, "lefty homoerotic propaganda") to appeal to a broader audience. But after three seasons, word play that was once dazzlingly fresh and original seemed in danger of becoming strained and rote. When Tracy (Tracy Morgan) references Little, Brown, he is, of course, not talking about the distinguished book publisher, but a talent agency specializing in black dwarfs. And when Alec Baldwin's Jack Donaghy welcomes one and all to Season Four, he is referring to the name of New York's "No. 1 Asian-fusion restaurant." Not that the show hasn't lost its ability to surprise and delight, as witness clips of the failed TV series "Bitch Hunter" featuring Will Ferrell. The generous extras include deleted scenes, extended episodes, 10 audio commentaries that offer such inspired pairings as Alec Baldwin and Lorne Michaels and Jack McBrayer and Jon Hamm, and the Ace of Cakes episode in which the bakers prepare a cake for the 30 Rock cast and crew. Somebody bring me some ham! --Donald Liebenson
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The 4th season DVD set, much like the previous seasons, does not disappoint. There are plenty of bonus features (I especially enjoy the commentaries done by Jack McBrayer & Jane Krakowski and Tina Fey). I only wish they would include some bloopers.