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30 Rock: Season Three
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Re-enjoy the complete third season of the Primetime Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winning comedy 30 Rock, hailed by The New York Times as “its third season” and by The Sun as a “comedy… shown on NBC… [which is a] network.” Primetime Emmy, Golden Globe and SAG Award winner (and show creator) Tina Fey and Primetime Emmy, Golden Globe and SAG Award winner Alec Baldwin star as corporate executive Jack Donaghy and TV writer Liz Lemon (reverse respectively). Together, Jack and Liz manage the workplace chaos with no help from Liz’s loose-cannon stars Tracy Jordan and Jenna Maroney (Tracy Morgan and Jane Krakowski) and hapless NBC page Kenneth Parcell (Jack McBrayer). The end result is topless break-dancing, professional tetherball, geriatric kidnapping, bird murder, sexual espionage, Appalachian witchcraft, patricide, gay lion tattoos and important life lessons learned from sasquatches. Join in the behind-the-scenes fun with lots of exclusive content and all 22 episodes of the acclaimed third season of 30 Rock from executive producer Lorne Michaels (Hot Rod).
Warning: The third season of 30 Rock may cause fits of "lizzing" (an elevated state of hilarity that involves laughter plus whizzing) with its brilliantly loopy word play, "what the what" situations, and deft turns by a stellar roster of A-list guest stars. Liz Lemon (Emmy-winning geek goddess Tina Fey) trying to avoid jury duty by dressing as Princess Leia? Jenna (Jane Krakowski) starring in a biopic about Janis Joplin (or Jackie Jomp-Jomp due to rights complications that forbid use of Joplin's name and music)? Steve Martin as a fabulously wealthy agoraphobe? I want to go to there! This season, Liz increasingly yearns for a normal life outside of the demands of her sanity-testing job as head writer of TGS, a Saturday Night Live-esque comedy show. Happiness will find Liz, but not before two hilariously doomed relationships, one with a little person (guest star Peter Dinklage), whom she initially mistakes for a child, and the other with a neighbor (Mad Men's Jon Hamm) who doesn't realize people have allowed him to skate through life because of his impossibly good looks. She also has a rude awakening when she joins a group of Ladies who Lunch while on forced administrative leave. Her friendship with Master of the Universe mentor Jack Donaghy (indispensable Emmy-winner Alec Baldwin) is the series' endearing sweet spot.
30 Rock is unlike any other workplace comedy on television. Dancing to its own comic rhythms, the series takes great delight in tweaking sitcom clichés and conventions. In "The Bubble," the scene is set for a montage of Id-driven Tracy Jordan's (Tracy Morgan) wackiest moments on the show. Instead, Liz dreamily reflects, "I'm thinking of some of them right now." Family Guy's got nothing on 30 Rock when it comes to the surreal arbitrary gag, as when naive NBC page Kenneth (Jack McBreyer) realizes he is being sexually harassed by a Miss Vierra (Meredith from The Today Show), or when sociopathic, narcissistic Jenna is taught a lesson by the writers who have banded together as the feathered Fedora-clad Pranksmen. 30 Rock makes truly inspired use of the actors, TV icons, and musicians who appear this season. In "Believe in the Stars," Oprah Winfrey, smelling of "rose water and warm laundry," hilariously appears as herself, kind of. In "The One with the Cast of Night Court," Jennifer Aniston is upstaged by Harry Anderson, Markie Post, and Charles "Mac" Robinson. Salma Hayek makes for an exotic love interest for Jack in a multi-episode arc. The season finale features Sheryl Crow, Clay Aiken, Elvis Costello (a.k.a. Declan McManus, international art thief), Adam Levine, and others brought together for a benefit to find a kidney for Jack's long-lost father (Alan Alda). But the joy of 30 Rock is not the stars, but such brain-tickling lines as, "I watched Boston Legal nine times before I realized it wasn't a new Star Trek," and the charming character grace notes, like seeing the world as Kenneth does, populated by Muppets. In the season finale, Liz remarks that she figures TGS (30 Rock?) has two years left. Say it ain't so! --Donald Liebenson
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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.
From the spot on acting to the laugh out dialogue this is a show with no wasted moments.
So as not to spoil this show for the three or four people who haven't seen it I'll just mention a couple of the gags which I thought were the funniest this season:
1) The get out of jury duty gag: It started funny when Liz Lemon dressed as Princess Leah to get out of jury duty in her hometown by saying "I don't think it's fair for me to be on the jury because I can read minds" and it got funnier when the same tactic FAILED in New York;
2) The Alec Baldwin dressed as an evil Mexican general gag: This is a sight humor one but for me it ranks right up there with Baldwin's Saturday Night Live stint as scout master to Adam Sandler's troubled scout. If you've seen the bit, you're probably already laughing because of being reminded by it and if you haven't seen the bit, trust me: when you see it, you'll laugh.
Sometimes people like to make these comparisons about the current season to every other season which kind of fails with a show like 30 Rock where every season is kind of its best season.
Just watch it and laugh for yourself.