8 October 2007 | Hagar7
Extremely clever but also laugh-out-loud funny
I wasn't sure to expect from 30 Rock, having watched the steady decline of SNL over the last seven years or so. I felt, however, that this was not really a result of the writing as much as it was of the underutilization and/or departure of the most talented players (Ferrell, Oteri, and now Maya Rudolph, for example) and the periodic overexposure of less talented players (I'm looking at you, Jimmy Fallon). I was also encouraged by the fact that the many of the bright spots in SNL's history during that period were provided by host Alec Baldwin. So I was not 100% surprised to find that I love 30 Rock. Baldwin is, as usual, brilliant, and Tina Fey is a fantastic writer who also is humble enough to recognize her strengths and limitations as an actor. Tracy Morgan is constantly off his chain and, along with Baldwin and Jack McBrayer, provides most of the "God, I had to rewind because it was so damned ridiculous" moments ("Imagine Christmas wishes shooting out of your eyes.") The supporting cast is also talented and well utilized; I was very glad to see that "Toofer" and "Cerie," among others, were upgraded to regulars for Season Two. From political satire to slapstick, it's all here. And as an African-American, I was impressed by the way racial issues were handled, from the use of the "N word" to the "white guilt" issues to the country club episode; they were skillfully handled, as some of these are hot button topics and could have gone very, very wrong. This show is just plain good.