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Emmy Awards Preview – Nominee Analysis: 30 Rock

While it certainly didn’t come out of nowhere, considering that it had nominations in both lead acting categories, 30 Rock’s Emmy win last year was still a bit of a surprise. However, it was a pleasant one, and signaled and onslaught of critical praise and accolades for a series that (at that point) seemed to be on shaky ground where it matters most these days: ratings.

But with a third season guaranteed and more hardware in the closet, 30 Rock has gone from the upset victor to the perennial frontrunner for the 60th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards. And with great power comes, well, great responsibility; in this instance, responsibility to pick the right submissions to reflect the season’s quality.

Outstanding Comedy Series

Submission: Unknown

My Suggestion: “Secrets and Lies”

It’s hard to pick a single episode to encapsulate an entire season: I think the show’s smartest segment has to be “Rosemary’s Baby,” for a lot of reasons I’ll discuss further below, while part of me gravitates towards “Greenzo,” featuring a fantastic David Schwimmer in the title role. However, I like “Secrets and Lies”: it has a great storyline featuring Baldwin and perennial Emmy favourite Edie Falco, a couple of great moments for Tracy Jordan, and the fantastic ending sequences as corporate republicans reveal their inner demons. Regardless of which they actually choose, however, the deal is sealed either way.

Chances: Definite Nomination.

Lead Actress in a Comedy Series

Tina Fey

Submission: “Episode 210”

My Suggestion: “Sandwich Day”

In this instance, my suggestion isn’t hostile: the last pre-strike episode may have been rushed, but Fey knocked both her initial interaction with and her late-night phone call sessions to the co-op board of her new apartment out of the park. In particular, the image of Fey on the phone while walking on her treadmill and drinking a glass of red wine while proclaiming that she bought a black apartment stuck with me for a long time. However, “Sandwich Day” had Fey doing what she does best: being neurotic and eating on camera (plus looking really attractive in the dress on the left. An argument could also be made for “Succession,” as Liz goes corporate, but something about that episode didn’t sit right for me.

Chances: Definite Nomination.

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Season Finale – 30 Rock – “Cooter”


May 8th, 2008

Last year, the season finale of 30 Rock was a disappointment: it was a slow half hour that dealt more with two outlandish storylines (Jack’s fiance Pheobe and Kenneth’s crazy cousin kidnapping Tracy) which never clicked outside of moments between Jack and Liz, and the fabulous appearance by Elaine Stritch as Jack’s mother. Storyline-wise, the first season just didn’t end on a creative high note.

And, to an extent, the same could be said for the second season if you ignore the circumstances. However, considering that there was so little time post-strike to get things moving, this episode did a great job at tying up some loose ends, providing something for almost every single members of the cast to do, using its characters right, and still centering the episode around the relationship between boss and employee.

It might have paled in comparison to the episode of The Office that preceded it, but I definitely think that “Cooter” trumps “Hiatus” as the superior finale for one of television’s best comedies.

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