There was a time when talking about 30 Rock would have been really niche – a time before Tina Fey had ever met Oprah or hosted the Golden Globes with real-life homegirl Amy Poehler (who I also adore); a time when she was best known as the chick with glasses who hosted Weekend Update on SNL next to Jimmy Fallon, who used to be a total hunk and kind of still is. Anyway, I digress.
30 Rock aired its final episode on Thursday night after seven occasionally rocky but generally irreverent, strange and absolutely hilarious seasons and it’s safe to say it’ll be missed from NBC’s comedy line-up. Hell, it’ll be missed from any network’s line-up. Liz Lemon, brilliantly embodied by Tina, unwittingly became a mascot for a new, more relaxed brand of feminism and confronted issues of race, class, sexuality, misogyny and more in a satirical and sometimes uncomfortably spot-on way that was so clever, we often found ourselves laughing before what the characters were really saying sunk in.
On paper, 30 Rock never should have worked. It was overtly topical and offered brutal commentary on social issues that most people – particularly the white, middle-class demographic that Liz Lemon herself inhabited – could never accept, let alone warm to. Of course they eventually did, as the show has been lauded by critics, awards ceremonies and fans alike. Still, even Tina Fey thought 30 Rock didn’t stand a chance in hell to stay on the air past the first season.
She told TV Guide:
“This absolutely should have been 12 episodes, so people could say, ‘That show was amazing. I can’t believe it was canceled.’ The fact that we got far enough along that those same people can now say, ‘It’s not good anymore’ is a triumph in itself.”
We’re definitely glad that didn’t happen. If it had, we wouldn’t have got to see Alec Baldwin’s Jack as Thomas Jefferson, who rode a horse all the way from heaven to give Tracy an important message, Jane Krasinski’s Jenna method acting for a Janis Joplin biopic (which became Jackie Jormp-Jomp due to licensing issues) or James Franco fall in love with his Japanese body pillow, Kimiko. And those are just to name a few. What were your favorite 30 Rock moments?