Friday, October 13, 2006

30 Rock: Buy the Trivection Oven! Buy It!

Much has been made of the fact that there are two SNL-based shows on NBC's schedule this fall, and both Studio 60 and 30 Rock have real authenticity to them, in that the shows-within-the-shows are, like SNL, less than funny. Although all we get to The Girlie Show, this show's version of SNL, is a lame cat-lady sketch that actually makes "Science, Schmience" look good.

As for the show without the show, it has potential. There is lots of fun to be had at NBC's parent company's expense, with Alec Baldwin playing the Vice President for East Coast Television and Microwave Programming and going into an extended sales pitch for the GE Trivection oven. Incidentally, GE really wants you to buy it, because they air a commercial for it during the show. Alec Baldwin is shockingly funny as the crazy/stupid like a fox network guy. I honestly didn't expect him to be the funniest person on this show, but he is. I guess I shouldn't be surprised; as a frequent SNL guest host, he's no Continental, but he has a few classic moments, notably "Schweddi Balls" and Charles Nelson Reilly on Inside the Actors Studio.

Tracy Morgan, on the other hand, just plays "straight-up mentally ill" as new star Tracy Jordan (could he really not remember his character's name?). If you've seen him on SNL, you've seen him here, because he's doing the same loud moron routine. His funniest moment is actually a throwaway joke, a quick cut to him running down the 405 in his tighty-whiteys, brandishing a lightsaber and yelling, "I am a Jedi!"

Tina Fey? She's a decent straight woman, when she's not buying hot dogs out of spite.


Colleen said...

I think Baldwin would sell more microwaves if he reached a more international audience with his message. But to do that, he would have to use the international symbol for microwave, which is, of course, a box with "FOOD" written inside it. maybe some buttons too.

Liz said...

I totally thought that "trivection oven" thing was a parody until they showed that ad. Oh, man, that's all kinds of corporate meta.

I loved the "It's not HBO...It's TV" and "My sister peed in my eye when I was little" lines. Nothing else really made me laugh out loud, although I thought Alec Baldwin was very funny.

If they're going to make the whole "Studio 60 is a drama and 30 Rock is a comedy" distinction work, though, 30 Rock needs to get funnier. Right now, I'd say they're both about the same level of funny. But to be fair, the cat lady sketch was supposed to be bad/cut.

Lori said...

Yeah, the cat lady sketch was supposed to be bad, but Tracy Morgan/Jordan's insane rant was supposed to be funny. Or at least, that's what I got from the "audience reaction." It wasn't funny. Come on, Tina, you can do better than that.