It’s pretty wild to stop and think that 30 Rock first debuted seven years ago. Even watching the penultimate episode last week, seven years in, the show feels like a brilliant, gone-to-soon cult comedy that people watch on DVD in dorm rooms wondering what could have been.
But what could have been was. Despite its decidedly high-brow sense of humor and consistent fist-fulls of “2% jokes” 30 Rock has managed to stay on the air, sustaining a small but loyal fan base throughout writers’ strikes, actor controversies and cameos galore.
It’s a high bar to meet for a series finale, but low and behold the 30 Rock finale was pretty brilliant. Were there pitfalls here and there? Sure. But “Series Finale” parts 1 and 2 proved to be a fitting end to a show that arguably reshaped the sitcom landscape.
In 2013 viewers have a shows like “New Girl,” or “Girls” or the phenomenal “Parks and Recreation” to point at for great examples of female driven comedies, but when 30 Rock aired seven years ago the air of “girls aren’t funny” hung significantly heavier than it does now.
Tina Fey isn’t a funny female writer and actress. Tina Fey is just a fundamentally hilarious human being and because of the path she help to clear the same can be said for the likes of Amy Poehler or Zooey Deschannel or Lena Dunham.
Liz Lemon wasn’t a clueless bimbo that got laughs by being the punch line to every laugh-track-ridden, hackneyed blonde joke imaginable. She was a person trying to have it all amongst a backdrop of hilarious characters.
And those characters will live on. If there’s any justice in the world Alec Baldwin’s Jack Donaghy will go down as one of the most hilarious characters in television history. Tracy Morgan’s Tracy Jordan filled the role of the lovable idiot with idiocy it was sometimes hard to comprehend. And of course there’s Jenna and Kenneth, Grizz and Dot Com, Dr. Leo Spaceman – a cast full of fan favorites no doubt.
After 138 episodes 30 Rock is over, but it will be a long time before its impact is forgotten.