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glee
08-20-2009, 09:41 AM
Greetings to cultural Dopers. :)
Here's the situation.

I like:

Big Bang Theory
Entourage
Sports Night
Studio 60
West Wing
Law + Order (Original series plus Criminal Intent*)
CSI (Original series; not so much the others)

Based on that, will I like 30 Rock?

Thanks for your time.

*SVU is too harrowing.

Munch
08-20-2009, 09:47 AM
Yes. The first half of the first season isn't great, but it really picks up steam after that. I too put my money behind Studio 60 winning the "we produce a weekly variety show" contest and thought that 30 Rock was going to suck. I came around.

Khadaji
08-20-2009, 10:13 AM
I like Big Bang Theory, Sports Night and Studio 60 - don't watch the others.

It is a mixed bag for me. On the one hand you have Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin who usually make me laugh. Then on the other you have the rest of the cast. Tracey Morgan is a talentless hack whose character could be funny with good delivery. The rest of the show doesn't work for me.

friedo
08-20-2009, 11:38 AM
Tracy Morgan is a misunderstood genius.

In about 3000 years, it will all make sense.

ZipperJJ
08-20-2009, 12:43 PM
Definitely. Although, like the others said - give it time. Don't go into it thinking it'll be the greatest comedy of all time. Just let it grow on you. Oh, will it grow on you....

glee
08-20-2009, 12:46 PM
Thanks for the replies!

Thudlow Boink
08-20-2009, 12:52 PM
IMHO, the show that 30 Rock most resembles is NewsRadio.

whole bean
08-20-2009, 12:58 PM
Tracey Morgan is a talentless hack whose character could be funny with good delivery. The rest of the show doesn't work for me.

It's not a question of poor delivery. You just don't like it. IMHO, Morgan's timing and delivery are perfect. Then again, I like the Brian Fellow's skits from SNL.

I think the show is brilliant and the funniest thing on network televison. I think funniest shows on television are Flight of the Conchords and East Bound and Down, numbers one and two in that order .

Skammer
08-20-2009, 01:00 PM
I was slow to embrace it, but I now think it's the funniest sitcom on broadcast TV. (I know that's a low bar... but still, it's consistantly hilarious).

Khadaji
08-20-2009, 01:26 PM
It's not a question of poor delivery. You just don't like it. IMHO, Morgan's timing and delivery are perfect. Then again, I like the Brian Fellow's skits from SNL.

I think the show is brilliant and the funniest thing on network televison. I think funniest shows on television are Flight of the Conchords and East Bound and Down, numbers one and two in that order .
It isn't a question of good delivery. You just like it... :p

In discussions like this, it is always about opinion. IMO, it is poor. Opinions, by their nature, vary. Else they would be facts.

muldoonthief
08-20-2009, 01:52 PM
Will I like 30 Rock?


Do you have two ears and a heart?

Gadarene
08-20-2009, 01:54 PM
IMHO, the show that 30 Rock most resembles is NewsRadio.

I agree with this. (And The Muppet Show, of course.)

CandidGamera
08-20-2009, 02:09 PM
I agree with this. (And The Muppet Show, of course.)

I find it's a spiritual cousin of Arrested Development.

Isamu
08-20-2009, 02:10 PM
Yes, you will.

choie
08-20-2009, 02:28 PM
I find it's a spiritual cousin of Arrested Development.

If AD and NewsRadio had a kid, it would be 30 Rock.

I'm with whole bean on Tracy Morgan. I thought I'd hate him when I first started the show -- now he's my favorite performer on the show, although Baldwin comes very close. Morgan's readings slay me. He manages to combine a raunchy despot with childlike innocence.

OP: Yes, you probably will. I like all the shows you mentioned, with the exception of Studio 60, and I love 30 Rock. Give it three or four episodes, less than two hours of your time. Don't decide after the first episode -- it takes a while for any show (especially comedies) to find their rhythm and/or for the viewer to get used to said rhythm.

glee
08-20-2009, 08:38 PM
OK, I'm buying the first two series. :)

choie
08-21-2009, 12:27 AM
Goodness, don't buy the first two series without having seen any of the episodes!! If you have Netflix, go the Watch Instantly route -- both series 1 and 2 are available and you can see if you like it before spending the bucks.

Unauthorized Cinnamon
08-21-2009, 09:01 AM
I agree, watch a couple first. We came in on "Jack-tor" and immediately fell in love. I had read here that people weren't loving it, but we must have started watching just as it got good.

muldoonthief
08-21-2009, 10:37 AM
Can you get Hulu.com in the UK? There's a few episodes and plenty of scenes up there.

ZipperJJ
08-21-2009, 12:37 PM
Meh, let glee live on the edge! He's stimulating the US economy by flat out buying the DVDs anyway. Go glee! :)

(Just please don't come back and yell at us if you actually didn't like the show.)

HeavyDuty
08-21-2009, 12:50 PM
Yes you definitely will. Without even listing those shows I could have told you that you would have enjoyed 30 Rock. If you like to laugh you'll like the show, smart but at the same time off the wall. It's a great mix that's totally enjoyable, I actually have yet to meet someone who doesn't like it.

kunilou
08-21-2009, 12:52 PM
The first few episodes reminded me of a 21st Century Mary Tyler Moore Show. Liz Lemon was a single "career girl" surrounded by crazies, trying her best to get through the day. It quickly changed to show Liz as crazy as everyone else, and Alec Baldwin started to change from being a Bill McNeil type into a full-fledged evil genius.

I look at Season 1 as the necessary backstory to get you to where you'll really appreciate Season 2 and beyond.

NAF1138
08-21-2009, 12:55 PM
Do it glee, buy the first two series, you won't regret it (just remember, the show takes about 6 episodes...maybe 12 to hit it's stride. You don't have to watch them if you don't want to). I am finding that 30 Rock has great replay value this summer. It's the only show whos re-runs I am liking right now.

glee
08-21-2009, 01:40 PM
I appreciate the suggestion that I watch it first, but it's tricky doing that in the UK.
(In compensation, we get the Doctor Who stuff first. ;) )

Anyway *m*z*n are doing an offer, so it won't cost much.

Cyberhwk
08-21-2009, 10:29 PM
Sounding like I may have given up on the series a bit early then. I think I got to the first DVD of the second season through Netflix and many of the characters were just way too much. The reparte between Liz and Jack where the only reason I put up with Tracy Morgan.

ETA: LOVED Arrested Development

control-z
08-24-2009, 03:31 PM
IMHO, the show that 30 Rock most resembles is NewsRadio.

Maybe I would like 30 Rock more if I thought of it that way, but I don't see it.

choie
08-24-2009, 10:53 PM
Similarities between NewsRadio & 30 Rock:

- Staff works at an "also-ran" broadcasting product that's not very successful and is often at risk (TGS / WNYX -- of course, this fits pretty much any broadcasting-based TV show, like WKRP, The Mary Tyler Moore Show and Frasier)

- "Normal" manager who corrals all the weirdos in his or her stable, but hides (not always very successfully) plenty of weirdo quirks and insecurities (Liz / Dave);

- Manager must deal wearily with blustery, eccentric, wealthy & influential boss with a heart of gold searching for love (Jack / Jimmy), and their initial wary relationship turns mentorial;

- S/he also must alternately indulge/ rein in an egocentric, temperamental, somewhat warped star talent (Tracy/Bill).

- Assisting the manager is an opposite sex producer with whom s/he gets along very well, and who seems normal but also has issues of his/her own (Pete & Lisa).

- There's a nerdy/geeky/naif skinny guy who (rather bizarrely, considering his own morals) idolizes the premium star talent (Kenneth / Matthew);

- ...And also a sexy but underappreciated female second-string talent who, in her way, is just as egotistical is the other star (Jenna / Catherine);

- Then there's the not-very-hard-working young assistant/secretary with tendency for very revealing or otherwise bizarre clothing (Cerie / Beth).

- Sometimes this motley crew don't seem to get along, and the show in general has a reputation for being a bit dark, so some critics contend that the characters aren't very likeable. But there's an underlying affection amongst the staffers.

- Jokes are very fast-paced and all the actors/characters have chemistry with each other, so there are often different pairings that work (NewsRadio: Bill/Dave, Bill/Matthew, Bill/Lisa, Bill/Beth, Jimmy/Beth, Jimmy/Dave, Dave/Lisa, Dave/Matthew, Beth/Catherine/Lisa, Catherine/Joe, Joe/Matthew. 30Rock: Liz/Jack, Liz/Tracy, Tracy/Jack, Tracy/Jenna, Jenna/Liz, Liz/Pete, Kenneth/Tracy, Kenneth/Jack, Jenna/Kenneth)

That's rather a lot of similarities, no? Obviously, some of these elements are true for many sitcoms; for example, the "normal person surrounded by freaks" is Sitcom 101. And there are many unique aspects to each show. Joe doesn't really have an analogue in 30Rock, nor do Grizz/DotCom. 30Rock is far more experimental and risky, which is to be expected post-Arrested Development and in a single-camera comedy premiering ten years after NewsRadio, which is more traditional multi-camera production filmed in front of a live audience. 30Rock relies more on sexual/gross-out humor, not to mention pop culture references, but again, that's to be expected these days. But I think there's a lot of wit, surprising references, fast-paced humor, and intelligence in both shows.

I understand not liking 30Rock, don't get me wrong. It can be kinda vulgar and obvious and too in love with its own pop culture references. Sometimes I just want to smack Liz, who for the central figure of the show can be staggeringly unlikeable. I dig its style, though, and when it's on its game, it's hilarious.

(But I still prefer NewsRadio, which was sublime.)

control-z
08-25-2009, 10:31 AM
Nicely done comparison choie. It seems the general formula that News Radio and 30 Rock use might have started with Mary Tyler Moore, but each show has it's own "feel" and I'm still not sure I'm feeling 30 Rock. I just need to give it more of a chance. I think the stuntcasting turns me off.

Cardinal
08-25-2009, 09:54 PM
I think some people that Tracy's acting is overdone and hammy. I prefer to think of it as his character acting in real life, as he's pointed out that he's maintaining his image very consciously. If you can get over that, the Jordan character creates some real laughs.

filling_pages
08-26-2009, 03:00 PM
I love Tracy's character. When he really starts rolling, he says some of the funniest stuff on the show. There's a scene where he's hooked up to some sort of Scientology-style mind machine and he's going, I believe that the moon does not exist. I believe that vampires are the world's greatest golfers but their curse is they never get a chance to prove it. I believe that there are 31 letters in the white alphabet. That scene alone was enough to make me a fan.

Mosier
08-26-2009, 03:45 PM
Tina Fay chews someone out for using her white guilt for evil, when it is only supposed to be used for good things like voting for Obama. I was hooked after that line, because that was the last thing I expected her to say, and if I had been drinking milk at the time it would have come out my nose. Alec Baldwin is at the top of his game here, too. The rest of the cast are occasionally funny, but for the most part I don't like them too much. Overall the show is outstanding.

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