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"Cut the B.S.!" "But I promised Barbra Streisand I'd never stab her again..."
Universal / 474 Minutes / 2011-2012 / Unrated / Street Date: September 11, 2012
Tina Fey is an unstoppable force. Even if 30 Rock clearly peaked in its earliest years - and I think we can pretty much agree that it did - Fey as both an artist and an on-screen presence is irresistible. And come on: who could juggle earnest concerns about having a baby in her 40s and a solid slate of Star Wars dialogue recitals the way Tina can? One almost laments the fact that 30 Rock went off the air before J.J. Abrams’ new movies arrive.
For those who have somehow resisted the Tina Fey tractor beam, 30 Rock is a comedy about the behind-the-scenes mania involved with getting a weekly live comedy program on the air (30 Rockefeller Center is where Saturday Night Live and other NBC programs are filmed). Fey plays Liz Lemon, a neurotic yet boldly driven head writer who has to simultaneously corral the rampant and constant oddities of her show’s big star (Tracy Morgan) as well as assuring the head honcho of the network (Alec Baldwin) that everything is peachy keen.
But this Season 7 set finds the series venturing off on tangents way too often. Fey’s desire to start a family with beau James Marsden makes sense in terms of her character, but the way it’s developed within the syntax of the show seems surprisingly pedestrian for a show as unorthodox as 30 Rock. And the series finale here is downright mediocre – the fact that the show’s last mighty moments revolve around yet another Rural Juror joke confirm that it knows the meat of the show’s success came early in its run. That being said, you’re still guaranteed a giggle or a bellylaugh at least a handful of times per episode, so even if this TV-on-DVD set is a swing and a miss, it’s not entirely without its merits.