30 Rock—Season 1

30 rock season 1 dvd cover review episode guide list
9.0 Overall Score
Story: 9/10
Acting: 9/10
Visuals: 9/10

Smart comedy with a great cast

Not for everyone, takes a couple episodes to get going

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Welcome to the Rock (not Alcatraz)

Liz Lemon (Tina Fey) is living the high life.  She has The Girlie Show with her friend Jenna Maroney (Jane Krakowski) as the star and is living the high life in New York City like a modern day Mary Tyler Moore…just ask her.  When she gets a new boss in Jack Donaghy (Alec Baldwin), Liz finds her perfect life thrown upside down.  She learns that she’s saddled with a celebrity in Tracy Jordan (Tracy Morgan) and that her show is now TGS.  Liz is determined to make it a go and despite challenges of her crew, Liz is going to make it after all!

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Liz Lemon…sexy as she wants to be!

30 Rock—Season 1 aired from October 11, 2006 to April 26, 2007.  The series was met with instant acclaim, but struggled to find an audience (something it suffered from through the course of its run).  The season won Emmys for Outstanding Comedy Series and Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series (Elaine Stritch in “Hiatus”) and Outstanding Casting for a Comedy Series, Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series (“The Breakup”), Outstanding Original Main Title Theme Music, Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series (Alec Baldwin), Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series (Tina Fey), Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Comedy or Drama Series (Half-Hour) and Animation (“Corporate Crush”), Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series (“Jack-Tor”), and Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series (“Tracy Does Conan”).  Alec Baldwin was also won the Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Award for his role.

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Even Thomas Jefferson endorses 30 Rock!

30 Rock is an extremely smart series.  It is possibly too smart for its own good.  The series is a very dense and layered comedy with a great cast, but it was a hard series to just dip into with continuing plotlines and running jokes.  I didn’t watch 30 Rock enough to watch it on a regular basis and that is why I think it often struggled in the ratings.

The writing for 30 Rock is top-notch and so reflexive that it is mindbending.  The genius of setting a show at NBC on NBC allowed for fun commentary on the situation of television and criticisms of network which has seen better days (plus crossovers from Conan O’Brien to a great use of To Catch a Predator).  It added to the smart characters and their development.

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Guard your muffintop!

The cast also works great together.  The main cast is really held together by Fey and Baldwin, but the rest of the cast also could almost carry their show.  The only thing hurting the cast is that they are too good and don’t get the opportunity to shine each episode.  In addition to the great cast, it is loaded with guest stars including Rachel Dratch, Ghostface Killah, Chris Parnell, Whoopi Goldberg, John McEnroe, Will Forte, Molly Shannon, Paul Reubens, Isabella Rossellini, Joy Behar, Sherri Shepherd, Jason Sudeikis, Rip Torn, Chris Matthews, LL Cool J, Conan O’Brien, Wayne Brady, Nathan Lane, Siobhan Fallon, Anna Chlumsky, Maury Povich, Al Roker, Emily Mortimer, Sean Hayes, and Elaine Stritch.

30 Rock is a great series and if you missed its initial run, the DVDs are great to catch up on this series.  It is a quick watch because each episode leaves you wanting more.  The series just builds on itself and even holds up when watched again because you can find new jokes and nuances in the performances.  30 Rock rocks!

30 Rock—Season 1 Complete Episode Guide:

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“Pilot”

1.1       Pilot Airdate:  10/11/06

Liz Lemon (Tina Fey) of The Girly Show finds NBC is under new management with Jack Donaghy (Alec Baldwin).  When Jack tells Liz that he wants Tracy Jordan (Tracy Morgan) for a retooled The Girlie Show, Liz is sucked into Tracy’s crazy world as Donaghy finds himself helping The Girlie Show prepare for their live show…firing Pete Hornberger (Scott Adsit) and leading to a disastrous like Cat Lady sketch with Jenna Maroney (Jane Krakowski).

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“The Aftermath”

1.2       The Aftermath Airdate:  10/18/06

Liz is trying to do damage control after Tracy’s hiring by Jack and the changing of the show’s name.  When Liz accidentally insults Tracy while on an open mic, she has to apologize to him…which also backfires.  A harbor boat tour planned by Tracy doesn’t go as expected.

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“Blind Date”

1.3       Blind Date Airdate:  12/25/06

With fears of dying alone, Jack agrees to set Liz up on a date…with a woman (Stephanie March).  Jack enters the office game of poker, but meets his match in Kenneth (Jack McBrayer) who he realizes he’s a threat.

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“Jack the Writer”

1.4      Jack the Writer Airdate:  11/01/06

Jack begins sitting in on writing meeting, and Liz finds Jack is taking over his show.  Liz finds that she has to talk to Cerie (Katrina Bowden) about her clothing choices.  Kenneth works for Tracy.  Liz tells Jack that he can’t be part of the show, but her apology leads to a strange friendship.

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“Jack-tor”

1.5       Jack-tor Airdate:  11/16/06

Jack tries to get GE products written into the shows and convinces Jack to be part of the sketch…but learns he cannot act.  Liz worries that Tracy can’t read, and Tracy decides to use it to his advantage to get out of work.  Frank (Judah Friedlander) and Toofer (Keith Powell) decide to mess with Jenna and tell her that an actor is going to be fired.  Jenna performs her hit “Muffintop”.

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“Jack Meets Dennis”

1.6       Jack Meets Dennis Airdate:  11/30/06

Liz is back with Dennis Duffy the Beeper King (Dean Winters) against everyone’s suggestion.  Tracy worries that he’s being labeled “normal” and fights back with a face tattoo.  Jack tries to improve Liz’s social standing but doesn’t like when he meets Dennis.  Jenna decides that she has to look younger.

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“Tracy Does Conan”

1.7       Tracy Does Conan Airdate:  12/07/06

Liz decides that she has to break up with Dennis.  Jenna finds her time on Conan O’Brien has been bumped by Jack for Tracy.  Tracy begins to start seeing a creature when he’s put on new medication, and Jack recommends to Pete that he start wearing a toupee.

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“The Break-Up”

1.8       The Break-Up Airdate:  12/14/06

Liz decides she’s had the last straw with Dennis and orders him out of her apartment.  Toofer talks Tracy out of doing a drag sketch, and Toofer must work with Tracy when the character becomes a success for Josh (Lonny Ross).  Jack secretly dates Condolezza Rice.  Toofer accuses Tracy of being racist when he uses the N-word.  As Liz makes her final decision about Dennis, Dennis makes his own move.

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“The Baby Show”

1.9       The Baby Show Airdate:  01/04/07

Cerie is getting married, and Liz worries she’s rushing into it.  Tracy demands Josh be fired for imitating him.  Jack faces a bad week with his mother, and Liz tries to keep out of his way.  Liz worries about getting older and considers having a baby…which Jenna tells everyone.

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“The Rural Juror”

1.10     The Rural Juror Airdate:  01/11/07

The Rural Juror is prepared for release, and Liz finds herself at odds with Jenna over her review of the movie.  Tracy finds he’s low on money and comes up with the Meat Machine to help make some extra cash:  “Meat is the new bread!”

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“The Head and the Hair”

1.11     The Head and the Hair Airdate:  01/18/07

Jack works as page as part of a business initiative and finds himself working for Kenneth.  Tracy realizes that his autobiography is due and struggles to write it in a day.  Liz finds herself going for an average guy she calls the Head (Brian McCann), but is asked out by the far more attracted man called the Hair (Peter Hermann).  Kenneth’s dream game show Gold Case shoots with John McEnroe.

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“Black Tie”

1.12     Black Tie Airdate:  02/01/07

Jack invites Liz to the black tie birthday bash of Prince Gerhardt Hapsburg (Paul Reubens)…leading to a run in with Jack’s wife Bianca (Isabella Rossellini).  Jenna crashes the event in the hopes of meeting a prince and despite Gerhardt’s condition, Jenna considers it.  Tracy tries to relax Pete and brings girls to help him write.

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“Up All Night”

1.13     Up All Night Airdate:  02/08/07

It is Valentine’s Day and Liz and the crew is forced to work all night despite a bout with food poisoning and a game of marry/boff/kill turns weird.  Jack discovers his wife Bianca wants to sever the tie forever and tries to celebrate his divorce with Tracy…leading to a hook-up with a prostitute (Rachel Dratch) from the Chinese restaurant.  Liz gets flowers from a secret admirer and tries to determine who it is.

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“The C Word”

1.14     The C Word Airdate:  02/15/07

Jack invites Tracy to a corporate golf outing to impress his boss Don Geiss (Rip Torn).  Kenneth finds himself paired with Grace Park (Charlyne Yi) at the tournament and tries to get past their awkward near kiss.  Liz hears J.D. Lutz (John Lutz) call her the C-word and realizes she might actually be one…leading to a kinder and gentler Liz.

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“Hard Ball”

1.15     Hard Ball Airdate:  02/22/07

Jack draws Liz into negotiation when Josh’s contract needs to re-upped, but finds himself battling Liz who wants to be Josh’s friend.  Tracy finds he has a new opening in his entourage and invites Kenneth to be part of it, but Kenneth exposes weaknesses in Tracy’s world.  Jenna makes an appearance in Maxim which leads to a misquote about the military and threatened boycott of NBC…leading to a Hardball appearance and a misguided apology attempt.

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“The Source Awards”

1.16     The Source Awards Airdate:  03/01/07

Jack finds his name on wine but realizes he must find a way to get rid of it when he tastes it.  Tracy discovers he is in a feud with Ridikolus (LL Cool J).  Liz dates a friend of Tracy’s named Steven Black (Wayne Brady) but is afraid to dump him to avoid being racist.  Jack tries to solve his wine problem and end the feud by getting Tracy to host the Source Awards.

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“The Fighting Irish”

1.17     The Fighting Irish Airdate:  03/08/07

Liz learns from Jack that she has to fire 10% of her staff.  Jack’s brother Eddie (Nathan Lane) comes to see Jack and reveals that his father has died.  Tracy learns that he should join a church to help in his legal case and tries to find a spiritual guide.  Liz meets her rival Liz Lemler (Anna Chlumsky) and learns that she could get Floyd (Jason Sudeikis) by firing her.  As Jack tries to get reconnected with his brothers and sisters, he tries to bring Eddie into the fold.

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“Fireworks”

1.18     Fireworks Airdate:  04/05/07

Devon Banks (Will Arnett) comes to visit from L.A., and Jack worries Banks is there to take his job…and learns that Devon has an attraction to Kenneth which he can use.  Tracy discovers a shocking detail about his heritage, and Toofer finds bad news about his ancestors.  Liz wonders if Floyd is a nut when she sees him going to church on a Tuesday but finds he has a darker problem.

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“Corporate Crush”

1.19     Corporate Crush Airdate:  04/12/07

Liz adjusts to her new relationship with Floyd, and Jack faces fallout for his firework special that terrified New York City.  Tracy tries to make a Thomas Jefferson biopic to honor his past and utilizes the crew to make it.  Jack finds himself involved with an art dealer with avian bone syndrome named Phoebe (Emily Mortimer) and strangely involved with Floyd.

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“Cleveland”

1.20     Cleveland Airdate:  04/19/07

Liz finds Jack is moving quickly ahead with his marriage to Phoebe despite her concerns.  When Bill Cosby attacks Tracy for being a stereotype, Tracy decides the Black Crusaders are making an example of him.  When Floyd is passed up for a job, he considers moving back to Cleveland.  Tracy’s on the run…and the show could be in trouble.

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“Hiatus”

1.21     Hiatus Airdate:  04/26/07

Liz finds herself at odds with Jack over Phoebe and deals with Floyd’s decision to move to Cleveland.  Liz and Jack try to locate Tracy but Kenneth hides Tracy with his cousin Jesse (Sean Hayes) in Pennsylvania.  Jack’s mother Colleen (Elaine Stritch) is in town and finds Jack is more suited to Liz.

Related Links:

30 Rock—Season 2 Review and Complete Episode Guide

30 Rock—Season 3 Review and Complete Episode Guide

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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