Thanks to platforms like Netflix and Hulu, there are a whole slew of great options for people who enjoy a good binge watch. A lot of the shows people talk about as being “binge-worthy” tend to be newer and still airing episodes, even if it is only a few each year. However, there are a lot of really great shows that have ended their run a while ago that are worth revisiting. Being a certified (or certifiable depending on who you ask) TV junkie, I have a slew of old shows that I am excited to present as options to add your queue! So, to kick off our new retro binge column, let’s start with a good choice for comedy…
This week, I offer you three reasons you should make 30 Rock your next binge-obsession. Originally aired on NBC in 2006, the showed ended its run as part of the Thursday night lineup in 2013. Thankfully it is easily found on Netflix with all seasons available.
Reason #1: Tina Fey
Personally, she (Tina Fey) is who I want to be when I grow up, but honestly, I am definitely more like her 30 Rock personna, Liz. Insanely funny and charming, yet incredibly dorky and absurd, Fey’s character, Liz Lemon, is the creator, writer and producer of a sketch comedy show called, ‘The Girlie Show’ on NBC that stars her best friend, Jenna (played by the hilariously funny Jane Krakowski). Things are plugging along for Liz and TGS until the new boss Jack Donaghy (played by Alec Baldwin) insists she hire loose canon actor Tracy Jordan (Tracy Morgan) and it shakes up the entire show.
Reason #2: The Supporting Cast
Aside from the principle cast of Fey, Baldwin and Morgan, the rest of the actors and writers who take part on TGS are equally as quirky, funny and down-right crazy. From the NBC Page Kenneth, to the guys in Tracy Jordan’s entourage, there isn’t a character that is wasted. When putting the show together, Tina Fey and NBC did an amazing job assembling a group of comedians that not only serve as writers, but as actors playing writers on the show. Somehow this combination lends an authenticity and level of humor that has been unmatched on television since it went off air a few years back.
Reason #3: Jack Donaghy and NBC
Part of what I really loved about 30 Rock, besides the over abundance of pop culture references and brilliant dialogue, was the character of Jack Donaghy, the “Head of East Coast Television and Microwave Oven Programming” at General Electric (GE). As his life becomes intertwined with Liz Lemon’s and by extension, TGS, he becomes one of the most entertaining part of the ensemble as he attempts to take over not only the programming at NBC, but asserts himself as Liz’s mentor and life coach.
No matter what the reasons are, this is a show that is easily watched for hours on end. At times ridiculous and corny, and yet has a way to make you still feel good and laugh… a lot. 30 Rock is definitely one that should be added to your Netflix queue!
Let me know your picks for a perfect retro binge and maybe we’ll feature them in an upcoming column! See you next week for our next retro-binge pick from the realm of Sci-Fi.
Writer of stories, watcher of TV. I am an avid horror and sci-fi junkie who’s been riding with the Winchesters since their dad went on a hunting trip in 2005. Current obsessions are The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, The X-Files and The Dark Tower movie. Find me on twitter – @jryan_author – for your daily dose of sarcasm and poems about my unnatural love of coffee.