“30 Rock’s” great finale: “These were the best days of my flerm”
“30 Rock” infamously began the same autumn as another NBC series set behind the scenes of a sketch comedy show: Aaron Sorkin’s much-trumpeted, totally pretentious “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip.” “Studio 60” blew a lot of hot air about television, about how it was a glorious medium with a storied history that had been degraded by partisanship and celebrity and evangelicals and could really only be rescued by a dedicated band of writers and comedians who knew what good was. It was cancelled after one season.
“30 Rock,” in its own way, agreed that TV was an occasionally glorious and largely degraded medium. But instead of pontificating about it, its dedicated band of writers and comedians spent seven years mocking, skewering, filleting, and satirizing TV and the TV business, cleverly laying open its stupidity and venality in thousands upon thousands of brilliant jokes from “MILF Island” to NBC’s just recently revealed policy of giving its employees flush buddies to save water. “30 Rock” was honest — or over-the-top surreal and ridiculous, if you prefer — about TV’s dark side, but by its very existence it endlessly refuted, just like Kenneth the Page, that crap was all there could be.