Last year the 49ers won their first game and then lost their next 5 en route to a 4-12 season. Sure, everything looked rosy after that first game with that big, shiny W up there, but you just couldn't be sure if deep down inside they still needed another year to not suck. Unfortunately, I'm getting that same feeling with 30 Rock.
And after looking at the comments from the NBC blog, I'd say that most viewers are with me on this one. Two out of the first three comments on NBC's 30 Rock blog were downright mean spirited while several others had more praise for Tina's past accomplishments than her current work.
So why so much negativity?
Supposedly this is a comedy show that takes place behind the scenes of a comedy show. Unfortunately, it runs a lot like the new SNL episodes; funny in brief moments followed by uncomfortable pauses where you have to sit and wait for the next laugh. You see that Dane Cook SNL episode? Then you know what I'm talking about.
Obviously this is a new medium for Tina to be involved in so I want to give her the benefit of the doubt. Still, the pacing and the funny (yes, "the funny") was uneven at best. I had a couple laugh out loud moments ("Here's that hemorrhoid cream you asked for"), several strained chuckles and a gasp when my Sprite went down the wrong way but that had nothing to do with the show so I probably shouldn't even have mentioned it.
But still, there's room for hope.
Alec Baldwin has proven his comedy chops at SNL (and also State and Main - or am I the only person to have seen this gem?) and he's got several good lines in this project. His character is already clearly established as the gruff, take-charge executive without a real clue how to get the job done or talk to anyone without being insulting.
But more than anything, the best thing going for this show is Tina Fey. She proved that she can write a joke with the best of them (Mean Girls) and she even showed that she could deliver them too (SNL Weekend Update). Now it's time to prove she can do it all over again.
Tina does some freak dancing at a strip club. Also, Tracy Morgan pauses in the middle of a heart-to-heart to urinate in public.