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"The Beginning of the End" of 30 Rock

30 Rock poster

Written by : published Monday 8th October 2012

With the final season of NBC's 30 Rock upon us, it's hard not to try to assign importance into everything that happens, looking for clues as to what the last arcs of the series will be, and trying to figure out how it will all end. This week's season premiere, "The Beginning of the End," leave ample opportunity for this (almost completely frivolous) exercise.

At the start of the episode, there is a fake out with Liz (Tina Fey) and a baby. Is this just a gag? The revelation that Liz doesn't have a baby the last we'll ever see of this story? Or is her life just in a really good place, and we can see how she wants things to be, which is what she will be working towards?

Jack's (Alec Baldwin) motivations are far more clear. Liz quickly figures out that he is trying to tank NBC so that he can be fully in charge of the network. It's not a terrible plan, but as anyone who has ever seen The Producers knows, one must be careful with this strategy? What is things backfire, and as terrible as the shows Jack is making are, including one in which he plays God, but can't explain the rules of God, what if they prove popular? As with the real life NBC, being a last place network, there isn't much to lose.

So is this how TGS will meet its demise? A victim of Jack's machinations? Doomed to be forced off the air as it is replaced by even more drivel? Or will the show within a show prove terrible enough to fit within Jack's new business model? Or maybe Jack will have the chance to truly rebrand the network the way he would like, and TGS just don't fit into that outlook? Though Jack will surely have a job offer for Liz to replace the one she will lose.

As serious as Jack might get, there is plenty of goofiness left in 30 Rock, still funny after all of these years. Tracy (Tracy Morgan)  and Hazel (Kristen Schaal) are warring over Kenneth (Jack McBrayer), Jonathan (Maulik Pancholy) is back at his desk, and Jenna (Jane Krakowski) is going to be her own maid of honor, after Liz fails to live up to the task. All of this is a recipe for more over-the-top shenanigans of the sort that has kept viewers tuning in year after year.

Trying to end any series is hard, especially one as original and creative as 30 Rock. There will have to be a sentimentality to it, and yet, 30 Rock is much more a comedy than a drama, never taking itself too seriously. "The Beginning of the End" demonstrates an awareness of this, and is definitely moving in the proper direction.

30 Rock airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.

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About the author JeromeWetzelTV


Jerome Wetzel is a huge fan of stories, in both books and television. He writes TV reviews and fiction. He currently posts articles for TheTVKing, Seat42F, and BlogCritics, as well as his own personal blog, as well as writing fiction. His website is www.jeromewetzel.com Follow him on twitter @JeromeWetzelTV

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