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September 3, 2015

30 Rock: SeinfeldVision (season premiere)

by Bob Sassone, posted Oct 4th 2007 9:01PM
Alec Baldwin, Jerry Seinfeld (S02E01) Seinfeld: "What if I just buy NBC and turn it into the biggest Lane Bryant in midtown?"
Jack: "Ha! You're going to buy NBC? Oh, right, like you have $4 million just lying around..."

The above bit of dialogue is one of the many reasons I love this show. They could have gone for the easy joke, which would have been to play off of the vast wealth that Jerry Seinfeld has and just say a figure like $4 billion or $20 billion or whatever real amount it would take to buy NBC. But they go one step further, cleverly saying $4 million, thereby insulting NBC, the very network this show runs on. That's great stuff. No wonder NBC renewed this show. Besides being a new classic, then get to look self-deprecating while having what amounts to a half hour infomercial for the network every Thursday night!

The summer is over and everyone gets back to work on TGS with Tracy Jordan. Liz has broken up with boyfriend Floyd and Jack has recovered from his heart attack (funny line about Liz not talking to Jack since last spring, a clever bit that illustrates how ludicrous the timeline of a TV series can be). Liz isn't really over Floyd, but she can't dwell on it. This is going to be "her year." The first thing she has to do is deal with Jenna, who has gained a ton of weight from starring in "Mystic Pizza - The Musical" on stage. She had to eat 32 slices of pizza each week. I know how she feels.

Jack has a bigger problem: his great idea of taking all of NBC's footage of Seinfeld and digitally inserting the comedian into all of NBC's shows ("SeinfeldVision!") has hit a snag: Seinfeld has found out about it and isn't happy. (I'm waiting for NBC to actually try this, and I'm surprised they didn't do it as a cross promotion this month.) Seinfeld is obviously upset by this, but he actually gives Jack a chance to pitch the idea. Jack asks him what shows Jerry likes and maybe they can insert him into that one. Jerry says, "I like Lost, is that you guys?" The look of sheer pain on Jack's face is priceless, and probably mirrors the pained look on the faces of real NBC execs when they think of the ABC hit.

But the two men come to an agreement: NBC can do "SeinfeldVision" for one night, as long as they promote Seinfeld's new Bee Movie on The Today Show, with Al Roker in a bee outfit. This is better than Jack's idea shown in the picture above.

Speaking of outfits, we get to see Tina Fey in a wedding dress in this episode. Is she hot or what?

This was a really funny beginning to the second season, and the Seinfeld guest appearance doesn't seem like stunt casting at all (the kind you saw on Will and Grace all the time the last few years), it seems natural. It took me a while to warm up to 30 Rock, but now that I have I'm serious when I say I think it's a new classic. NewsRadio is one of my favorite shows, and this reminds me a lot of that, but with the added bonus of being about the world of television.

What NBC show would you like to see Seinfeld inserted into?
Journeyman96 (22.2%)
ER119 (27.5%)
The Singing Bee74 (17.1%)
Passions143 (33.1%)

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Jeffrey Lipsey

One of the best episodes I've seen in quite some time.

"Finally, I get to watch a real comedy. NBC has found (and capitalized upon) the perfect formula:

1) get a bunch of comedians
2) get real writers
3) ???
4) The Office and 30 Rock"


October 08 2007 at 6:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

"Oh no, did a Korean person die?"

October 07 2007 at 3:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

@nick: "And am I the only one who finds Jane Krakowski totally unfunny AND grating?"

No, I do. I liked her a little bit this week but usually I can't stand her. I also find Tracy's Tracy annoying- though I think he's supposed to be. However, the rest of the characters make up for Jane and Tracy, Alec Baldwin and Tina Fey especially.

Re. the reality shows that Jack mentioned: Fox may just pick it up. I thought of that scene yesterday evening when I came across "The next soap star" (or whatever the exact title is) on TV. It was horrifying.

Liz in a wedding dress, on stage, eating take out was so Liz.

October 07 2007 at 8:58 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I agree with Victor. I had also fallen in love with this show thru DVDs. So, I forced my husband to watch and we just sat there watching and nothing was funny! It was a disappointment.

October 07 2007 at 3:12 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Some of the jokes work better written out than they came across, because they go by too quickly. But overall, it was a strong premiere. I'm amazed no one's mentioned Alec Baldwin's great moment inhaling the french fries in the poster on Liz's wall. That sort of throwaway absurdity is why I love this show so much. I found the "Jenna is fat" jokes to be way too easy for this show. And so is Jack's assistant supposed to be like the Simpsons' Smithers, trying to hold his boss's hand? That could be interesting in next week's show, when Will Arnett's gay executive returns (maybe he can be a semi-regular).

October 06 2007 at 1:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

By the Hammer of Thor this was a fine premiere!

October 05 2007 at 11:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Bite the hand that feeds it, indeed! I'm looking forward to the episode where the public thinks NBC has gone out of business because they can't find them on iTunes....

October 05 2007 at 6:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Thats some positive spin from TVGuide! Consider a sweeps like stunt for the premiere came in FOURTH in its TIMESLOT. Funniest thing about 30rock!

October 05 2007 at 5:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jeff N.

From TV Guide Online:

" 30 Rock returned to 7.38 mil, a 53 percent surge from its first-season finale. ("SeinfeldVision" does work!) "

October 05 2007 at 4:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I agree with Victor, everything was very odd last nite.

First thing, the cast looked a little beat-up. Alec Baldwin was, to my eyes, very bloated: his face was all sweaty and red, and his hair kept flopping everywhere like he was Matt Foley on a bender. That sounds obnoxious, I know, but it's out of character. Jack is supposed to be the cool, prissy exec with disdain for all, but instead I thought he really was going to have a heart attack. Tracy looked really emanciated and Tina's hair could have definetley used a second take in the make-up chair (it was like moist bed-head.)

Second thing, where were all those great lines for the supporting cast. Yeah the "chocolate rain" reference was cool but Twofer didn't say anything. Where was Dr. Spaceman, where Rachel Drecht's "horrible little" cat lady. In the last season when they would mention someone like Roker, you would have seen him in the next frame shaking his little bee-butt singing a jingle...but no Roker or Flyod for that matter!! That's what was so great about the first season, it was like watching a live-action Family Guy or Simpsons, with strong stories for the main players, but always accompanied by the constant clip of other, smaller characters (Dot Com, Hot Dog Guy, Elizabeth Taylor, Lutz!!!!).

Lastly, WTF was up with that lighting: it was like Morning in a America all day!! Liz's office looked like Sigourney Weaver's refrigerator in Ghostbusters. I kept thinking, is the Kellog's Raisin Bran Sun outside the window waiting to greet the cast!

I know this is a rant, and I am sure many of you won't agree, but I am only upset because I loved the first season and this was a bad and strange start. To quote the god herself Liz Lemon,"it was kind of a train wreck Jenna."

October 05 2007 at 2:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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