TV viewers who appreciate quality will bid farewell to NBC's "30 Rock" this Thursday night, with an hour-long series finale. The critically acclaimed series never ranked above #69 in its 7 seasons despite an impressive cavalcade of guest stars that included everyone from Matt Damon to Al Gore to Jennifer Anniston. "30 Rock" always looked different, not only because of it's always-excellent cinematography but because it was one of very few sitcoms filmed in New York City, a refreshing break from LA sound stages and predictable locations (the beach, The Grove, Disneyland, etc.). "30 Rock" was probably the most meta series out there that wasn't on the G4 network, dropping deep pop culture, technology, business, and political references left and right in frenetic walk-and-talk exchanges between any combination of the series' characters. The show heralded Alec Baldwin's arrival as a comedic actor (people are forgetting his turn in films like Beetlejuice, etc.), and cemented Tina Fey's status as the premiere comedy visionary who happened to be female, at least until Lena Dunham came along. Sometimes too frenetic, almost always over-scored (the series composer happens to be married to Fey), the show has been fearless, criticizing the various owners of NBC over the years as well as performing episodes live (repeatedly for both East and West coast time zones). It's been a fun ride, ridiculously underappreciated by an American public who chose to watch God-knows-what on Thursday nights - farewell!
Comedy Notes Must See: Dan St. Germain of Comedy Central's "John Oliver's New York Stand Up Show" headlines the Hollywood Improv on Friday, February 1, at 8pm. Also this week, Doug Loves Movies at Nerdmelt, Thursday, January 31, 8pm.
DVR This! Tonight/Tuesday - "Raising Hope" (Fox, 8-9pm), "Happy Endings" (ABC, 9-10pm), "Justified" (FX, 10pm), "Chelsea Lately" (E!, 11pm) Emmy Rossum, Ross Mathews, Arden Myrin, Ryan Stout. Wednesday - "Nature" Attenborough's Life Stories: Understanding the Natural World (KOCE/PBS, 8pm) David Attenborough recalls the scientists and breakthroughs that helped shape his career, "The Americans" (FX, 10pm) series premiere, "Late Show With David Letterman" (CBS, 11:35pm) Actor Jason Bateman; actress Alison Brie; Shovels & Rope performs. Thursday - "30 Rock" (NBC, 8pm) series finale, "Archer" (FX, 10pm), "Legit" (FX, 10:30pm), "Conan" (TBS, 11pm) Occupy Conan, "Chelsea Lately" (E!, 11pm) Kristen Bell, Brody Stevens, Loni Love, Matt Braunger, "The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson" (CBS, 12:35am) Actress Rashida Jones; actress Julie Gonzalo. Friday - I Am a Fugitive From a Chain Gang (1932) (TCM, 7:15pm) An innocent man is sent to a prison farm, where he endures the dehumanizing effects of a cruel criminal justice system; "Real Time With Bill Maher" (HBO, 10pm), "Late Night With Jimmy Fallon" (NBC, 12:35am)Actor Jason Bateman, actress Zosia Mamet, Andrea Bocelli performs. Saturday - The Maltese Falcon (1941)(TCM, 7pm) Private eye Sam Spade (Humphrey Bogart) encounters sundry characters (Mary Astor, Peter Lorre), all seeking a coveted statuette. Sunday - Super Bowl XLVII (CBS, 3:30pm) The San Francisco 49ers vs the Baltimore Ravens, live from New Orleans . Monday - Bullitt (1968)(TCM, 9:15pm) A San Francisco police detective (Steve McQueen) gets hold of a mob-witness/corruption case and won't let go, "Chelsea Lately" (E!, 11pm) Brad Wollack; Jen Kirkman; TJ Miller.
Download This Podcast picks for the week: A great new episode of The Long Shot Podcast with guest internet dating "expert" and comedian Brian Donovan; David Koechner from Anchorman and "The Office" guests on FitzDogRadio; a very Huell Howser episode of Ari Shaffir's Skeptic Tank as Ari samples the culinary fares available on a roadtrip from San Francisco to Los Angeles with comedy companion Brent Weinback; Yoshi Obayashi, contributor to Dave Attell's Showtime sextravaganza, "Dave's Old Porn," guests on "Chelsea Lately" regular, Brody Stevens' Festival of Friendship podcast.