Pop culture from Southern California and beyond.

The Roundup: Goodbye "30 Rock," it's been fun

This Thursday marks the series finale of NBC's "30 Rock"

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!


Coverage of the 2012 Peabody Awards

Thomas Attila Lewis

Amy Poehler, Aubrey Plaza, and Aziz Ansari of NBC's "Parks and Recreation" at the 2012 Peabody Awards, Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, New York, May 21, 2012


The 2012 ceremony of the Peabody Awards was held this Monday at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City. The awards are bestowed in 2011 so, technically, these are the 2011 awards, leave it up to a bunch of intellectuals to complicate things. We spoke with "Portlandia" co-creators Carrie Brownstein and Jonathan Krisel who gave huge props to KPCC in the above video.

In the videos below: we ask "Portlandia" co-creator/co-star Fred Armisen if he will be bringing one of his favorite bands, cult punkers No Means No, on the show next season; Nikolaj Coster-Waldau gave us some insight on his "Game of Thrones" character Jaime Lannister; Retta, Jim O'Heir, and Nick Offerman of "Parks and Recreation" give us some laughs; and Alex Trebek of "Jeopardy" strongly hints that he would like to be a corpse in a TV crime series.


The Roundup: 'Community' returns, 'Frozen Planet' premieres, Web series & more

"Frozen Planet"

Discovery Networks

This Sunday at 8pm, Discovery premieres its beautiful new series, "Frozen Planet"

The big news in TV this week is the return of "Community," the little show that could, to NBC this Thursday [*Update: Comedy Central has announced that they will begin airing reruns of "Community" in 2013 - also on Comedy Central this week is the return of "South Park," but perhaps more importantly, "Ugly Americans," beautifully drawn, surreal, and brilliantly funny, Wednesday at 10:30pm]. Sunday, Discovery launches its spectacular new series, "Frozen Planet," at 8pm. This is another beautifully shot show exploring the nature of the colder parts of our planet, both above and below the surface. Kind of ironic that this show hits the screens on the tail end of one of the warmest winters on record in North America. Sunday also brings the season finale of AMC's "The Walking Dead," a must watch, although it might be difficult to top the episode from two nights ago which had major developments.