30 Rock Season 3

30 Rock Season 3
Tina Fey, writer, creator and star of sitcom 30 Rock, had quite an amazing year in 2008, from the flashpoint of her Sarah Palin impression on SNL to the ongoing creative success of 30 Rock itself. It's an amazing high wire act this show is pulling off, a balance between grounded, somewhat realistic characters (Fey herself as Liz Lemon) to the scenery chewing antics of self-absorbed co-workers (Alec Baldwin's head honcho boss, Jane Krakowski's deluded TV star) to the pure silliness run amok of Tracey Morgan and Jack McBrayer as an NBC page. One moment relatively grounded (budget cutbacks, ratings, employee politics), surreal the next (Tracy and Jenna donning white- and black-face, respectively, Jack and Liz turning into Muppet versions of themselves), this formula should by all rights be tipped over the edge by the show's unstoppable propensity for high profile guest stars. But here's the Will & Grace of it: 30 Rock employs said guests better than possibly any sitcom in history, whether it's Oprah appearing in an Ambien-induced vision, Don Draper trying to date Liz like she's a normal, socially adjusted adult or a huge slew of bigwigs showing up for a one-guy-needs-a-kidney benefit song. But not every spot works beautifully and for every inspired idea (like Alan Alda as Jack's too-liberal dad) there's a dud like Steve Martin, whose reclusive billionaire wooing Liz was a season low point. The DVDs, while better than the first season offering, remain perfunctory at best, sadly, relying too much on the "wackiness" of characters like McBrayer's Kenneth, a character best served in smaller doses. While there are featurettes like a season finale table read and a good look at constructing the benefit song episode there's still a "wacky fun on set! For the cameras!" feel to much of it that feels too "for the DVD" forced. That said, 30 Rock remains one of the funniest shows on TV right now. Plus: commentaries, deleted scenes, more. (Universal)