30 Rock Season Seven

30 Rock Season Seven
9
One of the high-water marks of network comedy brings its seven-year run to a close with guns blazing. Over an all-too brief 12 episodes, the mad-capped exploits of the zany personalities behind Saturday Night Live-spoofing variety show TGS with Tracy Jordan race towards a satisfying resolution, spewing sly observations, irreverent asides and absurd non-sequiturs with as much free-wheeling zeal as the series has ever mustered. Liz Lemon handles the transition from focusing on her professional life to embracing marriage and motherhood with her famous blend of neurotic fussiness and sardonic wit — opportune circumstances for a parting gift from the mother of all eye-rolls. Among the other primary players, uber-republican Jack Donaghy (Alec Baldwin) finds loneliness at the top of the corporate ladder, while Jenna Maroney discovers novelty fame with a Jimmy Buffet rip-off album, Kenneth is given the opportunity to live out his ultimate fantasy and Tracy Jordan faces the terrifying reality that he may have become the most stable member of the gang. Even characters typically treated as punch lines, such as Lutz and Pete, are given a measure of closure before the stage lights fade. Few of these farewells are dignified, but 30 Rock has never been a show that championed dignity. Quite the opposite, in fact; Tina Fey's brave little brainchild has always been at its snide best when revelling in the ridiculous and appalling whims of extreme personalities with entitlement issues. Seeing as this is the fantastic finale of a series with a devoted fan base, it's a bit disappointing that the DVD collection isn't more robustly populated with bonus content. The first disc contains commentary on two episodes: one with writer Tracey Wigfield and producer Tom Ceraulo on "Mazel Tov, Dummies!" and another with writer Colleen McGuiness and an old buddy of Tina Fey's, TV Guide Magazine's Damian Holbrook. Both are reasonably engaging, but lack the punch of the show's many talented performers. To partially remedy this, Jane Krakowski shows up to talk with episode director and man of many hats (composer, executive producer, Fey's husband) Jeff Richmond during "A Goon's Deed" on the second disc. It's a hoot, at times, but fans will likely get the most out of Tina Fey's commentary with writer/producer Robert Carlock for the big two-part series finale, the magnificently titled "Hogcock!/Last Lunch." Filling out the special features are a handful of lacklustre deleted scenes, a hit-and-miss collection of animated skits called "The Donaghy Files" and a studio tour with Fey that's understandably a bit nostalgic, but still packed with candid anecdotes and a few final pearls of wisdom from the hilariously cynical writer's deep bag of uncomfortably honest insights. (Universal)