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May 08 , 2008

Quicklet on 30 Rock Season 2



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Crops in Pots

There are few things more rewarding than picking your own homegrown ingredients for a salad, pasta dish or stew. The flavour of freshly harvested produce is far superior to anything you can buy in the supermarket. What's more, you have the satisfaction knowing that it was your own handiwork, and you're able to control whether or not to use…

30 Rock emerged from its first season into a changing comedy world. New leaders like Louis CK and Patton Oswalt were taking the standup world by storm. Even the pop-star status of Dane Cook, often reviled by hardcore comedy fans for his unadventurous material and impersonal style, represented a culture thinking about comedy as an essential need. This culture thought about comedy performers as distinct, individual voices to be followed loyally.

On television, new shows like The Sarah Silverman Program and The Naked Trucker and T-Bones Show debuted on Comedy Central. Silvermans show, in particular, was crammed with longtime alt comedy favorites like Brian Posehn, Jay Johnston, and Steve Agee. It was produced in part by Rob Schrab, creator of the cult classic comic book Scud: The Disposable Assassin.

At the cinema, The Simpsons, once the standard-bearer for an advancing vanguard of hip, post-modern, ironic, anti-establishment comedy, completed its journey into the mainstream by releasing one of the top-grossing films of 2007. Oswalt received his first major motion picture starring role in Ratatouille, a movie which ended up sweeping the major awards ceremonies in the Best Animated Film category.


Jonathan Nathan is a writer, an editor, and a comedian living in San Francisco. His work has appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle, California Northern, The Rumpus, McSweeney's Internet Tendency, BeyondChron, the Hutchinson News, and other publications. He's written about everything from politics to philosophy, from sports to cinema, from drugs to thugs.


One of the elements that Tina Fey and other creative minds behind 30 Rock sought to bring more to the forefront in the second season of the program was the idea of the strong recurrent subplot. While narrative elements had certainly appeared and reappeared throughout the shows freshman season, they had been decidedly in the background. That changed in Season 2, as a very clear throughline emerged as the prominent focal point of the show: Jack Donaghys attempts to rise in the corporate ranks at General Electric.

At the end of the first season, Donaghy had suffered a heart attack brought on by issues in his personal life stemming from conflicts with everyone in his life from his mother to his girlfriend to Liz Lemon. He comes back strong in the premiere of the second season, having had a winning offseason as a television executive. He and Lemon are both certain that this will be their year. Donaghy, in fact, is quite sure that he has a shot at becoming the next chairman of GE. The current head of the company, Don Geiss, has been sending signals that he plans to retire soon, and Donaghy believes he has a strong chance at becoming his hand-picked replacement.

However, Donaghy is thwarted by his old nemesis from the first season, Devon Banks. Banks, a gay man, has connived a brilliant plan. He narrowly worked his way through a pray the gay away program, Banks has seduced Geisss probably mentally challenged daughter, and is preparing to marry into the Geiss family. Its a smart move, and one that keeps Donaghy on his toes throughout the season. Banks and Donaghy trade jabs and blows back and forth throughout the season, and although its clear that Geiss favors Donaghy as his replacement, tragedy inevitably strikes.


Quicklet on 30 Rock Season 2

+ Troubles Brewing: A Sophomore Slump?

+ Tina Fey: A Life in Comedy

+ Main Characters

+ Key Terms

+ ...and much more

30 Rock Season 2

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