30 Rock: Season Two

by Lauren Gitlin October 8, 2008 9:45 am
30 Rock: Season Two

Don't step to the Emmys, y'all. Every once in a while, they get it right. Case in point: the genius that is 30 Rock. Now I won't lie -- pound for pound, I much preferred Season One to Season Two. Not only was there a butt-ton more of it, it was slightly more outrageous than Season Two. But hey, I'm sort of splitting hairs because all 30 Rock is good 30 Rock. Sort of like pizza... even when it's not great, it still kicks ass. I paraphrase, of course.

Now on to the important stuff. Assuming you will be purchasing the Season Two DVD set, here's what you'll be getting:

Audio Commentary
Much like they did with Season One, each episode in this collection has a different commentator (or commentators). Initially, I sort of felt that since this is Tina Fey's baby, it would have been nice to have her involved in all of them, but the truth is that she's not the greatest when it comes to providing insight into the making of the show. Like, you really want/expect her to share funny anecdotes about particular scenes or reveal the inspiration for certain ideas, but there's none of that. Instead you get more along the lines of, "Oh, for that episode I got to eat a sundae AND a sandwich!" The only juicy bit we get is dirt on how being executive producer of the show that she also stars in affords her the right to veto scenes where her ass looks big. There are semi-decent commentaries from Jack McBrayer and Jane Krakowski, and a damned funny one courtesy of Will Arnett, who takes a little time to warm up. The hands-down best commentator who makes up for the all mediocre ones and then some is one Fred Armisen, who guest starred as the neighbor Liz Lemon mistakes for a terrorist in "Somebody to Love." Seriously, him for president.

Deleted Scenes
Meh, nothing much here, honestly. They're few and not all that impressive, which I suppose is what happens when there's a writers' strike -- considering how few actual episodes there were this season, it's not all that surprising that there's a dearth of extra material for us to savor. Alas.

"Cooter" Table Read
Awesome, mostly due to the presence of Alec Baldwin, who is sort of absent elsewhere in the bonus material. I guess because he's a big, fancy, hot-shot movie star who can't be bothered with this nonsense. And I say that without sarcasm. Even after that whole yelly cellphone message controversy, I heart this man. I'm not familiar enough with DVD packages to know what's normal and what's not, but I found it rad that there was a split screen so that you could watch the actors reading their lines and follow along with the script, because it really gives you a sense of how they interpret their lines.

30 Rock Live at the UCB Theater
In order to raise fundage for the poor P.A.s who were out of work during the writers' strike, Tina organized a live performance of an episode of 30 Rock that hadn't yet aired at the Upright Citizens Brigade in NYC, and I've got to say, this is some cool shit. The quality is heinous, but it gives it a cool, boot-leggy quality that true obsessives can take pride in. And it's awesome to see the players effectively going back to their improv/theater roots. A word of advice: The intro takes forever. Skip ahead to 8:17 to get to the real meat of this feature. Hotness.

Tina hosts SNL
Despite appearances, this is not merely the episode from last year where Tina hosted. It's a full behind-the-scenes deal that takes us through the process of preparing to host, from meeting with the writers to snippets of the table read, to backstage the night of, spliced with footage from the actual show. Not super-fascinating, but certainly not the worst way to spend eight minutes of your life.

The Academy of Arts and Sciences presents An Evening With 30 Rock
A panel discussion moderated by none other than my imaginary boyfriend Brian Williams! Sort of feels like a college seminar, so if you're into that sort of thing, by all means. Did I mention Brian Williams? Squeeeeee! I guess if you were to embrace my college seminar analogy, that'd make him the foxy, distinguished professor. I'm warming to this feature more and more!

Like what you hear? Then buy it now!




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