It may be one of the most anticipated shows of the new fall line-up, but I’m worried about “30 Rock.” Yesterday, I saw the pilot and I'm not sure what to think about it. I loved it, but I'm not sure if audiences will. NBC's narcissistic programming (Studio 60, 30 Rock) may turn away audiences who really don't care about the behind the scenes world of television as much as network executives and writers think they do. It's also possible that the show could be too smart for audiences. Especially male audiences. As we all know, men are often threatened by a woman with brains. Throw in beauty and you can almost guarantee you're not going home with her. So what is man's answer to feeling threatened by that powerful combination of looks + smarts? Revert to an adolescent mindset and insult that unattainable bitch. Maxim has done exactly that, with their recent list of TV's least appealing women. Tina Fey came in at #3.
So what does this mean for NBC? Probably that your average frat guy won't tune in for Tina Fey (don't worry network execs, he will tune in to see Dane Cook host SNL's premier). That's what Tracy Morgan is for. And he does a great job on the show, in fact he's probably the most likeable character on it. But I don't know how he can honestly say in interviews that his character is not a spoof of Martin Lawrence. When you see the pilot, with one scene where Tracy has a mental breakdown in the middle of L.A. traffic, and another scene where Tracy dons a fat black woman suit for a hit movie, you'll know what I'm talking about.
I was upset to see that Rachel Dratch's role was given to Jane Krakowski, even though she does an excellent job with it. I'm not sure if this was Rachel's decision or NBC's. She still ends up with a sizeable role in the pilot as a cat wrangler. Judah Friedlander does a good job playing the same character he's played in every single movie and TV show he's been in. I guess NBC was scared audiences wouldn't recognize him without his stupid hat, but it's been changed from "World Champion" to "Ninja Expert." The only thing that could've made it more annoying is if it had a reference to pirates.
UCB fans will be happy to see that Scott Adsit has a huge role. John Lutz and Michael Delaney can also be seen on the show, although neither have any lines in the first episode. But the breakout UCB star is Jack McBrayer, who plays an NBC page. With his success in Talladega Nights and now this, the future is looking pretty bright for him.