30 Rock

Why So Many TV Shows Peak in Season 3

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“’30 Rock’ Was a Writers’ Show”: Judah Friedlander on Frank Rossitano, ‘American Splendor,’ and the ‘Wet Hot American Summer’ Prequel

It frankly struck me as a little odd that the makers of Ping Pong Summer were sending out Judah Friedlander — the eccentric standup and co-star of 30 Rock, American Splendor, and many more fine films and television shows — to promote the movie, since one of my few real complaints about the sweet ‘80s nostalgia comedy is that there’s not enough of him in it. Then again, Friedlander has established himself as something of a comedy gunslinger; he comes in to a project like this, does a quick, funny, weird bit, and gets out. “I do enjoy that,” he told me in a recent phone interview. “I’ve probably done about 25 or so movies, and I do like just coming in and going for it and doing it, you know.” … Read More

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Why ‘The Mindy Project’ Fails at Everything It Attempts

When Danny and Mindy got together a few episodes ago on The Mindy Project, the reaction from fans rivaled that of New Girl’s Nick and Jess shippers. The difference between the two audiences, of course, was that New Girl fans had earned the Nick and Jess relationship after two seasons that did not rely solely on the “will they or won’t they?” tease to carry them through. Moreover, New Girl fans were given an opportunity to actually enjoy the relationship before — spoiler alert — Nick and Jess broke up. Mindy and Danny shippers got one perfect scene of romantic bliss (the airplane kiss) and a couple episodes rife with drama before the split. One episode later, Mindy is back to guest-star flavors of the week, like New Girl’s Schmidt in tonight’s episode, and Danny is hooking up with Peter’s sister. A show has not made me feel so much like I’m doing dating in New York wrong since Sex and the City. Hell, even Girls gets it right more often than Mindy. … Read More

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5 New-to-Netflix Streaming Movies and TV Episodes Made for St. Patrick’s Day

St. Patrick’s Day can be seen in one of two ways: either it’s a glorious celebration of our nation’s connection to and history with Ireland, or it’s a terrible excuse for binge alcoholics to practice while wearing green and watching a parade. If you’re looking to drown out the bagpipes and the sounds of the Dropkick Murphys, avoid all that Irish nonsense (thanks, 30 Rock) with these five Netflix choices that will bring laughter and maybe tears in equal Irish measure. Check them out after the jump, and follow the title links to watch them right now. … Read More

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10 Memorable Moments From Broadway Legend Elaine Stritch’s Career

Elaine Stritch might be Broadway’s greatest living legend. At 89 years old, the star has appeared on international stages in classic productions of Company, Bus Stop, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, and Mame, as well as a popping up in acclaimed performances in Woody Allen’s September and as Jack Donaghy’s mother on 30 Rock (a role for which she won an Emmy). Today sees the release of a documentary about her long, storied career called Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me. A loving and touching portrait of the actor as she looks back at her life’s work and prepares to retire to her hometown of Detroit, the film features interviews from frequent collaborators and friends such as Alec Baldwin, Tina Fey, John Turturro, and the late James Gandolfini. To celebrate the release, here’s a look back at some of the best moments from her versatile career on stage and screen. … Read More

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10 Deceitful TV Title Sequences

Across the interminability of their runs, TV shows are known to digress and regress into diverse forms of badness, but their credit sequences, for better or for worse, remain relatively unchanged. This means that for every five-season show, we’re watching the same “I just figured out iMovie!” stream-of-consciousness splice-fests hundreds of times. Because of this repetition, certain images stick with us — often more than other moments from the shows they belong to (whenever I see a hearse, for example, the gassy reverie of Thomas Newman’s Six Feet Under theme song plays in my head and I envision a lone tree on a hill). The morphing nature of TV shows set against the invariability of their opening credits often exposes a fissure between the tone of the credits and the tone of the show. Sometimes the credits just don’t get it right from the start. This can work to the advantage of bad shows, the disadvantage of good shows, or, you know, just be sort of confusing. … Read More

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Flavorwire’s 2013 Primetime Emmy Picks and Predictions

The Primetime Emmy Awards are Friday night, and the broad strokes of the ceremony are pretty easy to guess at: Neil Patrick Harris will charmingly sing and dance, Breaking Bad will win a bunch of stuff, and the whole thing will run about 40 minutes too long. But let’s get into some specific predictions: Flavorwire has carefully considered the nominees, consulted with various prognosticators, and worked up the following list of Emmy predictions that will surely win your betting pool. (Do people do those for the Emmys?) And just for good measure, we’ve thrown in our own picks in each category as well. Here we go: … Read More

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Emmy Nominations 2013: The Year’s Biggest Snubs and Surprises

The Primetime Emmy Awards are probably, year by year, an even more reliable source of viewer rage than their spring counterpart, the Oscars. The awards, honoring achievement in primetime (and this year, online) television, are as well known for what they get right as what they get wrong. But we dutifully watch and report every year, with the hope that this particular blind squirrel will find some nuts. The 2013 nominees boast the usual mixture of nice surprises, oddball picks, and befuddling exclusions; let’s take a look at each major… Read More

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