Dearest 30 Rock,
Like many of your viewers, I discovered you as a 15-year-old recuperating from periodontal surgery, confined to the couch with nothing but Percocet and milkshakes to keep me company – until you came along. At first, I was just glad to see you again, Tina Fey, after your hiatus from the ‘Update desk’. Then Tracy did Conan. Where were the Blue Dude’s feet at? And we called Dr. Spaceman for the first time. Now I make it a habit to annually quote Prince Gerhardt Hapsburg’s near-last words, saying, “Thank you all dear friends…FOR COMING TO MY BIRTHDAY!” The beautiful Jack McBrayer graced the screen, knowingly stating that, “This mess is gonna get raw like sushi, so haters to the left.” I watched and re-watched this wonderful little show until I had practically memorized both “Sandwich Day” and its DVD commentary; 30 Rock, you have been there for me and the rest of your viewers ever since.
Along came Oprah, Jennifer Aniston, Steve Martin – but to me and your dozens of loyal viewers, these were just visitors to the jungle gym of jokes and happiness that is you, 30 Rock. A weird little universe where you never go with a hippie to a second location, and Milton will get that kidney, and peacocks are complex metaphors for deceased mentors.
30 Rock, I love you more than Jenna loves lying about her age. My week will be so much emptier without your unparalleled joke frequency, the familiar Liz/Jack banter, and the endearing naivete of Tracy and Kenneth. I, and your other viewers hope that the Writers Who Never Talk will someday find their voices, Jane Krakowski will eventually teach Jack McBrayer how to Back-Door Brag, and Queen of Jordan will reach syndication. Thank you for the Live Shows, for Leap Day William, Devin Banks, Grizz, DotCom, Pete, Toofer, Frank, Cerie, Lutz, Sue and too many others to name. I pray that this simple letter might encompass the joy and weirdness of so many characters, episodes, and jokes, but alas, my syllables could never truly reveal the complexity that is you, 30 Rock.
Thank you for episodes that we can watch and re-watch, discovering new joke-nuggets each time. Nothing is better than re-watching “Black Tie” and realizing that Liz wore a lime green fleece vest to Gerhardt’s birthday – a lime green fleece vest! You are brilliant, 30 Rock, and we will always love you for that.
And to my main girl, Liz Lemon – all the love in the world, because every lady has, at some point, been bummed out by the word “lover” unless it’s between the words “meat” and “pizza”.
With as much love as Kenneth has for everybody and television,
Feature image via