The five best NYC scenes from 30 Rock
Thu Jan 31 2013
How much are we going to miss 30 Rock? So much that we anticipate bingeing on excessive amounts of night cheese in the coming days/weeks/months as a coping mechanism. In our recent roundup of the 50 funniest New Yorkers, we praised (okay, gushed over) series creator Tina Fey for "[her] status as a iconic writer and producer, [and] her Liz Lemon character…[who] captures a sort of goofy, quirky, independent everywoman that was sorely missing from television." Plus, Fey surrounded herself with a stellar supporting cast—Alec Baldwin, Tracy Morgan, Jack McBrayer and Jane Krakowski among them—and continued to break sitcom conventions, even into the show's seventh and final season.
To say goodbye to 30 Rock, we looked not to the series's best or funniest instances, but rather its best New York City–specific moments. We doubt that the show could have worked as well were it filmed on a soundstage in L.A.; the NYC-centric jokes and call outs are as much a part of the show's charm as its offbeat sense of humor. Check out five of our favorites.
1. New York in the spring (“Cleveland”—season one, episode 20)
In the process of trying to convince Floyd (Jason Sudeikis) that NYC beats Cleveland any day of the week, Liz experiences the less-dreamy side of life in the big city: “He spit in my mouth!” Of course, that’s exactly why a confirmed misanthrope like Lemon was made for this town.
2. Dennis Duffy meets Mayor Bloomberg ("Subway Hero"—season two, episode 12)
Of all of Liz Lemon's boyfriends—Floyd, dumb-but-handsome Dr. Drew (Jon Hamm) and Criss (James Marsden), whom she eventually marries—Dennis Duffy provided some of the most cringeworthy comedic moments. This episode provided plenty of them: When accepting a bronze medallion from Mayor Bloomberg (for saving someone from being run over by a subway car), Dennis calls him "Mayor Bloomburger" and shouts out radio personality Gary "Baba Booey" Dell'Abate. Pure class, that Dennis. Bloomberg, to his credit, took it in stride. You can see the full clip here.
3. Brooklyn Bridge reunion (“Señor Macho Solo”—season three, episode seven)
After offending Stewart (a pre–Game of Thrones Peter Dinklage) about his dwarfism six ways to Sunday, Liz proposes a rom-com truce: a meet-cute on the Brooklyn Bridge, à la Miranda and Steve in the Sex and the City movie. Things, as ever, get even worse.
4. Ikea breakup (“Hey, Baby, What’s Wrong"—season six, episode six)
The existential event horizon that is the Red Hook Ikea nearly tears Liz and Criss (James Marsden) apart—and on Valentine’s Day, no less. “We are not letting this table be a metaphor for our relationship. That’s what Ikea wants us to do!” (Thankfully, their relationship was strong enough to withstand that trauma.) Curbed has the whole argument broken down.
5. "New York is overrated!" ("The Tuxedo Begins"—season six, episode eight)
We've all been there: You have one crummy commute, and you're ready to swear off living in NYC altogether. In the opening scene of this episode, we see Liz's terrible ride to work, which included nearly all of the bad things that can happen on the subway: She gets crammed in by passengers who won't let her off the car first, the train goes express "for no reason" and a fellow commuter sneezes on her. When Liz complains about the ride to Jack, she exclaims, "Am I the last one in this city still following the rules of being a person?!?" We feel you, Liz. We really do.