When 30 Rock announced they were going to do a live episode, I was overjoyed. After all, what a clever idea: a show mocking Tina Fey’s behind-the-scenes experiences working on Saturday Night Live actually doing a live episode from the SNL studio.
I’ll start by saying that I loved it. So you can imagine my disappointment when I signed on to Facebook/Twitter to “Like” statuses and comment on walls and @-reply the crap out of everybody about how fun it was and found that everyone disliked it!
So, as I do with all of my children (television shows), I’m going to defend 30 Rock and tell you why it was great.
Obviously many of the actors on the show were either actors, writers, or both on Saturday Night Live. However, for many of the actors, acting live on stage is probably something they haven’t done since back in middle school where they were made fun of for it. Okay, I’ll admit that I’m reaching here. But still, not everyone is a live stage actor.
So yes, it was a little different. Is that what everyone is so upset about? I guess what I’m wondering is, what were the expectations for this episode? The point of it being live was that it WAS something different.
All I ask is that we take a moment to appreciate that they wanted to have a little fun. What a great opportunity to bring back old SNL friends and guest stars to get together and have a little fun with the audience? Yes, there was no editing, they had to memorize lines and maybe Tracy Morgan glanced at some cue cards a bit, but give him a break… he’s “straight up mentally ill!”
It felt different, obviously. Maybe a little uncomfortable, even. One has to give them credit, though, for what they set out to do. They mocked the entire idea of a live episode and created comedy out of the unfamiliar territory. Isn’t the subtle self-deprecation the reason we love it?
They even kept the single camera style we all love and are familiar with instead of the usual multi-camera style that comes with laugh-tracks. And it wasn’t even a laugh-track: it was a live audience!
Love it or hate it, it was a one time thing, it was fun, it’s not like you have to maaaaarry it (middle school reference number two). It looked like they had a great time doing it, can’t we at least give them that?
What were your thoughts on the episode? I’m open to opposing opinions, even if they are all wrong.