Last Thursday, the cast and crew of the NBC sitcom 30 ROCK left the safe confines of their soundstage in Long Island City and crossed the East River to brave the dangers of live television from their namesake's home, 30 Rockefeller Plaza in Midtown. For some cast members like Tina Fey and Tracey Morgan, it was a bit of a homecoming as they returned to Studio 8H where SNL is broadcast. And for viewers like me, the show was a return to form and laugh-out-loud hilarity.
The premise of the show was pretty standard sitcom fare; everyone has forgotten Liz Lemon's birthday. But doing it live made for a very meta experience, especially when they did Liz's flashbacks. There are lots of jokes about live TV strewn throughout the episode and some great cameos from 30 ROCK semi-irregulars. I won't name names as not to spoil the fun.
The show was actually done live twice, once for the East coast and once for the West. I caught the latter version so I'm not sure if it was better from having had a little live practice. But it was truly funny and didn't seem to have any major gaffes, other than a couple lines that didn't trip off Alec Balwin's tounge. It made me sorta wish the show was live every week. It was the best 30 ROCK I'd seen in a while.