Tag Archives: Jack Donaghy

My Favorite Scene: 30 Rock Season 1 (2006) “Jack’s Tuxedo”

 

Alec Baldwin’s Jack Donaghy is one of my favorite TV characters of all-time.  Baldwin’s megalomaniacal, prescient, manipulative, eccentric NBC executive was a hit from the pilot, but really had his first moment of pure “Jacktasticness” (trademark pending) in 30 Rock’s sixth episode.  Jack has his overworked showrunner Liz Lemon (Tina Fey) pulling extra duty during an especially busy time writing jokes for a conservative fundraiser at which he’ll be speaking.  This scene is the culmination of an episode of Donaghy messing with Lemon for his own amusement, plus it contains the greatest one-line explanation for why a character SHOULDN’T be wearing a tuxedo in entertainment history.  30 Rock went on to become one of the seminal sitcoms of the last 25 years, and in the sixth episode you can already see why.Alec Baldwin in 30 Rock

My Favorite Scene: 30 Rock Season 6 (2012) “Kouch Town Commercials”

30 Rock is one of the last great network sitcoms, and was absolutely stellar throughout its seven seasons on the air.  Choosing ONE moment from a season of 30 Rock is a superhuman feat, not unlike when Alec Baldwin’s elitist, CEO character, Jack Donaghy, attempts to have a perfect day (“Reaganing” is what he calls it).  Jack Donaghy is easily one of my top 10 characters in TV history, and it will be the defining role of Alec Baldwin’s career.  One of my favorite Jack moments comes in season 6 episode 18 (“Murphy Brown Lied to Us”) when NBC is purchased by a fictional company called KableTown, and Jack is demoted to running their subsidiary company, KouchTown.

Tina Fey, 30 Rock, Liz Lemon
30 ROCK — “Murphy Brown Lied to Us” Episode 618 — Pictured: Tina Fey as Liz Lemon — (Photo by: Ali Goldstein/NBC)

The couches, unfortunately are death traps, closing like Venus Flytraps on their sitters.  This may have stopped a lesser CEO, but this is Jack Donaghy and he was going to impress the new brass by selling every one of those  death traps.  He hires actor Stacy Keach to film an increasingly hilarious and desperate series of commercials; marketing them as the Tough Man’s Couch.  It’s stupid and brilliant and that’s 30 Rock in a nutshell.  Here’s a bonus video of some of Jack’s other great moments with some commentary from 30 Rock‘s writers.

Tina Fey, Liz Lemon, Alec Baldwin, Tracy Morgan,

My Favorite Scene: 30 Rock Season 2 “Therapy Jack Style” (2007)

 

Tina Fey is a freaking genius.  30 Rock never got the critical acclaim it should have over its seven year run, but it never flagged, was always true to its characters and delivered some of the funniest moments in the last ten years of television.  Fey created, wrote, produced and starred in the show, plus she cast actors generally known for their inability to work with others and wove it into the fabric of the show.  No greater example of this is Alec Baldwin’s Jack Donaghy, one of my ten greatest sitcom characters of all-time.  His effortless ability to segue from wise, all-knowing executive into complete lunatic and back provided some of the show’s best moments including this clip from the second season episode “Rosemary’s Baby” where the NBC shrink asks Jack to help Tracy Morgan with some parental issues.
30 Rock, Tracy Morgan, Tina Fey, Alec Baldwin

65th Primetime Emmy Nominations and KT Picks

Emmy

The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences announced the nominations for the 65th Primetime Emmy Awards this morning (because it’s not a busy time entertainment-wise).  Peruse the nominees below along with the KT pick in each category, then tune in to watch the show, hosted by Neil Patrick Harris, on Sunday, September 22 on CBS.  Overall, I have to say, the nominations are pretty dead on this year.

Outstanding Drama Series
Breaking Bad • AMC • Sony Pictures Television
Downton Abbey • PBS • A Carnival / Masterpiece Co-Production
Game Of Thrones • HBO
Homeland • Showtime
House Of Cards • Netflix
Mad Men • AMC • Lionsgate Television
KT Pick: As strong a group as you’ll ever find.  Tough call, but Breaking Bad.

Outstanding Comedy Series
The Big Bang Theory • CBS
Girls • HBO
Louie • FX Networks
Modern Family • ABC
30 Rock • NBC
Veep • HBO
KT Pick: 30 Rock as a farewell to an amazing series, plus Modern Family was a bit off its standard this season.

Outstanding Lead Actor In A Drama Series
Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad
Hugh Bonneville, Downton Abbey
Damian Lewis, Homeland
Kevin Spacey, House of Cards
Jon Hamm, Mad Men
Jeff Daniels, Newsroom
KT Pick: Again, impossible to go wrong in this group.  It’s criminal that Jon Hamm hasn’t won for Mad Men, but it also seems wrong not to give it to Bryan Cranston every year.  However, Kevin Spacey ate the screen alive in House of Cards and carried that show in a way none of the others did and should take home the Emmy.  Netflix is getting Emmy nominations.  We live in Bizzarroland.

Outstanding Lead Actress In A Drama Series
Vera Farmiga, Bates Motel
Michelle Dockery, Downton Abbey
Claire Danes, Homeland
Robin Wright, House of Cards
Elizabeth Moss, Mad Men
Kerry Washington, Scandal
KT Pick: Claire Danes won last year and should this year; awesome that Scandal got some recognition.

Outstanding Lead Actor In A Comedy Series
Jason Bateman, Arrested Development
Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory
Matt LeBlanc, Episodes
Don Cheadle, House of Lies
Louie C.K., Louie
Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock
KT Pick: Baldwin one last time for creating one of my favorite TV characters of all-time: Jack Donaghy.

Outstanding Lead Actress In A Comedy Series
Laura Dern, Enlightened
Lena Dunham, Girls
Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie
Amy Poehler, Parks and Recreation
Tina Fey, 30 Rock
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep
KT Pick: Give Amy Poehler a freaking Emmy!  I don’t know why Parks and Rec gets no Emmy love.  To not even nominate it when the state of TV comedy is at the lowest point in my lifetime, is ludicrous.  I’ll be ok if Tina Fey gets it for not only starring, but creating, writing, producing and casting 30 Rock for seven years, but otherwise POEHLER!

Outstanding Lead Actor In A Miniseries Or A Movie
Michael Douglas, Behind the Candelabra
Matt Damon, Behind the Candelabra
Toby Jones, The Girl
Benedict Cumberbatch, Parade’s End
Al Pacino, Phil Spector
KT Pick: That’s a lot of star power for an Emmy category, proving that TV is eclipsing movies (in drama at least).  I’ll be honest, I’ve seen none of these, but a founding principle in the Killing Time Charter of Behavior (not available, don’t ask) is that we root for Benedict Cumberbatch in all things.  The year of Cumberbatchian dominance continues (though he’s facing 3 Oscar winners and an Oscar nominee so those aren’t betting odds)!

Outstanding Lead Actress In A Miniseries Or A Movie
Jessica Lange, American Horror Story: Asylum
Laura Linney, The Big C
Helen Mirren, Phil Spector
Sigourney Weaver, Political Animals
Elizabeth Moss, Top of the Lake
KT Pick: How is AHS not an ongoing series?  Again, haven’t seen any of them and I have no fundamental guiding doctrine on these actresses, so I’ll say Elizabeth Moss because she’s never going to win for Mad Men.

Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Drama Series
Bobby Cannavale, Boardwalk Empire
Jonathan Banks, Breaking Bad
Aaron Paul, Breaking Bad
Jim Carter, Downton Abbey
Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones
Mandy Patinkin, Homeland
KT Pick: Mandy Patinkin is the best thing about Homeland, but if Aaron Paul or Peter Dinklage win, that’s perfectly fine with me.

Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Drama Series
Anna Gunn, Breaking Bad
Emilia Clarke, Game of Thrones
Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey
Christine Baranski, The Good Wife
Morena Baccarin, Homeland
Christina Hendricks, Mad Men
KT Pick: I always want Maggie Smith to win everything she’s nominated for, but Christina Hendricks is fricking due.  I usually have a problem with the Emmys and the comedy nominations are dismal, but they’ve nailed drama this year.  Everyone here is stellar.

Outstanding Guest Actor In A Drama Series
Nathan Lane, The Good Wife
Michael J. Fox, The Good Wife
Rupert Friend, Homeland
Robert Morse, Mad Men
Harry Hamlin, Mad Men
Dan Bucatinsky, Scandal
KT Pick: Michael J. Fox’s recurring character on The Good Wife is always the season highlight.

Outstanding Guest Actress In A Drama Series
Margo Martindale, The Americans
Diana Rigg, Game of Thrones
Carrie Preston, The Good Wife
Linda Cardellini, Mad Men
Jan Fonda, Newsroom
Joan Cusack, Shameless
KT Pick: I think Linda Cardellini has this one pretty much sewn up.

Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Comedy Series
Adam Sackler, Girls
Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Modern Family
Ed O’Neill, Modern Family
Ty Burrell, Modern Family
Bill Hader, Saturday Night Live
Tony Hale, Veep
KT Pick: No Eric Stonestreet for Modern Family too?  Really the whole cast deserves to be nominated every year, but it’s Ed O’Neill’s turn to win one.

Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Comedy Series
Mayim Bialik, The Big Bang Theory
Jane Lynch, Glee
Sofia Vergara, Modern Family
Julie Bowen, Modern Family
Merritt Weaver, Nurse Jackie
Jane Krakowski, 30 Rock
Anna Chlumsky, Veep
KT Pick: Same as the men, but it’s Sofia Vergara’s turn.  Nice to see Jane Krakowski get a nod.  Are there people not exhausted by Jane Lynch still?

Outstanding Guest Actor In A Comedy Series
Bob Newhart, The Big Bang Theory
Nathan Lane, Modern Family
Bobby Cannavale, Nurse Jackie
Louis C.K., Saturday Night Live
Justin Timberlake, Saturday Night Live
Will Forte, 30 Rock
KT Pick: Justin Timberlake has somehow turned into the best SNL host of the last decade….it’s an odd world we live in, this.

Outstanding Guest Actress In A Comedy Series
Molly Shannon, Enlightened
Dot-Marie Jones, Glee
Melissa Leo, Louie
Melissa McCarthy, Saturday Night Live
Kristen Wiig, Saturday Night Live
Elaine Stritch, 30 Rock
KT Pick: Elaine Stritch’s turn as Alec Baldwin’s mother has been one of the best things about 30 Rock over the entire show.  Can’t deny her.  I’d be afraid to.  The woman is terrifying.

Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Miniseries Or A Movie
James Cromwell, American Horror Story: Asylum
Zachary Quinto, American Horror Story: Asylum
Scott Bakula, Behind the Candelabra
John Benjamin Hickey, The Big C
Peter Mullan, Top of the Lake
KT Picks: Emmy for Spock, please!

Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Miniseries Or A Movie
Sarah Paulson, American Horror Story: Asylum
Imelda Staunton, The Girl
Ellen Burstyn, Political Animals
Charlotte Rampling, Restless
Alfre Woodard, Steel Magnolias
KT Picks: I have not seen the nominees other than AHS so Sarah Paulson it is.

Outstanding Host For A Reality Or Reality-Competition Program
American Idol
Betty White’s Off Their Rockers
Dancing With The Stars
Project Runway
So You Think You Can Dance
The Taste
KT Picks: Give Betty White anything she wants.  The woman’s had the best back 20 years of a century of anyone in television history.  She’s the Christopher Lee of TV.

Outstanding Reality-Competition Program
The Amazing Race
Dancing With The Stars
Project Runway
So You Think You Can Dance
Top Chef
The Voice
KT Picks: It’s won this category every year but once since it was invented and it’s won it for a reason.  Amazing Race!!!

Outstanding Variety Series
The Colbert Report
The Daily Show With Jon Stewart
Jimmy Kimmel Live
Late Night with Jimmy Fallon
Real Time with Bill Maher
Saturday Night Live
KT Picks: SNL had a rough year and I’d rather see Letterman here, but The Daily Show and Colbert Report both operate at a level of outstanding writing and comedy far beyond the rest.

Outstanding Miniseries Or Movie
American Horror Story: Asylum • FX Networks
Behind The Candelabra • HBO
The Bible • HISTORY
Phil Spector • HBO
Political Animals • USA
Top Of The Lake • Sundance Channel
KT Picks: AHS.  I find the possibility of The Bible getting an Emmy kind of hilarious.  Perhaps it’s because I’ve grown up with it, but it’s like the Oxford Dictionary winning an Oscar to me.

Outstanding Writing For A Drama Series
Breaking Bad • Dead Freight
Breaking Bad • Say My Name
Downton Abbey • Episode 4 • PBS • A Carnival
Game Of Thrones • The Rains Of Castamere
Homeland • Q&A • Showtime
KT Picks: Either Breaking Bad is deserving, but Game of Thrones second season finale kicked the series into a whole new gear.

Outstanding Directing For A Drama Series
Boardwalk Empire • Margate Sands • HBO
Breaking Bad • Gliding Over All • AMC
Downton Abbey • Episode 4 • PBS
Homeland • Q&A • Showtime
House Of Cards • Chapter 1 • Netflix
KT Picks: House of Cards smacks you between the eyes with its pilot and doesn’t let go of you until you’ve binge-watched the entire thing wondering where 10 hours went.

Outstanding Writing For A Comedy Series
Episodes • Episode 209 • Showtime
Louie • Daddy’s Girlfriend (Part 1) • FX Networks
The Office • Finale • NBC
30 Rock • Hogcock! • NBC
30 Rock • Last Lunch • NBC
KT Picks: The Office left us three years ago and its corpse has been on TV, so recognize a proper goodbye from 30 Rock (yeah, I’m trying super hard not to make Hogcock jokes….I’ll save them for my wife; she’ll be so thrilled).

Outstanding Directing For A Comedy Series
Girls • On All Fours • HBO
Glee • Diva • FOX
Louie • New Year’s Eve • FX Networks
Modern Family • Arrested
30 Rock • Hogcock! / Last Lunch
KT Picks: You had me at “hogcock”.  You had me at “hogcock”.  I’ll miss you, 30 Rock.

Outstanding Writing For A Miniseries, Movie Or A Dramatic Special
Behind The Candelabra • HBO
The Hour • BBC America
Parade’s End • HBO
Phil Spector • HBO
Top Of The Lake • Sundance Channel
KT Picks: I must plead out on these as I’ve not seen any yet.  Is Hogcock not going to be nominated for more things that I can pick it for?  I’m confused.

Outstanding Directing For A Miniseries/Movie/Dramatic Special
Behind The Candelabra • HBO
The Girl • HBO
Phil Spector • HBO
Ring Of Fire • Lifetime
Top Of The Lake • Part 5 • Sundance Channel
KT Picks: Hogcock wins in a write-in landslide…perpetrated by me.

Outstanding Variety Special
The Kennedy Center Honors • CBS
Louis C.K.: Oh My God • HBO
Mel Brooks Strikes Back! With Mel Brooks And Alan Yentob • HBO •
Saturday Night Live: Weekend Update Thursday (Part One) • NBC
12-12-12: The Concert For Sandy Relief
KT Picks: Seth Meyers has been the most consistently good thing about SNL this year.

Outstanding Writing For A Variety Series
The Colbert Report • Comedy Central
The Daily Show With Jon Stewart • Comedy Central
Jimmy Kimmel Live • ABC
Portlandia • IFC • Broadway Video
Real Time With Bill Maher • HBO
Saturday Night Live • NBC
KT Picks: Colbert or Stewart in a tie that must be broken by best use of Hogcock in a joke beaten to death buried in the middle of a 2000 word piece.

Outstanding Writing For A Variety Special
The 70th Annual Golden Globe Awards • NBC
Louis C.K.: Oh My God • HBO
Night Of Too Many Stars: America Comes Together • Comedy Central
Saturday Night Live: Weekend Update Thursday (Part One) • NBC
66th Annual Tony Awards • CBS
KT Picks: Golden Globes if Tina and Amy get Emmys for best tag team hosts ever.

TV Review: 30 Rock Season 4

I know what you’re thinking, “He promised new content every day and day 1…nothing!” Not true. I have 25 minutes to spare and I don’t want to hear about east coast time. 30 Rock’s fourth season hit stores on Tuesday and having devoured 22 episodes in less than two days, we’re ready to give it a look.

If you haven’t watched any of the previous seasons of 30 Rock, you’re missing TV’s best comedy (sorry Office, but you have been passed). Tina Fey has created a TV show that glories in being a TV show. Not only does Fey star brilliantly in the sitcom, but writes it, produces it, and managed to cast an ensemble as memorable as any other in television history. Fey is the greatest female alum in SNL history (granted with the exception of Gilda Radner that isn’t saying much, but still…).

30 Rock’s fourth season isn’t it’s best. At times, the show feels like it’s coasting a bit and giving viewers what we’ve come to expect, but the finale sets the tone for change (especially for Alec Baldwin’s Jack Donaghy-who has become one of my favorite characters in TV history). Even an average season for 30 Rock is better than most shows could ever dream of and my only real disappointment is that there’s no more for me to watch.

8.25/10