We don't know quite how to feel. On one hand, we're happy: Tina Fey has parlayed her Sarah Palin impression into soaring ratings for 30 Rock, the funniest show on television. So we don't have to worry so much about it being canceled.
On the other hand, we're sad. Tina Fey has parlayed her Sarah Palin impression into soaring ratings for 30 Rock, the best-kept secret on television. And now we're worried about it losing its "cool" factor. This feels a little bit like the first time we went to a Radiohead concert and saw a bunch of frat boys in the audience. How could such rabble possibly understand the brilliance of what they were seeing?
What complicates matters is we were set to make a plea on behalf of 30 Rock. We were going to urge you to watch the show because Fey--who writes and stars in the show--is a beautiful woman who makes funny Star Wars references, and we need her to be a role model for our children. It seemed like 30 Rock could use all the help it could get.
After all, before Fey-Palin-mania began, 30 Rock was starting to get that Arrested Development smell to it--an Emmy-winning, critically acclaimed comedy that had a fervent but all-too-small audience that could never quite satisfy the network honchos. Arrested Development ended in its third season, going out in a blaze of very funny jokes about its failures.
Now 30 Rock is starting its third season, and everybody who loved the show was getting a little nervous. It seemed destined to become one of those gems--like Deadwood or Firefly--that you discover in your Netflix queue about 18 months after the sets have been torn down.
Now, though, it appears that Fey doesn't need our help.
That's okay. Fey is still a beautiful woman who makes funny Star Wars references. 30 Rock--despite its stunt casting, with Oprah guest-starring this week--hasn't sold out to attain its success. And it's still the funniest show on television, which is all that really matters.
In Memoriam: David Brenner