30 Rock might have finished half a decade ago, but it feels as relevant as ever. A seminal series produced by Saturday Night Live creator Lorne Michaels and created and starring Tina Fey, 30 Rock satirised NBC, America, and anything else they could get their hands on. It followed the writers of fictional sketch show TGS, running for over seven years and becoming the master of highbrow/lowbrow humour.
Starring Alec Baldwin as the head of NBC and featuring cameos from actors such as Matt Damon and Julianne Moore, Tina Fey’s Liz Lemon is a head writer and hero for many women in the creative business, and her sharp writing ensured that many loved the show for years to come.
Whether you’re yet to watch the series or you’re on your eleventh viewing, there is always a life lesson to learn from 30 Rock, especially when it comes to working with your friends – and here are a few of our favourites.
1. Food is your Friend, and Late Nights Suck
Everyone wants to go out but all you can imagine doing is settling down on the sofa to watch an episode of 30 Rock, eating Chinese food, and going to bed at 10pm. You eventually drag yourself to the club and inevitably don’t have a great time. You should have been more like Liz.
Liz knows that she will have a better date with a pizza than she will having dinner with the guy from accounting. It’d be nice to think that, had 30 Rock still be running today, Liz would be at home eating an XL Hawaiian pizza and playing a Queen of the Tree Folk slot game.
30 Rock was the TV show that made it cool to stay in and shamelessly eat your weight in ice cream. The show inspired everything from slogan t-shirts to prints of Liz eating cheese. However, it’s biggest gift to the world was the character of Liz Lemon, who paved the way for other great female characters and comics such as Amy Schumer, and was an inspired voice for many women in business.
2. Nice Guys Don’t Always Finish Last
Kenneth Parcell of the NBC Page Programme takes his work very seriously, and so should you. Kenneth is proof that hard work goes completely unrewarded and that nice guys finish last. However, it is no accident that Kenneth is one of the best loved characters on 30 Rock and has often saved the day in many an episode.
Kenneth’s age isn’t completely and the final scene of 30 Rock would suggest his immortality. We can only wonder what the future may have held had Gold Case been a success…
3. Don’t Cross Hungry Writers
In the pilot, we see a man pushing ahead of Liz in the queue for a hotdog. Liz subsequently buys the entire hotdog stand, declaring that she is buying hotdogs for everyone, except the queue jumper. Had the gentleman been more gentlemanly, he might have been able to take his hotdog home with him. Instead, Liz gets hotdogs for everybody, and he gets ketchup on his face.
4. Negotiate in a Partnership
Jack loves negotiation, and Liz nearly scuppers the renegotiation of Josh’s contract, however once Liz realises that Josh has lied to her, she gets a taste for revenge and the student becomes the master.
Whilst Jack’s morals seem questionable at best, he is often responsible for Liz’s rise from TGS’ head writer, to supreme leader, and together they are the yin and yang of NBC.
5. Wear what Makes You Comfortable
Let’s face it, Cerie is the very opposite of Liz, and at the beginning of season one, Liz takes issue with much of what Cerie wears, and talks to her about how it makes her feel uncomfortable. Cerie feels great in what she wears, and explains to her that maybe Liz that feels old and that might be why she feels uncomfortable.
It wasn’t one of Liz’s finest moments, and we often see her negotiate her feminist ideals, however Cerie continued to rock whatever she wanted to wear.
6. (Don’t) Run away to Africa to Escape the Pressure
Tracy tasks himself with becoming an EGOT (the winner of an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar and a Tony), however the pressure leads him to tell Kenneth that he is going to Africa to help orphans.
He is actually hiding out in a warehouse. Wherever it is that you’re planning on hiding, cut yourself some slack and don’t do a Tracy. (But do help the orphans, that’s important)
7. Reclaim anything People Use Against You
Whatever anyone has to say about her, Jenna owns it. Except when Liz says that she hates the Rural Juror. Knowing who you are is incredibly powerful, and whether you are a fan of Jenna or not, she reclaims anything nasty, misogynist or plain rude. Whilst we often find it easy to laugh at her, Jenna is always getting the last laugh. Remember her single Muffin Top? It reached the top of the charts in Iceland…
Whilst 30 Rock might not be on our screens anymore, we can still dip in and out of the box set and remind ourselves of some valuable life lessons. The most important take away, however…”There ain’t no party like a Liz Lemon party!”
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