Thursday, March 18, 2010
Won't you take me to Kabletown?
It's fair to say that "30 Rock" is one of the smartest comedies on TV right now, but the writers have been taking it to another level the past few episodes by poking fun at the Comcast-NBC Universal deal. They've always been pretty cheeky about GE and the "Sheinhardt Wig Company" over the years, but the Comcast takeover hasn't even been completed, and they've already written it into the storyline and jokes, usually introduced by Alec Baldwin's character, Jack Donaghy, uttering with disdain: "Kabletown ... with a K" and "a company from ... Philadelphia." (Tina Fey, like me, grew up in the suburbs of Philly.) I guess it's not entirely inappropriate for a sitcom about an SNL-type sketch program, which thrives on topical humor. But it still feels a little brave, especially since the show's ratings aren't as good as NBC would probably want them to be. Or course, NBC probably feels that way about a lot of its shows. (Cue the part where the Kabletown exec tells Jack that buying NBC counts as a charitable donation.) Maybe it's gallows humor.