After eight months off the air, the smorgasbord cast and crew of "TGS" on the hit comedy show "30 Rock" has returned. Most viewers will be happy with the usual show storyline of Liz Lemon (Tina Fey) solving the childlike problems of Jenna Maroney (Jane Krakowski) and Tracy Jordan (Tracy Morgan) and seeking constant advice from her boss Jack Donaghy (Alec Baldwin). At first glance it seems as if the show did not skip a beat, even with the prolonged hiatus due to Tina Fey’s pregnancy. But a closer look at the premiere shows a few key changes to the chemistry in the group as well as "TGS."
Speaking of "TGS," it was missing from the episode. In the past, it has been used as a stressor for Liz as she rounds up the actors to prepare for the weekly show. Viewers do not see her stressing over the show or her subordinates but instead strangely happy and ecstatic. The shenanigans of Jenna and Tracy are still existent with the latter more focused on solving the mystery behind Liz’s happiness. As for Jenna, she dons the cruel nature of Simon Cowell on NBC’s new music reality show for children. The writers are, as usual, not writing and instead try to play a prank on Kenneth (Jack McBrayer), who thinks the end of the world will occur on the following day.
It may seem like another episode of "30 Rock," but something does not feel right. Most of the jokes were not funny, and Liz’s strange pills, which are discovered to be arthritis medication for her other occupation as a dancer for the New York Liberty, were the only thing that made this reviewer laugh. In addition Liz’s secret lover, who is still unknown and shown meeting Liz at the movies, is seen as a predictable element in the story. She has had relationships before, all of which did not work for her. Although it might seem that her new boyfriend might be a break in the cycle, it could be hyped up for yet another breakup between the new couple. As for Donaghy, he begins to spend more time with his daughter, but the Jack Donaghy that viewers are familiar with is disappearing because of this relationship. The fired-up political, career-first Donaghy seems to be edged out by this new family man. He is one of the main staples of the show, and this change in his character is not a good idea and might just turn viewers away from the show.
"30 Rock" has returned, but the hiatus caused by Fey’s pregnancy combined with Tracy Morgan’s recent scandal with his comments about the LGBTQ community seem to hinder the popularity of the show. Total viewership was down 24 percent from the season five premiere. The premiere was dull, and changes were shown that might not be the best for the characters affected. Fortunately, it is just the beginning of the season, and these changes could be temporary, but if it stays on its current course, "30 Rock" could slump down the road to the end of what used to be a hilarious show.