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Watching 30 ROCK during its second season was a completely exhilarating experience. It had in its rookie year quickly established itself as the funniest show on TV, but during its sophomore campaign the writing and acting got sharper and sharper with each episode. Next to ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT, I honestly believe that this is the funniest American comedy series ever.

Most comedy shows, when the writers get a funny joke or idea, they massage it and call attention to it, perhaps even taking a pause to allow everyone to notice and appreciate it. Not 30 ROCK. The jokes just tumbled out and sometimes they were only there if you looked hard for them. The humor came in waves, in layers. For instance, in one episode Jack Donaghy (Alec Baldwin) is watching Celeste Cunningham (Edie Falco), with whom he has just had a passionate romantic encounter, get interviewed on a news network. The main point in the scene is that the right-wing Republican Jack is horrified to learn that his flame is a left-wing Democrat, but if you look very carefully at the ticker tape along the bottom of the TV screen, you will see the words "Anne Heche leaves husband for pony" scroll across. And shot after shot during the season features in-jokes concerning the Shinehardt Wig Company ("NOT Polluting Rivers since 1997"), which somehow manages to be the parent company for GE. This is not to say that the main jokes aren't great as well (I mean, just how funny is the idea of the fake reality series MILF ISLAND?). The key point is that it isn't just that they jokes are plentiful and unrelenting; they are GOOD. It is humor with an edge, but it is never less than brilliant.

This year Alec Baldwin will almost certainly win what should have been his second Emmy for Best Actor in a Comedy series. Last year news broke about an abusive message he left on his daughter's phone mail service. It unquestionably cost him the Emmy he deserved. But there is simply no question that he is the most outstanding lead actor on a comedy series today. And Tina Fey not only matches him scene for scene in her self-effacing portrayal of GIRLIE SHOW head writer Liz Lemon, but gets additional major kudos for serving as head writer on the show itself. The two of them are backed by a deep and talented cast, from Tracy Morgan in his inspired role as the literally insane Tracy Jordan to Jack McBrayer in his scene stealing role as Kenneth the page (I would love to see him get an Emmy nomination). And in addition to the regular cast there was an endless string of wonderful guest appearances, including return visits from Dean Winters as Liz's horrid (but very, very funny) ex-boyfriend Dennis and Will Arnett as Jack's company rival Devon Banks. But there were some great one-time guest appearances as well, perhaps none as delightful as Tim Conway's portrayal of a TV veteran who shatters all of Kenneth's illusions about the Golden Age of TV. Oddly enough, the one guest appearance that misfired was that by Jerry Seinfeld. It was as if the show ceased doing what makes it so brilliant to accommodate Jerry's guest spot.

The lone mystery about 30 ROCK is why it doesn't attract a larger audience. I won't name names, but there are hosts of truly lousy series that get far larger audiences than 30 ROCK. This show gets the critical acclaim and wins the awards, but it simply doesn't pull in the large ratings. This distresses me. It makes me wonder if America is clueless about great comedy. I don't get it. Never have and perhaps never will. But trust me: this is as brilliant, as funny as TV can get.
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on July 30, 2008
Season 1 of "30 Rock" was a landmark of television, if you ask me. Finally a sitcom that was original, refreshing, and, most of all, hilarious. When Season 2 began, my expectations were high. To say that my expectations were surpassed would be an understatement of grand proportions.

Whereas the plotlines and randomly vanishing characters (any one of Rachel Dratch's appearances???) in Season 1 were out of left-field in that funny-but-almost-too-random kind of way, Season 2 was a different kind of animal.

"30 Rock" season 2 came from left-field, but this time, it pulled you over there with it. In the beginning, it held onto some of the pitfalls of Season 1 (i.e., Where was Jenna half the time???), but as episodes aired, the ensemble and the writing both grew into something much greater and more entertaining than Season 1 ever reached.

Even as many shows suffocated and failed the hiatus the writer's strike brought, "30 Rock" seemed immune. In fact, I would be so bold as to suggest the break fueled the creativity. Either those last handful of episodes were pure, unadulterated brilliance, or I was just desperate for more "30 Rock" after their lengthy sabbatical.

Some brilliant moments in Season 2: Carrie Fisher as a crazy ex-writer, EVERYTHING involving the Devon (Will Arnett) vs. Jack rivalry (including the Don Geiss coma), Jack's job at Homeland Security (can you say, "gay bomb"?), & Kenneth's House Party AND a special appearance by Al Gore satiring himself ("A whale is in trouble!") in one episode? Oh HECK yeah.

All in all, "30 Rock"'s sophomore season was a brilliant display that proved that comedy can be even better the second time around.
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on July 22, 2008
Despite the momentum-threatening writers strike that gave us a 3-month break between the 10th and 15th episodes, "30 Rock" suffered no sophomore slump. Many of the S2 episodes were instant classics, including "Rosemary's Baby" with Carrie Fisher as Liz Lemon's one-time comedy idol -- a once-edgy but now just whacked-out writer; the "Somebody to Love", "Secrets and Lies," "Coffee and TV" trilogy featuring Jack's doomed but oh-so-hot romance with congresswoman C.C. Cunningham (Edie Falco); and a finale that hilariously nails the attitudes of Bush-era D.C. ("Cooter"). Marvelous turns by guest-stars abound, including a reprise of Jack's mother by the astonishing Elaine Stritch; the return of Will Arnett as Jack's G.E. nemesis, Devin Banks, and of Dean Winters and Jason Sudeikis as Liz's former boyfriends, Dennis "the Beeper King" Duffy and Floyd, former G.E. attorney now relocated to "the Cleve"; Fred Armisen as a suspicious neighbor in Liz's apartment building; and Buck Henry, Anita Gillette, and Andy Richter as Liz's parents and brother.

To make up for the shorted season, the producers are augmenting the strike-shortened season with many more extras than the S1 DVD set had. Check out the listings here: [...]

TEN of the fifteen episodes will have commentary tracks (compared to only six of S1's 22 episodes). Then there's a table-read, Tina hosting SNL, an ATAS evening, and the item I'm really dying to see: "30 Rock Live" at the UCB theater (an on-stage sneak-preview performance of Ep. 8, "Secrets and Lies" that occurred during the strike). Can't wait for this set's release on Oct. 7!
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on November 25, 2008
I can only wonder how this show manages to stay on network TV with it's amazing writing and high quality acting. If that's not enough of an endorsement, then let me elaborate:

"30 Rock" is the kind of show you expect to see on HBO. It's well written, subversive, and chock full of the kind of talent that must be making the NBC accountants cry.

It's difficult to compare or classify comedy, but it's more "The Upright Citizen's Brigade" or "Arrested Development" then "Friends" or "How I Met your Mother." The excellent writing (some of it by Tina Fey who also plays Liz Lemon, the starring role) is both intelligent and absurd. It makes for a really interesting mix when the writers can combine a parody of "Amadeus" with the quest to create a video game based on pornography. This is only one example of the madness that lies in store when you watch "30 Rock."

Literally every actor in this amazing cast does a spectacular job. Alec Baldwin is the obvious big gun but that doesn't mean that he dominates the screen when Tracy Morgan or Tina Fey are on set. The characters the cast creates are equal parts SNL and Alice in Wonderland. Tracy Morgan's alter ego Tracy Jordan is mentally ill, (read: insane) Tina Fey's Liz Lemon is so comically flawed that you can't help but root for her, and Baldwin's Jack Donaghy is an iconic villian/mentor.

The "supporting" cast can barely be called that. These guys could easily hold up their own sitcom. Standouts are the incredibly naive Kenneth (played by Jack McBrayer) and the hilariously ditzy Jenna. (Jane Krakowski)

Do yourself a favor and pick up this DVD along with the first season. It's arguably the better season (it's definitely not in it's sophomore slump, at least) but it's most definitely even more absurd and insane then the first.
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on February 16, 2013
I did not fall in love with 30 Rock until the last season. However, I enjoy the streaming videos. I went to Best Buy to purchase the full set, however, they only had one season. I am glad that Amazon had EVERY SINGLE SEASON!! I wasted no time in purchasing the full season through Amazon. Excellent series, excellent product, excellent transaction!!
Thank you!
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on July 24, 2008
When the studio charges full price for this second season set, I thought this set will come in 3 discs, comprising all 15 episodes in the shortened season and tons of extras to justify its price. Then I read the description and it says this set has only 2 dics!!!
Still, because of the quality of the show, I'm giving it all 5 stars. Even though there are only 15 episodes, I find it has lots more laughter than first season's offering. My favs of the second season are Seinfeld Vision, Rosemary's Baby, LudaChristmas, Untitled hiatus episode, NILF island, Subway Hero, Succession, and Sandwich Day. I guess I should have said I enjoy pretty much every episode. Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin are the obvious stars but there are plenty of guest stars that made this show the best on TV such as the legendary Rip Torn.
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on November 5, 2015
I love this show, and this season is no exception! It's very funny, and I love Tina Fey. The only issue I had is that when the DVD shipped, the disc somehow popped out of its holding place, so you could here the disc moving inside the sealed DVD case. It caused the last episode to skip a little bit, but my husband wanted to keep it, so its his! Other than that, this show is great at showing behind-the-scenes drama of a live show.
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on February 15, 2014
30 Rock is one of the best shows ever and Season Two is no exception. Extremely well-written, creative, and the acting is fantastic. I highly recommend this to anyone who likes laughing. Sorry Communists.
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on March 31, 2014
Brilliant. The first four season of 30 Rock are comedy gold. Lots of hilarious sight gags, parodies and clever word play that fans of Seinfeld, Arrested Development and Curb You Enthusiasm will eat up. If you like Big Bang Theory and Two Broke Girls, then you may feel a bit overwhelmed as the jokes sail past your head.
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on June 14, 2012
Run to the bank, LizLemon! 30Rock busts out for season two sharper than ever! Spot on with it's cameos, Seinfeld-esque moments and knockout characters and writing, it deserves every one of its accolades. Bottle of wine and and one "Play All" menu selection, I found myself laughing out loud more than once with each episode.

Don't miss the special features of the "live on stage" episode, raising money for the PAs during the infamous strike. It's spontaneous and fun to hear the audience laugh along. Bravo! If I had the patience to watch network TV, this would be on my list (but I don't)!
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