exercises in compound storytelling

Friday, July 25, 2008

30 Rock

I'm sick again, and I've been getting by on DayQuil and various energy drinks. During my downtime I've been cruising hulu.com again, and I've stumbled onto something called 30 Rock. It's a sitcom starring Tina Fey, and it might be fair to call it a Saturday Night Live spinoff. I never liked Tina Fey when she was the newsanchor on SNL, but frankly I don't think SNL's been funny since, well, since a very long time ago. Pretty much everything I learned about SNL I read in Stephan Fatsis's book Word Freak, where one of the people profiled is an unsuccessful former SNL writer. Yeah; losers and quitters: they're the best way to understand almost anything.

I hate Alec Baldwin too. I hate all the Baldwins. But he's well cast on 30 Rock as the sort of person he'd hate in real life. I'm not saying; I'm just saying. And Tracy Morgan is excellent; it's a shame he never got this sort of screen time on SNL.

hulu.com also features a show called Firsthand. I'd never heard of it before, and it doesn't even have a Wikipedia entry, but it appears to be something like Outside Magazine meets Warren Miller, but in a half-hour format.

I really like hulu.com, but I have to wonder if they're long for this world: priceline.com ads, so far as I can tell, are the Internet equivalent of the smell of death. Well, those and ads from the Ad Council. I suspect that like their radio ads they're a symptom that somebody's decided they can make more money by donating their airtime than by selling it.

I have to admit I like the We Can Solve It ads featuring Al Sharpton and Pat Robertson. Not because I believe for a second that those two media creations care about global warming, the future of the planet, or anything other than getting themselves more media exposure, but I kind of like the idea of the two of them sharing a couch, in danger of being washed out to sea, somewhere on a beach on a doomed planet. Shame that planet is this one.

Believe it or not, Fey and I went to the same school at about the same time; she was an undergrad while I was slaving away in what was sometimes uncleverly called "gradual school." She wrote for The Declaration, a weekly humor magazine. I was a Yellow Journal fan. I suspect that like SNL, The Dec had its pecking order and political games; I'm glad to see Fey finally got around all that and got a show where she apparently has some creative control. It's a shame she still has to put up with Lorne Michaels (see Stuart Saves His Family, The Colin Quinn Show, etc.).

I can't wait to get well. I miss reading books.
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