I Think It's the Most Wonderful Place in the Whole Wide World: A Goodbye to 30 RockA column article, Shot For Shot by: Dylan Garsee
It's over, and I don't know what to do with myself.
I usually only ask myself that after finishing a Papa John's pizza while sleepwalking (which I do, sadly, far too often). But tonight, I say the same thing because 30 Rock has finally ended its seven season run. My favorite show-- the one that got me into serious comedy and television, that helped me through break ups, break downs, fever delusions, and everything in between-- is over. Every week for seven years, I tuned in to hang out with my favorite tv pals Liz Lemon, Jenna Maroney, Tracy Jordan and Jack Donaghy, and every week I was, for a while, happy.
See, a few have noticed that I haven't contributed much to Comics Bulletin lately. Other writers have covered other shows and movies, other people have contributed to top tens, and your Google News alert for "Dylan Garsee" hasn't gone off in quite sometime. That's because I am not happy. I have been struggling with depression and your run of the mill personality disorders and what to do, and haven't felt the love I used to feel when writing. In fact, I tried to start a column (which may still happen) that would help me through my current dark period while also being a look into mental illness in pop culture. But even for something that could help me, I couldn't bring myself to help myself. I just wanted to watch 30 Rock.
Every night for a year, I fell asleep with 30 Rock on Netflix. Everyday, I'd wake up and watch 30 Rock until I fell asleep. I only talked about 30 Rock. I got so excited every Thursday because at 7, I'd get to have new episodes to watch, then rewatch later that night, then watch again the next day when i woke up. Everyday.
It's not healthy, I know. But I'm not healthy. 30 Rock makes me feel normal.
There's something about the show that just speaks to me, that tells me things will be okay, even if just for 22 minutes at a time. Yeah, I've seen Liz cry out of her mouth because of faulty LAZIG surgery a thousand times. Yes, I know Tracy gains a lot of weight over the course of the series, I've seen it a thousand times. I know why Jack is wearing a tuxedo after six. I know. But every character is flawed in a way that I can relate to so easily. Liz is afraid of commitment, Jenna oblivious to her obvious faults of selfishness, Tracy is wreckless with his health, Jack doesn't know if he's happy. It's all me. And seeing myself, even bits, in silly situations, makes me know I'm not alone. Even if I can only relate to sitcom characters.
But now I won't have anything new to enjoy. Now, it's over. And I've reacted in a way that surprised me. Yes, I cried for a good twenty minutes in the aftermath of the finale. But something else happened over the past week leading up to the finale. The Internet came out saying that they too will be obsessively marathoning the show. Every single publication I read had an "au revoir" piece to the TGS gang. Every day my Twitter feed filled with the #30Rock hash tag and favorite quotes. Facebook, the same. The world will miss this show too. I am not alone in my obsession with this show. And I've never felt better.
So yes, I will miss new adventures and topical jokes. But I can take solace in knowing that this show had a nearly perfect run of seven hilarious, influential, touching, and most of all, timeless, comedy. 30 Rock pushed the boundaries for women in comedy and opened up the now common worship of the show runner. But there will always be new television, just as there will always be times when I am feeling blue and need something to comfort me. 30 Rock isn't disappearing. It's just becoming a great and comforting memory.
Dylan Garsee is a freelance writer/bingo enthusiast currently living in Austin, TX. He is studying sociology, and when he's not winning trivia nights at pork-themed restaurants, writing a collection of essays on the gay perspective in geek culture. An avid record collector, Dylan can mostly be seen at Waterloo Records, holding that one God Speed You! Black Emperor record he can't afford and crying. You can follow him on twitter @garseed.