“All political lives, unless they are cut off in midstream at a happy juncture, end in failure,” Enoch Powell famously said, “ because that is the nature of politics and of human affairs.”
The same could be said about TV shows. The Office jumped the shark five years ago. The Simpsons should have ended at least a fifteen years ago.
The lesson? Always leave them wanting more. Always go out on top… like Seinfeld. As Rancid so eloquently put it, “the secret to a good life is knowing when you’re through.”
That’s why I’m happy 30 Rock will air its last episode tonight. The show is terrific, so I’m happy it’s going out on top (not in terms of ratings, of course, but in the sense that they are still producing a quality show.)
I could end there, but I won’t. At this point, you’re supposed to tell me that shows like 30 Rock are just liberal propaganda.
Which brings me to a larger point. The other day, E.M. Zanotti of ‘Naked DC’ was on my podcast to discuss culture and entertainment (listen to our full conversation here). We started talking about the show Portlandia — and how it satirizes liberals. Zanotti reminded me of the skit where a hipster couple goes to a restaurant and are so concerned about the food being “locally grown” that they visit the farm before ordering off the menu.
And I reminded her of the ridiculous Feminist Book Store (“Women & Women First”) skit that features Fred Armisen as a feminist.
To be sure, shows like Portlandia and 30 Rock do mock conservatives. After all, both also feature former or current Saturday Night Live cast members.
But both shows are self aware — they both mock liberal hipsters. And who doesn’t like that?
Don’t believe me? Remember the 30 Rock episode where Liz Lemon (Tina Fey) finds the perfect jeans (they make her look “like a Mexican sports reporter“) at what she thinks is a “green” store called Brooklyn Without Limits. Jack (Alec Baldwin) later explains to her that Haliburton actually owns the company.
“Oh, Lemon. It’s not ‘handmade in USA,’” Jack says, “it’s pronounced ‘hahnd-made in Oosa.’ The Hand people are a Vietnamese slave tribe, and USA is their island prison. THEY made your jeans.”
And who could forget the episode featuring TheDC’s own Tucker Carlson? It perfectly highlights how people in the entertainment business attempt to gain favor by backing Barack Obama — even when they are painfully ignorant about the issues.
Don’t let politics keep you from celebrating the end of what was one of the best shows on TV.
I’ll be watching.