After seven seasons of night cheese, epic eye-rolls and general hilarity, Liz Lemon and the TGS crew head to 30 Rockefeller Plaza for one last show. 30 Rock comes to an end this week with a one-hour finale (8 p.m. Thursday, NBC).
Over the years, we’ve watched the ups and downs of writing and show business and followed Liz’s quest to balance work while building a family. In the end, TGS was cancelled, even after going to new advertising lows to save the show. Liz married Criss and the couple adopted twins; Terry and Janet are revealed to be perfectly miniature versions of Tracy and Jenna, assuring us that even after TGS, Liz will still (get to?) deal with the duo’s shenanigans. This week, the whole gang assembles for one last show.
One of the best aspects of 30 Rock isn’t the Lizms, guest stars or even Kenneth Parcell (the most wholly good soul in all of television). Between junk food references and impressions are real gems of timely commentary: and not just on pop culture, but the business of television. This point couldn’t be made clearer than in this final season, which has depicted the unraveling of the fictional TGS. The entire final season somewhat mirrored the real story behind cancelling a show — that’s what I call Liz-ception.
So, sure, it’s time to end. Better 30 Rock goes out with us still laughing than having to employ some of the unsavory tactics used in the show. But 30 Rock was more than just a platform to follow the wonderful Tina Fey after Saturday Night Live — it gave us an insider’s look into the genre and found its way into our (OK, maybe just my) everyday vernacular. Shut it down!
WEDNESDAY JAN. 30
The Americans (Series Premiere, 10 p.m., FX) – FX’s new drama follows Kerri Russell and Matthew Rhys as two Soviet KGB spies posing as a traditional American family in Cold War-era Washington, D.C.
In this pilot, an FBI agent moves into the neighborhood.
Workaholics (10 p.m., Comedy Central) -– Alice quits, leaving the dudes with a new boss.
Kroll Show (10:30 p.m., Comedy Central) – Guidolicious Bobby Bottleservice embarks on a paranormal activity investigation, plus “The Adventures of Young Billy Joel” and a couple builds a secret room.
THURSDAY JAN. 31
Glee (9 p.m., Fox) – The New Directions pose for a racy calendar spread to raise money for regionals; Rachel considers taking a role in a student film that requires going topless.
Project Runway (9 p.m., Lifetime) – The designers team up to create new uniforms for a “Ping-Pong social club,” which sounds like it was pulled from an episode of Portlandia. Susan Sarandon guest-judges.
Do No Harm (Series Premiere, 10 p.m., NBC) – Jason Cole (Steven Pasquale) is a successful neurosurgeon, but at 8:25 p.m. each night his dark alter-ego “Ian Price” takes over for a dangerous 12-hour span. Yikes. In the pilot, Jason discovers he can no longer subdue his evil side and wreaks havoc in the night.
FRIDAY FEB. 1
Portlandia (10 p.m., IFC) – The new interim mayor (Roseanne Barr) turns to Carrie and Fred in the hopes of making the job permanent; Portland baristas pen a manifesto; Kath and Dave have trouble getting a table at a restaurant.
House of Cards (Season One available on Netflix) – This Netflix original series stars Kevin Spacey as Majority Whip Rep. Francis Underwood who plots revenge against the president when he isn’t selected as Secretary of State. David Fincher and Spacey co- executive produce the drama, available in its entirety via Netflix streaming Friday.
SUNDAY FEB. 3
Super Bowl XLVII (6 p.m., CBS) – The Ravens take on the 49ers in New Orleans. Beyonce provides half-time entertainment with rumored appearances by Jay-Z and the newly reunited Destiny’s Child (and hopefully Blue Ivy).
Girls (9 p.m., HBO) – Hannah tries to have an adult dinner party, but things get awkward when Audrey and Marnie square off and Shoshanna and Ray make a relationship discovery. Meanwhile, Jessa meets her new in-laws.
MONDAY FEB. 4
How I Met Your Mother (8 p.m., CBS) – Barney spots Robin in a lost episode of Underneath the Tunes featuring plenty of real-life ’90s stars. Marshall and Lily fear Ted’s new lady friend, Jeanette (Abby Elliott), is a stalker.
The Following (9 p.m., Fox) – Hardy and the team consider whether the cult is larger than they originally thought. A flashback reveals Carroll and Hardy’s first encounters.
CONTACT JAC KERN: firstname.lastname@example.org or @jackern