30 Rock: Season 3 (2008 - 2009)



Critic Consensus: Brandishing its trademark silliness with vigor, 30 Rock's third season hits the ground running and cements its reputation as one of the smartest, funniest comedies on television.


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Air date: Oct 30, 2008
Air date: Nov 6, 2008
Air date: Nov 13, 2008
Air date: Nov 20, 2008
Air date: Dec 4, 2008
Air date: Dec 11, 2008
Air date: Jan 8, 2009
Air date: Jan 15, 2009
Air date: Jan 22, 2009
Air date: Feb 5, 2009
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After Season 2 concluded with GE exec Jack Donaghy (Alec Baldwin) accepting a post with the Bush administration, Season 3 kicks off with his return to the company and swift climb back to his old post. At "The Girlie Show," hapless head writer Liz Lemon (Tina Fey) continues to wrangle her two biggest stars: Tracy Jordan (Tracy Morgan), who makes contract negotiations---and pretty much everything else---more difficult for Liz, and Jenna Maroney (Jane Krakowski), who has shifted all her focus to preparing for a knockoff Janis Joplin biopic. Jack, meanwhile, is distracted by family issues throughout the season. In a parody of "Mamma Mia!" paternity tests lead Jack to his long-lost father---liberal professor Milton Greene (Alan Alda), who just happens to be in need of a kidney transplant. And Jack's controlling mother, Colleen (Elaine Stritch), becomes even more of a burden after he "accidentally" backs over her with his car. The incident results in Jack's latest romance, as he falls for his mother's live-in nurse, the passionate Elisa (Salma Hayek), whose deep Catholic faith and devotion to her large Puerto Rican family frequently prove trying. Unlucky-in-love Liz thinks she's finally found the perfect man in handsome pediatrician Drew Baird (Jon Hamm). But she soon discovers Drew has been "living in the bubble," thinking the world revolves around him because he can always get by on his looks. Season 3 features the series' usual parade of guest stars, including Steve Martin as an eccentric businessman who woos Liz; Jennifer Aniston as Liz's college roommate, who develops a romantic obsession with Jack; and Harry Anderson, Markie Post and Charlie Robinson, playing themselves in a "Night Court" reunion organized by Tracy to cheer up NBC page Kenneth Parcell (Jack McBrayer).

Critic Reviews for 30 Rock Season 3

All Critics (19) | Top Critics (12)

Even the most ardent fans of 30 Rock will concede that it doesn't look its sharpest as its third season opens.

Oct 30, 2008 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Fey's parts of the premiere are terrific, and next week's episode is an even better - and sillier - showcase for her.

Oct 30, 2008 | Full Review…

It's still got a good fast rhythm, and the five major players work well as an ensemble.

Oct 30, 2008 | Full Review…

The writers couldn't resist self-deprecation: in the episode's final moments, Gladys Knight herself appeared, telling everyone to quiet down so she could nap. As endings go, you couldn't ask for much more

Oct 30, 2008 | Rating: 7/10 | Full Review…

Is the show flawless? Of course not. Yet if you can think of another network sitcom that has been as consistently and effortlessly entertaining as 30 Rock has been, well, you can just put it right in your Fun Cooker.

Oct 30, 2008 | Rating: 7/10 | Full Review…

While the series upholds its reputation as being one of the funniest programs on television, it also stays true to the humanity and heart that has made the show so loved.

Oct 30, 2008 | Rating: 8.5/10 | Full Review…

30 Rock's complex sense of humor is more sophisticated than the prevailing sight gags might suggest.

Oct 30, 2008 | Rating: 8.3/10 | Full Review…

There's no character development, but with a zinger-count this relentless, who gives?

Oct 24, 2017 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

The whole thing had us Lizzing, which is laughing plus, well...you get the idea.

Oct 30, 2008 | Rating: A- | Full Review…

The show comes roaring out of the gate with "Do-Over", a show that definitively breaks the premiere jinx.

Oct 30, 2008 | Rating: A- | Full Review…
Top Critic

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