30 Rock: Season 5 (2010 - 2011)



Critic Consensus: Liz Lemon continues to fire off tart zingers in a resilient fifth season that maintains 30 Rock's streak of innovative -- if somewhat inconsistent -- gags, pulled off with tremendous heart.


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Air date: Sep 23, 2010
Air date: Sep 30, 2010
Air date: Oct 7, 2010
Air date: Oct 14, 2010
Air date: Oct 21, 2010
Air date: Nov 4, 2010
Air date: Nov 11, 2010
Air date: Nov 18, 2010
Air date: Dec 2, 2010
Air date: Dec 9, 2010
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30 Rock: Season 5 Photos

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Series 5 of the sitcom, which takes place backstage at a network sketch-comedy series, is accented by an episode that, as its "The Live Show" title suggests, was broadcast live on both the East and West coasts. Story arcs include head writer Liz (Tina Fey) flying through some turbulence in her relationship with airline pilot Carol (Matt Damon), whom she met at the end of Series 4; and Jack (Alec Baldwin) struggling with the responsibilities that come from being a new husband and expectant father. In other events, budget cuts impact the staff; a pre-taped disaster telethon goes wrong; and the show is threatened with cancellation. Guest stars include Margaret Cho, Paul Giamatti, Kelsey Grammer, Tom Hanks, Buck Henry, Ken Howard, Michael Keaton, Rob Riggle and Susan Sarandon.

Critic Reviews for 30 Rock Season 5

All Critics (10) | Top Critics (7)

Its production was competent. Its humor was merely competent.

Oct 14, 2010 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Several new elements come into the mix that help raise 30 Rock up to heights not previously seen since Season Three.

Oct 14, 2010 | Rating: 7/10 | Full Review…

Not a perfect episode, but a very good one in what's so far (the live experiment excepted) been a very strong rebound season for "30 Rock."

Oct 14, 2010 | Full Review…

Tina Fey's showbiz sitcom still sizzles in its fifth season, even as weaknesses are beginning to show.

Oct 14, 2010 | Full Review…

The actual performance was a bit choppy at firs, but both script and performances picked up by the first commercial break.

Oct 14, 2010 | Full Review…

It was silly, it was risky, and even if audiences didn't get the thrill of something going horribly wrong, it was entertaining.

Oct 14, 2010 | Full Review…

30 Rock live is just the sort of semi-daring attempt that TV has needed lately.

Oct 14, 2010 | Full Review…

30 Rock 30 Rock has a cult following and is back for its fifth season, so it's presumably doing quite a lot right. But it leaves me cold.

Oct 14, 2010 | Full Review…
Top Critic

I found myself regularly freeze-framing the show so that I could record for posterity a particularly choice line (cause if I don't do it, only fifty million people on Twitter and online will) without missing the next exquisitely crafted one-liner.

Oct 14, 2010 | Rating: A- | Full Review…
Top Critic

Inconsistent, we're willing to accept. Indulgent is too much.

Oct 14, 2010 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for 30 Rock: Season 5

30 Rock remains consistently funny in its fifth season.

If you like this sorta thing then you'll like this sorta thing and I like this sorta thing!

Clever, hilarious comedy. A behind-the-scenes look at the the cast and crew of The Girly Show (TGS), an NBC skit-comedy program. Centres on the executive producer of the show, Liz Lemmon (played by Tina Fey), her boss, GE/NBC executive Jack Donaghy (Alec Baldwin). Created by Tina Fey, of SNL fame, 30 Rock is incredibly clever, especially in its references to topical events and in poking fun at the entertainment industry. Quite over-the-top at times, and delightfully so. The jokes come thick and fast, sometimes too fast - you've hardly digested one and the next one is upon you. If there is a negative, that is it - with the humour being so clever, you need some breathing space to sometimes get the jokes and being so snappy, you can easily miss things. Great performances and perfect casting. Alec Baldwin probably has the toughest gig, as his character is right-wing and capitalist to the extreme and is a living parody of not just the entertainment industry but business executives in general. Also, before this Baldwin was really considered only a drama-movie actor, so this is quite a change for him. He carries it off with aplomb. A classic and classy comedy series.

Only becoming more daring, more original, and more creative with age, 30 Rock is tying all of its ends together in an unpredictable fashion that has me simultaneously laughing, and guessing, all the way up to its finish.

Season 5 boasts biting satire, smart pop culture gags and a different direction as this show essentially spoofs the reality TV show in a highlight episode as well as using the Live show format with excellent results. In "Live Show", Liz is disappointed that no one remembers her 40th birthday, and as she attempts to get people to surprise her everybody else has their own problems that get in her way. The format here works perfectly with what 30 Rock is normally like! "Operation Righteous Cowboy Lightning" features more of Tracy and Angie's relationship, as Angie's reality camera crew follow the cast and crew around TGS all day. I loved TGS Hates Women, Cristin Milioti delivers the best guest star performance of the whole show as Abby Flynn, a female comedian who proves a hit with the male crew but finds tension with Liz and Jenna, this whole episode features many quotes, and Frank, Lutz and Toofer steal the show as much as Flynn does. Saving the best till last is Queen of Jordan, the reality style episode that takes all the elements such as soundtrack, camera style, interviews and quotes from the Real Housewives series and coats it in 30 Rock goodness! I loved the characters Defwan, Randy and Portia, and Susan Sarandon as you've never seen her before. I think this series stands tall just like the others, keep bringing more.

One of 30 Rock's best seasons, 5 shows just how brilliant the show can be, combining a brilliant cast with razor sharp satire and immensely likeable characters. Highlights include: When it Rains, it Pours, Live Show, Reaganing, Operation Righteous Cowboy Lightning, Tom Hanks and Michael Keaton's appearences, Kelsey Grammer's appearence, Condolezza Rice's cameo.

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