30 Rock: Season 3 (2008 - 2009)


Season 3
30 Rock

Critics 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.



Critic Ratings: 38


Audience Score

User Ratings: 117
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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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30 Rock: Season 3 Photos

Tv Season Info

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 (38) | Top Critics (22)

Isn't 30 Rock at its very best, but it does contain enough of the screwball pace, bizarre twists and sharp dialogue to atone for some of the clunky episodes that plagued 30 Rock toward the end of last season.

Oct 11, 2019 | Full Review…

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…

Not much has changed in the formula, style or laugh departments (all are still some of the best on television) and the guest stars are ample yet again.

Oct 14, 2019 | Full Review…

Like each that's come before it, it's going to take at least a dozen more replays to catch every insanely funny line - they really do come at you that fast.

Oct 14, 2019 | Full Review…

Sort of like the first day of school after summer vacation: sort of awkward at times, but fast and buoyant and warmly familiar all the same.

Oct 14, 2019 | Full Review…

A slightly-down third season of 30 Rock is still better than most television.

Oct 11, 2019 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Does have a few moments when it goes over the comedy top and seems just a tad too broad. But who cares? Overall, it's a joy.

Oct 11, 2019 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

Definitely another successful year for the sitcom, and given the way the humor played on its characters' established personalities, one could easily argue that it was its best.

Oct 11, 2019 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

At its best a 30 Rock episode is a beautifully constructed little piece of jewelry, with little joke beads catching the light and constantly flashing, adding up to an ingeniously designed larger whole... Other times, it's just a pile of pretty rocks.

Oct 14, 2019 | Full Review…

The show's true claim to fame, and a reason never to miss an episode, is Alec Baldwin, whose comic magnetism is so strong I'm surprised it hasn't caused weather disturbances. He doesn't steal scenes; he makes them rise and shine.

Oct 14, 2019 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for 30 Rock: Season 3

  • Apr 10, 2019
    30 Rock finds its rhythm in its third season making each episode a highly entertaining 20 minutes.
  • Nov 12, 2017
    The laughs keep on coming as 30 Rock rounds into form early and stays sharp.
  • Aug 01, 2017
    Same shit, different season. New favourite character / actor: writing team member Frank / Judah Friedlander, who does a fine job blending in with the rest of the team, but turns out to have a surprisingly complex web of thoughts, priorities, types of jokes (physical comedy, one-liners, high emotional stakes). Favourite cameo: tie between Jon Hamm, cherished looks and mocked personality, and Peter Dinklage, cherished personality and mocked looks. Most surprising performance: Salma Hayek, whom I had known strictly as the sexy person of previously seen movies, comes in unassumingly, then proves to fit in quite snugly with the deranged antics of the show. Continued disappointment: Jane Krakowski, who makes nothing new out of the same three jokes she is given. Continued delight: the much-desired platonic chemistry between Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin. Missed opportunity: Scott Adsit, not given anywhere near as many times to shine as he had in the previous season. Who?: Oh god, too many characters to name. Nearly the entire writing room needs a revamp in personality.
  • Mar 16, 2016
    Continues to reel me in closer and closer. The script is unlike anything I've heard and it's cast fits the show like a glove. I still don't find Tracy Jordan's character funny but the rest of 30 Rock is good enough for me to overlook that shortcoming
  • Mar 09, 2016
    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.
  • Jul 20, 2014
    The greatest joy to be found in the third season of 30 Rock is to see how its minor, frequently forgotten characters have evolved and asserted themselves as full blown supporting cast members, each with strong, distinctive personalities that play off of one another extremely well.
  • Feb 18, 2014
    This was the last season I watched of 30 Rock…why did I stop!
  • Nov 26, 2013
    Season 3 is on fire, Liz thinks she's found the perfect guy, Jack meets feisty Elisa and Jenna is focusing on her biopic movie of Janis Joplin. There is a lot going on here, no character is overshadowed and everyone gets a chance to deliver huge laughs. In "The Natural Order" Tracy and Liz face up against each other as staff treatment is demanded it be equal to everybody on set, and the highlight has to be watching Lemon attempt to fill a water dispenser. Jennifer Aniston plays naughty as an obsessed lover of Jack who is totally out of control, but best of all is scene in the Valentine's episode where Liz is forced to visit Drew's (John Hamm) Mother in hospital, and Liz is left with the Mother and she dies, the face on Liz' face is priceless and it's a huge shock. There is some real star power in this Season, with Peter Dinklage, Steve Martin, Oprah Winfrey plus many more making some outrageously funny performances. This is yet another successful Season to one of the finest shows on TV.
  • Nov 15, 2013
    Possibly at the top of its game, 30 Rock's third season is incisive, funny and well written, with great turns from the two leads, Alec Baldwin and Tina Fey. Highlights include: The Funcooker, Kidney Now!, Jennifer Aniston's appearence.

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