For more than 10 years now, I've cultivated a frankly unhealthy obsession with Tina Fey's modern classic workplace comedy 30 Rock. I've watched every episode dozens of times, thanks to Netflix, and often go to sleep with Liz Lemon and Frank Rossitano ringing in my ears. Why?
I know at least one reason: In my embarrassingly considered opinion, 30 Rock represents the best television comedy writing in TV history. The sitcom's jokes come in so hard, so fast, by the time you're done chuckling at one joke, three more high-octane zingers have sped past. For connoisseurs of the well-crafted bit, there's nothing like the spitfire repartee between Liz Lemon and her New York City colleagues. There's a musical quality to the comedy, a rhythmic element, and a kind of density of ideas that recalls -- hear me out -- The Beatles.
I'm not kidding. After devouring the series on original broadcast, on DVD, and again on Netflix, I found that I was watching old 30 Rock episodes the same way I listen to Revolver or Sgt. Pepper – just to admire the craftsmanship and clockwork precision of it all. After my fifth or sixth run through the series, I stopped watching and just started listening.