30 Rock-Season 1 (2006)
|Year Of Production||2006|
|RSDL / Flipper||
Multi Disc Set (3)
|Cast & Crew|
|Start Up||Ads Then Menu|
|Region Coding||2,4,5||Directed By||
Universal Pictures Home Video
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.78:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.78:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||Yes|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
30 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, 30 Rock for short, is home to the NBC studios. It's magical place where television is born! So one of it's happiest employees would describe, at any rate. 30 Rock, the show, is a half hour comedy about the making of a fictional weekly variety show at the studio, called The Girlie Show.
The series opens as operation of the network has been taken over by Jack Donaghy (Alec Baldwin), an obtuse manager from parent company GE who also manages microwave oven programming. His first order of business is to hire the craziest male African-American comic in show business, Tracy Jordan (Tracy Morgan), as The Girlie Show's new lead, change the show's name to TGS with Tracy Jordan and fire the show's producer Pete (Scott Adsit). The changes don't go down to well with the show's head writer Liz Lemon (Tina Fey) or stalwart stars Jenna Maroney (Jane Krakowski) and Josh Girard (Lonny Ross). The other writers (Judah Friedlander, Keith Powell) and the NBC page (Jack McBrayer) are a little more welcoming. Each week the show follows a new week in the life of the show-within-a-show.
The show follows a fairly conventional sitcom structure (which is a little surprising given that it is practically a Saturday Night Live side-project, sharing writers, stars and producers); A central story each episode, a little ongoing plot between episodes, and plenty of guest stars (Isabella Rossellini, LL Cool J, Rachel Dratch, Wayne Brady, Emily Mortimer , Nathan Lane, Will Arnett, Dean Winter,). The jokes are often topical (the Obama presidential race gets its share of mentions) and the satire is sharp (the highlight being a multi-episode stab at Dave Chappelle's infamous meltdown)
30 Rock sets itself apart from similar shows in years past (particularly The Larry Sanders Show) by its focus on the writers and network executives. In fact, the show-within-a-show is little more than a foil to gather the various outrageous personalities together in a creative environment. Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin (who won a Golden Globe for his performance in this season) drive the show with their odd-couple working relationship. The rest of the cast drop in and out as the jokes call for.
The series starts off slowly, but builds considerably momentum as it progresses. Many of the later episodes are hysterical. 30 Rock is a guaranteed cult hit.
The show is presented in its original 1.78:1 aspect ratio and is 16x9 enhanced.
The video looks excellent. The image is clear and quite sharp. There is no sign of low level noise or grain. There is a good level of shadow detail visible.
The colour in the video is bold and natural. Skin tones seem accurate, whilst many of the sets and outfits feature eye-popping colour.
There is no sign of compression artefacts or film artefacts in the transfer.
English subtitles are present for the feature. From the portion I sampled, they appear to be accurate and well timed.
The set is made up of 3 dual layer discs, each featuring a layer break that occurs between episodes.
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192 Kbps) and Dolby Digital 5.1 (448 Kbps) audio tracks are present for each episode.
The dialogue is clear and presented at a good level in the mix so that it is easy to understand.
The series is peppered with a jazzy score, written by Tina Fey's husband Jeff Richmond (in a real life case of the show business nepotism that is frequently lampooned by the show), that suits the mood of the show well.
There isn't a lot of surround or subwoofer usage in the 5.1 mix, although there isn't a lot of call for it either. The surrounds do create a reasonably immersive sound field for the show, albeit a quite low key affair.
|Surround Channel Use|
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
The Region 4 edition misses out on quite a number of extras featured on the Region 1 release, making Region 1 the clear winner. Specifically:
30 Rock is funny stuff. Though it takes a few episodes to really get the ball rolling, the satire is both sharp and amiable once the show finds its feet. Not one of the 22 episodes is a dud.
The video quality is excellent. The sound mix is of a good standard for a tv sitcom. There are no extras.
|DVD||Sony Playstation 3, using HDMI output|
|Display||Samsung 116cm LA46M81BD. Calibrated with THX Optimizer. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 576i (PAL).|
|Audio Decoder||Pioneer VSX2016AVS. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials.|
|Speakers||150W DTX front speakers, 100W centre and 4 surround/rear speakers, 12 inch PSB Image 6i powered sub|