Overview

30 Rock is a satirical sitcom created by Tina Fey. It aired on NBC between 2006 and 2013. The focus is Fey’s experiences as head writer for Saturday Night Live, and scenes take place behind the scenes of a fictional live sketch comedy show.

The name of the series is a reference to 30 Rockefeller Plaza in New York City. This is the location of the Comcast Building – where NBC Studios are based and where Saturday Night Live takes place with writing, production and performance.

Premise

Liza Lemon is the head writer and showrunner of a NBC sketch comedy series called TGS with Tracy Jordan. Lemon oversees both the cast and crew, which includes her best friend Jenna Maroney and network executive Jack Donaghy. The first episode sees Donaghy force Lemon to hire Tracy Jordan as co star of the show.

Episodes in 30 Rock showcase scenarios such as the disagreements between Donaghy and Lemon, Maroney trying to become a film star, Jordan behaving in various eccentric ways and the romantic and personal lives of the characters. Overall, the show is a satire of NBC, its parent company General Electric and the entertainment industry in general.

Cast and characters

  • Elizabeth ‘Liz’ Lemon – Tina Fey
  • Tracy Jordan – Tracy Morgan
  • Jenna Maroney – Jane Krakowski
  • Kenneth Ellen Parcell – Jack McBrayer
  • Pete Hornberger – Scott Adsit
  • Francis ‘Frank’ Rossitano – Judah Friedlander
  • John ‘Jack’ Donaghy – Alec Baldwin
  • Cerie Xerox – Katrina Bowden
  • James ‘Toofer’ Spurlock – Keith Powell
  • Josh Girard – Lonny Ross
  • Warren ‘Grizz’ Griswold – Grizz Chapman
  • Jonathan – Maulik Pancholy
  • JD Lutz – John Lutz

Episodes

Here is a taster of the first season of 30 Rock, which comprises 21 episodes:

Season One

Episode One – Pilot

The show begins by setting the scene, which includes Liz Lemon as the head of The Girlie Show, a live comedy show which is filmed in 30 Rockefeller Plaza in New York City. Her new boss, Jack Donaghy, insists that Tracy Jordan is hired.

Episode Two – The Aftermath

Jack renames the show TGS with Tracy Jordan, taking the focus away from Jenna Maroney. Liz struggles to keep all parties satisfied, but Tracy manages to come through with a solution.

Episode Three – Blind Date

Jack sees that Liz’s lack of a social life is affecting her work, so he sets her up on a blind date with one of his friends.

Episode Four – Jack the Writer

Jack decides to take part in the show writing with Liz and her staff, but it soon becomes clear he has no creative ability in this department.

Episode Five – Jack-Tor

Jack forces Liz to plug General Electric products on the show, so Liz puts him in a self-referential sketch about product placement.

Episode Six – Jack Meets Dennis

Liz takes back her ex Dennis Duffy, but Jack makes it clear that she will have a mediocre life if she does this.

Episode Seven – Tracy Does Conan

Jack puts Tracy on Late Night with Conan O’Brien instead of letting Jenna have her scheduled appearance.

Episode Eight – The Break-Up

Liz finally ends it with Dennis and explores the singles scene with Jenna, but finds she is hopeless at picking up guys.

Episode Nine – The Baby Show

Cerie gets engaged with hopes of being a ‘young hot mom’. Her stance triggers Liz to think about marriage and having a family.

Episode Ten – The Rural Juror

Liz admits that she doesn’t like Jenna’s new independent film, which puts a strain on their friendship.

Episode Eleven – The Head and the Hair

Two guys catch Liz and Jenna’s attention. They are complete opposites – one is a nerd and the other is a good looking hunk.

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Many sought-after shows have been acquired by this streamer, such as The Office, Parks and Recreation, Law & Order and Chicago Fire. To further invest in its content offering, Peacock has available movies from major companies such as DreamWorks Animation, Illumination, Focus Features and Universal Pictures.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  1. Free subscription plan available – People don’t have to part with a monthly fee if they sign up for the free version of Peacock, which is ad-supported.
  2. Reboots of classic TV shows – Subscribers can relive childhood memories by watching reboots of series such as Gossip Girl and Saved By The Bell.
  3. Flexible content viewing – There are options for viewing a channel guide, streaming TV shows or movies and browsing short-form content clips.

Cons

  1. Launching later than other new services – Some people may not be on the lookout for a new streaming service now that new platforms from Disney and Apple are here.
  2. Smaller content library – Inevitably, Peacock doesn’t have as large or varied a library as major competitors such as Netflix and Disney Plus.
  3. Ad-free tier may be pricey for some – The ad-free Premium version is a few dollars more expensive than the plans from Apple TV+ and Disney+.

Types of content available

Peacock has over 15,000 hours of content on offer, which includes sought-after TV series, a range of movies and a selection of original features and shows. There are also linear channels available, which is similar to the setup with Pluto TV. These include live content, such as 24/7 feeds of particular channels.

Those subscribed to the premium pricing tier of this platform gain access to Premier League games which can’t be viewed on linear TV. Full episodes of shows such as The Tonight Show are available on a daily basis from 8pm ET.

In terms of original content, Peacock focuses on the nostalgia factor for reboots of classic shows. For example, Saved By The Bell, Punky Brewster and Battlestar Galactica are receiving this treatment. Other original content includes Dr Death, Rutherford Falls and a docuseries about Saturday Night Live.

In the TV shows department, you can expect such titles as The Office, Law & Order, Parks and Recreation, Two and a Half Men and Chicago Fire. A lot of the shows you can find on Hulu are also available on Peacock – notable examples include Cheers, House, Frasier, 30 Rock, Friday Night Lights and Keeping Up with the Kardashians.

Film titles to keep an eye out for in the Peacock content library include American Pie, Meet the Parents, Back to the Future, Brokeback Mountain, ET, Erin Brockovich, The Breakfast Club, Dallas Buyers Club, Knocked Up and Jaws. Franchises featured on Peacock include Fast & Furious, Bourne and Despicable Me.

Top Peacock TV shows and movies

Division One – When a new female coach arrives to head up a womens’ collegiate soccer team, they have to decide if they’re going to keep losing or start winning.

MacGruber – After over a decade in jail, it’s time for MacGruber to seek out Brigadier Commander Enos Queeth.

Expecting – Ellie asks her gay best friend Jonathan if he’ll donate his sperm so she can become a mother.

Clean Slate – A car wash owner in Alabama is overjoyed to have his estranged child return after 17 years. Then he finds out his child is a proud trans woman called Desiree.

Girls5Eva – A girl group reconnect after having a one hit wonder in the 90s and decide to give fame another go.

Saved By The Bell – Peacock is rebooting the 90s drama which followed A.C.Slater, Screech, Zack Morris and Kelly Kapowski through high school, college and adult life.

Punky Brewster – Abandoned by her parents, a child is taken in by a photographer whom Punky and her dog Brandon teach a few things about lightening up.

One Of Us Is Lying – Based on the novel, this show tells the story of five high school students who walk into detention, but only four walk out.

Battlestar Galactica – A group of people on the battleship Battlestar Galactica have to leave their planet after an attack from Cylons.

The Office – This mockumentary focuses on the lives of typical office workers at the Dunder Mifflin Paper Company in Scranton, Pennsylvania.

Frasier – A psychiatrist called Dr Frasier Crane relocates to Seattle so he can have a fresh start. He ends up on the air as a radio psychiatrist.

Will and Grace – A lawyer allows his best friend to stay in his house when her marriage breaks down. But she never leaves.

Everybody Loves Raymond – A comedy focusing on successful sportswriter Raymond Barone and his life with a jealous sibling and obnoxious parents.

Parks and Recreation – Leslie wants to help a local nurse convert an abandoned construction site into a community park, but encounters obstacles from the neighbours.

30 Rock – Focuses on the head writer of a sketch comedy show who has to run it successfully while dealing with kooky stars and an arrogant boss.

Bates Motel – Norman Bates struggles with his life when his mental health suffers. Norma, his mother, tries to get him the right help.

Cheers – People from various walks of life come together at a bar called Cheers, run by Sam in Boston, and share their experiences while working and drinking there.

User interface

Peacock took the inspiration for its user interface from that used by Sky in the UK for its streaming services. Generally speaking, there are three options for subscribers when they enter the app – they can go to channels, trending or browse. While they pick one of the options, a video will autoplay in the background.

When a user enters browse mode, they will be able to look through over 15,000 options across TV and movies. This is where the app looks most similar to competitors such as Disney Plus or Netflix, as the selections are broken down into rows.

If they go into the trending tab, they will see short-form content such as news, pop culture or a sports event highlight reel. This is where the section aims to compete with YouTube, as Peacock hopes to lure people away from there and towards the streaming service – which has more to offer beyond this kind of feature.

In the channels section, people will find that the interface here is most like traditional TV. As seen with cable packages, there is a channel guide to scroll through, with options ranging across TV shows, movies, news, sports and various specialised content hubs.

Here are some of the additional features subscribers can make the most of with Peacock:

Curation hubs – Fans of a particular show will be able to navigate to its hub and choose one of the characters. From there, they can watch set sequences such as episodes which focus on them.

Profiles – All Peacock accounts include the option to create a profile. You can create a profile for each member of the household. Various Universal characters are available for use as avatars.

Parental controls – Accounts can be set up in Kids Mode, which enables just content which is focused on children to be shown when browsing with this profile.

Multiple streams – Peacock lets you stream on multiple devices simultaneously, allowing for clashes over what to watch to be avoided.

No ads – While there are tiers in the pricing structure which feature ads, there are only five minutes worth of advertising per hour. Furthermore, these can be removed altogether for an additional $5 per month.

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