30 Rock will wrap its third season next week, with a ratings boost propelled by creator Tina Fey’s notorious Saturday Night Live impersonations of Sarah Palin. Yet for a show that owes some of its success to the takedown of a Republican politician, 30 Rock often sides with its inner conservative, writes Jonah Weiner for Slate.
That conservative would be Jack Donaghy, Alec Baldwin’s smirking Republican TV executive. The conflict between Donaghy’s merciless entertainment-industry realpolitik and the liberal idealism of Tina Fey’s Liz Lemon is at the show’s core, and many episodes follow an arc wherein Fey starts out with a liberal point of view only to have events show the wisdom of Jack’s thinking. “Jack is a target of the show’s ridicule,” Weiner writes, “but even as his worldview is satirized, it’s often presented as inevitable.”