Must-Watch 30 Rock Episodes?
January 4, 2012 10:23 AM   Subscribe

After recommendations from friends, I've just recently discovered 30 Rock. I started watching from Season 1, Episode 1. Turns out I love the show. But here's the problem: I'm in a place in my life with very little time to dedicate to TV. So while I want to be caught up so I can watch the most recent episodes and talk about them with friends, there's no way I can watch all of the episodes. So, MeFi - what are the must-watch 30 Rock episodes? I've Googled around, but would love your opinions.
posted by demagogue to Media & Arts (15 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
You can just start watching the newest episodes and you'll be fine. I mean, some things develop linearly but it's not like a dramatic serial where you'll be lost if you miss a season. The barrier to entry for 30 Rock or any sitcom is very low so new viewers can pick it right up if they happen to be flipping through the channels. Then you can watch older episodes at your leisure and you really won't be spoiled.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:30 AM on January 4, 2012 [1 favorite]

In situations like this I use the episode guide ratings, then sort from best to worst, then arrange them chronologically. Upon reflection, it is scary that I have developed this method.
posted by craniac at 10:34 AM on January 4, 2012 [1 favorite]

Any time Brian Williams is in it it's a great show.

Also, the season 2 episode Rosemary's Baby was good, with a nice guest spot from Carrie Fisher. Most of Season 2 is decent, actually.
posted by bondcliff at 10:39 AM on January 4, 2012 [3 favorites]

I recommend all the episodes with Devon Banks (Will Arnett).
posted by peep at 10:41 AM on January 4, 2012 [6 favorites]

Honestly I think you're better off watching the first season* (or two, depending on your time) and then diving right in. As Burhanistan said, it's really not a series where there are so many developments that you'll be lost in a tangle of plot points. And my personal opinion is that the first two seasons are (by far) the best, although the last season wasn't bad. It really lost its way in the middle, though, and if you want to maintain the 30 Rock love, stick with the good stuff.

*If you don't have time for a whole season, you MUST watch "The Source Awards" and "Black Tie" from S1. Best two episodes, in my opinion! "The Rural Juror" is also great.
posted by Bella Sebastian at 10:48 AM on January 4, 2012 [3 favorites]

If you're a fan of the squirm-inducing humor that NBC has been so good at in recent years, make sure you don't miss "Reunion" from 2008.
posted by jbickers at 10:52 AM on January 4, 2012 [1 favorite]

"Episode 210". Them singing... never mind, to spoil that one is death.
posted by deezil at 10:55 AM on January 4, 2012 [1 favorite]

Ludachristmas with guest star Andy Richter.
posted by The Deej at 11:00 AM on January 4, 2012 [2 favorites]

I agree the early seasons were the best, because they were more consistent. Lately, you have episodes that are just as great as well as some really unfunny ones.
posted by User7 at 11:01 AM on January 4, 2012 [1 favorite]

Anna Howard Shaw Day and the arc with Wesley Snipes, particularly Future Husband. Also Black Light Attack and Black Tie.
posted by Sweetie Darling at 11:02 AM on January 4, 2012 [2 favorites]

Definitely watch season 3, episode 15: The Bubble, featuring Jon Hamm

And, FYI, it looks like every episode of 30 Rock has its own wiki page. Who knew?
posted by BurntHombre at 11:12 AM on January 4, 2012 [1 favorite]

All of the Dennis Duffy ones (dummy).
posted by mimi at 11:40 AM on January 4, 2012 [6 favorites]

From Season 2: LudaCristmas, Episode 210, Sandwich Day and Rosemary's Baby

From Season 3: Reunion, Retreat to Move Forward, Generalissimo, St. Valentine's Day, The Bubble. Believe in the Stars is also noteworthy if you know that while she was filming it Tina Fey was also doing Sarah Palin on SNL AND planning her daughter's birthday party (I'm obsessed, I know).

From Season 4: Secret Santa, Klaus and Greta, Anna Howard Shaw Day, Floyd, Emanuelle Goes to Dinosaur Land. I Do, I Do is great and also MATT DAMON. I really disliked the whole Nancy ark that season so blah. But Welsey Snipes!

From Season 5: When It Rains, It Pours, Reaganing, Brooklyn Without Limits, Que Sorpresa!, Double-Edged Sword.

Chosen not for any kind of continuity but just because I think they're the funniest.
posted by marylynn at 11:54 AM on January 4, 2012 [1 favorite]

"MILF Island" tends to get mentioned at times like these.
posted by rhizome at 12:12 PM on January 4, 2012 [1 favorite]

Bella Sebastian: I was also a huge fan of those episodes. Great taste! :-)

Thanks all!
posted by demagogue at 3:32 PM on January 4, 2012

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