Why did 30 Rock drop so many storylines between Seasons 3 and 4?
July 16, 2014 8:32 AM   Subscribe

I've been re-watching 30 Rock on Netflix this week, and I realized there were major story lines season 3 that seem to have been unapologetically dropped at the start of season 4. For instance, season 3 ends with a television event to find Milton Green a kidney...and, apart from a later mention of Elvis Costello, this major storyline is never mentioned again. Similarly, Jenna is focused on her movie about Jackie Jormp Jomp, but this subplot never re-emerges. Is there a reason?
posted by jefficator to Media & Arts (3 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
The show is really a live action cartoon; there aren't actually many arcs that last longer than 1 or 2 EPA in the whole thing. It's absurdist.
posted by tristeza at 8:48 AM on July 16, 2014 [1 favorite]

Yeah I don't think it's anything more than the writers and cast wanting to do something new with the start of the next season. I also kind of love how the Jackie Jormp Jomp thing becomes another one of those things that Jenna did over summer break, like Mystic Pizza: The Musical.
posted by greenland at 8:56 AM on July 16, 2014

Best answer: The premise of 30 Rock is also that when the show is on break in real life, the characters are continuing to do their thing over the break from filming TGS.

In the case of Milton Green, they mention later that the celebrity kidney drive was successful, I believe more than once. I believe the episode "Christmas Attack Zone", when Elaine Stritch gets in a fight with Milton Green, one of the things he says to defend Jack is something like, "he's a good boy! He found me a kidney!"

They did the celebrity single, which was funny, and then a bunch of boring stuff of testing for matches and uneventful kidney transplant surgery took place over the summer break, which was all off-screen.

In the case of Jackie Jormp Jomp, I don't really see what else there was left to say. She auditioned for the movie. She got it. They failed to get the life rights, song rights, etc. Jack wrote a bunch of stupid soundalikes. They made the movie. Test audiences hated it. Jack came up with a last-ditch plan to market the movie (Tupacing Jenna), which Jenna ruined. I imagine that in the world of 30 Rock JJJ was either quietly released direct to DVD or sold in some sort of syndication package to foreign TV networks, where it will replay endlessly in the middle of the night, poorly dubbed, and twenty years later lead to Jenna having a cult following in say Colombia, and selling skincare products to these fans will keep her comfortable in her old age.

But again, all that stuff happens over summer break, off-screen.

I mean, its a TV show, not really worth overthinking this. But I think its all reasonably consistent within the continuity established by 30 Rock: all kinds of stuff happens over summer break ("When life keeps handing you anchovies, Just cover them up with some extra cheese. AND MAKE A PIZZA!")
posted by jeb at 9:59 AM on July 16, 2014 [5 favorites]

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