After six years on the air, NBC is ending "30 Rock" with an abbreviated Season 7. As was pointed out last May, declining ratings prompted NBC to close out the series, giving the cast and fans 13 episodes to say goodbye to this critical darling.
Based on "The Beginning of the End," the Season 7 premiere, this show will not, as poet Dylan Thomas once wrote, go gentle into that good night. Series creator and star Tina Fey joined Alec Baldwin in some clever digs at NBC, spending much of the episode biting the hands that once fed them. Fey and Baldwin even analyze each other's character, poking fun at their idiosyncrasies.
"30 Rock" immediately takes aim at NBC's ratings decline and its new slate of fall shows. Beginning with "Hunchbacks," the network's answer to sexy vampires, Jack Donaghy (Baldwin) unveils primetime shows that make absolutely no sense and have zero chance of finding an audience.
Jack even casts himself in the title role of "God Cop," a buddy show about a cop whose partner is God. The premise of this police procedural baffles everyone, including the characters on the fake show. In character as God, Jack says that one thing he has learned is that the more you know, the more you realize you don't know.
Liz Lemon (Fey) finally deduces that Jack is trying to sabotage NBC. Jack admits that he is trying to "steer the Titanic into the iceberg" and turn the network into a money-losing embarrassment. Jack says that he has an investor all lined up to buy NBC and wants Liz to join him in the sabotage.
Liz waffles over betraying NBC, but her decision becomes easier after she becomes a reluctant maid of honor for Jenna Maroney (Jane Krakowski). Liz hosts the world's worst bridal shower in her apartment, which makes her realize that tearing things down is a good way to build them back better and stronger than before.
Liz finally agrees to take down NBC with Jack, and they toast their plans in his office. Based on "The Beginning of the End," Season 7 of "30 Rock" is not going to stop sticking it to NBC until the final credits of the final episode.
The scary part is the network might actually add a frustrating game show like "Homonym" or a faux reality series like "Tank It" as mid-season replacements.