30 Rock Was Mean to Boston, But Meaner to New York
Never a city that welcomes the stereotypes so often lobbed at it (we're looking at you “Southie Rules“), Boston may cringe to recall some of the better barbs the writers of “30 Rock” have lobbed at us through the years. Jack Donaghy, Alec Baldwin's character on the popular sitcom, which airs its series finale tonight, hailed from a South Boston neighborhood known as “Sadchester,” which gave the show plenty of opportunity to rag on Boston as it explored Donaghy's past. BostInno put together a fun roundup for fans of the show documenting the many jokes made at Boston's expense over the years. (“They are all named Shawn, they are mean and I hate it here,” says Kenneth the Page in an episode where the group moves to Boston and shares an office with a local show called Bruins Beat.)
Perhaps the deepest wound 30 Rock ever gave us was an unintended one: Julianne Moore's abysmal accent that made much of Season 4 unwatchable for anyone that didn't want to listen to her plod her way through what sounded like a Canadian Mounty with his mouth full. Here's a reminder, in case you were thinking of getting over it.
The great thing about 30 Rock, though, is that they were equal opportunity offenders. No one survived their cutting barbs, not even (not by a long shot) their home network of NBC, which probably suffered the greatest number of send-ups of anyone on the show. So if you're feeling down on 30 Rock, just remember that as tough as they were on Boston, they were tougher on our good old friend New York, where the series took place. Maybe that's because the writers knew New York more intimately so their humor could get at it in a specific way, whereas the Boston material typically just relied on our stereotypes ( Irish, drunk, heavy-accented, etc.) (See The New Yorker's Emily Nussbaum today on the specificity of the way the show addressed New York City.) Much of their New York humor was no doubt rooted in a Stockholm Syndrome-esque love for their hometown, but still, it could be brutal. A couple of our favorite jabs at NYC include this clip, in which Liz argues to her boyfriend Floyd that she wants to grow old in New York City. It doesn't go well.
This one features Liz declaring New York “overrated”:
And then there's Liz's delightful misunderstanding of Jay-Z's “Empire State of Mind” lyrics:
Yep, they're equal opportunity offenders, alright, and we're sure going to miss them anchoring our Thursday nights.