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'30 Rock' preview: Final season begins

Alec Baldwin and Tina Fey co-star as Jack

Alec Baldwin and Tina Fey co-star as Jack Donaghy and Liz Lemon on "30 Rock." (Oct. 5, 2012) Credit: NBC

THE SHOW "30 Rock"

WHEN | WHERE Seventh- season premiere Thursday at 8 on NBC/4

WHAT IT'S ABOUT "TGS" is back from hiatus: Liz (Tina Fey) is appalled by the new NBC fall lineup; Jack (Alec Baldwin) and Avery (Elizabeth Banks) are still presumably splitsville, but Kenneth (Jack McBrayer) and Hazel (Kristen Schaal) presumably are not. Jenna (Jane Krakowski) prepares for her wedding . . . but to Paul (Will Forte), her transgender look-alike? Liz is maid of honor. (The episode was not available for review.)

THE PRODUCER SAYS Producer Robert Carlock said recently, "We don't quite know what the ending is," but NBC ordered only 13 episodes for the seventh and final season. "But we do want to give everyone closure, even if it's in our own weird way. Jack once said everyone would die by Kenneth's hand or end up working for him. We want to achieve one of those goals."

Meanwhile, what about Liz and live-in boyfriend, Criss Cross (James Marsden)? Or will Liz and Jack -- as Kim Jong Un (Margaret Cho) wondered last season -- end up together? Carlock: "They always felt like an uncle and niece to me, but I'm gratified there are people so invested in their relationship that they'd want that to go further. . . . We want to keep playing with that chemistry."

MY SAY All great things must come to an end, and 6 1/2 seasons seems like a reasonable life span for this great thing -- packed with wordplay, sight gags, pop-culture tangents and assorted other odds and ends. Just don't expect some neat wrap to the hundreds of dangling threads -- which are meant to dangle into TV eternity. "30 Rock" really never was about "conclusions" or "wraps" anyway. Those are for mere mortal TV shows. It was a show deeply rooted in the moment.

"Rock's" fans probably don't need happy endings for these beloved characters -- just give them words, and they'll be fine.

BOTTOM LINE Let 'er rip, "Rock." Nothing left to lose now -- you've already been canceled.


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