I’ve recently finished watching season six of 30 Rock and I was pretty disappointed. I still had a few laugh out loud moments, but it really felt like it was going over old ground. What’s more, it felt as though it was so aware of it (especially with moments such as Liz Lemon looking directly down the barrel of the camera and announcing that even after five years, there were still things that she and Jack could learn from each other).
It’s my understanding that a lot of television series in the US are commissioned with a potential seven-year life. I recall Hugh Laurie mentioning in an interview that when he was signed on to House, there was a seven-year clause. If this is the case, then I guess when something is popular (in 2009, 30 Rock was nominated for fourteen Primetime Emmy Awards, the most in a single year), there is the inclination to get as much of it as possible, regardless of whether the quality is dropping. Actually, the quality isn’t dropping as such; it’s more that I expect more. Had I watched season six first, I think I would have laughed almost as much as season one.
Of course, I’ll watch season seven (I can never let it lie). But I’m not expecting a lot.