I wouldn't normally add to all the reviews already on offer, but the season's conclusion left me just a little perplexed. I wound up for it by doing a re-run of the uniformly brilliant first four seasons, which may have been a mistake. Whilst things started off extremely well, this time around, it was the last quarter or so where the quality became patchier. My final conclusion? That it was a good thing i got this one at a truly bargain basement flash promotional price.
However, this season still contains many more moments of brilliance. Hence the four stars. The fabulous, side-splitting "Live Show" episode alone probably makes this worth the admission price, to be honest, as Liz Lemon continues to deal with the numerous TGS nutjobs. Purchasers will notice that certain members of the support cast become margianalised, to the show's detriment. (I especially missed the deliciously catty interplay with the lovely Cerie, who hardly features.) Issues of pregnancy and Tracy Morgan's illness, as stated elsewhere, seem to be at the root of the season's somewhat rudderless conclusion. Almost as though the producers were desperate to get the season wrapped, using some rather contrived plotlines.
Still worthy of purchase, as there are simply too many good things, but purchasers may wish to hold their fire until the price is really right. Meanwhile, i'm hoping that the next season will get us back on course. This is such a funny series, after all, with no need for a laughter track. Brilliantly written and acted, but season five isn't perhaps quite up to the standard of what came before. Even so, an iffy season of "30 Rock" still leaves most of the competition trailing in its wake.
PS. A repeat viewing of the final six episodes was infinitely more satisfying. Whilst this season definitely wobbles, when Tracy disappears to "Africa", it remains very solid.