By Food Stamp
Without any doubt, NBC Universal’s (soon to be a part of “Kabletown”) 30 Rock is an unbelievable meta-media critique. What I mean by “meta-media” is that 30 Rock consistently critiques the system and circumstances by which it is produced, distributed, and in many ways consumed (South Park, and other notable cartoons, share the same method of critique)–essentially the corporate media system.
This term we’ve grown familiar with the Comcast/NBC merger, one that would give Comcast further control over content and its distribution as well as the price we pay for entertainment. I caught this re-run episode of 30 Rock on my DVR last week and thought it was, well, a brilliant way of parodying/critiquing its (NBC’s) own fate in the merger with the fictitious Kabletown (see specifically 5:22, 9:09, 14:00, 17:00 for related content). My good friend at Bitch Magazine, Kelsey Wallace, even thought that the fake Kabletown website, announced by Jack Donaghy himself, did a better job of covering the merger than most news media outlets. Turns out that Kabletown is a real place in West Virginia.
The episode is great and critiques how cable companies produce little but “provide” a lot of service; as we know, NBC Universal delivers content. In the end, Donaghy convinced the board of directors at Kabletown to produce “porno for women,” and they bite.
If you haven’t seen “Conspiracy Theory Rock,” it aired once on SNL a few years back and was pulled by NBC Universal’s corporate parent, General Electric, for obvious reasons. I think it’s a brilliant (okay, I’m stretching it) poke at how a diversified corporation’s, such as GE, control over media outlets helps to further their personal agenda and cover up pernicious blunders.