Television Representing Television: How NBC's 30 Rock Parodies and Satirizes the Cultural Industries
This project analyzes the cun-ent NBC television situation comedy 30 Rock for its potential as a popular form of critical cultural criticism of the NBC network and, in general, the cultural industries. The series is about the behind the scenes work of a fictionalized comedy show, which like 30 Rock is also appearing on NBC. The show draws on parody and satire to engage in an ongoing effort to generate humor as well as commentary on the sitcom genre and industry practices such as corporate control over creative content and product placement. Using a textual analysis, the show is examined to explore issues related to the television industry, the production of culture, and the culture of production. Of concern is the contradictory relationship between the critical potential of 30 Rock's self-reflexive content and the commercial, commodity structure of the television industry within which the series is located.