updated 01/31/2013 AT 1:00 PM ET
•originally published 01/31/2013 AT 9:05 PM ET
The 30 Rock finale was one of the most delightful series wrap-ups I can remember. Not only were Liz Lemon and her fellow NBC colleagues not dead – there’s really no getting over the end of Lost – but they were full of the sparkling, absurd liveliness that characterized the show at its best throughout seven seasons.
A light sentimentality in this last hour gave everything just enough of an emotional underpinning – which the show has sometimes needed.
With its endless supply of shiny, shapely little jokes, the show could feel like a wonderful salad served up without a bowl. You got tired of being showered with lovely microgreens. This time we got the bowl. It was a lovely burnished wood.
Liz (Tina Fey – but you knew that) had to create one last episode of TGS, her now-canceled show – otherwise an obscure clause would kick in and Tracy Jordan (Tracy Morgan) would receive a payout costing NBC millions of dollars.
Meanwhile, Liz’s boss, capitalist king Jack Donaghy (Alec Baldwin) finally landed the top corporate job, only to learn that this ultimate success wasn’t the same thing as fulfillment.