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Why <I>30 Rock</I> Deserved The Best Comedy Series Emmy Last Night (Yes, Even More Than <I>The Office</I>) This morning when I hopped online to check out the rest of the world's post-Emmys reactions, I noticed mostly the stuff I expected to see -- the five hosts were crap, Bryan Cranston's win was an upset, yay Mad Men, etc -- but one thing I noticed from both my friends and blog commenters from around the Interwebs was a 30 Rock backlash I didn't even know existed. Well, I'm here to tell you why 30 Rock deserved its Best Comedy Series win last night, detractors!

Most of the backlash seems to be coming from Office fans who felt snubbed, and while I empathize with the agony of having a show you love lose awards, let's be real here. Of course The Office is an amazing show. It's hilarious, it's brilliant, we can all agree on this. Great. But if you're going to compare its last season to 30 Rock's last season alone, 30 Rock had a stronger, certainly more even year. The hour-long Office episodes were ill-advised, and, for the most part, hard to get through, while 30 Rock delivered week after week of near perfection, starting with the first "Me Want Food!" utterance, to MILF Island, to Sandwich Day to Jack Donaghy's now infamous impression of Tracy Jordan's dad. My only real complaint is that Kenneth's shtick is getting a little old, but that's really my only big one. Which is more than I can say for The Office, despite its satisfying season finale. Overall, the year did not deliver as many laughs as Season 3, storylines were stalled and not just because of the strike (Jim and Pam are somehow still not engaged, after spending 14 episodes hemming and hawing about it, not to mention the previous three years of them hemming and hawing about it, for example) and I know that's hard to admit, but it's the truth.

The most common complaint I hear and read about 30 Rock is that it's too ridiculous, too over the top and too absurd to deal with. That argument, I'm sorry, is too absurd to deal with. Michael Scott and Dwight Schrute, as genius and hilarious as they are, are two of the most ridiculous, over the top and absurd characters I've ever seen on television. You disagree? Really? Michael drove his damn car into a lake last year because he thought his GPS told him to. I almost passed out from laughing at that scene, but still -- that is undeniably over the top. The same could be said about Creed, Kevin, and hell, even Jan when she's at her worst. These people would never exist in reality because they are caricatures, and purposefully so, but just because The Office takes place in a setting most of us can directly relate to, does that automatically give it some inarguable gravity that 30 Rock can't possibly enjoy because it's set somewhere glamorous? The Office is about the boredom and monotony of corporate life in a crap town. 30 Rock is about dealing with impossible egomaniacs in a big city. They're going to be different. That doesn't make The Office a superior show.

It's just odd to me that The Office seems to have reached some Arrested Development level of widespread reverence, whereas 30 Rock gets as many "it's overrated!" jabs as it does accolades. I just hope that's due to 30 Rock being a younger series, and that the tide will turn eventually.

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