There were zombies on 30 Rock last night!
30 Rock is my favorite contemporary live-action television show. It’s got awesome writing, the recurring characters are as hilarious as they are complex, and week-to-week Alec Baldwin probably pulls off the funniest role on television as Jack Donaghy. I also love Dr. Leo Spaceman and the Kool Keith-influenced Tracy Jordan.
In last night’s episode, “Flu Shot”, the protagonist Liz Lemon must avoid contracting her coworkers’ flu-bug so that she may travel to the tropics to flirt with a cabana boy. Late in the episode, she configures her coworkers as zombies whom she must elude. The show shifts to zombie-movie lighting, her coworkers appear dressed as zombies, and Liz flees in terror.
I was, of course, delighted to see a zombie-themed vignette on 30 Rock. So many of my other favorite televison shows have already done zombie-themed episodes, from South Park (“Pinkeye“, “Night of the Living Homeless“), to The Simpsons (“Treehouse of Horror 3: Dial Z for Zombies“, “Little Big Mom” [e.g.: “Braaains… Braaains… Use your brains to figure out a way to help us. Your delicious braaaains…”*]), to Aqua Teen Hunger Force (“Super Birthday Snake“).
My favorite television program of all time, the Granada-produced BBC Sherlock Holmes starring the late Jeremy Brett, never featured zombies (as there were no zombie-themed Sherlock Holmes stories by A.C. Doyle). However, there are a few episodes in which zombie-ish, eldritch elements seem to be invoked (“The Creeping Man”, “The Last Vampyre“).
I think it’s interesting how shows can find ways to incorporate zombies. There seems to be no universal plot contrivance allowing them to appear. Sometimes the zombies are part of a dream-sequence. Sometimes living humans do things that get them mistaken for zombies. Sometimes the zombies are just “real zombies.”
However they make manifest, I find them delightful. I was totally jazzed to see zombies on 30 Rock.
*Quoting passage from memory. May be incomplete or incorrect.