1. Alec Baldwin. His comedic sense and timing is great. His ownership of his character is even better.
  2. Tina Fey’s ever-improving acting. You can almost watch her get better from one episode to the next.
  3. Tina Fey’s cleavage. I am of the opinion that Tina Fey’s cleavage needs to be given its own character credit on this show. It appears more frequently than half the cast members, and seems so carefully arranged and presented that I would not be surprised to also see a credit for: Assistant to Ms. Fey’s Cleavage.
  4. Appeals across many demographics. For instance, I can watch this show with my beautiful girlfriend, who has way better cleavage than Tina Fey! The same cannot be said for Grey’s Papaya Anatomy (her) or re-runs of Star Trek: The Next Generation (…also…uhh…her.)
  5. Tracy Morgan. Not as talented an actor as Alec Baldwin, but displays a similar ownership of his character. Credit the creators and writers of the show for this bright spot as well. It has a lot to do with how expertly they handle Tracy Jordan’s different displays of ‘crazy behavior.’ If they can get away with just saying ‘he’s crazy,’ they do it and move on. If the plot calls for something more, for whatever reason, they address the reason and move on. Tight, smart writing – and as I said, Morgan pulls his job off expertly as well. He is clearly having a lot of fun with the role. This is probably something I completely missed, because I don’t watch television too often – but is he playing a version of himself?
  6. Kenneth the Page. Another character whose oddities and quirks are treated with alternating looseness and precision. Another good acting job. In fact…
  7. Very good supporting cast. From Morgan Fairchild look-a-like Jane Krakowsi (no relation to John Krasinski) to Jack McBrayer’s Kenneth the Page, to the guy whose only real job is to look dirty and wear funny hats, the supporting cast of 30 Rock does a very good job of making sure that those moments falling in between major plot points actually support what’s going on in the show – instead of degenerating into typical network filler-fare. Filla-fare. Falafel. I’m hungry. Don’t even like falafels.
  8. Utilizes its humor equitably and towards positive effects. This may be a minor point – but I enjoy the way in which the show seems to dole out its good-natured knocks equally among any and all ‘victims.’ One episode will end up with Big Bad Republican Jack Donaghy teaching Little Mousy Cleavage Pushin’ Liz Lemon about how to be assertive, strong, and…rich. At the end of the next, Lemon will be scurrying to save Donaghy from some trapping of Red State life. Last week’s episode was particularly indicative of this tendency. Maybe we can all get along after all. (Not really. Ibiteyoureyes.)
  9. Not afraid to get weird. Now, I’m not talking about Liz Lemon’s geek-girl characteristics. Geekdom is slowly but surely (ge)eking its way into the mainstream taste. A different subject for a different time. I’m talking more about the occasional ridiculous plot point (cookie jars?) and the occasional one-liner (often delivered by Baldwin) that after the first few episodes started to (thankfully) take the place of your average, run-of-the-mill, cheap…sitcom jokes.
  10. I am too hungry to finish this list. Discuss among yourselves. Ibitesomefood.

Writer’s Note:  Ibiteyoureyes was (mistakenly!) under the impression that the Who Should Write Superman series was started in order to discuss who should write the sequel to Superman Returns, and not the comic book(s). Blame his bad memory, and blame the disappointment that was this movie, and blame The Bush Administration (why not?),  for this mistake.

– – –

My first experience reading Frank Miller was not a good one. I picked up a copy of one of the Sin City graphic novels, “watched” a guy get hit by a car while grumbling campy dialogue for a few pages, and then put that copy right down.

There are two important points that I want to make, before someone from the Legion of Geeks (of which I – in addition to most of the saladeers – am probably a low-ranking member) flips out starts an anti-salad video blogging campaign (leave Frank Miller alone!) against this sweet and innocent textual blog.

  1. Let’s get this much gay at the inset: Miller has some serious talent. As some of his work has shown – he can take everything that is good about what is generally understood as the noir genre – and hone it into something special. Unlike some people, he can successfully turn style into substance. It just seems to me, though, that after a few early successes with this strategy, he got too big for his britches. And then his britches snapped open, like the britches of a certain other someone, and he was left with just some junk hanging in the air.
  2. I, as a person, and a biter of eyes, subject “the everyday” and “the mundane” to unhealthy levels of analysis and critique. It’s just the way I shook out. What does this have to do with Frank Miller? As I’ve pointed out, Miller uses many of the themes and devices inherent to noir, and I am a big, big noir fan – and one that places a lot of value on the importance of this genre’s roots. And I believe those roots should be respected. So when Miller (in my opinion) exploits the melodrama and the wisecracking and the tough-guy acts and the sex and etc. that serve as the genre’s main devices and tries to pass them off as the essence of the genre itself – rather than simply utilizing them to their fullest dramatic potential – that, quite simply, boils my bum.

Now…that being said…I firmly believe in battling my own early prejudices and judgments and giving everything as fair a shake as I can. So come over here and let me show you what things look like 180 degrees in the other direction.

I have read two Miller novels since that first, dirty dip in his bibliography, those two novels being: The Dark Knight Returns, and The Dark Knight Strikes Again. The quality and the success of these novels (particularly the first one) have convinced me that Miller should reach back in time, remember what made him good, and write Superman.

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