BySarah Loyd, writer at
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Sarah Loyd

By now, it is probably cliche to say that an entire story is all in the main character's head or that it was just a dream. However, it's not so cliche when that trope is connected to a show most of us would not expect. That is what a Reddit user has done for 30 Rock. He has gone so far to analyze every episode and conclude one strange theory. He believes the world and characters of 30 Rock are all part of Liz Lemon's dream while she in a coma. Now, the trope has gone from cliche to fascinating because I think he may be right. His post gave enough proof to convince me his theory has merit.

Jack Is Liz's Dead Lover

'30 Rock' [Credit: NBC Universal TV]
'30 Rock' [Credit: NBC Universal TV]

Strange, I know, but this explains why Liz is in a coma in the first place, and it's actually quite sad. Apparently, Jack Donaghy represents Liz's true love who died, and she was so distraught that she tried to kill herself. She never had the chance to show her true feelings for him. Jack appears in her dream to help her move on. In the show, he spends more time being her mentor than actually overseeing NBC. It's almost as if he has less of a connection to his job than Liz. The Reddit user turns the scene where Jack sails away on a boat into a metaphor for death, and takes it a step further:

Maybe the boat trip at the end and the suicide note video were calls for her to examine their relationship in the next "cycle" (a.k.a. the new TV project we see her working on at the end of the show, the one Kenneth assigned for her).

Perhaps Jack just used TGS to help Liz realize the importance of family and love. This begs the question: What do the other characters mean to Liz Lemon?

Tracy And Jenna Are Her Kids

In the series finale, Liz adopts a couple of kids who look and act exactly like Tracy Jordan and Jenna Maroney. In her dream, the kids are represented through the two spoiled actors as adults. Tracy and Jenna are derived from memories of the years Liz spent raising them to adulthood. Throughout the series, they act so childish that Liz becomes responsible for them. In the final scenes of the finale, Jenna and Tracy seem to disappear as Liz's "real children" appear.

She[Liz] cares for her[Jenna] and coddles her until her real children step into her world/mind as manifest entities. Later on in the end of the show's final episodes Tracy also fades to a background role. -Reddit user

The Writers Of TGS

'30 Rock'[NBC Universal]
'30 Rock'[NBC Universal]

So, if Jenna and Tracy are Liz's kids, then who are the writers of TGS supposed to be? They represent different parts of Liz's personality. Cerie is her feminine side, Lutz is her self esteem, Toofer is her intelligence, Frank is her laziness and Pete is her practical side. Also, the show she writes for is meant to represent her self-examination of family, and her new show at the end of the series examines her love for Jack.

She's wrestling with her inner doubts, fears, and conflicts off camera by tackling issues with the writers (a.k.a. her emotions) centered around the actors (aka her pseudo children).

With that in mind, the production of TGS could represent Liz as a whole. What about NBC? Or Kenneth?

Kenneth Is God!

Kenneth from ''30 Rock' [Credit: NBC Universal TV]
Kenneth from ''30 Rock' [Credit: NBC Universal TV]

Think about it — he is religious, his age is uncertain, and he appears almost otherworldly. The finale flashes forward many years later and Kenneth hasn't aged a bit. Perhaps Kenneth is immortal. That makes NBC the universe Kenneth watches over. However, the theory implies that NBC may be some sort of heaven Liz glimpses at while in her coma. He uses snow globes as a metaphor for our own existence.

What if "NBC" is just a reoccurring series of universe bubbles (playfully represented as snow globes) that play host to the shows we play out in our minds after we die and go to meet with Kenneth? Death is just a great pitch meeting in the sky and we all get our own never ending series of TV projects in which we work out our life's problems.

The last scene of the series show Liz's granddaughter pitching a show about to Kenneth. Liz's life or dreams may have been passed down to her granddaughter to keep the memories alive.

She is pitching the life lessons that Liz passed on to her before she died, which also provide the backdrop for Liz's fantasy world.

Liz gone into a coma and dreamt up 30 Rock to learn lessons about love and family. That world might not have been real, but it ultimately made her a better person. Considering the evidence that has been laid out, it makes sense that the world of 30 Rock was a coma dream. Cliche, yes, but the show is still hilarious!

So, do you think 30 Rock was in Lemon's head? Or, is it just crazy talk? Let me know in the comments!

(Sources: Reddit, NBC)


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