Standout episodes: "Gavin Volure;" "The Funcooker"
Other than the much-debated dip over the last couple seasons of the show, 30 Rock maintained a level of consistent quality few series can muster. The first few seasons are all the more impressive because of the show’s unique pace. The mile-a-minute rhythms came thanks to Tina Fey’s unique comic timing. Her scripts were actually sometimes up to 10 pages longer than standard length to accommodate the rapid-fire delivery, and were filled with the kind of jokes on top of jokes that you're still processing well into the next scene. As a result, the best episodes feel both relentless and effortless, gliding in and out of references to Tracy and Jenna’s old projects, Jack’s worldly advice, and hectic moments on the TGS stage. —Brenden