"LIVE FROM STUDIO 6H"
Last year, '30 Rock' did a live broadcast for one episode and I saw no problem in keeping it as part of the overall body of '30 Rock' episodes. Why should it be cast into an alternate TV dimension just because it went live? Should the later years of 'The Andy Griffith Show' be considered part of some other TV dimension just because those episodes were in color?
At least the show provided an inner splainin as to the look and feel of that first live episode, by saying it was all as seen by Jack Donaghy in his enforced sobriety.
Then I heard that the episode was performed a second time for the West Coast time zone. And for that version, certain jokes were reworked into new gags - like different hand transplants for John Hamm's character. The Toobworld timeline usually only has such "hiccups" when there's a reboot to the timeline. So that's what I'd use for the splainin in that case.
But with this year's second experiment into live broadcasting for '30 Rock', a new possibility came to mind.
The two versions of "Live From Studio 6H" - each with different jokes and different guest stars - could be seen as variations on one of Liz Lemon's recurring nightmares.
The episode's main plot certainly supported that premise - with Liz upset that Jack was threatening to get rid of the live aspect of 'TGS with Tracy Jordan'. And no dream plays exactly the same way each new time it plays out. We have Toobworld precedent for that - "Shadow Play" on 'The Twilight Zone'.
When Liz dreamed of the NBC news bulletin the second time, perhaps she had seen Brian Williams doing the evening news earlier that night, which is why she saw him as Chet Huntley. (Or was he David Brinkley?) Likewise, for some reason she dreamed about Danny Baker singing a song (the 'TGS' theme song? We can't say it's the '30 Rock' theme song, after all!) rather than Jenna Maroney as she did the first time around. And perhaps she just listened to some McCartney music on a Diskman (left over from her relationship with Dennis Duffy) before the first dream, and then watched that Kardashian reali-turd before going to bed the next night. This would splain Sir Paul in the first version and Kim Kardashian in the second.*
We're never going to see that dream of Liz Lemon's play out in its entirety ever again with new variations, but off-screen she'll still have it so long as 'TGS' remains on the air. And each version would be different from the last.
Over in Toobworld, Liz is probably having that dream right now, only now 'TGS' director Pete Hornberger is singing the theme song. After all, unless that was him playing the co-host in the 'Gruber Brother & Nipsey' clip, he had nothing to do in the first two incarnations of the dream; so it'd be nice if he got to do something eventually......
Plenty of shows have used the "It's only a dream" trope in the past, but at least they said so by the end of the episode. This time Toobworld Central had to speak up.....
Among the changes between the two episodes:
Jenna Maroney sang the theme song.
Danny Baker sang it.
Jenna already had a major plot point while Cheyenne Jackson had so little to do otherwise.
Point goes to West Coast.
John Hamm played David Brinkley.
Brian Williams played Brinkley.
Having an actual NBC anchorman play the legend added to the meta quality of the joke.
Point goes to West Coast.
Dr. Spaceman was a former Nazi doctor in ad.
Dr. Spaceman revealed that he was gay.
Both were funny.
Paul McCartney used the bathroom in Jack's office.
Sir Paul suffered amnesia & Liz took advantage.
Kim Kardashian used it.
"Kimye" tweeted the show to raise its ratings.
Kim Kardashian is a human void. And Sir Paul is Sir Paul.
No contest - East Coast gets the point.
Kim Kardashian is worth negative points in the millions. East Coast wins!!!!