This news confirms something we have all suspected for quite some time: Tina Fey is an all-powerful being who has the ability to bring people back from the dead. After you spend a few seconds nodding in unsurprised agreement, I suggest you keep reading for an explanation.
Fans of 30 Rock will recall a pretty significant plotline last season that involved Jack Donaghy’s (Alec Baldwin) new wife Avery (Elizabeth Banks) being kidnapped by Kim Jong-il (Margaret Cho) while reporting overseas in North Korea. The dictator forced Avery into a position as the lead newsanchor on the nation’s top news program, and, more horrifically, into marriage with his youngest son, Kim Jong-un.
Fans of current events, on the other hand, will likely recall Kim Jong-il’s sudden death in December, as well as the acceptance of the North Korean Supreme Leader position by Kim Jong-un. Aside from being pretty significant in the real world, fans have suspected that this might cause quite a scramble in the 30 Rock writers room, as the show is set to return to NBC on Jan. 17.
Fey’s co-showrunner Robert Carlock has been vocal about the situation. Carlock explained that several upcoming episodes were written and produced prior to the announcement of Jong-il’s death, so there will be no mention of this significant event. However, Carlock explained to The Hollywood Reporter that this will not necessarily form a conflict with the reality: “We realized that, luckily, we hadn’t referred to King Jong Il by name yet — just to North Korea in general…We can’t go back and address the changes there, but the fun puzzle is turning around and trying to figure out how to get her out of there and how to continue things.”
However, the really interesting news (in particular 30 Rock style) is that the 30 Rock writers aren’t necessarily going to kill off Kim Jong-il. A combination of their apparent fondness for Cho’s performance and the opportunity for crazy storylines might encourage the series to keep Cho on as the character. Carlock explains: “Maybe we’ll have to have Margaret Cho showing up again having faked her death…because she wants to get a gig on a morning talk show.”
Nothing is solidified yet. Hopefully, for the sake of the Donaghy family, Avery will be released from the grips of the North Korean dictatorship soon. If Jack can deceive the American White House with a “gay bomb,” round up every celebrity imaginable to get a kidney for his secular humanist biological father Milton Greene (Alan Alda), and, as he claims, be the true author of the song “You’re So Vain,” then he can probably take out an entire country’s government.