Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Studio 60 & other stuff

After watching episode two of STUDIO 60 I must let you in on a little secret. People in television, trust me, are not that smart. Not even close. Jesus. I’ve worked with people whom I thought, if they couldn’t write a joke they’d be living in a Maytag box. And they keep talking about how unbelievably talented that Harriet (Sarah Paulson) is. Have you seen evidence of it yet? I haven’t. But then again, I’m not that smart.

Note to Aaron Sorkin: the best way to motivate comedy writers is not with threats and a dress code.

Notice when people talk about STUDIO 60 they don't start the conversation by saying, "I really liked it" or "I hated it"? Instead it's always, "What did you think?" I suspect no one really knows what to make of it.

So far, no breakout new hits this year. Could it be the two-shows-for-every-premise policy this year? I’d love to see the abducted kid from KIDNAPPED delivered to the folks on VANISHED.

HAPPY HOUR has been pre-empted. Whoever picked that show as the first cancellation, you’re looking pretty good. Although, KIDNAPPED could sneak in there first. And STANDOFF has gone on hiatus, presumably to give the new consulting producer a chance to get up to speed. Shutting down production is never a good sign, and needing a new consulting producer is a worse one.

Best title of the new shows: MEN IN TREES.

GREY’S ANATOMY beat CSI last Thursday. People are more interested in who’s doing it than who done it.

CSI MIAMI beat STUDIO 60 last Monday. People are more interested in who done it than what is it?

Just when I think sitcoms are bad I see those beer commercials on football games.

I’m sure I speak for all writers when I say I’d rather be a sherpa than work on a Mandy Patinkin show.

If you root for a tribe on SURVIVOR does that make you a racist? Way to cast the Hispanic team, by the way. They selected a big fat lazy heavy metal artist. Shots of his tribe mates working away while he just sat. Producers did everything but play “Manana” every time the camera went to him.

Now that several FRASIER writers are working on DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES, expect a lot of episodes about dinner parties that go awry.

See LENNON VS. US. Terrific documentary. Worth the price of admission just for the scene where Black Panther leader, Bobby Seale is a guest on the Mike Douglas Show. I just wish they had sung a duet together. Maybe Ed Ames’ “My Cup Runneth Over” or Sly Stone’s “Don’t call me Nigger, Whitey.”

57 comments:

stephen said...

Yeah, I"m a little baffled too. The drama isn't all that dramatic:

The woman who dumped Matthew Perry is mad he's dating someone else? Get over it.

Matthew Perry is mean to his writers.

Steven Weber says, "Don't run the sketch," Amanda Peet says, "we *will* run the sketch!" This is drama?

And, for something billed as a semi comedy, nothing funny has happened yet.

JordyB said...

Well when I talk about it with other people I start out by saying "I love it but that sketch didn't work." I think it's a very entertaining show, the dialog is a little too on the nose sometimes and jesus did that sketch bomb. They should incorporate it bombing into the show.

I still find it a lot of fun to watch. The Class was much better this week as well.

shecanfilmit said...

I wish everyone would give Studio 60 five or so episodes to develop and stop analyzing every beat. I liked it. It's got a good premise and good acting. Just leave it alone for a bit and see what happens.

Ken Levine said...

I liked it too. Didn't love it although I wanted to. But I will continue to watch. Meanwhile, people are talking about it and that is every producer's DREAM. Right behind ratings and Emmys but still very high on the wish list.

The Master said...

I must admit I felt like I was visiting Mars for a minute when the Friends guy ordered a room full of comedy writers to dress better and wear ties. Hello? How about ordering them to write funny sketches? Who cares how writers dress? Not even writers.And no, the Sarah Paulson character shows no signs whatever of being funny, or interesting. and I can't believe that the entire cast would put up with being forced to pray before the show. If that had ever happened on a show I was in (I acted for 30 years) I'd have gone ballistic. Meanwhile, D.L. Hughley and Nate Cordrey are funny, and we haven't been allowed any evidence of that either.
The good thing about shows with Mandy Patinkin is that frees up an hour of my TV time, because I swore off anything with that horrific overactor years ago. The man even overacts when he sings.
The "Bug fat lazy Heavy Metal artist" on "Survivor: Helter Skelter" completely blew my mind with his "Love at first sight" fantasy world. That man is seriously insane.
"Desperate Housewives" has always been full of disastrous dinner parties, from the begining. I am looking forward to some Joe Keenan bedroom farce, though.
Have you checked out "Heroes", or "X-Men by any other name" yet?
Am taping Ted Danson's new show to check out after the L&Os end for the evening.

Anonymous said...

Seems a little like TV fascinated by itself. Network navel-gazing. I wanted to like it, but mostly I wanted the characters to be likable and their repartee to be funny, and to my tastes, this failed to deliver on either front. As far as the drama goes- it was a little like listening to a teenager complain about their day- the problems are trivial, and it's hard to get involved with them.

Anonymous said...

Aaron Sorkin isn't a funny writer. He never has been, he never will be, but in the world of the 60 minute drama, "amusing" is often confused as funny. It isn't. The person who should be writing a TV show ABOUT comedy should at least have the ability to BE funny when necessary in the world of that show... in addition to being able to dramatize the action. This isn't West Wing where none of us really knew how a White House ran or how a President faced serious decisions. We all know what's funny and makes us laugh, and since the show that the show is about is incapable of making ANYONE laugh, I find this to be nothing more than exercise of ego.

And a special note to "shecanfilmit": They had 8 weeks of pre-production to prepare that 2nd episode... and it blew. Why sould anyone think they'll have the time to improve the show now that they are under the gun of delivering 3 episodes every 4 weeks?

Anonymous said...

Poor Chandler, he will suffer the same fate as Joey. Frankly, those of us in the "flyover states" (as Julie Goes to Hollywood calls them) can't get worked-up over the happenings in the entertainment industry.

And I keep waiting to see something funny.

Whaledawg said...

Hey now, back off Mandy.

He's been great in at least 3 things, 4 if you count those adds for a chloresteral pill.

Cage Free Brown said...

I gave it ten minutes to thrill me on a Bravo re-broadcast. I love the idea of the Bravo re-broadcast since I couldn't be bothered to TIVO it.

writers don't long to write for Mandy Patinkin? live and learn.

Anonymous said...

Mandy was terrific on Dead Like Me and those cholesterol commercials.

Damion said...

"Heroes" is the only show I've wanted to watch twice so far.

I really want Studio 60 to succeed, but right now, I'm not sure what it is.

jhime said...

I love Aaron Sorkin's writing, and I've been following him from "A Few Good Men" to "Sports Night" (Which got me through my Sophomore blues at Northwestern) to "The West Wing" and now "Studio 60"... hell, in High School even I was in a one-act written by him called "Hidden in this Picture".

That being said and my adoration aside, I've noticed he has a tendency to create a bit of elitism in the way his characters master the problems of a plotline. In the West Wing, it tended to come out as a very snide view of Republicans and that hurt the arguments of his characters considerably when he fell back on a tone that seemed to imply that "anyone who doesn't believe what I believe is stupid or a redneck".

In Studio 60, the second episode really didn't involve much cooperation with the conflicting forces. Matthew Perry and Bradley Whitford were going to shove quality entertainment down the unwanting masses throats and in the end we'll all thank them. Which we still root for them, because they're two very talented and charming actors. On the other hand, at the very least I'd like to see Perry cooperating with the writing staff in the future (especially the two "token untalented writers", played by excellent actors Evan Handler and Carlos Jacott), rather than just labelling them patently unfunny. What I saw in the second episode was less making a TV show and more two guys coming in that were inherent genius, and when no one else matched up to their innate talents, they just decided to write the show themselves and make it a success.

Unfortunately, I don't see much of a future in the show for old Ron and Ricky, who have been called hacks about once every five minutes in both the pilot and this week's episode.

Shawn said...

Ken! The Mariners fired Ron Fairly. That means it's time for you to make your proud return as the Mariners' broadcaster.
Please make some calls!
Shawn

Anonymous said...

Studio 60 is a mess. Can't compare to "The Larry Sanders Show", so far the best show depicting TV back stage. They changed the music from White Stripe to Gilbert and Sullvian???? Come on, the supposed audience for Studio 60 wouldn't know they were! Just read that Sorkin has a Gilbert and Sullivan jones, so that explains why. But it wasn't as bad as "Shark", a total piece of crap. Bad Perry Mason imitation.

doggans said...

My roommates and I really enjoyed both episodes so far of Studio 60.

I have nothing else to contribute.

Anonymous said...

You guys have to get over Matthew Perry's character chewing out the writers about their clothes. Didn't you see later in the show when he actually mocked his own rant?

It went something like "I lectured the writing staff about their wardrobe. Apparently it's something I feel passionate about." It was an anxiety-related outburst, nothing more.

branfordbob said...

Studio 60 is funny. It's just not a comedy.

The best line in the 2nd episode was a throw-away. When the woman frantically trying to book a replacement musical guest at the last minute says she's on the phone with Clay Aiken's manager, DL Hughley's character says, "Well then, hang up the damn phone!" I laughed out loud.

Give it 5-6 episodes and we'll talk.

BOB

bstampy said...

Yeah, the Gilbert & Sullivan thing was a complete miscalculation. All episode long, Matthew Perry won't stop talking about how the cold open has to be funny and edgy and announce that there is a new regime at the show, and his conclusion is to parody the lyrics of a showtune from 100 years ago? It looked like something out of the Carol Burnett Show - not a smart and edgy late night comedy show.

Also, putting the cast in white evening wear and having them bob up and down in time with the LA symphony doesn't exactly call to mind hip and cool. I don't care what they were saying... speaking of which, the lines came and left so fast it was impossible to process and laugh... sure, that's the pace of the song, but, well, obviously I've been stewing about this and needed a release.

And yes, the Big Three have yet to make me laugh. These are comedy heavyweights?

Regardless, I'll be tuning in again next week.

Anonymous said...

I am Juan Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die!

Gold!

WF said...

The Aiken gag gave my nostrils a beer rinse.

People I've talked to like the premise and hope the show does well.

What was the line about Whitford's character's project being about Nikola Tesla? It felt like a private joke, but frankly I'm waiting for this damn film!

Anonymous said...

Like everyone (pretty much) has said, I've enjoyed Studio 60 too. It still hasn't gelled and I think it remains to be seen if it'll be a decent show or a good one. Part of the problem, I think, is the fact that all the talk is supposed to produce something that can never be delivered. It kind of kills the joke if you already know the punchline. (And can Hari ever live up to the hype?) The actual cold open sketch was a little off to me--the big joke is that the new producer "got caught doing blow"? I mean, maybe I'd laugh if they made a joke about Lorne Michaels doing blow, but if Lorne had a melt down the previous week on camera and they skipped that to make a joke about the new producer, I'd be a little disappointed. They've got to figure out which Studio 60 is about which Studio 60. (Evadne)

Anonymous said...

It is a fact that Mandy Patankin is the male Liza Minelli. That being said, Im taking a wait & see approach on Studio 60. I like (dont love) what Ive seen so far. I think we have to be careful that our general synicism doesnt smash the egg before it has a chance to hatch.
Also, I want to see the trickle down effect on Lorne & Cast at SNL. Can we get a funny Dane Cook premiere? Can we get more than 3 good shows a season? Is Will Ferrell available (no, but Fey may be...).

Anonymous said...

Here's the deal with NBC and Aaron Sorkin:

Seems to me that NBC (which once fired Sorkin off WEST WING, the show he created) wanted him back so badly that they are letting him do anything he wants. The result is STUDIO 60, a show which wants to do nothing more than see how far it can kick its foot up the ass of the very studio that's financing it.

NBS? I'm sure they were thrilled when that was in the first script.

Sorkin is now going to bite the hand that feeds him week in and week out and NBC will take it all like some battered wife in a trailer park. That said, the thing I'm worried sick about the most is my fear that it's all going to come to a nasty conclusion like something out of "The Burning Bed" wherein NBC, sick of the abuse, sets Sorkin's hair on fire.

Of course THAT will be funny to watch.

Anonymous said...

Hey, Ken, you're all over the blogs.
http://jameswolcott.com/
http://www.defamer.com/
congrats.

Mike Barer said...

The Mariners did not fire Fairley, at least that was not was reported. Fairley retired to Indian Wells. I think it will make room for Harold Reynolds.
http://mvbarer.blogspot.com/2006/08/mariners-looking-at-hiring.html

restlesslegs said...

I thought that episode two began to establish the characters and flesh them out. Their internal struggles and conflicts were amplified; individual storylines were elaborated and "pacing" was ignited. The Gilbert and Sullivan bit was actually quite inspirational and funny - and it was presented with flair. It happens to be a well written, well acted and well cast dramedy. I fail to understand the immediate urge of so many to not acknowledge the talent and dedication that was so obvious to me.

Seymour said...

Hey bstampy, when they said they were going to do Gilbert & Sullivan, which ahould actually be sung faster than the pokey pace they sang it at, I switched on the Closed Captions. No problems following the lyrics then. I still didn't laugh, but that was because the lyrics weren't even as funny as W.S. Gilbert's original lyrics.
Hopefully the show will improve, though I fear we are stuck with the tiresome, holier-than-thou unfunny Christian chick.

Marcusson said...

I hated it. There, I said it. After watching the first two episodes of Studio 60, I am convinced that it is a turd dipped in honey. The pacing is off, the actors are miscast, and the dialogue is embarrassing. In fact, my wife and were cringing during the Gilbert & Sullivan inspired cold open. Sorkin and Schlamme may do some things well -- I loved Sports Night -- but Studio 60 is not one of them. A TURD DIPPED IN HONEY. You heard it here first.

ugagrl said...

As someone who is mad about entertainment in all forms and watches more shows and movies than I have time for, I have to disagree with your assessment of Studio 60. There are a few new shows that I have enjoyed this season and Studio 60 is on top of the list. I admit that I refused to watch The West Wing when it first aired because I thought that it would be all about how the Democrat Party is the best thing since sliced bread. I didn’t want to watch a show where Democrats were glorified as they so often are in Hollywood. Luckily one of my coworkers recommended the series and assured me that it was not just a platform to glorify the Democratic Party. Thankfully I took his advice and started watching the series, I have never viewed better written and acted television (except for maybe 24 – but it is apples and oranges people) than The West Wing. When I heard about Studio 60 – created and written by Alan Sorkin with such an amazing cast (Bradley Whitford - all I can say is LemonLyman.com, Amanda Peet and Matthew Perry – who really is the best actor from the “Friends” bunch) I marked the debut on my calendar. Not only does Studio 60 showcase amazing acting, it has been amazingly written and produced. For the last two weeks, this show has left me wanted more – something that doesn’t happen that often (except for early Alias, obviously 24 and the other breakout hit 6 Degrees). You also have to appreciate that NBC and Lorne Michaels are taking pot shots and parodies of themselves, it is too much fun. Stop being such haters and realize that this is going to be one that last for a long time – at least I hope it does.

Susan said...

I have to second the "turd dipped in honey" vote. I wanted to like it, but wanting it doesn't make it so. Sorkin should stick to what he does best, which is smoking crack with hookers whilst listening to Don Henley.

LeeChesnut said...

I, for one, LOVE the show. Matthew Perry has really impressed me because not even once have I thought of him as Chandler Bing. This show is too smart to show up in the weekly Top 20 Nielsens, but I suspect it will reel in a long list of Emmy nominations. It's the ONLY new show of the season that I plan on watching every week. Can someone name a better freshman show?

spycygrl said...

I agree that the G&S opener was a dud. But, then again, how often did SNL have a total dud sketch? OFTEN. Still does. If S60 is really supposed to be loosely based on the trials and tribs of an "SNL-like" show, it should have stupid, idiotic loser sketches sometimes. Now if Sorkin makes the opener turn out to be a "success," that will turn me.

I actually think Perry is good in this, but can't stand the smugness of Amanda Peet's character (her? or the writing? both?). I'm giving it one more round to really impress me...

sean said...

They shoudl have set this show in a network evening news studio. Would have made much more sense. Sanders was funny cause it was a comedy show about comedy. Treating comedy seriously is always a recipe for disaster.

Anonymous said...

A Gilbert and Sullivan parody? I'm sure that killed at the 1952 Cambridge Footlights Spring Follies.

If you want people to think you're cultured, Aaron, pick something more obscure than "Modern Major General."

Amanda Peet never blinks. Is her character a robot? That would be a more interesting twist than anything that has happened so far.

This show stinks. Sorkin is an overrated blow-hard. He flatters his audience by making them think if they like this stuff, then they're smart and important. And he wouldn't know comedy if an entire sketch show fell on his head. Even "30 Rock" has to be better than this.

kbrooks said...

And what happened to the "Crazy Christians" sketch that that just HAD to show...then didn't.

kbrooks said...

And what happened to the "Crazy Christians" sketch that that just HAD to show...then didn't.

kbrooks said...

And what happened to the "Crazy Christians" sketch that that just HAD to show...then didn't.

Larry Morgan said...

I'm with most of you guys in that I'm a little underwhelmed...especially since I was such a big fan of Sorkin's "Sports Night" which was a behind-the-scenes show as well. Maybe the half-hour format fit better. I just don't know who cares about the trials and tribulations of a bunch of priveleged TV actors. (Of course, I shot my OWN version of this same premise 3 years ago meant to pitch to cable. If you wanna watch it go to YouTube and search for Live By Friday.)
However, I must say that there are still moments that shine. When DL Hughley yells at the music booker to hang up on Clay Aiken's manage I laughed out loud. And Matt's response to Harriet about the line about asking for the butter not getting a laugh at dress was fairly brilliant. "You asked for the laugh." "Why did it work at the table read." "Because you asked for the butter."
Good stuff.
Amanda Peet could be replaced by a cardboard cutout and still have as much presence as she does now, though. Sheesh.

thegaygardener said...

Hey Ken
I love your blog (thanks Defamer!)
Studio 60 sucks. What was that word I learned in that acting class I flunked out of, indicating?? This show is indicating all over itself. Is Matthew Perry contractually obligated to work with Amanda Peet?
Why do people keep hiring her?? She's awful. I realize I've turned into my mother but I'm just going to keep watching all of the LAW& ORDERs, all of the time! It's so much simpler

CL said...

Overall, I like Studio 60. I don't know why exactly, I just do. My only gripe has been with what another poster called the "annoying" Christian Chick. I'm also a Christian Chick and that prayer she said before the show on the last episode was really stupid. Aside from the fact that I can't imagine that actually happening, the words did not ring true. No Christian that I know would ever say, Jesus must have had a sense of humor because why else would anyone listen to him. How about because was a little something called OUR LORD?!? Well, isn't THAT special? She annoys me, too.

Anonymous said...

I agree that "Studio 60" still deserves some time to develop, and it's certainly not a bad show in the overall scheme of things. (For real badness, examine "Vanished." Better yet, don't.) But it is underwhelming -- people expect more from Aaron Sorkin, with good reason, and this project is simply not a very good fit for his talents. His dry, erudite, (sometimes self-)righteous sensibility infuses everything he writes and is, unfortunately, the exact opposite of the sensibility that creates edgy sketch comedy. Given that Sorkin's shows always focus upon people who are very good at what they do, lauding their excellent as their virtue (and this is something I like about him), "Studio 60" cannot simply tell us that Matt, Danny, Harriet, etc. are geniuses. It must show us comic talent, and I don't think Sorkin's got it to give us. If so, it's in short evidence thus far.

I think the cast is uniformly good -- Matthew Perry is the particular standout -- but some are ill-case in their roles or simply with Sorkin-speak. We'll see how it develops, but IMHO most of the people who "love" the show at this point simply love the idea of the show.

Anonymous said...

The fact that the "red states" are only made up of small town hicks (Terre Haute) and not say Dallas, Salt Lake, Indianapolis, Orlando... was just so... well, Hollywood liberal.

And I've worked under three network presidents... they're not that smart or funny and they certainly don't fight for "quality". They fight for "ratings". She would be screaming at Chandler & West Wing to shut up and make it funny and easy to digest.

And if you're gonna have "a big, mind-blowing cold open" for fuck's sake, have one! Not that hacky crap. It wasn't funny.

What happens when the buzz about the Taxi guy's freak out dies down? The network pres is not spending her time worrying about a flippin' late-night Friday show that's been on the air for 20 years.

I'm really trying to enjoy it, but it's just not realistic.

Jake said...

Wow, an Aaron Sorkin show with overly-earnest dialogue and characters? I can't believe this unprecedented event!

I mean, come on. Everyone knows what a Sorkin show will look and sound like. Studio 60 isn't exactly a rousing success at this point but it hardly seems fair to say it sucks for the same qualities that made Sports Night and West Wing so widely-admired. I can't wait til someone says "I hated the use of popular music behind a montage of the characters silently reacting to dramatic circumstances!"

For another example of this bizarre critical philosophy, see people who complain about Lucas's wooden dialogue and acting in the new Star Wars movies while celebrating the original trilogy.

Now that's not to say that this show is as good as its predecessors--just to say that its flaws are something else (people who pointed out that the opening skit wasn't very funny are definitely not wrong; there's not much dramatic conflict beyond the Good Guys forcing the Bad Guys to air/watch the Good Guys' Great Comedy; Steven Weber is totally underused!).

Tosy And Cosh said...

OK, this Mandy Patinkin fan wants details - what's behind the throwaway Mandy line?

Teenya said...

Here's my biggest problem with Studio 60 -- we've been told that we're supposed to like it. The pop culture tastemakers in this country (running the gamut from legitimate critics to fluffy showbiz rags) have told us that we're supposed to like it. This explains the abundance of comments like, "I wanted to love it, but I didn't." Thus, many of us somehow feel guilty for not liking a bad show. It's poorly written, poorly acted, and obnoxiously self-impressed. It's not our burden as viewers to "want it to succeed." I agree wholeheartedly with Marcusson, who called it a "turd dipped in honey."

Sam said...

Turd dipped in honey?! Brilliant! I couldn't have described it better myself. The show is beautifully lit, has great production values... but at heart, it's a piece of crap. And yet I get the feeling that Sorkin et al. think they're doing something groundbreaking and important. Horsefeathers! Oh how sweetly Studio 60 stinks. A turd dipped in honey. Brilliant!

A working writer said...

A couple of things:

NBC felt they had to buy Studio 60 because they couldn't bear to let Sorkin go to another network -- especially with a show about one that's on NBC.

Gilbert & Sullivan didn't work as the opening to the show precisely because of the reason Gilbert & Sullivan DOES work on Frasier or The Simpsons, which was to show how out of touch and superior the characters considered themselves!

What's funny to me is that by using G&S unironically as the opening, it just shows how out of touch and superior Sorkin is.

Anonymous said...

I HATE IT....LOATHE IT....from the first scene of the first episode....
everyone one bursting into rooms full of self importance....like they are trying to figure out the bay of pigs or something.
honestly i hated west wing too....too sanctimonious...but i can live with sanctimony in the white house, not in a sketch comedy writers room.
west wing is funnier by the way.

Prof. Hex said...

Wow, Gilbert and Sullivan? How very ...Fraser.

restlesslegs said...

The show wasn't written for all the disgruntled writers in Hollywood who, for the most part, are emotionally undernourished but overflowing with self aggrandizing angst and resentment. No! The show was written for the celebrity hungry vicarious viewers of America who - for better or worse - want to have the illusion of being part of the "club." Viewed from this vantage point Studio 60 succeeds marvelously. It's really quite a delight if you just unclench a bit.

Jon Sherman said...

But, um, I hate it and I'm not a disgruntled writer, emotionally undernourished and overflowing with self aggrandizing angst and resentment. In fact, I've been working steadily as a TV writer for almost 15 years, since I was 23. I therefore feel lucky, rather than bitter or cynical, about a business that's been pretty darn good to me.

And so, from where I sit, it's unfair for restlesslegs to stamp the' villification of what simply isn't a very good show as a writers' need to "unclench."

One thing I'd like to see discussed is how much of what's on screen is Sorkin and how much is Schlamme. I pose this because I think if it were shot and directed with a lighter touch the show might not come off as so self-important.

Although the Gilbert & Sullivan thing sure didn't help. I mean seriously, the only thing that established is how out of touch both Sorkin and his alter-ego Matt Albie appear to be.

Caroline said...

Finally, someone else who despises Mandy Patinkin as much as I do (ok, I'm reading between the lines here but feeling pretty good about it). I feel the same way about the entire premise that Numbers is based on ... anybody who is a writer sure as hell didn't get math in high school or university for that matter. I have a friend who's an uber egghead (an honest-to-God astrophysicist with a ridiculous number of degrees) and he says it's all crap, which made me feel better on two levels (affirmation of my artistic sensibilities and also that maybe I am not as clueless as I thought I was - maybe).

Ralf said...

When I read all these conflicting impressions of Studio 60, I immediately downloaded both episodes and watched them back to back. I had no idea what to expect ... turds-o-honey or West Wing West or Sorken's Revenge or WHAT.

I am so glad I did. It's an amazing show, and clearly Sorkin's toy.

The countdown clock ("don't imbue the thing with special abilities") is EXACTLY the thing he loathed and feared when writing the West Wing.

The brilliant professional with a drug problem.

The ensamble cast from hell: all talented, all knowing, all over the place.

The crushing weight of satisfying multiple conflicting interests every week, over and over again, and no matter what you do it pisses off somebody with influence.

Yep, it's like somebody broke into Sorkin's therapy files and are condensing all the controlled panic, rage, and daydreams into Studio 60 scripts. Maybe they're just reading them verbatim into a dictaphone. I don't care. It's mesmerizing and wonderful, and I love it. It'll probably last six episodes but I'll watch 'em all.

And I agree with the assessment that this show is a tire iron headed for NBC's shins. A bit of pay-back, with the victim writing the checks, smiling and laughing (for now). Hell, Sorkin could have named the show "Fuck You, NBC" and they'd've bought it.

broshow said...

Sorry, but Studio 60 won't get better because they've lost all cred. It just doesn't ring true. The West Wing did even though, that world doesn't really work that way. But Sorkin made us want to believe that it does by giving us something substantial..real. S60 is a waste of talent. If this all about payback then we now have proof that it's not always entertaining. It's a one episode hotfoot.
Tough being up against Boston Legal but I like Smith. I liked the fact that in Ep. 2 it's not a whole new caper ala MI. There is definitely a carry over of consequences from Ep. 1. Plus I would watch Virginia Madsen unclog a sink.
Worst new sitcom besides the obvious 'Til Death has got to be 'War at Home'. Just painful. How can you run a production company and not know crappy writing when you see it?

Kali said...

OK, I am going to sound bitter but for someone who auditioned for both SNL and Studio 60 and did not get hired, I'm glad the show stinks...OK, with that being said, I will keep watching with hopes of it getting better... :) I do like the cast.

Anonymous said...

I think the show is great, and extremely well-written. I love it.