No Such Nonsense

A little of this, that and... what was I talking about again? It's TV, sports, pop culture and politics - all the stuff that really matters in life.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Studio 60 - Sports Night Redux?

I've been watching Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip.

I know I shouldn't. I know I have a problem, but I just can't help it. I know it'll probably get cancelled, leaving me a sad shell of a viewer, jonesing for a show I can't have. After all, it has happened before. Years ago, I fell in with Aaron Sorkin and, back then, I got burned. I tried out a little show called Sports Night and before long it was a deep, absorbing addiction. Sports Night was Sorkin's perfect gem of a first tv show. It was smart and funny, with characters I loved and a refreshingly frenetic pace. Despite the talents of a pre-Desperate-Housewives Felicity Huffman and a pre-Six-Feet-Under Peter Krause, it couldn't last. And it didn't. ABC axed the show after just two seasons.

I tried again with the West Wing, but my heart wasn't really in it. Sure, the dialogue was whip-smart and the cast was mostly stellar, but the presence of icky 80s relic Rob Lowe kept me from really diving in. And its a good thing. The show started to struggle. Sorkin was caught with drugs. Worse, from the studio's perspective, his scripts were late and the show was slipping in the ratings. Sorkin was canned and the show lasted two more Sorkin-less seasons before bowing out.

So I was nervous. I was torn. Should I try Studio 60 or not? I think it was Matthew Perry what got me. I do love him so. So now, 4 episodes in, I think I'm on the way to a full-blown Sports-Night-style addiction. Dammit. And unless the ratings pick up, I'm totally screwed. So watch it. Please. For me?

I know it's not a perfect show. The sketch comedy from the show-within-a-show is almost shockingly unfunny. But then so is SNL. And it could get better; maybe Sorkin will let sketch comedy vets Nate Corddry and D.L. Hughley help him out. It's true too that the show's pop culture barometer is a bit off. Sarah Paulson's impressions of Holly Hunter and Juliette Lewis were spot on, but neither star is exactly on the top of the 2006 Hot List. That's okay - we can give Sorkin some time to catch up. Right? Just a little time? Please?


  • At 2:02 p.m., Blogger Unknown said…

    I'm watching it too, for most of the same reasons as you. I adored Sports Night, but this doesn't feel quite like it. I stick around Studio 60 because I'm really enjoying Matthew Perry and some of the supporting cast. But I get thrown off by any pop culture references on the show. References to SNL may be a polite move, but it makes the Studio 60 show seem like a pale comparison. And true, many of the pop culture references are dated (Sting is next week's guest? What year is this, 1994?)

    I wonder if my expectations were too high, because it's Aaron Sorkin and my Sports Night nostalgia still lingers. I'll stick around to the end, but they really need to fire up this show if it wants to go the distance. Make the "comedy" sketches funnier or cut them out completely, and someone stop Aaron Sorkin from dropping so much of his real life into this. I'm not spending an hour watching Studio 60 to watch Aaron work out his issues.

    PS Tune in earlier for the lead-in show, Heroes. That's the one to watch this year.


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