Saturday, March 31, 2007
That's a Wrap (For the blog, hopefully not the show)
The fact of the matter is that some stuff has come up and I'm just too busy to continue on with this blog, at least for the time being. I really wanted to keep it going but I just don't have the time. Perhaps this summer when I have more time (if there's anything to report) I'll try to start it up again but in the mean time I felt like I had to tell you all that I've called it quits.
As for Studio 60? I don't know. If I was a betting man I'd say Studio 60 would be back in May to finish out its season and then wouldn't be heard from again. I hope it's not true, but honestly... I think I'd rather Sorkin start over. Create a less high-profile show that doesn't have half the press out for its blood, and it'll probably end up far more successful.
Thanks to everyone who's visited the blog and to everyone who watches Studio 60 (and keep it up if it comes back!) Just for kicks, I'd suggest coming back in early June and checking to see if the site's going again, because it might be.
And we're out.
Tuesday, February 27, 2007
About "The Black Donnellys" premiere
But, I'm so excited about what happened with The Black Donnellys that I had to post. It did NOT do well at all. It garnered a 5.5/9 which is basically mediocre ratings for any show, only two points higher than Studio 60 has done on its worst day and a good four points lower than where Studio 60 premiered.
Now, don't be alarmed by The Black Donnellys doing better than Studio 60 at the moment. This was the series premiere, which are almost always heavilly inflated due to the constant promotion and people who don't know what the show is wanting to check it out. You better believe there's going to be a huge decline in the numbers next week? You want proof? There was a 30% drop off from the first half-hour to the second half-hour, implying people tuned in and did not like what they saw. If they even tuned in, as Heroes ended at 10:03 last night.
This is good news for Studio 60. A few more episodes of a steady decline will put The Black Donnellys with significantly worse ratings than Studio 60 had, and 60 will likely return. Is this definite? No, and I don't want anyone to get their hopes up prematurely, but there's no other way to spin last night but bad for The Black Donnellys.
I was busy last night but I managed to catch the last half-hour of the show, just to see what we were dealing with. It was contrived and unoriginal, but not terrible. That said, I can't see me watching it again.
Monday, February 19, 2007
4 AM Miracle
Sorry guys, I'm insanely busy this week and just won't have time to get this week's review up until Wednesday at the earliest, but I wanted to give y'all a place to discuss it. So I leave you with my episode rating so you know, at least, what I thought of the episode and this thought:
For you diehard Wingnuts, how cool was the "Gage Whitney" reference? I was so hoping at some point during the episode Danny would forget the name of the firm in reference to Josh doing the same.
Now, discuss away! And if tonight's was the last episode, mourn, my friends, mourn.
Thursday, February 15, 2007
Black Donnellys premiere date moved up
No way else to put it, this is bad news. But... oh well. At this point all I can say is... if it gets cancelled it gets cancelled. I love the show, I think it's great and the best drama on television but... if most people don't like it, they don't like it. I'm going to start getting myself in a mindframe where if it gets cancelled I can just shrug it off. I think much of the unpopularity has to do with what I said earlier, it's a mob mentality... people feel better about themselves when they can band together and rag on this show.
It'll depend very much on The Black Donnellys, I'm sure. If it's ratings suck too, I think they'll bring Studio 60 back if they don't, it'll stay.
Monday, February 12, 2007
Episode Review: The Friday Night Slaughter
Good, good, good episode! Probably my second favorite after "The Christmas Show." Sorkin has done a few episodes in his history that concentrate on the dark downward spiral of a character (Dan in Sports Night and Josh in The West Wing) and I always think those episodes are some of his best, and always tend to be the ones that speak to me the most, and this episode was no exception.
I'm now a Matt/Harriet fan. True blue, dyed-in-the-wool fan. The way they executed the relationship in this episode was flawless, the back and forth to see how far some of the characters have come and what that she has meant to him. Matthew Perry better be clearing some room on his mantle 'cause he majorly deserves a Lead Actor Emmy, his performance in this episode was extremely powerful. Also, did anyone else catch that Tim Batale is an anagram for Matt Albie?
This was a heavy episode but... there really just isn't too much to say. Matt was great, the story was great everything about him was great. I was happy to see my earlier concerns about Simon already having been mentioned as not being on the show in 1999 were assuaged, this was merely an audition (that he apparently didn't get.) The flashbacks were done well... I'm not sure why we didn't see Danny in the flashbacks though. Or Wes. I mean... I get why we didn't see Wes, they couldn't get Judd Hirsch but his absence was noticeably felt. I can't help but think that the character of Joe from this episode was originally envisioned as Wes before it was discovered he wouldn't be available. Also, where were Ricky and Ron? Shouldn't they have been working there then?
I'm enjoying Danny and Jordan just being a regular couple. There wasn't an ounce of drama for them (well, there was, but not for them as a couple, they had their own seperate stuff going on) and I liked that. I love relationship drama but every so often you just need to see them at rest, even the most turbulent of relationships have their down periods. I still insist that Bradley Whitford's fake blonde hair needs to go, it doesn't fit him right.
Tom and Dylan were funny, what can I say? Tom's one of my favorites, I'd say I'd wish they'd give him more to do but truth be told I'm fine with him as a supporting character, it's where he works best. Ditto Cal, who was (as always) great in this episode.
No Jack tonight, but then I'm not sure where they could have fit him in. I also notice we didn't see a lot of the supporting characters. Lucy, Darius, Jeannie, etc. etc. But I suppose there wouldn't have been a place for them either. I'll be honest, I'm really searching for things to critique but all I can say is this episode was done very very well. Kudos Sorkin and Perry.
Monday, February 05, 2007
Episode Review: The Harriet Dinner (Part II)
I liked this episode a lot. Definitely the best episode since the hiatus. In fact there's only one complaint I have with the episode, but that complaint is a major one. But still... an A- with an episode that I have a major complaint about shows that this was a really good episode, at least in my mind.
I like how Danny and Jordan ended up (or at least, ended up so far.) I think their relationship is evolving in a very realistic way. I've been in relationships that developed similair to that. I can just feel the complaints of people who are pissed off that Danny's actions are validated by the fact that Jordan was interested in him all along... but... so? That happens sometimes. Danny knew she was interested in him, and that made his actions less annoying. Plenty of women I know have acted exactly as Jordan did in this episode (albeit for different reasons.) So this episode had the ring of truth. I think Sorkin's greatly improved his writing of relationships, they're less flowery than they were in The West Wing and Sports Nights days, which I enjoy. Anyways, I like Danny and Jordan. I'm really sick of blonde Bradley Whitford. He looks better, younger and cooler with his natural brown hair.
Matt and Harriet? Good stuff. Again, a very realistic seeming relationship. I think less time needs to be spent on them, but I do think their relationship is interesting. That said, I have no desire to see them together anytime soon. I've said it before, I'll say it again, Matthew Perry is doing a fantastic job on this show. He's been great in most things I've seen him in, but Matt Albie is definitely his best acting.
Timothy Busfield remains hilarious. I like that Sorkin's used Cal a great deal in this two-parter, it's something he should really be keeping up. I like that Cal is almost pure comedy. I don't need to see much development with him. We know he's got kids, so presumably he's already married and happy in his personal life and thus that doesn't need exploration... just keep him around to be hilarious and cool.
Okay, Can we be done with the Tao family? Please?? I liked them in this episode, but I'm just kind of... done with them as characters. Especially Kim. They've taken what should have been a one episode character and put her in five. I think they need to move on from the Macau hooplah. Get Jack involved in some other storylines, notably the situation with his wife. They weren't seperated when last we saw her... which was... what... The Wrap-Party? What happened? I'd like it to be something other than the tired old "Oh, I'm married to my job." thing. That's been done too many times on TV and too many times by Sorkin.
Tom and Lucy? Cute. Just keep them cute, is all I ask. Don't muddle them down with heavy shit. I like heavy shit, I like it better than cute. I just don't need it from every couple.
What happened to Jeannie? I saw her today and I was all "Oh, you. What have you even been up to?"
Okay, so now we come to my beef with the episode... the Darius/Simon stuff. Excuse my language but... SIMON NEEDS TO SHUT THE FUCK UP! Darius was so on the right and Simon was so on the wrong it's not even funny. Simon pissed me off greatly during that. (Although I loved him in all non-Darius related scenes. He's great as Tom's wingman.) But the resolution to that storyline pissed me off. Darius really should have punched him in the face, Jesus Christ.
But other than that, as I said. Great episode. Sorkin writes excellent flashback episodes, so I'm anxious to check that out next week. Although... my concern is that it appears Simon's in the flashback for when Matt met Harriet. Yet we know Simon only joined the show in Matt and Danny's final year, 2002. Harriet joined the show (where Matt was already working as a writer) in 1999. So... Simon shouldn't be there. I'm a continuity freak (plot-wise, I don't care when cups are moved) so... I hope I'm not let down.
Saturday, February 03, 2007
"The Friday Night Slaughter" Matt (Matthew Perry) remembers how he and Harriet(Sarah Paulson) first met. Bradley Whitford, Amanda Peet, Steven Weber, D.L.Hughley, Nathan Corddry and Timothy Busfield also star. Here's hoping for some flashbacks! Judd Hirsch maybe?
"4 a.m. Miracle" MATT HAS MORE THAN LATE-NIGHT WRITER'S BLOCK -- Matt (Matthew Perry) is stuck on a Wednesday night with writer's block and also has to contend with a young lawyer (guest star Kari Matchett, "Invasion") who's investigating a sexual harassment claim while Harriet (Sarah Paulson) continues shooting her movie. In addition, Jordan (Amanda Peet) and Danny (Bradley Whitford) enter into a contest to see who'd make the better parent. Steven Weber, D.L. Hughley,
Nathan Corddry and Tim Busfield also star.
Tuesday, January 30, 2007
Episode Review: The Harriet Dinner (Part I)
So, there was a lot I liked about this episode… but it just felt very disjointed to me. I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that this is a two-parter but… it really doesn’t have a reason to be. Nothing, except *maybe* the demise of Matt and Harriet is compelling enough to work as a cliffhanger, entertaining though it is.
I think Danny redeemed himself tonight (if indeed, you feel he needed redeeming), and my next poll will probably pose the question on whether or not you think he did. I think this was the perfect reaction for him to have, based on what happened last week. He apologized and realized he was being a jerk, but didn’t seem all that sorry for what he was trying to accomplish. Had he been sorry for that it would have made the final “No.” of last week just random and pointless. I like Jordanny again.
Did you all notice some self-effacing comments Sorkin made? When Danny started ranting about how Harriet’s dolphin noises in the Masi Oka promo (he was great, by the way) relate to choosing Presidents and Jordan’s just like “It was a TV promo you INCREDIBLE doofus.” Definitely a nod to all the comments about how Sorkin makes these character treat the show as if it had the importance that the gang at The West Wing rightfully treated their work. I think Jack’s “The fate of western civilization…” thing to Tom was similar.
I got to say LukeS5858 not being Luke surprised me. Completely didn’t see that coming, and having it be a fifteen-year-old was pretty comical too. I’m liking what’s going on with Matt and Harriet, I think this will be a good wake up call for Matt. I like him, but he just doesn’t deserve Harriet right now and I can’t wait to see him win her back… for real.
Okay, you know how last week I said I was torn between the Simon vs. Darius debate but was slightly leaning towards Simon? Yeah… now I think Simon needs to shut the hell up. Every time Darius calls him sir or takes his shit I keep wanting to urge him to kick his ass. I like Simon, I really do, but he’s so off-the-charts out of line in this argument that it PISSES me off.
Tom’s plotline bothered me. Why would he lie? Who would possibly get mad about this situation? Why would he ever ask Matt Albie for romance advice? I like Lucy a lot though. Kim’s getting old. Seriously… this chick should be a one-off character, and she’s going to end up being in at least FIVE episodes. Too much. I found her scenes funny, but I really don’t like her. Jack was great with his rushing in to interrupt her kiss and Simon (although annoying before) was great in being randomly and hilariously on the side of Tom and Kim hooking up.
Cal? With a storyline! Be still my heart, Timothy Busfield is a great actor. He’s so not Danny Concannon and I love it. Okay, I’ll be honest, I like Danny more than I like Cal but… I love that Cal isn’t just Danny without a beard. I’ve made these comments before regarding Danny Tripp and Matt Albie not being Josh Lyman and Chandler Bing, but it rings true with Busfield too. The snake thing was weird though, although I liked the snake wrangler. I remember him from a few episodes of Home Improvement as like a construction worker who’d always come on Tool Time to like… show Tim how to make lunch on construction sites… or how to make music on construction sites. *shakes head* What a horrible show that was. But anyways… I didn’t think about this until I heard a friend mention it, but I wonder if the Snake Guy is really a con artist and that there never was any more than 23 snakes and that he’s getting Cal to pay for all this ridiculous stuff for no reason. Be a good twist that I, on my own, would not have seen coming.
Tuesday, January 23, 2007
Monday, January 22, 2007
Episode Review: Monday
So... there's a fine line between being romantic and take-charge and being obsessive and stalker-ish. Now, which side of that line Danny is on is probably up to you, it's certainly not clear cut. Either way you slice it, this is a very interesting direction for the show to go, particularly with one of the lead characters. As frequent viewers of this blog know, my favorite character on this show is Danny and I'll be honest... I like this storyline. It doesn't paint Danny in a particularly flattering light, but it's still really cool. There might have been situations in many of our lives when we thought we were merely being aggressive and it totally came out the wrong way. I mean, it's clear Danny's a good guy and isn't going to end up coming after Jordan with a knife (I mean, look at all those character references! Spielberg, Scorcese, Eastwood and some royalty!), so I'm very keen on seeing where this ends up. Do I still support them as a coupling? That I'm less sure about, we'll need to see more.
Hey, so did you catch Timothy Busfield in this episode? Yeah, it was his voice over the P.A. one time in the teaser.... and I think that's it. Seriously, Busfield's an Emmy winning actor. Sorkin? Schlamme? Use him more. In The West Wing, where Busfield played a recurring role as Danny Concannon, his character was already WAY more developed than Cal's by episode 12 of Season 1... and at that point Danny had only been in maybe four or five episodes... NOT AS A CAST MEMBER. I used to think Dule Hill got a raw deal on TWW since the other seven (during the show's hey-day) contract actors got a *lot* more screen time than him but this is nothing compared to Busfield. Perhaps, with Busfield's other duties this is how he prefers it? I don't know. But... Cal started out as my third favorite character on this show when it started, and he's now dropped to sixth. (My order is Danny, Jack, Tom, Matt, Jordan, Cal, Simon, Harriet for those curious) This is no fault of the character, he's actually really funny and cool... he's just not developed at all.
Matthew Perry's funny, I really like him as Matt Albie. It's great that Matt can be SOOO funny and yet funny in SUCH a different way than Chandler on Friends was. I think Whitford and Perry have both done laudable jobs at distancing the characters they played for so long and that made them famous.
The Tom and Lucy romance subplot is kind of cute. I like both Tom and Lucy a lot and kinda like that they appear to be just getting together without any drama. I get that there will be some conflict, as Tom will likely try to balance his Thursday night date with Lucy with him having to go the Harriet Dinner with China Girl (which is also supposed to be on Thursday) but... still not sure how much screen time it's worth. But I like Tom a lot, so I'm not complaining.
Like Simon's storyline a LOT in this episode, and can't wait to see that expanded upon. I love when characters have fights and I don't know who to root for because they're both right and wrong, and that's exactly what's going on right now with Simon and Darius. I see both of their points... and while I'm tempted to support Simon just 'cause I like him more (no offense Darius) it's hard not to see Darius' point. Simon made it clear in The Wrap Party that he feels like it's his duty to personally save every talented black kid in the ghetto, and while that's kind of him... it's not fair for him to just expect Darius to be the kind of writer he wants him to be because of it. Lol, how hilarious was it to have Lucy try to put the word "prat" in a black militant's mouth.
As for Jordan and... Hallie, was it? I don't know.... Hallie just seems like an annoying cardboard-cut out of a character. Sweet on the outside, bitchy on the inside sexy business lady. Been there, done that. I did think the tying it back to the book from before to show that Hallie wasn't all that she appeared was a good way to end that story in this episode. I'm really looking forward to Jordan kicking Hallie's frigid ass though. Illiterate programming indeed.
Jack's rocking the house as always. It's nice seeing Wilson become kind of a paternal father figure-ish type to Jack, since Studio 60 had been missing that. Wilson's definitely this show's Isaac Jaffee or Jed Bartlet, but just seen less.
Studio 60 returns tonight!
There are new episodes continously until March-ish where Studio 60's timeslot will be filled by the new drama "The Black Donnellys" and Studio 60's placement will remain to be seen after that.
Sorry I haven't really been keeping up with this blog had a lot going on, and with no Studio 60 episodes airing it was hard to get motivated.
Friday, January 05, 2007
Studio 60-bashing: The Media's Newest Fad
It is so hip and cool to trash Studio 60. "It takes itself too seriously", "It's arrogant", "The sketches aren't as funny as they should be", "Harriet's a bitch", "Sorkin needs to get over himself" It goes on and on. Some of these are valid points, some of these are idiotic, but either way I just have to point out the huge hypocrisy in the mob mentality warfare that is being waged on this show. There are few things I have read that are more self-aggrandizing than some of these "articles" written about how much Studio 60 sucks. It's disgusting. And some of these are in the guise of news articles, by reputable sources. Sorkin's never been short on ego, there's no doubt about that... but this is an intelligent, well-written, well-acted show. And any moron can and should be able to see it. But this show was built up so highly early on, that people couldn't wait to tear it down when it didn't live up to expectations. There's nothing people like better than the idea that they're superior to those who would ordinarilly be considered "better" than them, and that idea is proving itself over and over with Studio 60.
The worst of it all is some in the online community, and I hate to point fingers but, what the hell I'm going to. A big fat finger is being pointed at Television Without Pity. For those who don't know the site, it's actually a generally intelligent and occasionally humorous site which reviews the episodes of television shows and while the site obviously goes a little far out of its way to insult and snark on shows, (which is fine, the name tells you pretty plainly what you're in for) their attitudes toward this show and in particularly Aaron Sorkin have become absolutely venemous. Many of the posters are almost rabid in their hatred of it all. In some respects this is understandable, back when Sorkin ran The West Wing there was an incident where he lampooned the silly mob-like behavior at this site in a small subplot in the episode "The U.S. Poet Laureate" and no one likes to be insulted (despite the fact that his sentiments in the episode were pretty spot on.) but their attitude towards Studio 60 has become laughable. The Studio 60 forum on that site serves a little more than a Sorkin-hating circle-jerk. This is mainly the fault of the moderators who are very biased and quick to indiscriminately ban those who go too far out of the public opinion, but because the moderators set the standard for what should or should not be discussed on this board they seem to be encouraging vicious ad hominem hatred and, in my opinion, actively discouraging rational (and certainly *any* positive) talk on the show.
Maybe it's not in the best of taste to be so harsh on only one site (and Television Without Pity is really only one of many online forums behaving in this way, and most of the people on the site seem to be posting in good faith) but it's the one I'm more familiar with. I'm all for people putting their opinions online, hence this blog, and I'm all for healthy and constructive criticism but in my opinion most of the people blasting this show are full of shit and are positively orgasmic about the opportunity to seem superior.
Wednesday, January 03, 2007
January 8th or January 22nd?
So there's a bit of confusion on when Studio 60 is returning. NBC.com as well as a few other sources have it's return down for January 8th (i.e. next Monday) whereas TV Guide and, really, all schedules seem to have a Heroes rerun down instead. I don't honestly know the answer any better than anyone else so I just wanted to say this:
Regardless of what any schedule is telling you, turn on NBC at 10/9 central and just check to see if it's on, 'cause it could very well be and if it is, you don't want to miss it. We also don't want the first ratings after the hiatus to be drastically down because even the hardcore fans didn't see it 'cause they thought it wasn't on.
Sunday, December 31, 2006
Vote for the NBC Best of 2006!
NBC's doing this Best of 2006 voting thing, where you vote for the best in various categories on NBC in 2006. Studio 60 is up for some things including Matt and Danny for Best Banter (although I voted for the cast of The West Wing on that one), Danny and Jordan for Couple That Should Be Together, both Danny and Jordan AND Matt and Harriet on Couple That Shouldn't Be Together. I think there might be some other ones too. Since there's probably a lot of The West Wing fans here, you should know they have a lot of nominations too, more than Studio 60.
Anyways, vote here:
And have a Happy New Year!
Friday, December 29, 2006
The question is: Which Studio 60 romantic pairing, potential romantic pairing or fan-created pairing is your favorite?
Here are your options!
So, just comment with your vote and I'll make some kind of running tally.
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
Monday, December 18, 2006
Rerun of "The Christmas Show" tonight!
Saturday, December 16, 2006
Remembering John Spencer (1946-2005)
So I don't care how (if you have the DVDs, get'm out, if you don't, steal them.) but everyone needs to sit themselves in front of a couch today and watch the episode "Bartlet for America." Go, right now, do it. I've already done it today, so I'm one step ahead of you.
That's all I have to say, but I'm going to leave you with this quote:
"This guy's walking down a street, when he falls in a hole. The walls are so steep, he can't get out. A doctor passes by, and the guy shouts up 'Hey you! Can you help me out?' The doctor writes him a prescription, throws it down the hole and moves on. Then a priest comes along and the guy shouts up 'Father, I'm down in this hole, can you help me out?' The priest writes out a prayer, throws it down in the hole and moves on. Then a friend walks by. 'Hey Joe, it's me, can you help me out?' And the friend jumps in the hole! Our guy says 'Are you stupid? Now we're both down here!" and the friend says, 'Yeah, but I've been down here before, and I know the way out.' Long as I got a job, you got a job. Understand?" (-TWW, 2.10)
Thursday, December 14, 2006
More award stuff
Also, Studio 60 got two WGA Award nominations. Best Dramatic Episode ("Pilot") and Best New Series. Studio 60 is actually up against The West Wing for Best Dramatic Episode (The episode "Election Day, Part II" got nominated if you were curious) I'm going ot be honest, of the two, I'd rather The West Wing win it, just 'cause that episode was phenomenal and, blogger of this show or not, I'm a bigger West Wing fan than I am Studio 60 fan (and I'm a huge Studio 60 fan.)
Add that to the Satellite Award nominations for Whitford, Perry, Peet and Paulson we got at least seven nominations to keep an eye on.
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
Question: Please give me some Studio 60 scoop. I’ll give you a Scoopy Snack.— Lori
Ausiello: Big two-part episode coming up on Jan. 29 and Feb. 5 titled "The Harriet Dinner." Per my Studio mole, Harriet and Matt's relationship takes a turn for the worse, and thus begins Matt's downward spiral into darkness. Danny, meanwhile, manages to win Jordan over when the two are locked on a roof together. On the business side, Jordan is threatened by a new executive brought in to head up alternative programming, and Jack uses an unusual strategy to take on his board of directors.
If you ask me this seems like good stuff. I already knew about the new executive thing to some extent, as a while back they went casting for a Hattie Gallagher (I think that was her name) as a thirtysomething young executive to rival Jordan, but this is the first I've heard of where she'll be placed on the map. But I'm extremely interested in the prospect of "Matt's downward spiral into darkness." The characters of Dan and Josh on Sports Night and The West Wing, both had to deal with significant psychological problems over the course of the series, and that was honestly some of my favorite stuff in both series. And obviously anything Jordanny I like, although I do wonder if maybe this is all going a little fast (but then, who knows how long this show'll be on, anyway?)
Oh, and my apologies to everyone who tried to vote in the polls I kept posting and taking down. I tried about 10 different poll creating sites and every last one of them gave me a screwed up final product when I tried to post them. During Christmas break I'll try to figure it out more.
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
NBC to re-run "The Christmas Show" on December 18th.
Monday, December 04, 2006
Episode Review: The Christmas Show
Episode Rating: A+(+++++)
I freaking LOVED this episode! Loved it loved it loved it! I downloaded it off of bit torrents late last night 'cause I wasn't sure I was gonna be home to see it tonight but I ended up getting back early and was pleasantly delighted to be able to watch it again!
Where to begin, I don't even know.... we'll go character by character. Danny was freaking fantastic, his first real shining episode. I mean, he's been great in all of them and my favorite in all of them, but this was the first episode where I think he was able to be the star. Bradley Whitford played Danny so realistically, every scene he was in I could see his smitteness bubbling just under the surface. I love Josh Lyman and I love Danny Tripp and I love that they're really not much alike. I hope this puts an end to everyone who complains about Danny just being Josh II, you think Josh would EVER be this assertive this early on in a relationship? Kudos Brad, definitely tonight's stand out.
Matt was hilarious, I love that despite his sarcastic cynical demeanor there's still some idealism left in him, in the form of the "Christmas Spirit." He was hilarious tonight, I cracked up both times at his "I'm not even talking to anybody right now." when he noticed no one was there. That's a gag that Sorkin's done on The West Wing and OFTEN on Sports Night (way too often, it was almost always Jeremy too), but this is the best I've ever seen it done. I liked him with Harriet too. He's sometimes a jerk to her, but in a way you know that he still loves her. Their relationship rings true to me, I've been in those kind of relationships (not... you know... with the whole culture wars aspect, which wasn't in this episode.) I also like Suzanne, his assistant. This is the first time I've found her noteworthy in the slightest, she's fun. They're like a Josh/Donna without... any sexual tension (which is good in this case.)
Jordan was excellent too, she's at her best when she's not trying to kick ass I think. When she's showing she's vulnerable which she does very cutely and often in this episode. Be it in the hospital scene, her eating (in a variety scenes), wherever. I like Jordan a lot, she started off my least favorite character but she's rapidly climbing up the ladder. Good work Amanda Peet!
Most of what I have to say about Harriet was covered in Matt's little thing, but she was adorable in this episode too. It was one of the first ones where I really noticed how beautiful Sarah Paulson is. Dunno why it's never struck me.
I enjoyed Simon and Tom's best friend competition repartee as well. I love that those two share *nothing* in common and yet seem so alike. I'm not sure how old Simon is exactly supposed to be (probably a lot younger than his actor is), but D.L. Hughley is 14 years older than Nate Corddry, and they completely seem like guys who grew up together and yet we know that they didn't. They just have that bond and chemistry. Danny/Matt is still my favorite best friendship on the show by Simon/Tom is definitely close. I also am enjoying the ensemble feel with the writers room with Andy, Darius and Lucy. They're like the tech people from Sports Night (you know Chris, Elliot, Will, Dave, Kim) only... better developed.
Cal was great too. Can we see more of Cal please? Seriously, he's hilarious. He's so awkward and randomly enthusiastic and sure of everything. And I love how he shouts. He's great. Timothy Busfield is masterful 'cause words can not describe how much I don't see Danny Concannon when I look at Cal Shanley. I mean, sure the lack of beard helps, but like... he's just *nothing* like Danny and that's great (even though Danny Concannon was my second favorite character on that show, after Josh) but it's just great that he can be different.
Jack just rocks. A lot. All the time. I love that he wasn't mad about Jordan's pregnancy (which, admit it, we all figured he would be) and he was actually sweet about it, and I loved how impassioned he got about this issue. Methinks he is our Toby.
Great episode all around, allll freaking around. So many times I laughed out loud I can't even count. I think maybe they showed the City of New Orleans a *liiiiittle* too long, I felt guilty for wanting them to move on and show some scenes of the cast. Maybe more of the music playing in the background? But that was seriously my only complaint.
Oh and the callback to the end of the pilot episodes "You were right, we do live here now." So reminscent of Josh and Charlie's "You were right, it doesn't go away." Was amazing. Gah! Good show!
Saturday, December 02, 2006
Yahoo TV clip reveals the father
Good clip, I really love Whitford/Peet's chemistry. It's like a more mature Donna and a less emotionally-stunted Josh. Anyways, check it out if you want to know who the father is.
Awards and Nominations
Best Actress in a Drama Series:
Best Actor in a Drama Series:
So congratulations to the four of them! And I hope they do well and the awards will be held on December 17th. Because it appears the Satellite Awards handle a broader spectrum of things, there's only so many TV nominations and basically only acting and series are what it could be nominated for. It's too bad it didn't nominated for series though...
In the meantime, on December 14th the nominations for the Golden Globes will be announced. Anybody have any predictions for who they think will get nominated? I'd say Perry and Whitford for Lead Actor, Peet for Lead Actress and Weber for Supporting Actor. What about all of you?
Thursday, November 30, 2006
Midseason and more!
The lack of movement suggests one of two contradictory things.
- NBC is satisfied with "Studio 60"'s status as of now as one of the top shows on network primetime for high-income viewers (an advertisement boon.) and thus they don't feel a change is necessary. This is, obviously, good news.
- NBC is no longer investing itself too much in "Studio 60", and so not going to bother to rearrange their schedule on something they don't plan to have around much longer. This would be bad news.
I think it's got to be one or the other, and since we're not privy to ratings breakdowns besides the overalls it's hard for us to tell. At any rate, "Studio 60" is expected to be replaced (for a while) in March with the new crime family drama "The Black Donnellys" which will have a 13-episode mini-season. From everything I've heard the new show is a good one, which is nice and all but not something you necessarilly want if it's in anyway "Studio 60"'s competition. After "The Black Donnelly"'s finishes up it's short season, "Studio 60" will finish off it's as well.
I think when looking at the possibilities for "Studio 60"'s survival it's important to compare it against what else NBC has going on. This autumn five new shows debuted on NBC. Comedies "20 Good Years" and "30 Rock" and dramas "Kidnapped", "Friday Night Lights" and "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip" itself. New shows tend to be judged against each other rather than with the veterans (and it's not as if NBC has too many of those in the first place). "20 Good Years" and "Kidnapped" are both gone, and "30 Rock"'s anemic ratings strongly suggest it will soon be replaced with one of the midseason sitcoms in the Must-See TV Thursday block (As "My Name is Earl", "The Office" and "Scrubs" aren't being cancelled any time soon.) "Friday Night Lights" has, like "Studio 60", been renewed for the whole season but their ratings are worse than "Studio 60"'s and while less expensive to produce it also is unlikely to garner any award attention and I'm going to go out on a limb and say a drama about Southern highschoolers isn't sitting pretty in the high-income ratings bracket. We'll have to see how the midseason shows do, but I think we're definitely not at "desperately worry about Studio 60's future" time yet.
In other news, we have some information on episode 1-11, "The Return" (Can I just say, that Sorkin hasn't really been rocking the creative names this year? Only three episodes haven't been in the form of "The ______" I mean, c'mon this is the guy who's titled his episodes things like "Somebody's Going to Emergency, Somebody's Going to Jail" and "How Are Things in Glocca Morra?")
According to Wikipedia (Yeah, I cite Wikipedia. Wanna fight about it?) The episode synopsis stands thus "When an old cast member returns to host, Matt has to write for a whole new person. Meanwhile, a cast member had [sic] to deal with the past." This doesn't sound like the most eloquently written synopsis I've ever read so we'll just see. Anyways, it's supposed to air a week from Monday (Ironically, closer to Christmas than next week's "The Christmas Story") so we'll have to see.
ETA: Well, looks like Wikipedia let me down this time. While the next episode after "The Christmas Story" may indeed be "The Return" (Who knows?) it will not be the following week, it won't even be in 2006. It's looking as if "Studio 60" will be having what a lot of shows this season are having: a Fall Finale. So "Studio 60" will likely return sometime in January after a lil hiatus.
Monday, November 27, 2006
Episode Review: B-12
Episode Rating: A
Heavy, heavy episode. And a lot going on at once, there were like A, B, C, D, E and F plots going on there. Sometimes I think sometimes it was a little too heavy, and I ended up forgetting about some plotlines and then remembering them when they came back. That was pretty much my one negative comment about tonight's episode. Oh, that and: WHERE'S. CAL.?
Okay, for starters. How fucking awesome is it that Corinne Bailey Rae was in this episode? Do you have any idea how much I love Corinne Bailey Rae? Well, it's a lot. I'm pissed she never sang "Girl, Put Your Records On" but I'll survive. Her song at the end of the episode meshed perfectly with the scene with Danny and Jordan, but then, I'm a big fan of music at the end of episodes.
Jordan was great, and I completely understand her volatility with the TIME guy, and I have a feeling that's how I'd act so I identified. I just found that sense that she knew as she was doing it that this was the wrong move and that she was shooting herself in the foot but she just couldn't help herself. I'm not sure what's going to happen with the pregnancy. It's really not looking like it's Danny's. I'm praying it's not Jack's because the promo showed Jack resigning and he could be doing that (even though I'm sure it won't take) because of an ensuing scandal with Jordan. Please please please don't let that be the case. A) It makes Jack less likable because he cheats on his wife, B) That sounds like a roadblock to Jordanny if I ever saw one.
I loved Harriet in this episode! Quirky, flawed girls are the shiittttt. She was so cute, good work Sarah. Um... when she was stripping in this episode (seriously, how often is this gonna happen? I mean, I'm definitely cool with it, but... seriously) you could see a tattoo on her lower back. Is it just me or is Harriet Hayes the opposite of the kind of girl you see with a tattoo?
Mark McKinney, who's also a staff writer on the actual Studio 60, did a good job with his character. Andy was it? Good job, but he's a little too Eeyore for me (and not even in a good way like Toby from The West Wing was) I'm hoping this was a one-shot deal. His delivery of "He shot the kids?" just spoke volumes though. Very good acting.
Still don't like Martha O'Dell. Want her gone. Major-style. I don't think it's Christine Lahti, I just think it's the character. But she was only used sparingly... I liked what they did with the whole internet things. There's been a few bitches about the internet since Studio 60 started and Sorkin's done some on The West Wing too... A lot on the web community have dedicated a great deal of time to bitching about this issue (See Television Without Pity, the entire forum of.) and I guess I get that they don't like to be insulted... but, this seemed to have a very moderate viewpoint on the whole issue. I like how Dilbert27 was redeemed in the end by taking Jordan's side in the whole press tomfoolery.
Did this episode seem dark to anyone else? I'm not talking about the lighting, but just... idk... it just had a dark feel. Not complaining, I liked it. Lots of humor. I enjoyed both the News 60 bit about Paul McCartney's divorce and the opening monologue with Howie Mandel. Although I don't think we needed to see *quite* so much of it the second time around... I mean we got that we were back where we began.
Hey Lucy got a last name! I missed it though. Anyone fill me in? I enjoyed her and Darius' struggle tonight, and liked the tie-in with the kidnappers.
All around, good episode. But what did you all think?
Monday, November 20, 2006
Episode Review: The Option Period
A very good episode overall, although not really an impactful one. Kind of reminds me of "Evidence of Things Not Seen" for The West Wing fans, lots of good character interraction and good storytelling and yet no big plot devices or big momentous things going on... basically people going about their business. Plus, like "Evidence of Things Not Seen" it had a very isolated feel (it took place in the hour or so after the show wrapped), which I like in episodes.
Danny and Matt cracked me the hell up with their whole phone thing. Those two guys are great, I love them and I think Whitford and Perry have phenomenal best friend chemistry. Wow, I was just dying at those scenes. It's felt as if not as much had been done recently with them as a best friend duo and I'm glad that's coming back.
Interesting way to go, it looks like Ricky and Ron are gone for good? Makes sense to trim costs by getting rid of Evan Handler and Carlos Jacott who've been credited as main cast members when they're in the episodes and yet barely appear. How apropos that it happens while needing to cut costs in the show within the show too. I've had a feeling Ron was actually a good guy since 'The Focus Group' when Ricky tried to play off like he didn't remember what he said to the press about the Maher thing but Ron owned up to it, and I guess I was right.
As for Jordan's issues, I'm still not sure what to think but I really like her and Danny. I'm now kind of getting the feeling that he's not the father of her baby, because if he was I feel like they would have set it up more than they did. I mean, they're obviously setting up the Jordanny relationship but nothing to suggest that they're going to sleep together soon enough for it to make any sense that he's her babydaddy (I swear I'd stop using that horrible phrase if there were a quicker way to type it than that) if her pregnancy is supposed to come out next week.
No Jack. Sad stuff but understandable. There'd be no real way to fit him into this episode. It looks like my issue of how to involve Jack all the time is being handled. He's still showing up but just not all the time, but when he does it's with gusto. I'm fine with that if Steven Weber is, 'cause I love Jack but don't see him as as much of a regular as I do Matt and Danny.
Although even with this as the format he's still appearing a hell of a lot more than Cal. Cal usually shows up, but... seriously Cal! Be involved in something! I want a story arc for Cal. I also wanna meet his wife and kids. If Sorkin wanted to cast Allison Janney as his wife, that'd be cool too.
The lingerie stuff? Meh. Don't know what to think about it, I really think they made it a bigger deal than they needed to. I understand the Kristin Chenoweth parallels and how Aaron probably had issues. (And by the way, I saw that magazine spread. Niiice.) But as a C-plot it was fine. I enjoy Matt and Harriet tonight, I feel like that's more the style they should be doing. They only had one scene tonight and they were sweet. As opposed to every scene being with each other and bitching. I mean, couples bitch and I don't mind seeing it, but it needs to be the exception not the rule for when we see them. And I want to see them less (but I don't want them off the radar either)
Jeannie and Lucy both rock and deserve their own shows, but since I don't see that happening any time soon I love them as recurring characters.
Martha O'Dell back next week? *Le sigh.*
Saturday, November 18, 2006
SPOILERS: Christmas Episode information
That's all, sorry it wasn't more, folks.
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
Small ratings uptick!
Most have agreed that this week's was a pretty lacklustre episode though, so let's hope that doesn't effect anything. I mean, out of 8 episodes so far this was the first one I didn't much care for, which is more than can be said for most shows.
Monday, November 13, 2006
Episode Review: Nevada Day (Part II)
Episode Rating: B-
This episode was very very "meh." I mean, it was still good... but meh. For starters, I was very disappointed in Tom's reasoning for speeding, as I said before, I was really hoping it would have nothing to do with Mark, since that was so the obvious reason. Also, I didn't really understand it, I mean... I knew it had to do with Mark being in Afghanistan and that it was something noble, but if someone can explain to me what it was that would be helpful.
Matt is just pissing me off sometimes. I mean, I agree with every thing that comes out of his mouth but I hate the way it comes out of his mouth. I did love "You wanna talk about it some more?" about paintball though, and the end with Harriet. The show's focus on Matt and Harriet is honestly not analagous to how interesting they are. I'd much rather see things about Danny and Jordan, who I think have better chemistry and never come off as anything but awesome to me.
Jack continues to rock harder and harder. He and Tom are neck-in-neck for the position of my second favorite character. Danny was awesome too, he's still sitting pretty as my favorite. CAL NEEDS TO DO MORE! I also love Jeannie.
But yeah, overall very 'meh.' And I mean, come on. "Oh, whoops! He said the ex-husband was bringing dishonor to your network! Not Jordan! Whoops!" That was just cheesy and lame. I really was hoping for better, definitely my least favorite episode so far. Not awful or anything. But yeah.
Thursday, November 09, 2006
What a Great Week to be an American
STUDIO 60 HAS BEEN GREENLIT FOR AN ENTIRE SEASON!!!
Let us rejoice! NBC certainly made the right call, because the show just needs time to grow. It's ratings have been slowly showing a small upward tick, which means it's getting there. Plus, if there's any NBC show that has a chance to kick ass at Awards time (The Golden Globe nominations are in a month) it's Studio 60. So that is a big reason why it's a great time to be an American.
As for the other reasons, well... this is a non-partisan blog of course so I really have no idea what recent American event might make me bursting with happiness and pride. ;)
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
Episode Review: Nevada Day (Part I)
Episode Rating: A
I liked this episode a lot. Considering the entire episode is apparently exposition for what's going to come next week, it did a very good job of remaining engaging and funny. It was possibly more engaging and funnier than the last episode, but I tend to give dramedic episodes more credit than ones that are just comedic or just dramatic, and I think this one tended to be almost soley comedic (well, besides the hoodlums who accosted Harriet. Those guys sucked.)
This was the first episode to really feature Jack as a star, and I really do like him a lot. Weber's casting was initially the one I was most hesitant on, and he's definitely proved me wrong. I've noticed that Jack and Tom have become fan favorites and I wonder if that has anything to do with them both playing major roles in this first episode back from the little break. I will say I'm definitely liking both of them more than Matt who lately has been getting on my nerves with all his righteous ravings. Although Danny continues to be unabashedly my favorite.
So... Amanda Peet is looking pretty damn pregnant. The more I think about it, the more I'm glad that they're writing in her pregnancy. Holding folders and whatnot would get silly after a while. She didn't play a big role in this episode, and I'm thinking the fact that Amanda's pregnant and yet Jordan isn't yet is why. By the way, speaking of not playing a big role in this episode, where the hell was Cal? Timothy Busfield was co-director of this one (I'm guessing one director handled the Nevada scenes and one handled the Hollywood scenes) so I understand that limits his ability to be a big player, but still... Cal was in the other episode Busfield directed and Toby was in the episode of The West Wing that Richard Schiff directed. Anyways, I missed Cal.
Tom continues his streak of rocking this and every other house. I'm glad they've fleshed him out more, and I have a definite feeling that this role will put Nate Corddry on the map, in much the way that Josh Lyman put Bradley Whitford on the map. I think Tom'll be the breakout character in much the way that Josh was on The West Wing (although, character-wise, Tom is much more of a Sam.)
Speaking of house-rocking, how great was John Goodman? I sincerely think that John Goodman has never appeared in any show or movie without absolutely *owning* that show or movie. I will say though that he really is getting... big. For Christmas this year I want one of my presents to be for John Goodman to go on a diet, so that we can have another 40 years or so of him kicking ass and taking names.
Jeannie hasn't done much lately, has she? I like Jeannie, lets have her do stuff (other than being the "other woman" in the continuing Marriet [Hatt?] saga) As for Simon, Jordan and Harriet? Y'all were great, keep up the good work. Jordan in particular I'm liking more and more, considering she was my least favorite when the show started.
So, yeah, lots of good things set up. Very interested to see how everything is tied up in part two (I'm also very curious about why Tom was speeding. I hope it has nothing to do with his brother just because that's what I assumed and I want to be surprised.)
Wednesday, November 01, 2006
The Continuing Saga of the Possible Continuation of Studio 60 (and spoilers)
Following this NBC has announced it's schedule for November sweeps and Studio 60's scheduled for Monday nights at 10 all throughout the month. This, my friends, is a very good sign. So feel excited!
Are we out of the woods yet? Not even close... Studio 60 is still underperforming and I do think definite changes need to be made (both in terms of scheduling and production) if S60's going to have any long-term survival, but this is a start. Studio 60 remains the second highest-rated new show on NBC and that ain't nothing.
On another note, we've got some information on upcoming episodes...
1-7: Nevada Day (Part 1)- This is the episode John Goodman's guest-starring in. He apparently is playing a judge in Nevada where Tom is in jail. No idea what Tom did, but this sounds like a good one to me.
1-8: Nevada Day (Part 2)- See above.
1-9: The Option Period- Matt learns Ron and Ricky are planning to leave (and are taking the writing staff with them.) It looks like Evan Handler and Carlos Jacott might be casualties of budget cuts, and I can't say cutting them loose is a bad idea. Also Harriet toys with the idea of doing a lingerie spread in a magazine. Jordan and Danny also deal with budget cuts (likely a reference to something Sorkin and Schlamme are having to do themselves at this point.)
1-10: B-12- Jordan tells Danny that she's pregnant. Well, there's a mysterious little sentence, 'cause that could mean she's telling the father of her baby that she's pregnant... or she's merely telling the character she's closest too right now that she's pregant! Jordan Jr.'s paternity remains a mystery! Also Matt is forced to deal with his lack of writing staff (which confirms that R&R do indeed end up leaving and that the previous episode doesn't end with R&R seeing the error of their ways.) Oh, and everyone's sick.
So there you are, folks!
Saturday, October 28, 2006
Three New Scripts ordered, and other topics on S60's survival
Heroes is the only show for NBC (and the fate of NBC shows are the only ones that really need to be worried about, because they will determine if S60 stays) that has been signed to a new season, and is the only breakout hit for them. Studio 60's ratings are actually the second best of new NBC shows. Friday Night Lights, 30 Rock, Kidnapped and 20 Good Years all have worse ratings and Kidnapped and 20 Good Years are all but cancelled. This bodes well for Studio 60, as when you compare those comparative ratings, mixed with likely award show buzz, mixed with the relatively good demographics S60 gets, you have fairly good odds of survival. Besides NBC has a lot invested in Studio 60 and they might not be too keen to get out.
However, obviously these ratings aren't good and something needs to be done. What concrete changes (cast, timeslot) would you suggest? Personally, I think the show needs a major timeslot change. Heroes is a good show, but the kind of show Heroes is doesn't (in my mind) really lead into the kind of show Studio 60 is. I think The Office would be a much better lead-in (and this was their original plan) if that can't be mustered than I might suggest it get moved to Tuesdays where there isn't a hell of a lot going on right now. But what do you all think?
Thursday, October 26, 2006
Episode Review: The Long Lead Story
Episode Rating: A-
This was a very good episode, and I remember at the time this being my favorite episode so far (obviously I'm writing this after The Wrap Party) so this has since changed.
I really liked Harriet's backstory and the depth given to her in this episode, and I thought Paulson played everything beautifully. Many in the online community seem to have a problem with Harriet that I've never understood, but she hasn't been one of my favorites either. I'm not sure if she's really one of my favorites now (because I like Danny, Matt, Cal, Tom, Simon, Jack and Jordan all more than her to be honest... which still makes her last of the main cast) but she's still a really cool character with a lot to her. Matt and Harriet's relationship has played a much bigger role in this show than I think it probably should, because this is the one episode where I was really captivated by their relationship.
I liked the whole "Nations" vs. "Search and Destroy" thing comparing good TV with bad TV and Jordan getting good TV at the end. I also loved how hilariously awful "Search and Destroy" sounded, and how Jordan was able to sum up it's awfulness with one call-back "MAYBE BOB'S THE FATHER?!" That was one of my favorite lines.
I loved Simon and Tom's bufoonish attempts at not revealing anything to Martha about Matt and Harriet, and how they just kept screwing it up worse and worse.
Lauren Graham's fun, but she was more fun in the next episode (I'm glad her role in both was short though, these are cameos) and Sting... I don't know. I'm not a big Sting fan and Martha oggling got old. Basically Martha got old, I just don't dig her character (and yet I liked her as Martha Moyer in the pilot) but oh well.
Good episode over-all though, I noticed the sketches themselves seemed to be pretty good this week.
Oh yeah, and Tom in a lobster costume for no apparent reason for most of the episode? Comedy gold.
Monday, October 23, 2006
Episode Review: The Wrap Party
What's that? I haven't done "The Long Lead Story"? Yeah, I know. But I just saw this episode and had to comment on it. I loved it sooooo much. This was just, yeah, very good... very big on character definition, this is (to me) the "The Crackpots and These Women" of this series, when it stops being interesting introduction and we start really getting to the creamy nougat-y center of these characters.
Tom's storyline was my favorite, and it looks like he's going to be our character with family/sibling issues (a la Dan Rydell and Josh Lyman) but I liked his, the whole Afghanistan was a definite surprise. The moment Tom was called "Mark" I knew that was going to be a sibling of his but the storyline came out of left field, I figured Mark was going to be dead like Dan's brother Sam and Josh's sister Joanie. But anyways, it was all well done the Jeter family is an interesting one and I hope we meet Mark at some point, as I'm curious as to the Tom/Mark dynamic.
Simon's I liked too, it surprised me that they made Willy Wills suck, as it kind of... changed the triumphalist nature of the show. The whole thing about Simon worked perfectly, we got the sense earlier that this was a street kid who's overcome adversity, gone to Yale and become somebody but specifying the situation of it all is what made it work. I liked the Darius Hawthorne bit too, although I think it was too much having the audience be so blatantly asshole-ish. I've been to comedy shows where the jokes just weren't working and I've never seen people be blatantly assholish, and even though Darius' delivery was horrible, his jokes were great themselves.
Jordan cracked me up tonight, and I'm glad Darren Wells was an asshole 'cause I disliked him right off the bat. I liked the Harriet and Jeannie camraderie too, although I'm really having trouble understand why Harriet is so comfortable with Jeannie? I mean, I get not hating her but to be friendly with her? Discussing her Matt situation with her? Seems unrealistic.
The Cal/Eli Weintraub thing was great too, and it reminded me of a storyline Charlie once had in The West Wing. Anyways, I like it. It was fun stuff, but not a favorite part or anything. I did like at the end with Matt and Danny coming in to learn from him, and Eli basically being Matt from 50 years ago.
And Jack trying to instigate a fight with Danny who just keeps munching on his snacks? Priceless. Good episode.
Oh, ha! Off the bat. I didn't even do that on purpose.
And yeah, The Long Lead Story's review is coming, that was a good one too.
Saturday, October 21, 2006
SPOILERS: Amanda Peet's pregnancy WILL be worked into the show
By now all fans of the show know Amanda Peet's pregnant, however the majority of us likely figured her pregnancy would not be worked in. We'd be wrong, as E! Online has reported that not only will the character of Jordan be pregnant, but that Danny will be the father which pretty much is confirmation that they're going the Jordan/Danny route (not that it wasn't obvious before.)
Other new spoilers include pop queen Jessica Simpson guest-starring as the musical guest in an upcoming episode, and West Wing-vet and all-around cool actor John Goodman guest-starring (likely not as the host) in an upcoming episode as well.
All in all, some really exciting information! I'm looking forward to it.
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
Episode Review: The West Coast Delay
Episode Rating: A-
This was a very strong episode, and the first one that I think really approached The West Wing level of quality (and the first one which I've given any form of an 'A' too) It was definitely funny, I love the baseball bat stuff. I was a little confused by the whole Bombshell Babies (that's what they were called, right?) stuff but the whole phone number/jersey number confusion was hilarious. As was Tom deciding to be Matt's wingman. Tom is a great character, sort of a mix of Sam Seaborn and Jeremy Goodwin. I enjoy him immensely. I wish we saw him do more but right now he's my favorite character after Danny and Matt.
Speaking of Danny, he really wasn't in this one too much which is a shame as he's my favorite but when he was he was entertaining. I really enjoyed "Nice rack, by the way. Tell Jordan I'm not fifteen." Danny has a very enjoyable sense of self-confidence but it doesn't come off as cocky as Josh Lyman was. (Not that I minded Josh's cockiness as he was my favorite on his show) but still... I like that I'm at least getting a definite sense of why Danny is different than Josh, even though they do have plenty in common.
Martha O'Dell did not do it for me. I think Christine Lahti played her well enough, but just in general her as a character didn't 'knock my socks off' to use a now S60-ian term. Which is odd because I really liked Martha Moyer in the pilot who I'm sure is the basis for O'Dell. And in this episode I got hints of a Martha/Danny pairing which I didn't like for numerous reasons as Lahti's about a decade older than Bradley Whitford (and I know, I know, Whitford's pretty much equally older than Amanda Peet, and the "guy being older is acceptable" thing is a double standard, but some things just feel weird and some don't.) and also as her character just doesn't seem that cool. Hoping we see limited amounts of her.
The main plot of the story was nice and definitely served to add some layers to the as-of-yet-bland Ricky and Ron. So yeah, the whole loyalty aspect was nice. The last act also gave a very heightened West Wing feeling of anxiety which I enjoy too 'cause there never seemed to be enough pressure to equal the pressurized feeling everyone appeared to be under.
And how funny was it for Jack's appearance to be in the form of his shouting voice on the phone. I like very much that they had Steven Weber do that and we could clearly identify it as him.
Tuesday, October 17, 2006
Episode Review: The Focus Group
Episode Rating: B+
I know, I know, I'm embarassingly behind on these reviews, but I'm hoping to catch up. It is my solemn vow that this, The West Coast Delay and The Long Lead Story will all be reviewed by the time next week's episode airs. Anyways, to business!
I like this episode a lot. I'd say the first half was pretty wobbly and quite frankly I was nervous for it, but it really (for lack of a better word) sparkled in it's last two acts. The back and forths between Danny, Matt and Jeannie about Moliere and Commedia Dell'Arte felt very Sorkin-y and while I liked the first two episodes, this is the first time I truly felt like I was watching a Sorkin show. Like Danny, Matt, Harriet, Simon, Tom, Cal, Jeannie and even Jordan were a gang just as much as the White House Senior Staff and the folks at CSC were.
The episodes just keep confirming Danny/Jordan, don't they? I'm sorry folks, I'm a officially a Jordanny shipper (the only couple that I'd go so far as to call me a shipper of so far) But this episode continued to confirm it. She doesn't go to see Matt to talk about stuff and problems, she talks to Danny. When getting exciting ratings news she kisses Matt on the cheek but Danny on the lips. It's totally gonna be Danny/Jordan folks and I enjoy it. I think what makes me like it the most (besides Danny being my favorite character on this show and thus wanting him in a romance with the main female star elevating his overrall importance) is that it's unexpected. The promos, common sense, everything wanted to tell us that Matthew Perry's character and Amanda Peet's character, the two biggest stars and the two with top billing would have their character's romantically linked, but no! I don't know, I like things like that.
So a lot of people have had issues with the overreaching intellectualism in the show, as if Sorkin has a big megaphone and is saying "Hey! Here's some high culture! See how smart I am?" I really don't think that's it. He's just... smart. He writes smart things. He did so on The West Wing and quite frankly he did so on Sports Night.
Also, I think people are really ruining this show for themselves by getting out a magnifying glass and looking for all the instances where Sorkin might be being pretentious self-aggrandizing. Just watch the freaking show, people. It's pretty good. You think he's the first writer to vent his frustrations through his craft and use it as a kind of catharthis? He isn't, he just doesn't have the luxury that a lot of TV writers do of being cloaked in anonymity. Sure Matt and Harriet are clearly based on Sorkin and Kristin Chenoweth, but I mean... you don't think Ross and Rachel were probably based on a relationship of a Friends creator? This kind of stuff happens. So what? Personally I like that Sorkin puts so much of himself into his writing.
Back to this episode in particular though, I liked it a lot. My favorite part was totally the fight on the beach with "I'm three years younger and I'm faster than you, old man!" "I'm three years older and I'm stronger, little boy!" Whitford and Perry have some undeniable best friend chemistry. By now, those who know much about the behind the scenes shenanigan's at The West Wing, know there was kind of some animosity between Bradley Whitford and Rob Lowe, and I think that's one of the reasons that Josh and Sam (who for all intensive purposes appeared to be set up as the Dan and Casey or Danny and Matt of their show) ended up not being quite like that, because Whitford and Lowe didn't have that magnetic best friend chemistry. Whitford has it with Perry in spades. I couldn't have asked for two better leads (even if a part of me still thinks Perry might be better as Danny and Whitford as Matt, but that might just be my initial casting choices back in '05 talking.)
So, what was up with whole Simon/Random floozie/Tom thing at the end? Did that come out of nowhere or what? There've been a variety of different theories from this: From the idea that Simon's just, you know, not a manwhore to that he's gay. I think it's open to interpretation but I took it as nothing more than Simon being older and more mature than Tom and not needing that sort of validation anymore.
Anyways, as always leave all comments and thoughts and responses.
Sunday, October 08, 2006
Episode Review: The Cold Open
Episode Rating: B
This was a good episode, but definitely not the strongest. There were a few hits and misses...
For one thing, major concerns on how they're going to keep Jordan and Jack involved, an issue which I've brought up before. Other than the opening teaser (which I really enjoyed) J&J didn't really cross paths with Danny, Matt and the gang. I don't know what to think about this. Either they'll A) Give Jordan and Jack their own storylines to deal with which I won't like but will make more sense or B) Keep them nonsensically too involved in the goings-on at Studio 60, which I won't like either. I like Jack and I like Jordan but I think if (for cost reasons) any of the characters need to be gotten rid of, it's the two of them.
Getting rid of them (if need to be) will hopefully give some room for Tom and Cal to play, because while I find them both likable and are played by two of my favorite actors on the show, they're doing nothing. How about we rectify that? I can see where Cal isn't exactly going to be a lead role, and I know that Busfield also produces the show so I guess he's got some other responsibilities but, c'mon people, this is an ensemble. As for Tom, I don't see why he's being so under-utilized at all. He should be a fairly major player, being a Big Three.
I wasn't sure what to think about Simon in the pilot (obviously) but I've decided I definitely like him. The concerns with the voices was a funny one, and I like the interraction between him and Danny and enjoyed that they both had valid 'sides', Danny's ideals vs. Simon's loyalty. So, yes, definitely like Simon. I think D.L. Hughley does a good job with him too, but he's got to learn to enunciate a little better. When I first read the pilot I saw Taye Diggs in the role (Ironically I also saw Matthew Perry playing Danny and Bradley Whitford playing Matt, before either of their names had been mentioned in conjunction with the show. Considering Matthew's *named* Matt, it probably makes more sense to switch them around) and I still think he might have been better suited for it. I buy Simon as someone with steadfast loyalty and insecurities he keeps hidden, I just don't see him as Yale-educated and that was my favorite thing about Simon in the script. Anyways, at this point Simon's my favorite of the Big Three, but just have a few qualms.
Harriet and Matt... not sure. I think judgment will need to be held off on. I think they have an interesting dynamic, and I enjoy the essential conflict that Sorkin has given them. I don't really share the concerns of those who are bitching out Sarah Paulson's portrayal, claiming she's not making Harriet funny. I'm not entirely convinced she's *supposed* to be funny at this point. She took the break-up really hard, the show's a wreck, her religion is supposed to be a wreck. Not exatly much room to show her humor chops. People need to chill out with some of their concerns about the bringing of the 'funny.' Majorly chill out.
Matthew Perry is bringing it. I'm really enjoying him and the character of Matt. Ditto Brad and his portrayal of Danny. The two of them are the best thing about this show, and I will imagine they'll continue to be.
Put me in the column of those who really enjoyed the opening sketch. I found it awesome, and not because I know or even like musicals (Gilbert & Sullivan I always confuse with Rogers & Hammerstein) but just because I thought the whole thing was inspired. A little too much repetition with the lines in it though. 'Intellectual reacharound' was priceless though.
Definitely sensing some Danny/Jordan-ness. That's all I got. Keep in mind it's definitely been two weeks since I've last seen this episode and I'm trying to do my best to keep in the mindframe of someone who hadn't seen The Focus Group.
Haven't posted in a while
- Amanda Peet is, in fact, pregnant. No word yet on how this will effect the show.
- Three episodes have aired (Pilot, The Cold Open and The Focus Group)
- The ratings haven't been going gangbusters, but as of yet we're not sure if there's reason to panic.
- The show rocks!
The upcoming episodes are West Cost Delay (airing tomorrow), The Long Lead Story and The Wrap Party.
Episode analysis of the most recent two episodes will be featured in short order.
Friday, August 11, 2006
If Peet is pregnant what will this mean for Studio 60 and for the character of Jordan McDeere? I'd be surprised if they'd make the character pregnant this early. Just doesn't seem opportune, storyline wise, to suddenly create a whole pregnancy plotline and if they do I'd be even more surprised if they try to make any of the characters on the show (Danny and Matt being the obvious candidates) the father. My guess is we'll get what happened with Mary-Louise Parker and Mary McCormack when both became pregnant while filming The West Wing. Folders in front of stomachs, lots of shots from the shoulders up, and crossed fingers that it doesn't look too ridiculous. Unfortunately McCormack, who naturally has a curvier build than Parker, was able to hide the pregnancy a little better. Peet's build seems more in line with Parker's so we'll have to see.
One thing's for certain, if these reports are legitimate there is more than likely some scurrying going on behind the scenes of S60.
Saturday, August 05, 2006
Official Website is up!
The official website for Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip (http://www.studio60theseries.com) is up. And seems to be pretty well done. (The opening quote between Danny and Jordan "I have no reason to trust you and every reason not to." "Why?" "You work in television." has long since worn out it's welcome in promos though.) Character bios, the thing I was most excited to read aren't up yet. Cast bios and photos are too, as well as some other features. I suggest that we all stay tuned to this site. Just the fact that this site exists seems like a good sign to me. The West Wing never really had an official site, did it? Unless I missed it.
Thursday, August 03, 2006
Episode Review: Pilot
Episode Rating: B+
Perhaps it's unfair of me to review this pilot under the circumstances in which I saw it. Only being able to see it via a computer screen obviously took away some of the mystical magic that only seeing it on the little silver screen can provide for you. Plus I had read the script months and months ago and thus already had some previously concieved notions about how it would look. Some things looked better on screen and some looked better in my head, but I suppose thats' to be expected. So, first let me run through the cast, character by character, actor by actor, and cover my thoughts on them all.
First, Danny Tripp as played by Bradley Whitford. For us who've seen his work on The West Wing, there is no doubting BW is a terrific actor and probably, on a strict matter of skill, the best of the bunch here. He does a good job in this one, because this is most assuredly not Josh Lyman. The characters are not 180 degrees from the other, but while Lyman and Tripp both have their demons and while both have a glib sarcastic edge to them, they seem to react to the world in different ways. To use a sports metaphor, Josh played offense while Danny stays on defense. Josh was verbose, histrionic and intense while Danny seems laid-back, casual and cool. Almost, however, too cool, I do think Whitford can take the intensity up a notch. Also something that bothered me is he seems to have given Danny some pretty bad posture, and I'm not sure what the reason for it is... but I keep wanting to tell Danny to stand up straight. Also, what's with the reading glasses? Unnecessary and weird.
Rounding off the dynamic duo, we have Matt Albie played by Matthew Perry. It's lucky that it's been two years since Friends went off the air and that Chandler isn't as ingrained into us as Josh is, because Albie does seem a lot like Chandler. Not that this is bad, because Chandler Bing was an hilarious character. But still, Matt isn't given a whole lot to do but be silly, funny and loyal to his best friend, all of which we saw in Chandler often. I like Matthew Perry as an actor, and I think he has a darkness about him that was so often unseen in Chandler and can easilly be seen in Matt. The problem isn't necessarilly in Perry, honestly because I've seen a lot of his other work I don't really see Chandler when I look at MP. It's just that the script calls for him to be silly, funny and loyal and Perry doesn't need to really stretch his acting muscles to play that anymore. I'm sure we'll see more shades to his character in time.
I will say, when I read the script Matt was my favorite of the two. After watching the episode, Danny is my favorite of the two.
Then we have Amanda Peet as Jordan McDeere. I know there were some who were wary of her casting, but she's absolutely excellent in this role. The perfect balance of a giddy sarcasm and a wry intellect make the character work. While Peet is sexy just by virtue of being sexy, she doesn't dump sexiness into this role, which is good. In the script I saw her as this femme fatale type and that didn't appeal to me, because I don't really dig those kind of characters. Peet plays Jordan a lot more down-to-earth, and I like this. I really can't find any problems with her performance so far.
Sarah Paulson as Harriet Hayes was someone I heard a lot of people complain about. And she isn't all over this episode but I sort of see the problem. This is a role Kristin Chenoweth was born to play (obviously, since Harriet's based on her.) but if not Chenoweth, you need someone Chenoweth-esque. Emily Procter for instance? I shouldn't keep suggesting The West Wing castmembers, but you know what I mean. Paulson seems too mature (personality-wise, not age-wise since obviously she's younger than both Procter and Chenoweth) and, I'll be frank, too intelligent to play this part. Not that I think Harriet's dumb, I don't at all. But I think Harriet needs to have a good-natured naivete, especially with her traditional Christian values, that I don't see in Paulson. Paulson just isn't convincing as a conservative, I guess the problem is. Now, I say this as someone who can not stand conservatives, Paulson should probably feel honored by this but I just am not sure she was right for this role.
Not much to say about D.L. Hughley as Simon Stiles. He's not in this much. I will say at first I didn't like the idea of him in the role. Now I do. He did a very good job and I'm excited to see what Simon's going to bring to the table.
Also, Nate Corddry knocked Tom Jeter out of the park. Absolutely excellent. He just seems like a wide-eyed little kid and that's exactly who Jeter, the baby of the gang, seems to be. Just as with Simon, there's no complaints I have for Tom. Only that I'd like to see more of them. Speaking of who else needs to be seen more of...
Timothy Busfield, beloved the Sorkin world over as brilliant, bearded, Flamingo-smitten Danny Concannon, completely sheds his Danny skin to play Cal Shanley. Cal isn't anything like Danny C. to be honest. He's older, more mature and definitely brings the gravitas. I absolutely adore this character and his role needs to be intensified, although I get that this was an episode for Danny, Matt, Jordan and Jack.
Finally we have Steven Weber as Jack Rudolph. I go back and forth with him. He's excellent in his scenes with Jordan (they have a great, although completely unromantic in its feeling, chemistry) yet some of the time (The "We're running a show here." "Shut up." bit in particular) he seems kinda ridiculous. Weber's a great actor, but I'm not sure if Jack shouldn't have been played by someone a little older? Jack's character seems like this guy who can't stand these punk kids are coming back when he only looks like he's, what, a couple years older than them? My other problem is, I can't see where his role is going. He's the Chairman of the Network, and our thought process is he's going to be hanging around the show? I can see the use for one network suit in Jordan, especially since she's taking a special interest in the show because her reputation is now staked on Danny and Matt. But two? While I can see why Jack would be a big role in the pilot and in the subsequent few episodes... what on Earth is he going to do after that? It would seem to me that all he can do is tell Matt and Danny to do something, not do something, because it's too controversial, and Matt and Danny will either stand up to him or they won't, and it will turn out they were right all along. Which would be a very lame role for him. I am afraid he'll be Mandy version 2.0
The mood and the feel was good although maybe a tad bit too dark. Good writing although it felt like their could have been a bit more, but maybe it's because I had read all this before and so it didn't pop at me. Definitely a strong beginning with room for improvement. I know some people have claimed that it wasn't funny and get all bothered by that, even though it's a drama... but Sorkin writes dramedy's, and usually, I'll admit, they are funnier than this.
Monday, July 31, 2006
Pilot is leaked!
I'd comment on it but I actually haven't seen it yet. The volume on my computer isn't working and so I could watch it, but I wouldn't get any sound and that would be pointless. I'm going to be seeing it at a friend's house later tonight.
Anyways, for those who haven't seen it, enjoy!!
I'll give a review of it either later tonight or early tomorrow. (I'll be giving reviews of all episodes once the show starts.)
Sunday, July 23, 2006
Premiere Date: September 18th, 2006
P.S. For those who don't know, Netflix will be releasing the pilot of Studio 60 weeks earlier, sometime in early August.
Tuesday, July 18, 2006
Ayda Field joins the cast.
Ayda Field who you might remember from Days of our Lives (Okay, I might remember her from Days of our Lives. Shut up, straight guys can watch it too.) or, more recently, as a castmember from "Blue Collar TV" (which I've never seen so let me know if she's good.) has joined the cast. The smart money's on her playing Jeannie, but obviously that's not for definite. Now, whether she's joining the main cast, or has just joined the cast like Ricky and Ron have joined the cast remains to be seen.
I'm not sure about her acting, actually the only bit of her character I saw on Days was her getting shot and slowly dying, which she did pretty well. She had a fake Italian accent which was a bit disorienting though. What are your thoughts? She appears to bring the hot.