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.

I ABSOLUTELY disagree with you on the Jack and Jordan point. I, for one, am more interested in the "NBS Network" storyline than I am in the "Studio 60 sketch show" storyline. Maybe that is because I am a huge "Network" fan, but, so be it. I also find Jack and Jordan, especially Jack, to be the MOST intrigueing characters of the entire cast. I would love to see MUCH more of Jack.
Don't get me wrong, I like Jack and Jordan. I think Steven Weber does a fantastic job as Jack, and Amanda Peet makes what I'd think could be a really grating character in Jordan, extremely charming. I just think that if this show is called Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, and if 75% of the characters work on that show, that the two who don't are the ones who could most easilly be removed.
system is guaranteed to give you the result you want. Just get it and
episode #3 was the best in the 4 first!
I hate to say this, but I don't buy Jordan at all. It's well written, but any woman with that kind of power doesn't appear as though she's constantly flirting with you. And before you accuse me of being sexist, I did work in television and the beautiful ones weren't wearing the pants, taking names and kicking a** the way Jordan is. She's too pretty. Or too flirty. Or too something. I did buy a very sexy low cut Christine Lahti as a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist. Can you say Maureen Dowd?
First of all, I think 'The Cold Open' is great. (By the way, the repitition thing is just the format of the song they were parodying [Modern Major General, from Pirates of Penzance.]) Secondly, I think that dropping Jordan and Jack would be a bad idea. Also, if you look at episodes 3 and 4, you'll notice that we're getting plenty of Tom, and while there wasn't much of Cal, Timothy Busfield was directing the episode, so maybe you can get your fix from there.
I'm with the first poster. I am completely in love with Jack. He's such a jerk, but Weber has made him likeable. It's amusing because was the person I was most concerned about before I saw the pilot.

I don't know Chris. I don't think I'd become a fan of Danny/Jordan. It's my mind. If Danny HAS to be paired off with someone else, I hope it's a character we have yet to see. But, we are 3 episodes into the season, and Sorkin is slow at these things. He might be able to sell me later on. I'm also still not completely sold on Jordan.
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