Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip

I’ve added another show to my “watch every week” repetoire – Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip.  This does not necessarily mean that I love the show.  At the moment I’m undecided, but more about that later.
Here, by the way, is my current “watch every week” repetoire, broken down into days:

Monday:  Nothing really.  What am I missing?
Tuesday:  Nothing really. Again, is there anything on I should be watching?
Wednesday: Don’t think there’s anything here.  Should there be?
Thursday:  Watch Survivor.  Download The Office, and download Extras (watch them next day)
Friday:  Nada.
Saturday:  Now it will be Battlestar Galactica, that it’s back on.  Depending on anticipation, I may not be able to wait, and will download Friday night’s US airing.
Sunday: Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip.  Amazing Race. The Wire.

That’s it.  Not a lot of TV for me right now. If you think there’s a show I should be watching, let me know.

So, anyway, back to Studio 60.  Back in the days of Sports Night, I was an Aaron Sorkin fan.  I dug the fast-paced dialogue and witty, intelligent things the characters said.  I liked the way the show ran.  Bam, bam, bam.  For whatever reason, I didn’t bother following him to The West Wing.  Even though the segments of The West Wing I did see didn’t really thrill me too much, I thought I was maybe missing out on some great writing and acting.  So, this time, with his third show starting, I made an effort to be on board from the beginning.
I watched, and enjoyed, the first episode quite a bit.  Then, dammit, I read a Salon review of that episode.  It talked about how Sorkin’s style of writing, and the hyper-intensity of the characters/moments and of what they say, and the fast-paced style really fit well in a setting like the White House, and that made us care about those characters.  Will we, the reviewer asked, care as much when the characters display the same qualities, intensities and manic quippings all in service of a late-night comedy show.  In other words, we dig clever things that are said on the long fast walks down corridors as the President balances Middle East turmoil, pouting subordinates and whatever familial problems his wife is complaining about, but will we dig it as much when the outcome isn’t, perhaps, so important to us?  In other other words, fast-paced drama works in the White House, but can it work in a late-night comedy studio?
I don’t know if I buy the reviewer’s question, but being aware of it has made me more critical of the show than it perhaps deserve I be.  As long as the events are important to the characters, that’s all that should matter, right?  Yet, it does leave me thinking “ease up on the self-importance”.    I don’t want to be thinking that, though.

So, I want to like the show, but I am not really digging the Sorkinisms.  I really didn’t like last week’s fast-paced walking scene with Matthew Perry and Nate Corddry.  It was too manicured.  The dialogue is too precious. 
And that Amanda Peet network president is too precious, too.
Another thing I don’t like about the show:  As of yet, there hasn’t been any sketch or line from the pretend sketch show that I found to be particularly good.  Much of the humour is too collegiate, I think, to be found on a sketch comedy show.

Anyway, who am I?  I’ll still make it part of my repetoire, but I won’t be surprised if it eventually makes its way onto my “I’m on the computer and that show is about to start. Do I stop browsing the internet and go watch it?  Hmm, wonder what’s new on YouTube?” list.

4 Comments

  1. I agree. I have been trying to watch this show because of the major buzz surrounding it, and have been left underwhelmed.

    Mainly because the comedy is NOT FUNNY. I feel if you are airing a one hour drama about a major network one-hour comedy show (AKA Saturday Night Live), your lines should at least elicit a chuckle. They are just bad – like throwaway – like the writers just came up with something to fill that scene so the turgid plot could move along. Which sucks because so many scenes feature rooms full of writers sweating and laboring for seven days inventing these same lines.

    Funnily enough, there is a second half-hour comedy modeled after the same one-hour Saturday Night Live scenario. There was a bit of talk about whether two separate shows could be based on Saturday Night Live.

    I watched this half hour comedy, Thirty Rock, last night. It stars Tina Fey. It was very funny.

    I would also recommend a new series called six degrees? Eight degrees? I forget but it is really good. Its all about how six (or eight?)strangers lives diverge in amusing and menacing ways.

    Also, House.

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  2. I’ve really enjoyed Studio 60 so far. But more important is EXTRAS.

    This show is unbelievably good and is by far the show I look forward to the most each week. This show has ascended into the highest echelon of television comedy in my opinion. By times I’m reminded of Curb Your Enthusiasm and The Larry Sanders Show which along with Extras and several others are the high water marks of tv comedy.

    On a related note have you seen the Microsoft training videos done by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant? They are on google video.

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  3. I enjoy studio 60, but agree with all the comments. I too read that review that pointed out problems I didn’t know/think were there. I’m still entertained and intruiged enough to keep watching.
    They probably are worried about the comedy content as the show is probably written a half-year/year or so before it airs. Freaking the writers out.

    I haven’t seen House yet, but heard it’s good.

    My weekly schedule is the same as yours with the additions:

    Monday – Weeds
    Wednesday – Lost
    Friday – New South Park Episodes. (on comedy network, wednesday for comedy central)

    I would like to give South Park a special nod. I ignored this show from the 1st/2nd season. Liked the movie – thought the show was lame.
    This summer though, I went back and watched seasons 5 up to the current 10.

    It’s great. I laugh every episode out loud when watching on my own. It’s just great.
    Important.

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