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)
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.