Studio Whatever Whatever Whatever

Studio 60 on Sunset Strip was supposed to be the it show of the 2006-2007 season -- Aaron "Cocaine is my creative juice" Sorkin producing a behind-the-scenes type show featuring some pretty heavy TV talent in the form of Bradley Cooper, Matthew Perry, Steven Weber, DL Hughley and Timothy Busfield -- too bad it's been sucking.

The focus of nearly every show has been the failed relationship between Matthew Perry's character, Matt -- a brilliant, yet abrasive comedy writer -- and Sarah Paulsen's character, Harriet -- a comedically talented, devout Southern Baptist. This might have worked had there been any glimmer of chemistry between the two or a reason for the audience to believe that they would have gotten along together during their relationship. This isn't the case and the show suffers immensely for it -- similar to the debacle that was The O.C.'s third season.

I can see it now:

  • Episode 13: Matt and Harriet end up sleeping with each other after a wild wrap party
  • Episode 14: An entire episode of "things [getting] weird"
  • Episode 20: Matt and Harriet are officially an item again
  • Sometime in season two: Matt and Harriet are off again
  • Repeat every 18-22 episodes

I should be the show runner.

Studio 60 would be a much better show if they simple changed the focus. So far, the subplots have been much more interesting: Bradley Whitfords's character's drug problem, Amanda Peet's character's ex-husband writing a tell-all book about her, one of the staff writers plagiarizing, a 90-year-old blacklisted writer sneaking onto the set, D.L. Hughley's attempts to find a "real" black writer for the show, just to give an example.

Many of the critics who want to perform sexual acts on Aaron Sorkin fear the reason the show is doing poorly in the ratings is that it's too high-brow -- that people in Nebraska don't care about the behind-the-scene action at a fictional sketch show. I find it hard to believe that Nebraskans would be more interested in people discovering they have superpowers or a group of people stranded on an island, but they apparently do, according to the ratings. If Aaron Sorkin wants to show an audience a love/hate relationship, why do it against the backdrop of a behind-the-scenes look at a sketch comedy show? Why not just do it in a vacuum? Why not the vacuum of space where no one has to listen to it? It's the content that stinks, not the context.

The last episode of Studio 60 was actually decent: the Matt/Harriet story was kept to a minimum and most of the actors other than Matthew Perry and Sarah Paulsen had significant things to do. Too bad that was two weeks ago and the show as off the schedule this week.

Studio 60 probably won't make it past March and will go down in history as Aaron Sorkin's failed bid to skewer the television industry. Too bad, because I do enjoy pooping on it.


Anonymous Anonymous complained...

While Studio 60 gets the press, the best new show on Monday nights is "Justice" on Fox. It is well-written and entertaining- basically the legal version of House without being a ripoff of House (If that makes any sense). Victor Garber and Kerr Smith's performances remind us why we should have sent Sam Waterston to the glue factory years ago. If you're going to bore youself with Aaron Sorkin's unwhimsically inane psychobabble at 10, you might as well entertain yourself beforehand at 9.

11/08/2006 11:21 PM
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