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Jim Tourtelott

Good title.

Jim Tourtelott

And Busfield continues his run as most entertaining cast member.

Art School Guy

Has it always been this bad? It seems worse then I remember it... and I don't remember it very fondly.

Jim Tourtelott

Actually, it seems a bit better to me tonight. Possibly I've lost all powers of discernment. I liked the banter between Weber and Busfield, though bantering about a bomb threat may be slightly implausible.

Art School Guy

My enduring love for alison janney is worth something (and Busfield and Weber) have been the best thing about the show all along... but the writing seems really bad... worse then usual. At least we haven't had to deal with too much matt and harriet stupidness. or danny stalking someone to charm them.

Art School Guy

those were stupidly placed parenthesis... sorry. should have read:

My enduring love for alison janney is worth something (and Busfield and Weber have been the best thing about the show all along)... but the writing seems really bad... worse then usual. At least we haven't had to deal with too much matt and harriet stupidness. or danny stalking someone to charm them.

Sorry

Jim Tourtelott

Perhaps Sorkin is attempting to write an episode without Matt and Danny, which on the whole isn't a half-bad idea.

Art School Guy

and look! it's clever west wing references. I guess it's probably a good idea to remind people that he has, in fact, written a good show.

I'd rather he write a whole show without harriet.

SV

Soooooooo. After much criticism of the show, the solution is to run an episode about ... a BAD SHOW? This is just painful.

"Every few years we have a disaster show." Uh, yeah.

Is it just me, but has everyone utterly lost all acting ability? Allison Janney was flat. DL Hughley was flat. And I wanted to KILL Sarah Paulson. (But then, I usually do.)

Did I mention painful?

At least Timothy Busfield made it bearable. And Steven Weber. I think. Maybe - it's hard to tell since he got like 2 minutes of screen time. When will he get a show worthy of his talents?

Dan Coyle

WOW, I hate Harriet.

Jack Rudolph, Action Executive- still awesome while drunk.

Art School Guy

Well in case there was anyone left thinking NBC made a mistake canceling this disaster... I think we've put that idea to bed forever. It might have been a decent idea to come back from a ten million year hiatus with an episode that was at least half way watchable.

SV

See, THAT's the show I want to see:

Jack Rudolph, Action Executive

Jim Tourtelott

Actually, the only subplot that I thought was genuinely appallingly bad was the D.L. Hugley story, every moment of which was telegraphed from the first instant.

Janney, on the other hand was doing what Janney was portrayed as doing--trying with might and main to save a bad show. Slf-referential as all Hell, and pointless to boot, but I think she pulled it off.

Art School Guy

maybe I've just become allergic to matt and harriet drama, but I every time she started whining about their relationship it was all I could do not to switch over to the basketball game. (the dl hughley subplot was bad too though)

Victoria

West coast here. You know, if you're doing a show about a live TV show, then you just have to have a "disaster show" episode. And Janney, known for her physical comedy back when she was doing bit parts, is a great choice for guest host. I just wish it had been more thoughtfully plotted so that when Cal says, "Admit it, you've had the time of your life tonight" that we could truly believe her smiling "thank you." But that would have required some truly inventive scene saves on her part - the kinds of things that turn into stories she would tell over and over to actor friends and family - and at least one fit of breakdown hysterical laughter over something.

Karen

Good point, Victoria. There was absolutely no reason to believe that Janney had, in fact, had the time of her life. The Simon/girlfriends subplot was bad the first time I saw it--which was, I believe, in a comedy by Plautus.

And Harriet--good GOD, was she tiresome! Does Aaron Sorkin hate Kristin Chenoweth SO much that he has to make her look like a humorless pillock week after week? (She had the last laugh, though--she ROCKED her cameo on "Ugly Betty" in the season finale.)

It was nice to see the Allison Janney/Timothy Busfield chemistry again, but it was tragic to see it in teh context of such a crap, crap, crap show.

Except for Stephen Weber. Stephen Weber was GENIUS.

Victoria

As for the Harriet subplot - again, I long for more carefully constructed plotting. Why have her still obsessing on Jeannie, when all the water under the bridge since then tells us it should be SO over!? Move it along, Aaron. One option would have been to have her start the episode where she ended it - in a period of questioning. Wouldn't this seem to be a logical state, given what transpired in the last few episodes? So perhaps she goes to Jeannie with genuine questions...which leads to some new (pleeeeze) discoveries or a deepening of relationship between these two women or...or... Better yet, give the Harriet-Matt thing a rest for an episode.

Still, for this viewer, three "craps" is an overstatement. The show has always had such tremendous potential. If only more care and time were taken in script development. There's been an infurating level of "slap-dash" to the plotting. Too many cheap and easy and therefore unsatisfying choices.

Bill S

Y'know what I can't believe? Three former actors from "The West Wing" are playing characters on this show, and not once did Allison Janney note the resemblence between them and her former co-stars. I mean, I was actually waiting for that!
And Karen, you were right about Kristen on "Ugly Betty". Five minutes of her vs. an entire season of her alleged counterpart? No contest.

travy

ugh- shows like that one make me curse tivo. simply awful at every level but the worst had to be that pitiful attempt at sticking an unearned feel good moment at the end with the "time of your life line". summed up sorkin in a nutshell and is the main reason i ended up hating westwing pretty quickly too... sigh, but i'll be back next week. this show's like picking a scab...

r vine

Anyone know who did the large abstract painting in the dressing room scene between Alison Janney and Timothy Busfield near the beginning of the show? Or how to find out? While the acting and story line were not great for this episode, I loved the artwork!

john

Sorry to drop by so late . . .

Has Sorkin been reading your blog, Lance?

A SEXY PLOT for D. L. Hughley, just as people here had asked for.

MORE SCREEN TIME for Weber & Busfield, just as people here had asked for.

NO SCREEN TIME for Matt & Harriet together, just as people here had asked for.

COMMENTARY on how Christine Lahti looks like Allison Janney, just as people here had commented.

BUT -- it would have been SO much better if Janney had played celebrity journalist C. J. Craig, as if Stephanopoulos hosted SNL (a dreadfully unfunny show -- kudos to Sorkin for getting that detail right).

What a fershlugginer show -- I'll watch it again!

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