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« Stay tuned to this channel. Live blogging of Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip begins tonight at 10 PM EDT | Main | Studio 60: In the cold, clear light of day »

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Jennifer

Interesting comments over at Ken's...

Audrey H.

I want Sarah Paulson to spend the show talking like Holly Hunter

That got on my nerves. Sorry.

Sinners get rich, saints get shot, and God don't answer prayers a lot, says Steven Weber.

That also got on my nerves.

It surprised me last week how people sounded surprised that Matthew Perry is so good on this show. He was great on Friends. Although I know that's politically incorrect to say that.

Back in Black! Or at the next commercial break.

putnam

Once that female character who had been wearing a witch hat starting griping about her Christian values being offended, I turned this show off forever.

Audrey H.

Matthew Perry's timing is great. And West Wing guy is really cute.

Still don't like the Wings guy.

Idiot Boys!

That's my favorite line from the show so far and I plan to use it.

A lot.

Dylan

Ok... I was NOT expecting the show montage thing...

I'm not sure if I like it, but I'm not sure if I don't.

Audrey H.

Matthew Perry just reminded us that he and Sarah Paulson used to be an item. This is not a hot romance.

You're right. It's not. As a wise SATC-related person once said, He's just not that into her.

And neither am I. I don't like her character.

I don't know if this guy's doing a good impression of Tom Cruise.

The voice was pretty good. But, I think the whole Tom thing is over already.

I like the show. I'll watch it again. If I can remember it's on next week.

Thanks for the reminder this week.

CK

Caught the first two weeks of this show on the Bravo re-runs, watched half of this week and turned off the tube. This show is Oakland. There is no there there. Trite and safe but with some semi-snarky reparteé.

jmaynardk

I thought the montage fell way short. A little cringe-worthy, like the current SNL. To make this show happen, Sorkin has to prove that he could write a great sketch comedy show. Because otherwise it's hard to give a shit about Matthew Perry and Bradley Whitford's triumphs. Otherwise, people should just watch the Daily Show and Colbert.

Not that Perry & Whitford aren't great, and their characters interesting. The West Wing cast says (on the DVD extras) that the core of WW was the non-sexual romance between Bartlet and Leo McGarry. So that's one big thing Studio 60 has going for it.

Obviously Sarah Paulson's character is a problem. I wonder if the root cause of Sorkin's mistakes with that character is that he thinks his liberal audience will think it's daring, thoughtful, and clever to give the Christian actress a sense of humor. I'm a devoted WW fan and I don't think Sorkin's moves on this are any of those three adjectives.

Nor will the character work if Sarah Paulson doesn't start being funny. The West Wing's Repubs, like Matthew Perry's brief WW character Joe, were effective because their interesting quality -- in Joe's case, integrity -- were demonstrated by the plot, not told to the audience ad nauseum.

velvet goldmine

Mad props to Sorkin and the rest of the company for incorporating Lance's notes from last week in their very next episode! Either that or the plan all along was to let us get to know the characters and what they were up against before we get to see them start to put it together. But what the hell do I know?

I thought tonight's show was captivating, but then again, I liked last week's too, so -- worth repeating for this topic, since Sorkin usually goes by the rule of three -- what the hell do I know? (I know! The hell?)

jazmac

funny line about the focus group being out of work writers and actors trying to impress the producer behind the glass. Rings true. Is it?

jazmac

second commercial break. Not very compelling yet, I have to say. I was a huge Sports Night fan, and lots of West Wing (didn't see the last couple of seasons). Back during Sports Night I used to wonder what Sorkin would do with a whole hour. I was amazed at what could be packed into that half hour. Gotta say, half way through this one (the first I've seen, BTW) I miss that pace and focus.

Myrna the Minx

Uh, the fact that half the actors were on West Wing, which I stopped watching years ago just bores me--no matter how good they are. Repeat ensemble casts work in film for me, but not in TV for some reason. Perhaps its just the limits of the format--character development takes an entire season. Plus, they mentioned "Gwen Stefani!" That's enough to prevent me from ever watching again right there.

Delicious Pundit

Um, it seems like the first episode these guys wrote opened with a Gilbert & Sullivan parody and then, going from strength to strength, had a commedia dell'arte sketch. What the hell?

They wouldn't have put that on "The Alan Brady Show"; "Omnibus" would have said that was too highbrow; it would be the worst PBS pledge drive ever.

I am, however, looking forward to the show being renamed "Studio 60 on the Shavian Tip."

monkyboy

I hated it.

Laura Petrie

Make it stop. Please.

Kevin Wolf

Fun to read Lance, though without TV I've not seen the show. I may, um, locate them somewehere and give it a whirl.

Just based on your notes, though, I have one observation. It seems like there's too many mentions of people's various backstories, especially if they were once an item with another character. Who cares?

I'd think you'd want to concentrate on the making of the program and let the personal stuff develop organically as the cast settles into Studio 60. Prior relationships could just stay backstory until actually needed for plot or character development later.

Is it not possible to set up a new show too much?

velvet goldmine

Kevin, In general I agree with you. But the main backstory in this show is Harriet and Matt, and that breakup has happened very recently. And now they're working together again. And he's her boss. Oh, and she just found out that her castmate is his longtime friend-with-benefit. (See? I can work clean when I have to.) So in that case it's not going to be a subtle undercurrent, I don't think, especially since Harriet and Matt clearly would love to find enough common ground to be able to get back together.

Babzie

The blogging is lovely. Whish I'd known about it as it was happening.

Two things:

Paulson's character SHOULD be a funny woman who happens to be Christian. Instead, she's a Christian who's being sold to us as funny, though she has yet to prove it. Someday, Aaron will figure that out.

The best of later-years SNL is the skewering of liberal, wine-and-cheese, PBS-subscribing stereotypes. (Will Ferrell did this exceptionally well--see also Tim Robbins in "Ron Burgundy") This is both harder and more fun than going after conservatives. Can Sorkin do it? What about a WW parody on Studio 60?

Ed Dravecky

For the record, the sexy one did hold up the t-shirt and we did get brief looks at both sides of it.

Kyle

About the t-shirt, I think Lance meant we didn't get to see her wearing it, which might have been a treat since she's the sexy one.

I actually like the show, but I never saw much of West Wing and therefore didn't have a chance to burn out on Sorkinisms. What does bother me about 60 is that Matthew Perry's brilliant comedy sketches seem pretty ordinary. Probably the less we're shown of them, the better. The "Science, Shmience" bit seemed like an average SNL sketch crossed w/ an average op-ed piece. And w/ SNL comedy or op-ed columns, average is not the same as good.

Also, the character of Harriet (the Christian, rikght?) does suck. But I don't mind the network pres, and I really like Steven Weber, including when he said, "Thieves get rich," etc.

charlie

umm, wasn't WW criticized for running montages with music? A dearth of talent after sorkin left.

Get rid of amanda peet and sarah paulson. nobody would really want to sleep with either -- they are both head cases.

Steve

Hmmm, you left out discussion of the commercials which filled about 40% of the first 30 odd minutes at which point, well, I turned it off due to the extremely low signal to noise ratio.

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