Friday, May 25, 2007

Sunrise, Sunset

Thanks to a care package from my merry blogmutter (fairy godblogger? hairy blogsistah?), Jeff and I watched two episodes of Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip last night. Leave it to me to finally get around to watching a show only after it's been officially canceled.

It took almost two years, but I've crossed the pop culture expatriate line, where I am clueless about much of American television and have never heard of most U.S. movies in current release. So what follows is written in a kind of TV vacuum, having very little with which to compare Studio 60. And most of you probably don't care, since you either never watched it or you removed it from your TiVo long ago, or you watched it but now it's canceled so Blythe, get over it already.

But I loved it. I'm an Aaron Sorkin Junkie; I own several seasons of The West Wing on DVD. I could easily watch the entire series of Sports Night in one sitting. When an episode of these shows ends, Jeff and I look at each other and say, "Oh, just one more." And pretty soon it's 2 a.m. and we've watched half the season.

What I thought:
-It's a transparently autobiographical story. Sorkin and his buddy, director Tommy Schlamme, got kicked out of The West Wing and feel they've been wronged by the network. Now they're back at the same network and they're throwing it back in the execs' faces. I can see how this might eventually become wearing. But so far I can take it.

-Also, lots of references to past Sorkin shows and obsessions, including Gilbert & Sullivan, the section title and end credits (same as The West Wing), and of course several of the actors.

-Matthew Perry and Bradley Whitford play variations on Chandler Bing and Josh Lyman so that wasn't hard to take, but it took a while for me to get used to Timothy Busfield as mild-mannered technical director Cal after seeing him for so many years as direct and snappy Danny Concannon on The West Wing.

-I hear her character goes downhill, but the idea of a well-known, devout Christian on a show like this (or especially on a late-night comedy show) is interesting. It's high time someone writes a smart role for a character like Harriet.

-Judd Hirsch! His appearance reminded me of how I felt when I saw Robert Guillaume on Sports Night. Loved it.

-I've never been a fan of Amanda Peet, but she did a good job and looked beautiful, different than I'd seen her look before. Someone please send her wardrobe to me.

We're looking forward to watching the rest of the series. Knowing us, we'll probably finish it this weekend.


dani said...

Oh B. I totally agreed with you. About 15 episodes ago. But I have also never liked Amanda Peet and I actually really liked her a lot in this show.

EuroTrippen said...

The final 6 episodes started airing starting this week. When the run is though I'll send them your way. Toward the end I felt it suffered a little, but by then I'm sure they saw the ax swinging... hard to stay motivated.

I'm really excited to see how they wrap things up though. I predict they'll go out with class, style, and more than a few jabs at the network.

ian said...

This is a great stage to be at because you realise you are free from whatever cultural pressure you once had to always be up on the latest movies, tv shows, etc. You're free to pick and choose, discovering gems from a way back for the first time. For example, I only saw "Raging Bull" for the first time a couple of years ago. It came out when I was travelling around in 1980, and I never got around to seeing it.

Katie said...

Phew. We aren't actually twins separated at birth. I adore Amanda Peet! Did you ever watch Jack & Jill? Plus she's briliant in The Whole Nine Yards. Her hero is Holly Hunter. I'm telling you: watch out. My only disappointment is that her acting skills + toothy grin haven't totally usurped Julia Roberts already. If I never have to see her in a rom com again it'll be too soon.