Pop Culture Junkette

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Thursday, September 21, 2006

Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip

I finally had a chance to watch my third new show of the season, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. (My first new show was Celebrity Duets, which I have already blogged about, and my second was Justice, which is totally unrealistic and not at all great, but which I will continue to watch because it lacks the grit that turns me off from many dramas.)

I haven't been that excited about the new fall crop of shows--I saw both the NBC and CBS preview shows and not much looked very good. But I figured I had to give Studio 60 a chance, both because it is an Aaron Sorkin show and because it has received good buzz. My verdict: So far, so good.

The cast is quite good, even if every character Matthew Perry plays has Chandler Bing mannerisms, and even if Amanda Peet just looks way too young to be running a network (I thought that the relationship between Peet's character and Steven Weber's was confusing, although after looking at the show's website, I see that Peet's character is the president of the network while Weber's character is the chairman). And the show did little things that made me happy: when the show's original producer goes on-air to rant about the sorry state of network television, it was obviously a moment taken straight from the movie Network. And instead of ignoring that, the show made it obvious, with every television reporter offering commentary on the diatribe pointing out that it was reminiscent of "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore." And having Felicity Huffman as the special guest was a nice little wink, as the discerning viewer knows she starred in Aaron Sorkin's critically acclaimed but quickly cancelled Sports Night.

I didn't love the first episode--they were obviously trying to cram a lot of information into an hour show--but it definitely showed potential. So, for now at least, it gets a season pass on my DVR.

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Blogger Laura Holt said...

I really liked this first episode, though for some reason my NBC affiliate was not coming in very well so I missed some of the signature Schlamme lush cinematography. The cast really is stellar, and I look forward to seeing where it will go.

9/21/2006 3:26 PM  
Blogger Isaac, your bartender said...

Like Red Fraggle, I thought the pilot was decent but not outstanding. It certainly lacked the oomph of the West Wing pilot (which I rewatched back in May), and it is weird to see Chandler Bing and Josh Lyman taking over Saturday Night Live. While good enough to get me coming back next week, the ratings better improve or else this won't last that long. As someone pointed out, Deal or No Deal is not the greatest lead in for a much smarter show. I guess it could be worse--the lead in could have been Fear Factor.

9/21/2006 4:42 PM  
Blogger Laura Holt said...

But wouldn't that have been a wonderful piece of synergy given the opening rant?

9/21/2006 4:57 PM  
Blogger Sally-Anne said...

I thought the pilot was actually very good, but was disappointed by the second episode. I'll give it another chance or two, though. And I actually think they do a good job of not giving Perry much Bingitude. His character here seems much edgier.

9/27/2006 3:13 PM  

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