The Friday Night Slaughter!!
L-Prime Surveys The Carnage
That Is Tonight’s STUDIO 60!!
I am – Hercules!!
I just stuck a note in “L-Prime’s” watchband letting him know I’m crazy about him. Here’s his take on the latest adventures of Matt, Danny, Jordan and Harry:
What’s it called?
“The Friday Night Slaughter”
Melissa Myers and Amy Turner, teleplay by — all together now — Sorkin.
What does TV Guide say?
“It's a walk down memory lane for Matt as he recalls his romantic history with longtime (ex) love and “Studio 60” funny gal Harriet.”
What is TV Guide not telling us?
Well, that’s about it. There’s a couple cute b-plots about sweating through the trimming after dress, and some Jordan/Danny cuteness.
Schlamme – he’s back behind the camera for the first time in a while, if I recall correctly.
Will this week’s talkback distend with endless debate on whether or not Sorkin should continue on his leftist crusade?
If they can get past the one rant (which indeed I could have done with a few seconds trimmed off of) by Matthew Perry in the past — a speech easily explainable through actual, established character traits — I think, as I mention again later on, that this hour finally has some of the feel of setting aside some torches and settling on some decent drama.
How far do we get into the burgeoning Matt/Harriet relationship?
Not far. Not really far at all. Only glimmers from one side, and its more for motivating purposes. Which is essentially the central crux of the episode — it could sit back and be happy with plot unfolding, but it steps back and starts pushing characters instead, which is welcome.
Anything else interesting in the past?
Mark McKinney is in the writer’s room, so is the dude from Mr. Show. Ricky and Ron are MIA, and not that its surprising, but no sign of Wes Mandel. We get Simon on his first entry into the Studio though.
Present-day Simon doesn’t appear, nor does Steven Weber, which makes me cry just a little.
Love the opening tracking shot; “My hormones are like the Los Alamos experiment right now.” “I don’t know what that means.”; “I don’t really like anything, or anyone, but if you ever wanna talk…”; “If you pay attention, you might be able to not get a sketch on the air this year.”; “I hope so, cuz if I’ve got further to fall.”; “Really, where’s the clock in here? It isn’t big enough.”; Tom and Dylan waiting out the window; we’re finally finding out a bit of what ‘Crazy Christians’ was about; “You guys are embarrassing yourselves.” “Like we don’t know that!” “BIG SKETCH!”; “It’s almost like you’re St. Valentine yourself.”; “The marketing ideas we were just talking about…” “Psssh, yeah.”; “Nothing. It wouldn’t make it on the air, it’s not funny.”; “What makes you think I’m trying to impress you?” “Why did you read Revelations?” “Why did you read my plays?”; the little over-the-shoulder glance Amanda Peet gives at the beginning of act three; seeing Matthew Perry deal with the long time ago writer’s room – a decent little origin story, if you will; interesting seeing Luke in the past, though it’s a bit more of a suspension of disbelief that yet more famous directors came out of the Studio 60 writer’s room; “It’s like you’re on a first date – ‘look how many words I know!’”; the first encounter with Simon was not gag-inducing; “You graceless homicidal maniacs.”; “You might want to look for Canada on a map.” “The accent, too much?” “It’s Mexican.”; “Lemme tell you why – metric conversi--”; “Good show everybody, eat ‘em up.”; all in all, there was a decent piece of insight into Matt Albie’s past, with some nice tangents to pair up with some other contemporary stories, a little tough to grab sound bites from – but see below also.
Not so good?
The show’s idea of 90’s nostalgia music was gawdawful – Smash Mouth? Seriously?; we’re finally finding out what ‘Crazy Christians’ was about – and who’da thunk it might not be the end all of sketch comedy, not to mention prefaced with an (albeit self-acknowledged) arrogant Sorkin rant; the pushing felt more than a tad after-school special-y (a TAD? – could there be more foreshadowing?); we get into (or if you’re of the mind, were there already) a continual parade of more and more obvious clichés; I’m really not sure how I feel about the new Matthew Perry art imitating life storyline, I suppose we’ll judge later on. Oh, and the Tim Batale thing was waaaaaay obvious (anagram).
Rating for 1.15 (out of five)
**** — on one hand, there’s a couple obvious meanderings; but on the other, some stakes feel genuinely raised, and the show finally feels like a real drama, a show where humanity might start taking precedence over setting and posturing — Matt in particular, artificial as parts might feel, looks to be stepping into some dangerous territory.
10 p.m. Monday. NBC.
Ack!! Season-Sets Winging Furiously Toward Us!!
Batman Beyond 3.x * Bosom Buddies 1.x * Bullshit! 4.x * Columbo 1989 * The 4400 3.x * Justice League Unlimited 2.x * Hawaii Five-0 1.x * The Larry Sanders Show: Not Just the Best Of * The Loop 1.x * Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman Vol. 1 * Michael Palin: Around The World In 80 Days * Moonlighting 5.x * NewsRadio 5.x * Northern Exposure 6.x * The Odd Couple 1.x * The Rockford Files 3.x * The Rockford Files 4.x * Secret Agent AKA Danger Man Complete Collection Megaset 2007 * The Shield 5.x * South Park 9.x * Twin Peaks 2.x * The Venture Bros. 2.x * WKRP in Cincinnati 1.x
Readers Talkbackcomments powered by Disqus
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Feb. 12, 2007, 2:51 a.m. CST
by Bob of the Shire
Feb. 12, 2007, 3:06 a.m. CST
Would be a shame if in the end it isn't renewed, given the gradual increase in the overall quality of the episodes.
Feb. 12, 2007, 3:13 a.m. CST
Maybe I'm wrong. I don't know things.
Feb. 12, 2007, 4:02 a.m. CST
first you didn't know jessica had super strength on Heroes, now you think Studio 60 has been renewed? I hope it will be, but so far it's just gotten a full season.<br><br>come on, tie!!
Feb. 12, 2007, 4:45 a.m. CST
And directed by Thomas Schlamme? Now there's a wonderful combination. I haven't seen it yet, but I'm disappointed to hear that we don't see Wes. If any episode was right for another appearance by Wes it was this one.
Feb. 12, 2007, 5:31 a.m. CST
by Bob C. Cock
they all talk like him anyway
Feb. 12, 2007, 5:34 a.m. CST
for being the 4000th moron to post the same whiny comment about Sorkin's distinctive writing style in a Studio 60 talkback?<br><br>next you're gonna tell me the sky is blue, Shaq is tall, and you like Lost, right?<br><br>"Nothing is so good for an ignorant man as silence; and if he was sensible of this he would not be ignorant." - Saadi
Feb. 12, 2007, 6:37 a.m. CST
by CTU Mole
Is that what they're calling writing each character in the same voice while throwing realism out the window in favor of making the writer sound smart? I thought it was called "kevinsmith-tastic".
Feb. 12, 2007, 6:58 a.m. CST
It's one that your impression will probably change the most after watching more than once. It's great to have Schlamme back, and from the first few seconds, you'll know it's him directing. I personally loved the direction this episode took though, and the need to not give things a happy ending, and have the main character become a bad influence.
Feb. 12, 2007, 7:41 a.m. CST
They should have asked Judd Hirsch to stay on. (Assuming he could.) Wes reminded me of Peter Finch in Network. The show needs a stronger story arc and using Network/Howard Beale as a template would've been good. They hinted at it in the pilot but then it completely disappeared. Studio 60 is a good show. Beautifully made. But there's nothing to talk about afterwards.
Feb. 12, 2007, 7:41 a.m. CST
because it aint lasting long
Feb. 12, 2007, 8:56 a.m. CST
Having just watched it, I can say that the ending was a real downer. I'm glad to have a show that can do that and it'll be interesting to see how this story develops. A very Matt-centric episode by necessity, with some excellent comic relief coming from the Metric Conversion plot. Jack and Lucy were much missed. I also miss the 'Nicolas Cage Show' guy. I hope he hasn't been jettisoned altogether as he actually was funny.
Feb. 12, 2007, 8:56 a.m. CST
Hmm, "Tim Batale" ========== "Albeit Tam" "Abate Milt" "Able Tit Ma" "Ma, Table It" "I, Lamb Teat" "Am Bi-Latte" "Blame A Tit" Hmmm... one of these?
Feb. 12, 2007, 8:51 a.m. CST
by Nice Marmot
. . . will Simon threaten to beat someone down if they don't back off? SPOILER ALERT: Before Simon's education and rise to success, he was a street thug & is still tough enough to beat people up.
Feb. 12, 2007, 9:41 a.m. CST
If you are in fact not joking and don't know what the anagram is....Matt Albie.
Feb. 12, 2007, 10:02 a.m. CST
A Joke...<br> My favorite is probably "Albeit Tam" but only because of it's Star Trek reference.
Feb. 12, 2007, 11:59 a.m. CST
Feb. 12, 2007, 12:22 p.m. CST
Yay! Please don't cancel this show.
Feb. 12, 2007, 12:25 p.m. CST
um I know my previous post was weird, but it looks even weirder that there is no space between the "Yay!" and the "Please don't cancel this show."....so yeah. Please don't cancel this show.
Feb. 12, 2007, 2:21 p.m. CST
I love this show and can't wait for another Sorkinariffic episode. I find his views fascinating and would like to find out more about Sorkin's political and social views through his snappy dialogue. Please don't take this show away as I could not bear the thought of having to replace it with another Sorkinesque drama.
Feb. 12, 2007, 3:14 p.m. CST
Feb. 12, 2007, 3:15 p.m. CST
...distend with endless debate on whether or not Sorkin should continue on his leftist crusade?" <p> well duh.. of course it will, how else are people to define themselves (and others) if not in terms of "left" or "right". <p> of course sorkin should abandon his leftist crusade, because the show IS MUCH BETTER when it isn't about that. but what's the point if no matter how little any given episode has to do with politics, it will be all some people focus on? it's not like independant thought is in vogue any longer in this country. people have made up their minds about what they think of sorkin and his politics their political party of choice has handed out the memo on what their opinions of this show should be, and, by god, they will stick to it. <p> better to just cancel it now so everyone can get another night of "american idol" in, or whatever other lame, whitebread crap reality show passes for "entertainment" now-a-days.
Feb. 12, 2007, 3:16 p.m. CST
gosta stop multitasking!
Feb. 12, 2007, 3:25 p.m. CST
...he would probably write a script for it to prove to everyone how intelligent and witty he is. "Oh, hello, random stranger! Let's travel to Washington, DC and stand symbolically in front of the White House and have a conversation about the Bush administration!" "Oh, Aaron Sorkin! You so crazy! We just did that yesterday!" Aaaaaand... scene.
Feb. 12, 2007, 3:26 p.m. CST
Sorkins political thoughts are what makes this show, Studio 60 a bright spot on an unusually dull television slate. If someone can't take a daring political stand (left of center) in Hollywood, then I weep for our children.
Feb. 12, 2007, 3:34 p.m. CST
Where's the dman Rome talkback?
Feb. 12, 2007, 3:38 p.m. CST
....ah, it's the unmistakable taint of "truthiness". the bottom line is: no one in american really wants "witty" or "intelligent" television, left right ot center. much better to be able to sit around the watter cooler and say "can you believe what simon, randy and paula said last night?" then go shopping at wal-mart. it's mindless and fun, lets have more of it.
Feb. 12, 2007, 3:50 p.m. CST
While I've never seen "right" or "center" television, there's gotta be a place where Hollywood writers and producers can air their views and if they can't do it with network news and network prime time, then gosh-dern it, I don't know what country I'm livin in. america doesn't DESERVE to be capitalized.
Feb. 12, 2007, 4:16 p.m. CST
....i'm a neo-con that COULD be writting a quality, intelligent television program that leans to the right, but, i'm NOT. why? because, well, quite frankly i'm too busy clubbing the baby seals that show up on my property in alaska, where i am currently drilling for oil. <p> anyway, all kidding aside. politics be dammed, i'll take good "scripted" television wherever i can find it, because AFAICT it's an endangered species in todays world.
Feb. 12, 2007, 5:24 p.m. CST
by Quin the Eskimo
Who do you consider a good TV writer if not Sorkin? Not Pallandino, not Whedon, then who?
Feb. 12, 2007, 5:56 p.m. CST
by Quin the Eskimo
on the second to last episode of season 4 amy asks donna if she's in love with Josh, I'm three episodes into season 5 (not quite the same)and there has been no resolution, am I missing something?
Feb. 12, 2007, 6:42 p.m. CST
...thats just josh and donnas' "thing". they are the ultimate "will they or won't they" couple in the history of TV.
Feb. 12, 2007, 9:23 p.m. CST
Feb. 12, 2007, 10:04 p.m. CST
....but then again i'm a sucker for downer endings, and good drama, and pathos, and the poetry of language. but thats just me.
Feb. 12, 2007, 10:29 p.m. CST
That druggie-slut is way hotter than Harry.
Feb. 12, 2007, 11:42 p.m. CST
As cliched as it is for Sorkin to get into a drug plot, it actually made the show interesting again. The last 20 minutes of the episode were strangely affecting in a way the show hasn't been before.
Feb. 13, 2007, 12:04 a.m. CST
the shows since the break have been weak, but now we finally have something to sink our teeth into. You know that show we saw in the flashback? With lots of people stepping over each other waiting for their big break? Where we actually see the pressures of how a show comes together, with considerable risk around failure? THAT's the show I want to see, not the endless soap opera. The thing about Sports Night was that witty banter and the drama was dressing for the backbone of the show being produced. Here, it's the other way around. How can the show Studio 60 be produced when it had all those writers and now it just has 4? And 2 of them weren't even at this all-important slaughter thing, where you'd think they'd be waiting outside the door too? After seeing this flashback, I 'm almost starting to agree with those people who said they didn't buy the show aspect way at the beginning. Another cool thing about the flashback was the 'Fight Club' reveal when we see the imaginary guy dressing more like Matt did and Matt looking more like his present self. That was kinda neat.
Feb. 13, 2007, 12:29 a.m. CST
Did anyone else hear Harriet say "Are you Frakkin Kidding me?"
Feb. 13, 2007, 4:06 a.m. CST
What is wrong with Sorkin? He's managed to create an assemblage of horrible, worthless characters on this show -- and he whines through them as well! I'm fascinated by it in a totally car-wrecky way -- it's such a waste of good actors and network resources. I'm beyond thinking he will redeem it at some point; now the only fascination is in seeing what he'll self-righteously skewer next, and how craven and ridiculous he can make his characters. Put it and me out of our misery already. Ptui.
Feb. 13, 2007, 8:57 a.m. CST
You’re hurting my feelings by criticizing my favorite show!
Feb. 13, 2007, 12:41 p.m. CST
I am seriously so sick of defenders calling this show "witty" or "snappy" or whatever. Last nights ep was the worst of the season by far... I mean come on, the stupid narcotic delusions, the drug dealer singer, Matt and Harriet's first meeting (this meeting reinforced why i hate their storyline soooo much - he's an idiot and she's a passive holier than thou bitch). Can we please end the Harriet/Matt storyline now PLEASE!!! It is by far what is holding this show back. It is absurd, ridiculous, and boring... BORING! Yay, they broke up again! What witty break up banter.... UGH. get on with the show and leave this "relationship" behind.
Feb. 13, 2007, 12:46 p.m. CST
A real downer episode that was what we needed, a palate cleanser if you will. I loved the direction of the ep and the fact that Matt seemed to be out of his mind which was great. You'd think Danny would notice that Matt seems a bit out of it, a bit more than normal, but I guess with the slaughter and Jordan he can't notice everything. I am getting sick of the Harriet and Matt stuff and wish it would move on. Let them date other people and continue a cordial working relationship and get back to the fun of the series. Next week's looks funny for once, especially with the baby's eyes popping out and the head popping up on a spring. Next week seems a good place to start a new arc. By the way, that singer was hot and I did not mind looking at the breasts...
Feb. 13, 2007, 2:09 p.m. CST
or was that part of fantasy? I dont recall them saying he was a former writer for the show when his character was introduced. Also with beard the dude looks just like Paul Kellerman.
Feb. 13, 2007, 3:52 p.m. CST
It wasn't mentioned before, but the fact that Singing Teacher was an actual sketch shows that Matt wasn't hallucinating that part, and I think it's great that Matt failed trying to get Harriet her first sketch. Also, DevilCat's post with Fey's comment on Sorkin doesn't seem mean-spirited, and is more just a little jab, but AGAIN, "longer, and not as funny", well, it's not a comedy, and it's a drama, which tend to be longer than comedies.
Feb. 13, 2007, 5:25 p.m. CST
I just watched the episode, and seriously started thinking I am losing my mind due to BSG overexposure... <p> So, she did say "Are you frakkin' kidding me...". <p> Wow, now there's a relief...
Feb. 14, 2007, 5:28 a.m. CST
Feb. 14, 2007, 8:01 a.m. CST
someone finally puts this TB outta it's misery
Feb. 14, 2007, 10:05 a.m. CST
Not gonna watch BD.
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