So here I've been griping about Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip every week, and still tuning in every week, for who knows why...until my friends in Toronto aired the newest episode last night (airing tonight in the US). Titled "The Wrap Party", this episode is the episode of Studio 60 I've been waiting for. To keep the Sorkinesque baseball metaphors going, I don't know if this episode represents Sorkin finally emerging from a long slump or just a single bit of good hitting amidst a generally lousy season, but this was a very good episode.
And why? Well, without delving too deeply into spoiler territory, it's because in this episode it's not "All Matt-and-Harriet, all the time". Yes, there is some of that here, but it takes a nice back seat to some other stuff, and we get some welcome insight into the DL Hughley, Timothy Busfield, and Nate Corddry characters. There's a subplot that's classic Sorkin in the way it starts out being kind of funny and goofy, but turns out in the fourth act to be a wonderful bit of storytelling, and this particular storyline also serves to put Studio 60 into the context of television's long history, which is also something I've been wanting to see.
And best of all, Sorkin allows his stories to express what it is he has to say, instead of giving all of his characters soliloquies and monologues that bring the show to a grinding halt. Maybe someone reminded him of the old adage, "If you want to send a message, use Western Union." Anyway, this episode was a very welcome change. I hope it augurs well for episodes to come.