Monday, December 04, 2006

Finding Aaron

I think that Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip may be finding itself. The episode airing tonight in the US, which I watched last night thanks to my fine Canadian brethren, is the show's third consecutive entry in which there is relatively little preaching. Sorkin seems to have finally remembered how to make points through drama, as opposed to the approach which dominated the show's first bunch of episodes (i.e., making points by stopping the drama completely so characters could make speeches).

Also for the first time in the show's run, Matt and Harriet seem like a plausible couple, if only because they actually interact in this episode, rather than simply bounce speeches off one another. The Steven Weber and Bradley Whitford characters also seem to be settling in, after too long a spell in which Weber seemed like a guy who was tending to be the show's "heavy" even though he clearly wasn't meant to be the heavy, and in which Whitford seemed to simply be not so much a character but a liaison between Matthew Perry and the rest of the cast.

The brief bits of sketches we see are actually amusing, the goings-on at the fictional TV show are actually interesting, and Sorkin does one of those extended music bits at the end that actually makes a point in an actually touching way.

So anyway, maybe the crisis is averted.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Perhaps I gave up on the show a couple of weeks too soon, but I just couldn't take it anymore and quit watching. What really ticked me off about it was Harriet; I went to college with a lot of music and theater majors who were strongly Christian, but were never as stupid and intolerant as Harriet. So I was surprised to read that Harriet is based on somebody I went to college with. It just seems to me that Sorkin missed the opportunity to explore what could be a complex character in favor of creating a right-wing Christian straw (wo)man for all the other characters to condescend to.

Don't get me wrong; it's not that there aren't people who are like that, and a lot of them seem to spend a lot of time in Washington, DC, so it worked pretty well when he did it on West Wing. But it just rings false for Hollywood, where openly intolerant people generally have to be a lot more talented than Harriet Hayes to get away with it. Is it only me, or is she really just not that funny?

Knowing that he based Harriet on an ex-girlfriend doesn't help either. He's got too much excellent work under his belt to start fictionalizing his own biography now. That's what first novels are for. :-) I had high hopes for Studio 60. I hope you're right, and it's finding itself. Maybe I'll put it back in the ReplayTV queue and give it one more chance.