Friday, September 29, 2006

today : I watch TV about TV

I'm a little woried about Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. Two episodes in and I am not loving it.

Expectations were high. This was Aaron Sorkin given his head after a few years in the wilderness. The best writer of dialogue working in TV produces a new 50 minute show. Hurrah!

Yet when episode 1 dropped I wasn't smitten as I was with The West Wing. I am always suspicious of TV about TV. They say write what you know, but it is a world that I can't identify with.

I guess the first episode needed to set the scene and introduce us to new characters, the best of which seems to be Jordan Mcdeere, as played by the likeable and often under-rated Amanda Peet. But the second was a little flat, I thought.

I can't help thinking that I don't really care about ratings, I don't really care about the effect cocaine has on entertainment people. I don't care about actors dating writers. And didn't Sorkin already write Sports Night? I just get the feeling that with SN cancelled before its time, he wanted another crack at it. And given his standing after the WW, he was given it.

Episode 2 didn't show enough signs of life. I can't fault most of the main cast. Josh...I mean Bradely Whitford is highly watchable in anything (even as the horrid boyfriend in 'A Night On The Town'), and I feel that Matthew Perry is also an under-rated actor (is the casting director a secret fan of The Whole Nine Yards, I wonder?). He has gone two whole episodes of S60 without once pullling a comedy face, giving all in all a quiet, actorly performance, rather than his usual likeably zany pratfalling efforts. After the tension between Josh and Donna, the tension between Matt and Harriet is a bit of a squib. If two characters are in love with each other but not together, you ned to get the feeling that they could jump each others' bones at any moment. Sarah Paulson's Harriet is just too floaty and vacant to make this work so far.

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