Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Today : I am still waiting for lift-off


Oh dear, I am still waiting for studio 60 to start happening and yet again I was disappointed. Nothing happened. Last weeks episode was a rerun of the West Wing story about the guy who wrote to Roosevelt in 1937. This weeks was basically a re-run of those intermittent (and mainly interminable two-part) fish-out-of-water episodes of the West Wing, specifically the ones where Josh, Toby and Donna get stuck in the country and get all annoyed about how goddam slow everything is and their Blackberrys (or is it Blackberries?) won't gte a signal. Or the one where Josh and Toby go to bail out the judge on his antiquing trip and, shock horror, argue about missing an exit, playiong out the roles of husband and wife in the car. Or any one of the ones where people sit on planes and chat a lot.

Studio 60 added to these well worn themes : long periods of silence where people said nothing, slo-o-o-o-w panning shots that I guess were designed to show us the slo-o-o-o-wness of life in the country and John Goodman reprising his more intelligent than he appears speaker of the house persona. Annoying slo-ow RyCoodery slide guitar denoting the slow-ow RyCooderiness of the country. Characters flitted in and out of short scenes that added up to nothing in particular and just when a scene featuring nutso Jordan and her attractive kookiness sparked my interest, we were moved on to another shot of someone not talking, not being kooky, or not being anything really. And I can't remember a single memorable line, even the unmemorably memorable ones.

Perhaps the problem is me. Perhaps another story about - fercrissakes! - blasphemy or the press jumping on those neatly polarised American views about gay marriage say nothing to me about my-y life - living as I do in a country where the most mainstream of our entertainment has blasphemy, swearing, sexual innuendo and also just plain sex aplenty, as well as our real life having gay marriage. Aaron Sorkin should come over here and do his writing. He'd have no problems crticising the government, writing explicit pan-sexual love-scenes and making his characters swear and cuss as much as he likes. In fact on British TV, thankfully, all the above are more or less compulsory.

Yet again I go back to the fact that making a comedy is a world away from running the, well, the world. What is Studio 60 saying apart from the fact that the glamorous and highly paid world of TV is such damned hard, stressful and demanding work? It's all those audiences and advertisers and legal folk. They are just so annoying. Whine!

Because as we know, it is this stress and daily grind that inspires rich young entertainment executives, writers and perfomers to shovel industrial amounts of cocaine up their noses, and not the fact that they have more money than brain cells and can't find anything else to do for fun than follow the crowd.

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