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October 05, 2006

Studio 60 captures creative angst.


It's official. Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip is my favorite new show of the season. The show nails the messiness and angst of the creative process. The brainstorm sessions, the pressure to be creatively great and make the numbers, the dulling input of a ham-handed focus group, the oft-abused production people and schedule, the pressure from "the sponsors," the ever looming deadline and, of course, the energizing and addictive joy of finally cracking the code. All of it all could be set in an agency as easily as it is backstage at the fictional show. Hell, Matt Perry seems to be channeling most of the ECDs I've known (the ones from the writing side anyway). Check out your life on Monday nights.


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Right on, John! I don't see why this show has been losing numbers so steadily.

NBC gets points for sticking with some good shows (like Earl and Office) even though they've had some audience issues. It'll pay off for them in the long run.

I love the show... unfortunately one thing it's failing to capture is viewers.

I thought the show was kinda boring. I wanted to care but didn't. It's nice to see that its not another Cop/Crime Scene, Law, or Medical Drama. I don't really like Studio 60 but it is the most original new thing on network tv.

I too love the show and I'm glad to hear other "like minded" individuals are enjoying it as well! I was feeling like my girlfriend and I were the only ones.

It is also great to see another show with a plot that extends beyond single episodes consisting of a crime, investigation, "losing the trial" and ultimately finding the bad guy. :)

Oh and I think I'm going to kill that LED clock in Perry's office...it makes me nervous just looking at it.

Agreed. I have never been able to successfully describe to my parents what I do. I've told them to watch this show for an insight.

A bear was asked for comment. Hilarious.

I decided this was my favorite show of the season 5 minutes into the premiere. This show does an excellent job of nailing the creative process... especially the problem some of us have with never being comfortable that something is good enough as is.

To me, that's a little bit of what that countdown clock represents. Yeah, it's your deadline, but it's also that reminder that next time should be better than your effort that just went out the door.

That's enough to drive anyone insane.

Agreed - the focus group thread made me feel like, finally, someone, somwhere out there felt my pain. Hope it sticks for the season.

I too enjoy the show.

However, Sorkin's angst against the Christian right is sure to alienate a large number of viewers - like half of America.

I am surprised that more Christians aren't speaking out against this show (I don't think Christians should boycott and whine against any show, by the way). They raised hell when Book of Daniel was on, but I think the way in which they're talked about and maligned on this show is far more offensive.

...and the music. The sweet, sweet music.

The reason Studio 60 isn't capturing viewers is that the dramatic "what's at stake" factor of running a comedy show just isn't compelling to most people. It's the same reason why Sorkin's "Sports Night" failed but "West Wing" succeeded.

Studio 60, which I like, may be engaging content for agency people who identify with the day to day creative process, but the drama of, say, saving a sketch from network censors versus what ever set-ups happened in the first five minutes of a West Wing episode can't be compared.

And Sorkin went after right wingers/fundamentalists week after week on West Wing. But there was something dramatic at stake, not just whether or not the lead character was going to make movies again.

I'll bet that Tina Fey's show will be successful because it avoids all this. What would you want to watch every week, Seinfeld, or a dramatic behind-the-scenes show about Seinfeld?

Just my take.

I was waiting for you guys to notice this show. Now maybe you'll pipe down about the spectacularly overrated Entourage.

I thought it was really interesting too! The acting and writing are top-notch... but it seems to be missing that sense of anticipation that keeps me hooked on shows like LOST or Heroes.

The countdown clock is a nice touch, but like matt said, it drives me insane :)

Having worked as a writer in television and the agency world, I give the show some credit for a look behind the scenes that approaches reality. It's not close, but it's closer than anything else. Aside from Dick Van Dyke Show, nothing else comes to mind.

But, the drama comes from the pressure of putting on a show, of being funny. The average viewer has no idea what this pressure is like. Therefore, no drama. No drama no ratings.

Sure there's the lame love story with Matt Perry and his "non-hot enought to justify her lack of talent" old girl friend. But it's not beliveable, takes away from the other story lines. (Her bear roar line made me cringe, and she used it twice. Yikes!). I'd rather this generation's Bea Arthur in that role if she was funny.

Right now, the show lives and dies on the charisma of the cast, not the appeal of the characters. Perry, Whitford, Peet, Hugley loaded with fast dialog will hold this afloat only so long.

I haven't seen it yet, I must admit. But if it's not getting numbers, maybe it's because the general population isn't as fascinated with the "creative process" as those engaged in it for a living. Guess I'd better watch it while I can.

While I'm not absolutely hooked on this show yet, I hate to miss it cause it 'tastes like West Wing'.

Got to tell you as much as it digs at the Christian right, it's the extreme Christian right. You may notice the cast prays before every show, or that the romantic lead (Mattie)is in fact a devote and openly Christian Christian. You may have also noticed th...oh Lord what am I doing? You may have also niticed that I mistook this or a NBC fan forum.

It's a fun show, it lacks the 'lives in the balance' drama of West Wing, and I just don't buy Amanda Pete and that dumb-ass grin. But yah, I hope it makes it. I like smart TV.

Have you guys seen this?


Great take on how the show is really changing... and not for the better. True fans, don't click through.

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