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Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Some people have complained that this ep was mushy, but I liked this week's Studio 60 best of all. Instead of hearing a lot of gumph about how important sketch comedy is, or seeing sketches that weren't as funny as they were cracked up to be, the show was about what's important to sketch comedy people, and how they feel about it. That, I bought. And the two comedy sketches were for once interesting as story points. We see one black comedian kill with yet another racist sketch about the differences between white people and black people; and we're not meant to laugh, we're meant to think. And then we see another black comedian die onstage with an interesting but badly delivered bit. The sketches, and Matt and Simon's reaction to them, told us something about Matt and Simon, and about the state of comedy.

It also felt clearer that this is a drama about comedy people, rather than something that's trying to be a comedy about comedy people, and failing.

I hope Sorkin stays in this groove...

Labels: ,

9 Comments:

Yes, I liked this ep a lot, too, especially DL's role in it -

Overall, I've liked the show, on a whole, better than a lot of people. I know it's not really how things are backstage at a live TV show, but the same could be said for ER. Or West Wing. It only matters if we care about the people and are interested in what they do.

The sketches aren't funny enough yet, but it could be argued they're funnier than the real SNL is (I liked 60's Nancy Grace sketch much more than SNL's Nancy Grace sketch).

I like the show a lot. it's not perfect, not yet, but Perry and Peet nearly are, and Weber is.

It's not what the reality is, but what, on television, is? As long as it's entertaining and interesting, I'm in.

By Blogger Joshua James, at 11:04 AM  

I love Steven Weber in this show, and I've loved him in everything I've ever seen. I'm having a real hard time seeing Bradley Whitford not be Josh, though. Him came into my mind as Josh and to be honest he's not playing his character significantly different. I feel like his character needs to do something that Josh would never do, and do it real soon or I'm going to wonder if Whitford accidentally walked onto the wrong set looking for West Wing.

Here's something, in the Pilot we saw the showdown with the network censor and that was a big part of the meltdown, but that guy has basically disappeared.

I bought that as what really happens, fighting with censors like that because I've read stories of EP's that fight just like that. It made it real from minute 1, and it hasn't been there since.

I get that Jordan is on their side, so for a while, they are going to get away with a lot of stuff, but at some point, the censor is the gun in Act 1, and it needs to go off *very soon*, or it'll be nothing but a cheap device to get the pilot going.

Thoughts?

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:20 AM  

Oh my...
You're going to analyse every single episode, won't you? Sorkin's doing the macarena right now, for old time's sake.

By Blogger kadgi, at 2:39 PM  

I thought this was their best episode to date. DL was great. And Matt Perry keeps getting better and better. I felt for Nate Corddry's guy ... I am that kid to my parents, so it hit home. I think most of us in TV are that kid, actually.

By Blogger Caroline, at 10:56 PM  

Agreed.

By Blogger MaryAn Batchellor, at 9:51 AM  

I didn't like it.
I felt like they were throwing a bunch of stuff against the wall to see what sticks, like they were floundering for a vision of the show. It was very "glurgy", IMO.
Ahh, non-showbiz mom and dad come for a visit? He sends body armor to the troops?
WWII man shows up, they have some Tuesdays With Morrie moments?
Jordan and Harriet are bonding?
I did like the DL/Matt going to the club and hiring that guy.
Whatever happened to the plagiarist writer thing? I must have missed the lawsuits, firings, and redfaced apologies.

By Blogger Milehimama, at 2:49 PM  

But there was a lot of gumph about how important sketch comedy is. ie: 'a skit is when football players put on dresses and think it's wit, a sketch is when some of the best minds of our generation come together...and blah blah' (I'm paraphrasing from memory). He must be talking about 'Pimp my Trikes.'

Also, that blurted Afghanistan act-break, what a joke.

By Blogger Jell Sanchez, at 8:39 PM  

Um, okay -- looks like a couple of people have wandered in here from the forums at Television Without Pity.

Thematic idea: Comedy is a force that can comment upon that which cannot be said directly, and that is why it is valuable.

Counter idea: Comedy is unimportant and therefore can easily be shunted aside.

Explorations of the theme:

Plot 1:

Tom Jeter shows his parents around the studio, trying to make the point that what he does has a value.

His father doesn't buy it because he's locked into the view that his other son risks life and limb for freedom. His son can't possibly measure up to that.

The son tries to meet his father halfway, and recognizes how important the other son's contribution was, which is why he sent armor -- the lack of which is a scandal revealed and explored in our world, partly through sketch comedy shows like Daily show and Studio 60.

The son finally -- going back to the theme above, tries to make a final halfway connect to his father by giving him a recording of "Who's on first." IF you get this, if you laugh, maybe you get me.

Plot 2:

The director finds a man whos disoriented and somehow drawn to the studio. Through the course of the episode, we discover that the man was once a writer on a show broadcast from the theater, which was decimated by the HUAC hearings, the blacklist, and the witchunt. He was shunted aside, because what he did was considered dangerous.

Plot 3:

Matt and Simon have a conflict over comedy where Simon tries to impress upon Matt that there are things that they could be saying about Race that Matt simply can't understand, because he's not black. (comedy is a force that can comment upon that which cannot be said directly, ie: racism in America)

through twists and turns, eventually Matt comes to see Simon's POV, and hires a diamond in the rough talent.

It's one thing to throw around clever made up words like gumph and glurgy. And it's one thing to say you didn't like the episode. But don't say that it didn't explore its theme, or resonate with certain people. If you don't want to think about it that hard, go and bitch on TWOP. I'm sure you'll find many there who'd agree with you.

By Blogger DMc, at 11:10 PM  

I really enjoyed this episode, particularly the bit between Matt and DL. Actually, the show as a whole, in my opinion, has exceeded the hype. Unfortunately, the ratings keep dropping every week. I hope NBC gives it a chance to find an audience.

By Blogger MitchJ, at 1:37 PM  

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