Things Not to Do When You're a Famous Writer - Complications Ensue
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Sunday, January 28, 2007

/* Studio 60 spoilers */
/* no, seriously, Studio 60 spoilers. Don't read this if you haven't watched Studio 60 yet. */
/* Though honestly? probably won't make much difference to your enjoyment of the episode */
/* This is a revised and clarified spoiler warning. */

Here are some things we expect you not to do when you're a famous writer:
  • Have someone lie about why they're breaking a date, then get busted on it by the infuriated ex-date.
  • Have a guy show up with a bunch of poisonous snakes, then lose one.
  • Have some people go up on the roof and then get locked out up there.
Unless, of course, you're going to twist the situation one further and surprise us all with your brilliance.

Which didn't happen.

/* Apologies for not marking *which* show I was writing a spoiler for. */
/* But, honestly, did anyone NOT see those plot turns coming? */

Labels: ,

23 Comments:

My god, are you commenting on this week's Studio 60, which won't air until tomorrow for those of us south of the border (all 300 million of us)?

We know you left New York. Not all of us have. Thanks for ruinin' it.

By Blogger Dan Abrams, AKA the man, at 12:05 AM  

Dude. Did you see where I wrote /* spoilers */?

And anyway, my point is: you see that stuff coming down Fifth Avenue. None of it is any surprise at all. The disappointment is that there is no surprise.

I'm just trying to spare you the pain, is all!

By Blogger Alex Epstein, at 12:47 AM  

I don't think it's a huge deal, but I didn't see it, and even if I had, that could have meant spoilers for darn near anything out there.

It wouldn't have killed you to wait 24 hours for the overwhelming majority of the people that pay the bills through eyeballing the adverts, yet still somehow manage to come in second for the payoff.

I apologize for ranting, but I am so amazingly sick and tired of other countries getting *our* shows before we do. What the hell is that all about, anyway?

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:32 AM  

that's hilarious.

Guys, the rest o' the world just flipped you the great big finger.

Americans have always had no problem whatsoever spoiling anything for the rest of the world -- which is the way it works in 90% of the cases.

Morally, there is ABSOLUTELY NO DIFFERENCE between Alex writing about what he saw -- legally -- over the air -- AND tagged with a spoiler warning, and what Americans do every night when they go on and on about what they just saw. The only difference is that in this rare case, you were the ones who got spoiled.

By 24 whole hours.

Try 6 months.

No sympathy, sorry. it was tagged spoiler.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:04 AM  

that is pretty funny...

I first read it and thought Alex was 'the famous writer' and he was relating some scenes he'd just tried in his spec pilot.

Because I'd missed Studio 60 last night you see...

Funny.

By Blogger wcdixon, at 9:09 AM  

If you were writing for General Hospital or As the World Turns all that would be just in a day's work for cast, crew and writers. That this is for a prime time weekly is just absurd.

By Blogger Hawise, at 9:26 AM  

for the mouthbreathers complaining about spoilers re-read the post, especially the part where it says "spoilers"

By Blogger Mef, at 9:37 AM  

To be fair, the earlier spoiler warning didn't specify what show it was for. I revised the warnings in the post for future readers.

By Blogger Alex Epstein, at 9:48 AM  

As we were watching the show last night, my beau started ranting that he'd be really mad if this turned out to be some stupid situation where the guy decides to lie about the date (and gets caught) instead of just explaining the perfectly explainable truth.

I told him not to worry, that Sorkin knew better than to use such silly, overused twists.

Oops.

Oh, and the roof thing, with both cell phones not working? Sigh...

By Blogger Martine, at 9:59 AM  

Thank for updating your spoiler warning. Previously, who knows what you were spoiling.

Maybe you should just wait until Monday night to post Studio 60 posts, so Americans can have the time to catch up. Although, this probably won't be an issue much longer anyway.

By Blogger Dan Abrams, AKA the man, at 11:31 AM  

Spoilers for Studio 60

S

P

O

I

L

E

R

S

They're sat next to a glass skylight. Why doesn't one of them poke a hole in the skylight and call down for help?

By Blogger David Bishop, at 11:55 AM  

Dan,

That's a wonderful suggestion. Tell you what, could you go and tell all the entertainment blogs in the United States to please not post anything until the shows they're talking about air in other countries?

It means you should be able to safely talk about all television programs two years after they air in the USA.

-or-

In this one case, how about you recognize and do what all people in other countries who don't get U.S. feeds have to do... avoid the site where you worry there may be a spoiler until, you know, 24 hours later?

The more reasonable solution is probably not asking the world to conform to you.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:46 PM  

I have to admit, I read this before the revised warning to say what show was being spoiled (and before the west coast airing) and thought Alex was talking about himself at first, too. Tongue in cheek of course. Luckily they weren't exactly "whoa, the chick's a dude" kind of spoilers, but I still wished I hadn't read it before watching.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:36 PM  

It's a three parter... Sorkin still has another episode to resolve those plot points in an original fashion.

And if he doesn't, Sorkin isn't being cliche, he is pointing out the cliches and commenting on how cliche they are.

And even if isn't commenting on cliches in TV by utilizing these cliches, he has characters talking in an exciting rapid fire Sorkinesque poetic fashion, which breaths life into these quote-endquote cliches.

P.S. Sports Night is the greatest TV show of all time.

By Blogger blogwriter, at 2:52 PM  

The chick's a dude? Ohhhh, man! Now there's no point in my watching it.

You're talking about CASINO ROYALE, right?

By Blogger Alex Epstein, at 2:58 PM  

I don't get it. How can Studio 60 be spoiled?

I like the show, but I don't see how knowing ahead of time what will happen can have any affect on your enjoyment. You don't watch Sorkin to see "what happens next".
Besides, look at what was actually spoiled:

"Have someone lie about why they're breaking a date, then get busted on it by the infuriated ex-date."
If it's Little Corddry, Jr. and my beloved Lucy Davis, we knew this was going to happen. The only question is why would he lie and not just say "Jack made me do it." Probably because that wouldn't create tension (This won't either). Let's just be glad I can continue to pretend that Lucy Davis is single.
If it's Matthew Perry and Love Interest, it's nothing we won't see every other episode until the series is canceled.

"Have a guy show up with a bunch of poisonous snakes, then lose one."
Sure, we know a snake gets loose. But we still don't know what happens to it. Maybe it finds it's way somewhere funny, like up a woman's skirt/man's pant leg. Or it will appear out of a plant, hovering over someone famous person's head, thus allowing them to pretend to be on the Late Show thirty years ago. Or Larry Sanders.
Knowing Sorkin, I bet it falls from scaffolding onto the stage/writer's table/someone else's table. I bet there's a table involved.

"Have some people go up on the roof and then get locked out up there."
This is vague and probably uninteresting. It's not like Alex told us that Farmer Hoggett is Jack's father. In previews.
Or how about how the mysterious mastermind from last season is Jack's brother, only we barely realize this. And it's not an act break. So it probably doesn't matter anyway what happened last season.

See? Those are barely even spoilers.

By Blogger Tom, at 4:16 PM  

Just stumbled on this site and I've never seen Studio 60, but the "spoilers" don't sound any more revealing that the average commercial advertising a show! And now at least you've got me interested! We all do stuff we don't mean to anyway, right? I'm sure Alex didn't mean to spoil it for anybody. Oh and by the way,

If countries are going to b*tch at each other about spoilage lets b*tch about the big mess we're making of our world or better yet, skip the b*tching and try to fix it before it's too late if it isn't already. Just to keep things in perspective. Peace out and recycle! Here's your soapbox back!

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:37 AM  

I watched five minutes and turned it off. It was already spoiled at the script stage.

Will somebody please drive a stake through this show's failing heart?

Just go Kervorkian on it and be done.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:15 PM  

Seriously, it's cool the show isn't to your taste, but you must admit that there are far worse televisions shows running now, shows more worthy of scorn and derision than STUDIO 60 - the actors are great, the production values great, the ideas behind it great and the writing is good, even when it's lazy . . .

I'm not saying it's the best thing on or that you should like it, just that I don't get this constant hate the show generates.

TUCKER, on MSNBC, I could understand.

Aren't there worse shows?

I like the show and don't get the massive hate. It's not WALKER, TEXAS RANGER, after all.

By Blogger Joshua James, at 1:32 PM  

STUDIO 60 earns my scorn and derision because it simply isn't entertaining. Yes, there are shows that aren't as well written, but they don't fall into the "Pit of mistakes" that 60 has because AT LEAST they aren't boring.

Also -

Your "shows more worthy of scorn" premise is flawed, Joshua. It's like saying Idi Amin wasn't as bad as Hitler so he gets a pass.

Scheize!

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:29 PM  

But Mr. Cunningham, your analogy is flawed. Idi Amin wasn't as bad as Hitler. Does he get a pass? No. But do we mobilize the armed forces of the entire industrialized world to remove him from power? No.

That's where comparisons to murderous dictators end. At worst, Studio 60 deserves to be ignored. The only people that should complain are those that still like it. Those that don't like it, shouldn't watch it.

By Blogger Tom, at 9:01 PM  

Tom beat me to the point, but yes, your analogy is flawed, Bill, for exactly the reason Tom stated.

And I will maintain that I enjoy watching the show Studio 60, I enjoy it much more than 30 Rock (though Alec is a treat, he ain' the whole show) and I know that there are FAR worse shows on television as we speak that deserve the kind of vitrol you spew about Studio 60.

It's not perfect, but it's not THE NANNY . . . there are worse shows . . . I don't know why, if you hate it so, you keep watching it.

It's not for you. THE NANNY is not for me.

In terms of writing mistakes, again, I believe it makes far less predictable mistakes than a lot of other shows . . . I mean, let's look at GHOST WHISPERER and THE MEDIUM, which is basically the same show, one of which features a blonde and the other a brunette - let's look at Law and Order CI, which pales in comparison to the other L & O, let's look at the CSI francise, I mean, come on! Forensic techs don't interview suspects and they don't go primary through the door . . . they vet the scene and pass the info onto investigators!

What about the Ron Livingston show STANDOFF, about in love Hostage negotiators WHO, despite the fact they're involved, are allowed to work together!

Those are just the popular shows. I think you're being too hard on Studio 60 for reasons that have nothing to do with how well the show is crafted.

That's fine, you don't have to like it. But be upfront about the reason why. I didn't like THE NANNY 'cause I couldn't take that woman's voice. It may have been a well written show, but that had nothing to do with why I disliked it.

By Blogger Joshua James, at 2:05 PM  

I came in after the revised spoiler warning. After thinking to myself, at first, "I'm not getting involved," I started thinking. . .is this an "ironic" argument. . .as in, are people joking that Alex put too much emphasis on that he spoiled a show, but the spoilers reveal anything all that special? Now, however, I realize that it's a real argument and am slightly amused.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:59 AM  

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