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Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Watched the third ep of Studio 60, and I'm feeling a lot better. The jokes were funny. I loved "Science, Schmience" -- and the guy's Tom Cruise bit was great. The character moments had bite, and were often funnier than the jokes.There was a neat revelation at the end.

I did think the last act had an odd valedictory feel to it, as if it were a season-ender. The story felt overwhelmed by the atmosphere sometimes -- the fourth act montage went on a bit long while we waited for the plot to kick in again. Still waiting for Sarah Paulson to show her comedic brilliance. And the act outs were a bit soft. (The act two out was: Matt decides to look at the focus group report?) But at least I have a TV show to watch where no one is in regular danger of dying.

(Boy, Pat Kingsley must be in hog heaven. She was Tom Cruise's publicist for years until he fired her. Her pitch these days must be: "See what happens when you don't have Pat Kingsley?" I'm sure he was just as nuts in the '90's, but no one was mocking him on fake sketch comedy shows.)

Tonight I'm definitely going to tape Friday Night Lights. It's had superb reviews, and it was a damn fine movie too. It's one of the few football movies I've seen where I really cared deeply who won, because it's not about money ball, it's about small town high school football teams in the kind of small town where football's the only thing going on besides Jesus.



"where football's the only thing going on besides Jesus" -- pretty much sums up a lot of the Texas football mentality and even though I'm very relieved that Friday Night Lights is filming around Austin instead of the out of state locations they were threatening us with, that will most likely not be a progam I watch. You see, it airs on the night my 7th grader plays -- ahem -- Texas football.

By Blogger MaryAn Batchellor, at 11:10 AM  

>>> it's about small town high school football teams in the kind of small town where football's the only thing going on besides Jesus.

And I should care about this because....? ;-)

No offense. It might be a fine show, but as a non-football fan who also thinks our current US President is the result of people who embrace the attitudes of small towns where people can't grapple with anything beyond right-wing Christianity and football... well, let's say I don't plan to watch.

By Blogger the third coast, at 11:14 AM  

I want to punch Harriet. Not Sarah Paulson - she's likely a lovely person - but Harriet has begun to annoy me just by showing up.

I'll likely watch/tape Friday Night Lights - I'm not a football fan in the least, but I know what it's like to have what feels like everything riding on a game.

(I cried into a pillow when the Petes lost the Memorial Cup back in the day...)

By Blogger TV Minion, at 11:21 AM  

See, and I'm a sucker for the Holly Hunter impression.

I'm a sucker for a show that would *bother* to have a character do a Holly Hunter impression.

But I'm with you-- the show is just a refreshing place to be, and it's finding its groove.

The previews for 30 Rock during Studio 60 made me laugh too...

By Blogger Jennica, at 11:51 AM  

I liked last night's Studio 60 the best so far... but it still seems like a mediocre show to me.
I think I figured out the problem - Matthew Perry is trying his hand at playing the straight man.
He looks at the focus group report - which we already know the contents of, they've been explicitly mentioned at least twice - with furrowed brow.
Previously, his (non)character sat at the writer's table and said, "Ok. Lets go around the room". He did his best "let's get down to brass tacks" impersonation there.
Amanda Peet doesn't quite fit, her scenes are flat. A much better "out" for her scene, where she sees her mug shot, then explains at length how she actually does not have a record, would be for her to mutter "At least they didn't find out about..." cut to next scene.
Give her some kind of interest at least!

By Blogger Milehimama @ Mama Says, at 11:59 AM  

I hate football, but I love Friday Night Lights.

The small town in FNL will make for a great microcosm of America.

Great characters and great character moments. Great shooting style.

It's intelligently made, and they use the fine music of Montreal's Godspeed You Black Emperor! during the climax.

Can't wait to see it again.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:01 PM  

This episode didn't do it for me. I may have to switch to 30 ROCK...

STUDIO 60'S funny wasn't funny. Why set up a "Rowwr" bear joke and not show it finally being funny? And if they say someone is on the show - THEY NEED TO BE ON THE SHOW - where the hell was Gwen Stefani?

I have come to the mind that every show should end with the announcer starting the show and the opening sketch.

And there was a perfect opportunity for them to do a weekend update joke on Jordan's DUI. Something quick and to the point that would skewer Steven Webber's character right between the eyes.

People have told me I'm being hard on S60, but I have every right to be - I'm the audience. This show has missed many opportunities to be funny and poignant.

I'll stick around til ep. 5, but if this doesn't suss out soon - I'm out.

By Blogger Cunningham, at 12:18 PM  

interesting. Third Coast's comments about why he hates football, small town attitudes, and why that's going to keep him watching Friday Night Lights -- well, frankly, that's the kind of attitude that keeps progressives from winning elections in the USA. Someone needs to go read John Rogers' "Learn to say aint" post.

Funnily enough, I thought this third Studio 60 was the weakest of the three. though I do love a good Holly Hunter, and I do love a show that will GO for a good Holly Hunter.

I like the intro of the Ricky/Ron dynamic and the foreshadowing at the end. And because I wasn't immediately engaged by this one, I allowed my mind to wander a bit and found myself musing about just what a weird show Studio 60 really is. I think some of the blowback is about how they sold the show as a smart hip comedy. And it's not. It's actually a drama about making a smart comedy.

And that's just fucked. In a good way, but really...?

I've decided I like Studio 60, but I had to let go of the sloppy love I had for the early West Wing. Like first kisses when you're a teenager, I guess that feeling's not coming back.

But nice to see Aaron Sorkin's still getting away with soft Act Outs. (He always did.)

I just hope he gets to get to the end of his first season so he can call the season finale "what kind of day has it been."

By Blogger DMc, at 12:20 PM  

I'm a huge football fan, but most football movies are unbearable (I thought the film Friday Night Lights was better than average but a bit too, um, dark...), so I'm happy to hear that this show looks good. Hopefully it will make up for the fact that House has been pre-empted for the month of October for the World Series (I'm not a baseball fan).

By Blogger Katya, at 10:21 PM  

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