Thursday, June 21, 2007

Studio 60: Just a little bit of history repeating...

Sigh. I just- sigh. You guys had better appreciate this recap, because I ended a perfectly good (very good, in fact) date early so I could get home in time to watch this episode in which, again, nothing happened. I've reached a point where I don't even know what to say about Studio 60 anymore. The good characters are wasted while we spend time focusing on bad relationships and crazy plots (which may or may not be dropped from one week to the next, coughMatt'sdrugaddictioncough). The show's perfectly good original premise has been all but abandoned in order to make it into another West Wing. What used to be fun, with a good political edge, has become absurdly overdramatic. Every week Aaron Sorkin uses Studio 60 as his own personal soapbox, sacrificing art for ego. The list goes on and on.

All of that said, it's certainly far from the worst show on television. In fact, it's pretty good. How could it not be? Amazing cast, great dialogue most of the time, the best set on television, good directing... It's just that, given all that, how could it not be better? How could it not be great? I'm not mad, Sorkin, I'm just disappointed. And even though I know a lot of you out there disagree with me, in my opinion NBC wasn't wrong to cancel Studio 60. They gave it a first chance and a second chance, and the show just failed to reach its enormous potential. And, let's face it, was pretty freaking expensive to make. Ah, well. Some of us will just have to agree to disagree. On to the episode...

This week was part three of three episodes, although it might as well have ended with a "To be continued." Jordan's still hovering between life and death, Tom's brother is still being held hostage in Afghanistan, Simon is still in trouble with the press, and we're still flashing back to yesteryear, where Matt and Danny are still, to paraphrase The West Wing, allowing their demons to shout down their better angels.

While this show may not have plots that can advance even one night over a period of four episodes, it does have an incredible depth of characters to work with. Tonight, for example, I gained a greater appreciation for Jack Rudolph, and the incredible burden it is to have to be the bad guy, even when you know that the people you're chewing out (and apparently firing) are in the right. More of this, Sorkin! More character-driven action, and not action-driven action, if that makes sense. Not every episode has to be a sweeps episode. You're not ER, and John Wells isn't in charge of this show. Oh, well. Guess it's too late for advice. I'll just continue wailing about wasted potential.

The episode left us with Jordan still in critical condition, leaving Danny's paternal rights uncertain; Tom ready to pay the terrorists a huge ransom in order to retrieve his brother; Simon still refusing to apologize for telling the press he wants to blow them up; and Matt and Danny on the verge of being fired for refusing to apologize for airing a political sketch that bothered advertisers. Which we pretty much already knew would happen, since it's in the past.

Next week on Studio 60: Hopefully some of these plots actually get resolved, since it's the last episode and all.

6 comments:

Bruce said...

Liz,

Sorry you rushed home for another to be continuedesque episode. I am totally on board with the disappointed/head nod cancelling decision. I have watched shows like Brimstone and Cupid in September knowing full well they will not make it, but shows like Studio 60 make me sad every year when I go in with big hopes. *sigh*

Liz said...

Yes--exactly! High hopes! It was the show I was MOST excited about last fall (on paper, how could it fail?), and then...sigh.

Bruce said...

I would have to say I was most excited about this and The Nine which didn't even burn off any episodes. Oh well.

Liz said...

I LOVED The Nine, and am still incredibly bitter that ABC is witholding the final episodes from us, when they even showed the rest of that crap 6 Degrees show. Rrgh.

vance said...

here ye here ye... the nine, s60... WHAT HAPPENED? Wonder which of this years fall shows will disappoint. in the meantime, Ive sortof given up on s60. it plays while Im packing or doing laundry or what not... what happened again?

meanwhile... lets hear about this DATE!!!

Liz said...

See, now that I know shows are bound to disappoint, or be cancelled early, or whatever, I'm never going to get my hopes up like that again. Once bitten, twice shy, right?

Haha, my date was going great up until I looked at the clock and was all, "Right...this has been awesome, but I've got a show to watch and recap!" But now that we're writing for Zap2it, too, there's more pressure to deliver on time!