Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip

Season 1 Episode 11

The Christmas Show

0
Aired Monday 10:00 PM Dec 04, 2006 on NBC
SUBMIT REVIEW

Episode Fan Reviews (38)

9.6
out of 10
Average
433 votes
  • PITCH PERFECT! NBS gets slapped with a $73 million fine because a soldier says the F-word when an RPG explodes over his head on a live news broadcast. Is this the beginning of a war between the FCC and NBS? Read the review to find out!

    10
    Now this is the reason that I watch this show. I'm writing this review having not seen this episode since it aired on December 4, 2006 which is almost 2 months ago and this monologue by Wilson White is still etched into my mind. There's a live NBS news broadcast where a reporter is talking to a soldier and an RPG explodes above their heads and they say the F-word. Now the FCC wants to fine NBS for every affiliate that aired it for a total of $73 million in fines. Take a look at what Wilson White has to say when Jack Rudolph tells him about this:

    Wilson White: I won't pay a 73 million dollar fine, I won't pay a 73 cent fine, I won't time delay the news, and I won't say, "I'm sorry." I no longer recognize the authority of the FCC in this matter. I’m going to have be ordered by a federal judge, and when they come to get my transmitter they better send a group a hell of lot more scary than the Foundation for Friendly Families or whatever the hell they are. Let those guys embed themselves with 2nd marine division for a while; they'll rejigger their sense of what’s obscene. Jack, this is the one I have been waiting for my whole life. You are the chairman of the National Broadcasting System; that's why I wanted my grandchildren to meet you. That was so good I literally jumped out of my seat and screamed for joy. You can literally hear the thunder of warhorses rumbling in this episode. The FCC declares war on free speech and decides to take the first battle to NBS. Only NBS decides to fight back!!! How will it end?! Well we're up to episode s01e13 so far and it looks like it all hinges on whether Tom Jeter can convince Kim Tao not to give up the viola. You think that sounds weird or boring? Oh no. Oh so terribly no my friend. You couldn't be further from the truth. Watch this episode because along with the pilot and s01e13, it's one of the best episodes of the series so far with one of the best monologues of any series I have ever seen. That's right folks! I'm putting this monologue up there with the President's Independence Day speech in the movie Independence Day and the like. After 2 months, it still stands out. Watch this episode. Trust me. You're gonna like what you see ;)
  • This episode dealt with several issues, including FCC restrictions and the use of New Orleans musicians.

    10
    This show epitomizes everything good about TV. Aaron Sorkin was gone too long and was sorely missed. Hopefully, network producers and executives saw this episode and maybe will fight for the right things on TV, instead of bowing down under threat of censorship. But, as a resident of Louisiana, it was especially satisfying to see Louisiana musicians included, reminding everyone that while Louisiana has come along in rebounding from the 2 major hurricanes we suffered just over a year ago, people still need to be reminded of what has to be done. When we have a President who couldn't even mention us in his State of the Union address, while concentrating on a war which no one except him believes we should be in or that American lives should still be sacrificed for his own personal views, it's a long road and Aaron Sorkin did a masterful job of reminding America of what needs to be taken care of. I hope Mr. Sorkin will be around for awhile because TV truly needs people of his talent and foresight, to keep fighting the battles that need to be fought, and who refuse to step down or give in.
  • This is the one of the top pieces of Aaron Sorkin ever.

    9.8
    The writing in this episode is 100% Sorkinian. Best one since 'Noel' from 'The West Wing'.

    Here we see politics, humor, romance, friendship, all come together in a unique blend. I have watched this episode over and over, and each time I laugh and cry.

    Sorkin manages, once again, to strike out at the very structure of US society, by creating an example of how the system works against it self, and how powerhungry bureaucrats could very likely take the words of the law more important than the spirit of the law, and use the law to further their own personal agendas.

    A picture of typical US standards: If you can drag them to court and get money, then do it. At all cost, be it even common sense.

    Very nice demonstration Mr. Sorkin.
    Tnx.
  • This was just a great episode.

    9.0
    And another great episode of Studio 60 goes by... this one continues with the high standards that the show has previously set. They did a Christmas episode, made it funny and touching all at the same time, and worked in the Katrina victims' plight as well.

    That was the part of the episode I liked best, actually; the Katrina victims, who are being forgotten as time goes on. The show managed to bring them quietly to the forefront again, and do it in a way that maintained dignity for the musicians; the scene where they played was beautiful, especially when the snow began to fall.

    Overall, this was not the standard "feel good" episode, while it ~did~ make me feel good!
  • I guess I am really in the minority on this one.

    6.0
    I thought this was one of the weakest episodes so far. Don\'t get me wrong... I am the BIGGEST fan of this show and watch religiously every Monday. But this episode felt... contrived. To me. It felt like an episode that was written for people who don\'t like this show. The banter was okay. As a non-believer I was not offended at all by the anti-Christmas talk around the office... but it just felt forced to me. The Nazi-Santa... Was that funny to someone? I don\'t know. I guess I have just seen that \"nazi-salute\" gag done a few hundred times.

    My biggest complaint of the show was Jack Rudolphs character. Suddenly... out of the blue he is going to fight the good fight? There is NO WAY (based on what we have seen of this character so far) that he would roll up his sleeves and resign over ethical conflicts. This guy is all business. I didn\'t buy it for a second.

    The best part of the episode (in my opinion) was the end. I thought that Danny\'s romantic venting was touching. Although I thought that it was way out of left field, too. I mean. They could have used the previous episodes to lead us into it ... a little maybe. Between Danny\'s newfound emotions and Jack\'s newfound moral center, I felt like maybe I missed an episode or two. I think it was just convenience on the part of the writer (s).

    Don\'t know... maybe I am asking too much. I still love the show... I will just be hoping the rest of the episodes don\'t leave me feeling like this one did. A 10 out of 10 show.
    A 6 out of 10 episode.
  • This show clearly gives us some of the best writing and character development of the season.

    10
    Where to begin when you love every moment of a show. The Jordan/Danny storyline was fantastic. Danny was so overwhelmed by his feelings for Jordan and it was played out very sweetly. The opening scene in the OB/GYN was hysterical. Then the interplay between Matt and Danny as Matt wants Danny to admit his feelings had me laughing out loud. The pinnacle was Danny's admission to Jordan that he is falling in love with her - very well done. Matt and Harriet also had great moments. Their tension seems to have passed and now the chemistry between them is clear. All the FCC discussion with the swear word was great. I love that they are going to fight it. We are now finding out what makes the characters tick and where this show is headed. The ending with the tribute to New Orleans was brilliant and I love the playing of 'O Holy Night'. A true nod to Christmas and days gone by.
  • The Christmas Show episode is perhaps the best episode we have seen so far this season, and here's why: good writing, the right mix of drama and comedy, and as Matt Albie was hoping for, a little Christmas spirit.

    9.9
    This episode we find Danny struggling with romantic feelings he has just realized he has for Jordan. We find him taking the fatherly role, going along with Jordan to the doctor's office and worrying about her due date's conflict with the May upfronts. Matt, knowing Danny best, understands what is going on and urges Danny not to tell Jordan, but just to fully admit it to himself. The episode ends with Danny "manning up" and telling Jordan: that as a man divorced more than once who is a recovering cocaine addict, he might not make the ideal father -- but that that doesn't seem to be stopping him from coming after her. He tells her that she can run, but she better run fast, because he's after her.

    Meanwhile, Matt (who's Jewish) is trying to spread Christmas cheer around the Studio, but when his actors join the writers to come up with ideas, they start coming up with the "truth" about Christmas: that Jesus couldn't have been born in December, how fast Santa would have to go to get to all the children of the world, etc. Highlights include: Cal breaking the writer's table with his coconut (brought in to produce snow) instead of the table breaking open the coconut, Matt and Cal's demented-eyed Nazi Santa, and the guys liking praising all the Christmasy ideas until they find out they're not Lucy's pitches.

    As for the Matt-Harriet interactions, we see Harriet getting a new role in a movie, which Matt tells her she would be perfect for, but he ruins the moment when he tells her the director/producer offered it to Harry because he wants to date her. To distract her from this other guy, Matt gives Harriet a Christmas kiss, leaving her stumbling over her introduction in the news section of the show, calling herself "Matt."
  • A fantsatic Episode shwoing us the brilliance of Matthew Perry And Bradley Whitford together. Seriously if you were a fan of the west wing you'll get chills so many moments your like wow West Wing moment. An excellent programme and well acted by everyone

    9.9
    Episode starts off with Jordan at an anti natal scan and Danny beside her and you just know that by the end somethings gonna happen and true he tells her he\\\'s gonna get her and not at her finest moment when shes stuffung her mouth with food but i swear such a josh West wing kinda character except he has the balls to get the girls withint weeks didn\\\'t take Danny 7 seasons. Brill episode and thank god there keeping this show on air cause i am loving it. One of the best new programmes to start this season along with Brothers and sisters.
  • Shame Xmas comes but once a year

    9.8
    I've been tuning in each week to Studio 60 in the hope that it would reach the heights that its cast and writer deserve. I only realised this afternoon that it's getting there because I woke up this morning wanting to see the episode again! So I hit play on my PVR and laughed. A lot. It is getting there. I also realised that finally everyone is getting some spotlight as opposed to early in the season when things were only interesting when Matt and Danny were on the screen

    I love the fact that Matt the non-Christian is trying to get everyone else into the spirit of Xmas, a position I frequently find myself in. I love Danny admitting to Jordan how he feels about her. In an ensemble cast, this cannot be classified as shark-jumping in my opinion, contrary to some other people's belief. I love Jack's character showing some heart and standing up for his beliefs. And I love Cal trying to open a coconut!

    So many great lines in this episode, but my faves(abridged)...

    Matt (to Danny and Cal) - I'm the miracle on Sunset Strip, and you are, you know... two other guys.


    Matt - Shaved coconuts for the snow, AND they're indigenous to LA.
    Danny - Not they're not
    Matt - They grow on palm trees
    Danny - Not ours
    Matt - What do ours do?
    Danny - Nothing!

    I want more episodes like this please!!!
  • A charlie Brown Christmas at Studio 60.

    10
    We need a little Christmas to cheer up Studio 60 after what the cast has gone though, they deserved it. Amanda Peet's got an bum in the oven and I predict she could go into labor durning the May sweeps. Meahwhile the relationship between Danny and Jordan is heating up. the network may be fined $350,000 for show viewers the horrors of war. So much for the President Bush's war in Iraq. I'm glad that the show has taken a stance aganist the FCC $350,000 indeacey ruling. Thge end of the hour featuring music for the holiday. that alone has earned a 10.
  • Matt and Harriet, Danny and Jordan, Jack and Wilson, man there are a lot of Christmas miracles happening on this episode. Matt does not need mistletoe to kiss Harriet, Danny puts his heart out on his sleeve for Jordan to see, and Jack gets reassurance.

    10
    A lot is happening in this episode, but the surprise was Danny's acknowledgement of his feelings to a pregant Jordan with a face full of food. I did not see it coming so early. Matt's jealousy gets the better of him as he snatches a kiss from Harriet, without mistletoe to my recollection, but he does not need any excuses anyways. And Jack almost resigns because of the FCC but gets backing from Wilson White.

    This show lives up to its high standard of comedy, and those quick lines keep me laughing profusely. I found this episode to be as good if not better than the first episode because of its straightforward scenes and witty banter between characters whose closeness can be seen from their open bickering and humorous oneliners. The Christmas season brings the prospect of friends and family, the possiblity of spending time together as opposed to apart. I got a sense of that from this esisode. Matt and Danny sum it up quite nicely: Matt: "We do live here now." Danny: "Merry Christmas." Matt: "Merry Christmas."
  • The obligatory Christmas show. There\'s still that URST between Harriet and Matt, and Danny confronts a pregnant Jordan with a bombshell.

    10
    Absolutely Aaron Sorkin at his magnificent best. Snappy repartee, witty banter, amazing chemistry between the co-stars, and an amazing goose bumpy ending. Matt and Danny continue their banter, Danny has a fantastic monologue to Jordan, and Matt finally does something about his feelings for Harriet, and the continuing saga of guys asking her out. The other characters keep coming too, with Timothy Busfield showing strong characteristics and everyone else pitching in. In typical Sorkin style, the ending is beautiful, bordering on extremely emotional. A beautiful jazzy rendition of O Holy Night, coupled with gorgeous glances between co-stars. A very special episode.
  • "oh holy night" gets me every time

    9.8
    aaron sorkin sure can write em. i love how he compares and contrasts things. the west wing was known for being a predominantly liberal show. however, he likes to show both sides of things, and just when you think he couldnt go any farther left he will show a shining conservative moment. i think he does the same thing in this episode with christmas. he has the writing staff going over all these 'debunkings of christmas' and it plays out like a davinci code attack on christianity. but at the last moment he brings in the brass band and they play oh holy night and all the magic of this episode comes together and through the music he is saying "maybe there are all these flaws with the origins of christmas, but does that even matter? the magic is still all around us" merry christmas
  • Above and beyond anything we've seen so far. The best episode yet, hands down.

    9.8
    While the whole series thus far has been entertaining, engaging, and truly above-par so far, I have to say that this is the best episode yet. First of all, it manages to capture that delicate balance between humor, drama, and actually furthering the storyline. Over the course of an hour, Harriet gets a movie deal, a bunch of musicians from New Orleans show up, Matt finally kisses Harriet, and Danny reveals his feelings for a very pregnant Jordan. And somehow, none of it felt rushed.
    The episode was also a great vehicle for further developing Jack's character. More than any other character on the show, he is easily the most conflicted in terms of balancing his strong set of personal principles with his duty to see the network succeed commercially. That dichotomy really came into play this week. Besides, it was great to see him without a necktie.
    The humor in the episode was also well-done and totally appropriate. I personally got a kick out of Matt's earnest Christmas spirit, which somehow overtook his usual cynicism. That provided a nice change of pace.
  • Well-written, well-acted. Easily the best episode thus far.

    10
    I've been faithfully following Studio 60 since it started, and the whole season so far has been amazing. A couple of episodes have wowed me, but nothing beats "The Christmas Show". It had everything that makes a perfect episode, and every second of it was not to be missed.

    My favourite scenes in the show have always been the conversations between Matt and Danny because both Matthew Perry and Bradley Whitford carry their characters with such talent that their friendship is so believable. This episode further established their bond by the fact that Matt picked up immediately on Danny’s feelings for Jordan before Danny could admit it to himself.

    Apart from Matt and Danny, though, another amazing pairing was revealed with the hilarious opening scenes with Danny and Jordan in the waiting room. The dialogue was brilliantly written, and the actors kept the rhythm going, making a perfect opening. I would have been in stitches if I hadn’t been trying to control my laughter so that I wouldn’t miss a word.

    Matt’s determination to spread the Christmas cheer around Studio 60 is foiled by humorously practical reasons from Simon and Tom, who spread their scrooge-y ways to the writers room (or what’s left of it). Cal’s moments in the show brought funny to a whole new level when he tried to break the coconut on the table and broke the table instead.

    What was truly amazing, however, was the character development that took place. With all the episodes we’ve seen, we’ve come to expect certain behaviors from each of the characters. But just when you think you know them, a curveball is thrown at us. This episode showed us an entirely different side of Jack Rudolph. Yes, ladies and gents, he really does have a heart. It is the revelation of each character’s multi-facets that makes us see them as more and more real every episode. It just makes me want to watch more to know more about them.

    An absolutely stunning performance by the band from New Orleans that paid a classy tribute from Studio 60 to the Katrina victims. I could be biased since “O Holy Night” is my favorite Christmas song ever, but this has got to be the best rendition of the song I have ever heard before. It made me tear just a little.

    With fabulous acting and an amazing script, this episode has shown us just what Studio 60 is made of. My only question is: how are the writers going to top this?
  • I loved this episode. It contains everything that makes a Sorkin show great, but it's not without its problems. Spoilers.

    9.5
    I waited five days to review this episode because I wanted to make sure I really believed what I said about it. We have the adorable cuteness of new love, the spirit of Christmas, a minor crisis, a touching act of kindness, and Jack trying to fight the good fight. It just left me giggly and gave me the warm fuzzies all over.

    Before I get into what I loved about this episode, I have a few nits to pick. I’m putting them first instead of at the end because I don’t want to leave anyone with a bad taste in his or her mouth over this wonderful ep.

    Why was Jordan wearing a red tent in the beginning? I know she is pregnant, but pregnant women can still look great as we saw in the meeting with the lawyers about the FCC problems. That awful red dress made me feel like the circus was coming to town. Also, the eating for two was a lame stereotype, just as bad as if she had been puking all over the place; and Sorkin used the pretty girl interrupting the meeting for food before. Remember Ainsley Hayes in the West Wing. I have said on the forum that it’s ok for Studio 60 to resemble the West Wing, but recycling the same gimmick is just lazy an Sorkin should know better.

    Jack’s language about the FCC thing bothered me. Yes, I take offense at using the Lord’s name in vain, but even if I didn’t, with the FCC discussion following immediately after, it was a blatant shot at the censors. I think having him shout, “Bastards! Those son of a b*tching bastards!” would have adequately conveyed Jack’s anger without being so obvious about Sorkin challenging network standards.

    The coconut splitting the table was stupid shtick. I guess it was funny, but it was more on the order of Wyle E. Coyote or the Three Stooges than anything that pretends to be realistic. I also thought Simon and Tom’s obvious flirtation with Lucy was annoying. If Sorkin wants to work that kind of thing into the storyline, he should do it with some subtlety so the guys don’t look like idiots. At least he restrained himself from having Lucy fall for it. That would have made her just another stereotypical "dumb blonde.”

    Now that I have explained why this ep doesn’t get a perfect ten, let me tell you why it deserves a 9.5.

    Danny has two very telling lines in the teaser. When he tells Jordan he doesn't want to know the father of her baby, she asks why. His adamant comment, "If he was someone I wanted to know, he'd be here," shows us just how much he cares for her, but it takes her a little longer to figure it out. When the doctor confirms her pregnancy, his delighted, excited "We're having a baby?" is absolutely precious and we really want to see them become a happy little family.

    Matt as the spirit of Christmas is great. Remember when he was amost afraid to take Wes's office in the beginning and then watch him breaking Wes's traditions now and you know he's really making the show his own. He has to coerce the writers a bit, but Danny's support and Cal's can-do attitude about the coconut snow shows us that everybody is getting behind him.

    I loved Jack's rant about the f-word on the news and the FCC's fines. He made a good point about how the pro-family and conservative Christian groups support the war as long as they don't have to see the horrifying reality of it. Even though it's fiction, I was just as incensed as Jack about the FCC hypocrites fining the network over a single obscenity on a live news broadcast.

    The way Jordan's announcement completely took the wind out of his sails was hilarious. I don't care how angry you are, you can't help being happy for a woman who's having a baby and appears to be happy about it herself. The way Jordan then urges him to "Fight 'em, Jack," takes me back to the "You've got spunk, Mary," quote from the first episode. She certainly does, and pregnant or not, she's a good one to have beside you when you're fighting the good fight.

    Simon and Tom's humbugging was annoying at first, and the way they sucked the writers into it and undermined Matt’s vision was appalling; but it served a purpose. By the end of the show, I realized that sometimes the facts surrounding an event don't matter nearly as much as the way it affects people. Luke Scott, the producer who wants Harriet for his movie, is a cutie and I would like to see more of him, but not if it means watching Matt go insane. I found Matt’s comments about Luke repugnant and the abs of granite shtick lame, and I really would prefer not to see its like again. I’m finding I don’t care a whit about Matt and Harriet’s love life. The best thing that could happen with them would be for them to "just be friends." But I would like to see things heat up between Jordan and Danny.

    I think I fell in love with Jack at the end of the episode when he finally speaks with Wilson White about the f-word incident. You could really see his internal struggle and his grief about the decision he had made to leave the network because he couldn’t bring himself to bow to the FCC in order to protect Wilson’s dream of a merger in China. You get a real sense of the mentor/protégé relationship they share. Wilson’s speech was quite moving, and I swear I saw Jack shed a tear. I imagine he was relieved to find that his friend supported his position and overjoyed that he wouldn’t have to be leaving. You could just see him perk up throughout the speech. I also think it was sweet the Wilson wanted him to meet his grandkids.

    Danny’s confession to Jordan at the end was expected, but it was perfect. It was exactly what I wanted to see. The ‘City of New Orleans’ was poignant and poetic and served to remind those of us who have food, shelter, and most of all a family to love us, us how blessed we are.

    And it all ended with the delicious irony of two Jewish funny guys wishing each other a sentimental Merry Christmas while it miraculously snows on the City of New Orleans.

    That’s what makes this show so great.
  • This is one of the most awesome shows on television this year, and my favorite new show. This episode just reinforced how amazing "Studio 60" can be.

    9.5
    I loved how even though Matt is Jewish, he still cares about the Christmas show. (Although one out-of-character remark: "I think the virgin birth probably did have something to do with Christmas," would a Jewish guy say that? I don't think so.) Even when he has to smack the rest of the cast and crew over the head to agree with him about it. Someone commented on the politics of the show in a previous review, and I recently saw something about that in TV Guide magazine. It's true, the show does get relentlessly political sometimes, but this is the kind of thing people in Hollywood really do talk about. If Matt and Danny didn't discuss and weren't knowledgable about the major issues, how could they write sketches about them? It's easier to just forget about how one-sided the politics of the show usually are and just go with it (that's how it is).
    I have loved the Danny-Jordan dynamic since the first episode, and the somewhat-culmination of that was just beautiful. I thought, if anything, her pregnancy would stop Danny from making his move, but thankfully the show didn't go in that direction. I would hate to see that drag out for longer (although some people seem not to have seen that coming; how could you not?). I hope his confession doesn't screw up their relationship unduly, though, on the off chance that Jordan could ever resist Bradley Whitford's charm.
    I also like that, after teasing the audience for-how many episodes has it been?-a long time, the writers finally decide to give us a very romantic Matt-Harriet kiss. (I can't decide which was hotter, though, Matt and Harry or Matt and Lucy from a couple episodes ago. Someone may need to smack me to get me to stop thinking about that.) I don't think this will clear up their relationship at all, because they are both way too stubborn for that, but it was the perfect moment and a good scene. My favorite scene, though, was when Harriet came to speak to Danny about her movie deal. Perfect dialogue and miraculous, spectacular acting. Is there a better actor alive than Bradley Whitford? He had better get the Emmy for this episode, or I will set out on a hardcore Emmy-bashing smear campaign. Who is with me?
    All in all, episode was supercalifragilisticexpialadocious. Because there is no other word for it.
  • cristmas in la? another exsample of why there is not an lapd blue but matt presses on trying to get the cristmas sprat in untell he sees the santa giving the naiz sakoot

    9.8
    one of the funniest episoes so far we see mat pulling the cast an crew ( kicking and screaming as usala) into cristmas sperate any anything goes, well maby not santa giving the nasi salut. they even use choped cocanut for the snow. but above all that the big brass of the network is dealing with a potenchal disaster, a enbeded reporter was doing a live report with a solder when an rpg ( rocet propelled grenade) exsploded 15ft from them the solder droped the f bomb and the fcc ( with caddle proding from a parent group upset about the mere refrence to something that could be deemed regular languige ) is fining the network and evry affeleat who aired the report and that is a 8 figure sum
  • The best episode so far!!!

    10
    I love this show! To tell you the truth in the beginnig I would only watch because Matthew Perry was on it, and being a fan of <i>Friends</i> I figured I'll give a shot. But I have grown to like it very very much. This episode in particular was really nice. I was surprised to see Matt kiss Harriet like that so suddenly, that was really sweet! Also to see Danny fall for Jordan was so cute, and the way he chose to let her know at the end was hillarious! I think these writers have finally found the vibe this show should try to give. Way to go!
  • Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus...and he's not a Nazi...

    10
    Wow...even as a diehard fan of "Studio 60" I was overwhelmed with "The Christmas Show", by far the best of the season. For me it has always been easier to write a pan than a rave, but I will try. In one episode, Jack turns from a one-dimentional tyrant to a warm-hearted man with human frailties. The enigmatic Matt shows his true feelings for Harriet in one fell swoop, as Danny reveals a tender, middle-school type crush on Jordan. St. Nicholas triumphs over the Grinch-Scrooge writing team, and even the crust Wilson White is ready to fight to the death over television's First Amendment rights. Even the new English writer Lucy has two men acting like Alfalfa and Spanky competing for Darla's favor. I cannot believe that his episode lasted an hour. It seemed like about 10 minutes.
  • Matt decides to put on a Christmas show. Danny realizes he is in love. Harriet has two old flames try to rekindle her torch. Ridiculous political posturing re: FCC.

    7.5
    -- Edit --
    Wow, 20 users disagree with this review so far. Look, Boston Legal also does a lot of political stuff, but it's based in reality and often on actual events. As to the criticism of this episode that is my point. Sorkin, in this show, takes a position and deals with the opposite political view in bad faith. And in regards to the Christmas stuff he has characters act out of character, especially the Mark McKninney writer character.
    -- /Edit --


    Alright, this episode was par for the course.

    The good: Well done romance. Some good gags (Heil Santa). Also, for once the sketch we saw the most of on the show was actually pretty clever and well done (To Catch a Predator harassing Santa.)

    The bad: Anti-Christmas propaganda. Yeah, so for he most part the stuff they were saying was true. So what? Is anyone gonna be shocked about this? Would the writers really spend two days on the Internet rather than taking their best shot at this once in a lifetime career making opportunity of there being no writers but them? Would the Mark McKinney character really join in instead of pushing them to work? Just pointless and out of character.

    The FCC stuff was just ridiculous. A soldier says F*** during a live broadcast because a grenade blows up nearby and the FCC is gonna give them a 75 million dollar fine? Really? The last big brouhaha re: the FCC was the Janet Jackson debacle during the Super Bowl. There is a big difference between choreographing having someone rips off a woman\'s top during a family show and this scenario. There is no way in heck the FCC would do this. It was just a chance to make cheap shots against the Iraq war and the FCC. I can see disliking the FCC, but be realistic. To top it off Sorkin has the Ed Asner character essentially threatening a Waco-like standoff if the FCC tried to shut them down.

    Wow. . .

    Look, I understand Sorkin is going to make his political points along with the entertainment. But, c\'mon. The endless pointless hostility towards Christians and building endless straw men can only alienate audiences. Make your points but at least make them realistic.
  • Simply the best episode of the series to date

    10
    I am not typically one to enjoy sentiment. For that matter, I give only grudging respect to things nostalgic. Too often, writers turn to the familiar and sentimental because it’s easier to borrow an emotional response than generate something real and contextually satisfying. This is never more apparent than the annual slew of holiday episodes, where character often set aside differences and come together in harmony because, damn it, that’s what Americans do.

    When shows embrace the sentiment with full awareness of the absurdity, it works wonders. Countless examples come to mind. When writers manage to take the emotional undercurrents of the holidays and use them to reveal something about the characters, even something deeply familiar, it can be a stroke of genius. And this episode of “Studio 60” managed to sing its familiar song through a set of unique and textured voices.

    I found it fascinating (and yet completely believable) that Matt, a character of Jewish background, understood and demanded that the show touch on the spirit of Christmas. Faced with a stunning array of agnosticism and atheism, Matt managed to hit at the heart of the matter. Danny understood what he was going for, and together they put together an amazing piece of nostalgic sentiment. I challenge anyone to listen to “O Holy Night” in the final act and not feel a genuine tug at the heartstrings.

    There will be, as always, a bit of backlash at the constant barrage of “anti-Christian” items mentioned by the writing staff. In this case, I thought Sorkin managed to pull off an impressive balancing act. All of those criticisms have a measure of merit, and for some, they could add up to a reason to dismiss Christmas and everything traditional about it. Matt, however, gets it. It’s not about the facts and the figures; it’s about the meaning and the promise. One doesn’t have to be Christian to “get” Christmas.

    Had the entire episode been the struggle to put on a great Christmas episode, it wouldn’t have worked. I say this despite the “To Catch a Predator” sketch, which was the first time I genuinely laughed at loud at one of the comedy bits. It was the array of flawed characters swarming around this common goal. It was the writing staff and their quibbles. It was Carl trying to overcome the silliest of obstacles to make fake snow. It was Matt struggling with his jealousy and undermining everything about his Christmas spirit by planting seeds of doubt in Harriet at an important time in her career. It was Jack coming at a difficult personal crossroads between compromising for success and standing up for the right thing. And finally, most importantly, it was about Danny and Jordan.

    I took a lot of heat for disliking the manner in which Amanda Peet’s pregnancy was incorporated into the story. I stand by what I said; in fact, many of the same problems carry into this episode. Jordan is still a walking cliché with the compulsive eating. But I’ve also said that the writers are getting me to love Jordan, and so it’s no surprise at all to see Danny falling quickly and completely under her spell. Everything about his character points right in this direction, and I’m glad they bit the bullet and made it work.

    And it works because it’s not easy. On the one hand, it’s deeply romantic. On the other, it’s deeply disturbing. Danny calls himself the “executive producer” in the teaser, and that really does define him. Once he realized where his heart was going, he had to follow it. His history suggests it’s not the first time, and it may not be the last. But he can’t let it linger, because unlike Matt, he doesn’t gain strength from the struggle and the angst.

    Danny’s declaration has the air of victory. He’s a man desiring a chance at love and responsibility with a woman he deeply respects. But taken a slightly different way, it’s incredibly unnerving. How exactly will Jordan react to his words? If she has interest, it could go very well. If not, he’s just stepped into potential stalker territory. This episode gave us no opportunity to hear from Jordan on the issue, and so the uneasy question will remain, at least for a little while.

    And so what could have been an exercise in sappy nostalgia becomes a far more complicated tale, a look at several characters at a crossroads. It’s no mistake that this episode comes at the mid-point of the season. That’s traditionally when the biggest turns take place, when events driving the rest of the season are set in motion. This episode manages to transcend that function. When we look back at what “Studio 60” had to offer, this episode will stand as one of the most potent examples.
  • Touching and funny... simply great!

    10
    Wow, I am actually lost for words... This is one of the best pieces of TV entertainment I have come across in years. A wonderfully sweet, funny and also so very touching episode that opens new storylines for the future and makes me hope that there won't be just one season of Studio 60! I've loved the show from the pilot on, and it's grown on me more and more with every episode, but this one was just amazing.

    This episode was an absolute gem, a classic, and the finale brought tears to my eyes. I love the banter between Danny and Matt, and also the banter in the writing room - and the gentle ties between Jordan and Danny make my romantic heart melt! I can't wait for the series to continue!
  • OMG I loved this episode!

    10
    Probably the best yet! This show is incredible, fresh, new, extrememly well written, and memorable. I am constantly wanting more, especially with the chemistry between the two main characters. Matthew Perry was the perfect choice for this show. Every character is magnificent. I do not ever find myself thinking, "Wow he/she is a horrible actor, what are they doing?" to anyone on this show. A couple episodes back they hit a lull, but episodes like this! WOW! It was a constant thrill ride of excellent writing. Who writes this show? Wow, where have they been all my life? The dialogue is superb, it always is. Every actor brings such life to the dialogue, I love it! Can't wait to see what unfolds with Matthew's character and his lovely ex.
  • This show is tops in writing, presentation, and acting. There is not a character I\'d care to see gone but I hope to see many, many more episodes of Studio 60.

    10
    With apologies to Bradley Whitford\'s character\'s history, I have to say \"Sorry, Danny, but I\'m hooked on Studio 60!\" The December 4 episode had it all, minus one. Holiday spirit; religious empathy; funny, no-lines-crossed humor regarding pregnancy, writers\' block, censorship, Santa Claus, TOASTED SNOWFLAKES, and relationships; and, oh, that music could not be beat! So, what was the show missing? That phony, smarmy sugarcoating that pop up in so many shows at this time of year was missing--hooray! So, the credits rolled with an overlay of some stupid game show that is taking the place of Studio 60 as of December 11. Please, tell me this is only a filler for a very short time!
  • What a classy way to honor Katrina victims

    10
    I got so excited when Danny told Jordan she better run because he was coming after her. What woman would not want to hear that from a great guy? Loved that Matt kissed Harriet and made her flub her lines. I hope they put Danny and Jordan together quickly but drag out Matt and Harriet.
  • Aaron, you always leave me wanting more.

    8.5
    Knowing that this was going to be the last episode before the break, I paid extra attention and tried to get as much as I could out of it.

    A rocky start. This was the first episode where I felt we weren't instantly sucked into it's personal narrative. Sharp dialogue but somehow weakened and a little haphazard. But by the second act it found it's swing and I was absorbed. As charming as the notion of a Jew promoting Christmas ideals was I think the praise should go to that notion serving as a catalyst and bounce for the show’s writing staff’s almost obsessive research into the history of Christmas and it’s associated ideology. I’m still in love with the two young staff writers, forgive me but I forget their names. Fighting the urge to say young black man and cute British girl.

    We also got to see the more righteous sides of both Jack and his boss, which is all the more impactful given both characters prominent corporate-colour in previous episodes.

    Regarding the New Orleans homeless musicians story line: I didn’t quite feel the sentiment but that might be because I’m not an American. Still, well crafted and it provided an emotive final to the first half of the season. But that wasn’t the only component that book ended this 11 episode set for me: the combination of Danny Trip’s declaration of affection for Jordan and the falling flakes of snow overlaid during the Executive producer credit at the end left me dramatically fulfilled.

    A subtle piece of writing with only mild uncertainty at the start. By the end I wanted my Christmas presents 21 days too early.

    :JR:
  • This episode shows the true meaning of Christmas.

    10
    This Christmas special was easily the best episode of the series so far. As a resident of the New Orleans metro area, I would like to say that the tribute to the city was extraordinary. However, it was not only the tribute to the city that made it so great, but also the tribute to the wonderful musicians. I believe that I can speak for the entire city in saying that we deeply appreciate the incredible acknowledgement that the show offered, and we will continue to rebuild and become the great city we once were. Thank You, Studio 60 and God Bless!
  • Some good holiday fun that shows how the show can really work.

    9.8
    After too many episodes marked by bad character moments and too much soapbox speeches, we get a terrific episode that shows the strength the show can produce.


    The simple idea of Matt, the Jewish guy, being the only one to care about Christmas was great but Sorkin added onto it with the terrific idea of everyone busy debunking the various Christmas legends. Some bits were silly (Cal destroying the table with a coconut) but I like how Simon and Tom were doing all this to impress Lucy. The bit of Harriet offered the movie makes for a fun subplot for a while and liked how Matt kissing her was nice and quick. The one skit we saw, the Dateline Santa thing, was actually not bad, perfect for SNL. As for Jordan and Danny, it seems slightly out of the blue but could spell some nice fun (especially when the father comes into the picture).


    Jack got great moments dealing with Jordan's pregnancy and the FCC. His offering to resign rather than hurt the network showed his true character. Asner willing to fight for it was a good speech moment too and it seems once again like Sorkin is planning a show over an entire network rather than one comedy show, it's a good plot.


    The stuff with the New Orleans musicians was wonderfully handled, just the playing, no speeches on what they went through or class or race or stuff. It's moments like that where Sorkin shows the true strength of the series. Keep that up and we can see it rebound nicely in the new year.
  • This episode is what television worth watching!

    10
    Danny and Jordan, Matt and Harriett, Jack and Wilson. All this and more. The scene with Danny and Jordan in the OB office has to be one of the best in recent memory. During the show when Danny finally breaks down and confronts Jordan, felt the passion of his developing love. The Sandwich was priceless.

    Matt and Harriett and a love song that is still being written. When Matt kisses her and leaves her a little breathless and befuddled, you know that they are not through as a couple regardless of how they act.

    Jack and Wilson! I had not really liked the development of Jack up to this point. He always came off to me as a money hungry weasel with no redeeming values. When he takes his stand with Wilson, we get to see that part of him that really loves the business for what it is. I think that is great character development.

    The last and greatest item of the show was of course "the city of New Orleans". How spectacular was that.
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