Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip

Season 1 Episode 11

The Christmas Show

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

Episode Fan Reviews (38)

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out of 10
433 votes
  • I loved this episode. It contains everything that makes a Sorkin show great, but it's not without its problems. Spoilers.

    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.