It seems that the writers needed to set everything up and print it in big type for us dum-dums. What we could infer and even ponder in the pilot is left glaringly obvious by the second episode. Matthew Perry and Sarah Paulson have a rocky history (ooh, I wonder if this will somehow effect the show...hmmmmm.) On that note, Sarah Paulson is not winning me over. Her character is supposed to be a Christian Meryl Streep of comedy, so perhaps the bar is set so high no actress of her price range can manage it.
Amanda Peet is getting into the swing of things, making it clear that Sorkin writes characters he admires for their ethical might better (Peet is a gutsy network suit who doesn\'t care what affiliates in the bible belt think, and Martin Sheen was a democratic president during a real-life republican admin...seems like Sorkin enjoys writing about life the way it should be.) Anyway, Bradley Whitford is given even more history when D.L. Hughley and he have three conversations devoted entirely to backstory and exposition. Oh, and there\'s plenty of walking and talking and thinking on your feet showcased.
My roommate noticed (and I agree) that the set looks wrong for a network show. I\'ve seen video from the offices at Conan (the only cutting edge comedy on network television) and they look pretty bland. This production office/studio looks like a rock club. Perhaps in it\'s reality it\'s a hipper scene, but there\'s an abundance of stagey pink and blue lighting. I suppose it\'s too late now, but they should have done something more honest like in the Larry Sanders Show.
And what of the build-up to the first show? Well, they do this kind of edgy musical number that clearly wins more laughs in the fictional studio than in living rooms across the country. I suppose there\'s no way to revive the once edgy world of sketch comedy, even if you never actually show the sketches.
Oh, and I predict Steven Weber and Matthew Perry in a romantic triangle with Amanda Peet. Weber\'s character is so prevalent yet such a heavy that he\'s bound to have a later episode devoted to his quiet moments of weakness. This show needs the energy and wit of its pilot, which was earned through legitimately intriguing...well, intrigue. You can\'t keep us in the red-zone dramatically just because every character in the scene is sweating and getting nervous.
I didn't think I'd enjoy Studio 60 as much as I am, but I have to say it is easily my favorite new show this year and one of my favorites shows on television. Why? The characters are amazing.
Not many people stick around for a show just because interesting things happen. If you don't have characters that an audience will want to watch, then you can't care about what goes on throughout the episode. Characters keep the show alive.
I've always loved the TBS or TNT (I don't know what one, they both start with T) tagline "Characters welcome." Maybe it's just because I'm an actor myself, but I always feel like television actors are extremely underrated. Film is controlled by A-List celebrities, many who can't hold a character to save their life and we should all be lucky their only given 2 hours of the screen, but television actors have to hold a character for year after year after year. I think there is nothing more amazing than that.
This show has top notch actors who I have 110% faith can hold their characters year after year. Perry is excellent as Matt Albie. It's such a stretch from Chandler Bing on Friends, and he deserves endless praise because there is no trace of Chandler in Albie. I watch Matt Albie, not Chandler Bing playing Matt Albie. Perry is a show in for an Emmy nod and potential win next year.
Steven Weber follows close behind Perry with his performance as Jack Rudolph. Rudolph is a great character to watch. He's not the villain, but he's some what the bad guy, and he's the perfect character audiences are going to love to hate. Weber steals the scenes he is in. I hope to see him take an Emmy next fall as well.
I was most worried about Amanda Peet. She's young, she's not the most respected actress, but she is fun to watch when she gets film roles. Her she is tackling the female lead in a high profile drama series. And she's great. Peet has inpressed me in both episodes. She's someone to root for. She's smart and confident and great to watch. I don't worry about her anymore.
Sarah Paulson and Timothy Busfield are great in the supporting cast. Something special is going to happen with DL Hughley at some point during the season. He's going to be great, but hasn't been given much to work with... yet.
I don't know about about Bradley Witford. He's a great actor, but I just don't get a feel for his character yet. He's part of the duo of Albie and Tripp and if you have to choose between Albie or Tripp the clear winner is Albie. I'm hoping his character will become a lot clearer in future episodes. Then the show will get a perfect score.
Of course, you can't get great characters without great writing, and this show has that down. I am worried about what direction the show will be taken in once the show within the show (confused?) becomes a success. The whole premise is reviving a near dead sketch comedy program. And if these two new guys are so amazing, the sketch show won't stay dead for five seasons (or even half a season). But I'm not too worried. This show is in good hands
The show behind the show, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip continues in episode 2 with elaborate histories of the actors and writers behind it. So what’s the outlook for stars in the next 2 years? To read this review and others please visit www.mikeontv.com
I wonder how many people will notice that this is a serious drama that is only set in a comedic environment. With only a few little laughs here and there for Matt Albie and Danny Tripp, there are even fewer attempts to be funny (even though there are many opportunities for a chuckle). Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip enforces the audience to believe in the seriousness of the show (in the show). We see how important scheduling and time constraints are to the producers. Perhaps this is a sympathy technique from the NBC creators and writers to get us to accept that this series could possible not go anywhere.
I enjoyed episode 2 for a few reasons. Firstly the opening sketch written by Matt Albie was phenomenal and very appropriate considering the explosion by the former executive producer, Wes Mendell in the episode prior (which by the way I found more like a scene out of the movie The King of Comedy than the numerously referenced, Network).
The singing by the (character) actors was a little off but the lyrics were bang on and appropriately generated a laugh out load reaction for me. I accepted it as a possible real sketch on Saturday Night Live. I think the real life produces of the television show are looking for it to be funny only when the camera is on the actual show within the show. That’s the only way I can put it.
I also had a good time with the relationship between Ms. McDeere and her counterparts at the NBS. She plays a pro and she seems to be ahead of the game. I find though, when she isn’t, she still can use her youthfulness and down to earth reception to sell the ideas she supports.
I think it’s a job well done here. But where the series will go begs another question. Like: Who will they kill off for the season finale?
To read this review and others please visit www.mikeontv.com
A step in the right direction. Nice to see a little more of the cast involvement. While the writing and pace is pure Sorkin, the jury's still out as to whether or not this cast can maintain the momentum
More and more, this show reminds me of 'Sports Night' (which was ahead of it's time and died way too soon). One of the stalwarts of Sorkin shows is that he requires the viewer to keep up and to pay attention to what's happening. This episode, we come to understand a little more of the fallout from Matt and Danny leaving 4 years prior. While we don't yet completely know what the rift was or what caused it at it's heart, we can see where the people were divided ("I stood by Matt" vs. "I stood by the show"). Where those loyalties lie will probably come into play in future episodes. Loved the MAry Tyler Moore reference, and the tongue in cheek reference to Lorne Michaels and SNL. I have a feeling there will be a lot of that in this show. And I think that before everything is said and done, Cal will be the best character on the show.
The one thing that I found myself dwelling on was Harriet's voice during the opening musical number. This is a character who supposedly released an album at some point 4 years ago, yet she had perhaps the weakest voice of the cast members during the song. As a musician, I found this a bit odd, but it's so minor, I'm probably the only one who picked up on it.
All in all, I felt this was a better episode than the pilot, a definite step in the right direction.
I was still a bit leery of the show after the all-setup pilot but this really shows the full potential. My concern remains that Sorkin is taking it all way too seriously, that he makes television as important as the White House was. But in some ways, it works.
The opening scene was a bit much with Danny admitting his past drug problems so openly. I am liking the dynamic between Jack and Jordan. Weber is doing well making Jack less a sterotype. His arguments over the affliates show that he is far more knowledgable about how the politics of TV work than Jordan who frankly seems a tad niave for a network president. But then that's why it works, showing she's just too ernest for her own good.
I liked seeing Matt reacting to the other writers and all their tired "Bush is dumb" jokes and laughing as if it's high comedy. The conflict with him and Harriet is going well and nicely paced.
A good thing is how Harriet and Jeanie aren't becoming enemies because of Matt but sticking together. I also liked the stuff with Simon terrified he'd be fired because he can't do voices and the conflict with Danny. And Harriet's pre-show prayer did not become the great joke I thought it would be.
My one complaint is that Sorkin needs to hire a real comedy writer to handle the sketch show parts. I mean, come on, Gilbert and Sullivan? This is supposed to be cutting edge comedy and that's what they've got? Someone needs to explain to SOrkin that "witty" is not the same as "funny."
Still, the real drama is backstage and it's going well so far. Looking forward to more.
This episode was very enjoyable from start to finish. I enjoyed watching Matt and Harriet bicker and as well as the seen at the end between the two. The a load of humour that I enjoyed like the bottle scene. I enjoyed the part where they came up with what they wanted to do for the show. My favorite part was the musical number at the end of the episode. Very witty and funny. I thought that the episode as a whole was well done and it is an episode that I'd like to see again, especially the ending. Job well done!
Still getting the major storyline started on the heels of the pilot, this episode takes its time but eventually shows a lot of fine writing and directing, and promises that we will see more and better in the weeks ahead.
Although a tad slow in the first half, taking its time to establish things like the network affiliates\' discomfort with the new direction, and the Matt/Harriet relationship (as well as many other relationships just beginning to be explored), it really picks up at the moment when Matt tries to define what he needs for the cold open. With Danny, Cal, and a couple of cast members in the room, the ideas start bouncing around, and suddenly the Gilbert & Sullivan idea comes to him. From that point on, it\'s a whirl of activity and the pace picks up dramatically. It\'s a brilliant scene. The final sequence, including the pre-show huddle, Matt\'s explanation of the difference between asking for a laugh and asking for the butter, and especially the full production number (with hilarious lyrics!) and ending with Matt catching sight of the clock having restarted with the countdown to the following week\'s show, is totally wonderful. It made me jump out of my seat and cheer.
If you missed the pilot episode, then this episode probably didn't make much sense to you, as it was a continuation. It seems that this is one show where we're going to have to watch all the episodes, which isn't a bad thing, since, so far, the episodes have been good.
I liked that they acknowledged Saturday Night Live in this episode, since we all know that that's what this is... if only SNL would hire some good writers, like they used to have! The show continues to weave in new plot lines, and extend the ones started in the first episode, and it's just getting better, with each episode. I can't wait for number three!
I enjoyed the pilot episode so I decided to watch the second episode to see if the whole series would live up to what everyone has says. From then to now it is amazing and I can't wait for Mondays (one of the only reasons I like Mondays). I liked how it showed them panic for not having anything and then they have the one moment and everything is clear from then out and the whole thing comes together ever so clearly. The plot was amazing and couldn't be better for a second episode. Can't wait until Monday next week!
Anyone, well almost anyone, can have a good Pilot. Sometimes your whole idea is a Pilot and there's nothing else or the "Notes" from the network come in, the show is retooled and the second show is lacking somehow, and you're not sure why, That did not happen here.
There was slow but clear character development, introduction to secondary characters like the writing staff and the other Mock Cast players some of whom we may recognize from other Aaron Sorkin shows (I like that he does that) and a simple understandable idea, what's going in the show this week, and the Sketch at the end was something you could actually see on a Sketch Comedy Show, I wonder or Lorin Michaels is tuning in?
There were funny moments but funny in the way that things overheard in a conversation can be, "I wish my body looked like yours". "I wish my talent looked like yours." the humor is not forced, it's subtle and smart.
The cast still has some integrating to do before the full flavor of the performances can be explored but if this is any indication, and I know it is, of what’s to come Monday Night Football might have to reconsider...;)
I liked this episode. The end was so funny. A little hard to follow the dialogue at the end but a great episode. Matthew Perry is so funny. i look forward to having this show on the air for years to come. Keep up the good work NBC and Aaron Sorkin.
Yes. Now it's up and running in full speed. I wrote about the first episode and that it was not that spectacular until Matthew Perry stepped in with his way of delivering a line. This episode is not different when it comes to Matthews sharp shooting comments, he is just great. Together with Bradley Whitford they make a really really good team. Surprise, or perhaps not, is that Amanda Peet is almost as funny when she delivers her lines as the previous mentioned. They form a great trio.
The only thing that might be annoying as of now is Sarah Paulson's character. I like Sarah and it's not her. It's the co-worker-ex-girlfriend thingy. It slows down Matthew's character some and that is no good.
I can't wait to see more episodes. It's a treat and after West Wing was ended I really needed the walk and talk - fast - fix.
It\'s pretty obvious already that the Matt/Danny relationship is the pivotal centre of this series, everyone else currently just floats around them. This show will survive if everyone can deliver their dialogue at Bradley Whitford\'s level - although he\'s had 7yrs of practice so a bit of a headstart. I like Matthew Perry much more in this than in any of his post Friends projects.
The dialogue is the key to Studio 60\'s success, just as it was to West Wing\'s, and if Sorkin comes up with the goods then we\'ll have another winner on our hands. Too early to tell yet if the support cast will remain just that, or if they develop into an ensemble cast. Will continue to tune in.
I liked this episode. The tension created by the clock counting down the time left before their first show was a nice touch. I also like the gumption displayed by the new female studio head when she stood by her decision to let the controversial sketh air. I believe that this show is off to a good start but is building slowly. I expect that it will become more interesting as the characters are futher developed in the weeks to come. While I am not convinced yet that this show will be a winner, I believe it is off to a good start.
This episode is Sorkin at his best. He establishes his characters and their quirks at the onset and plays on them from the beginning. The chemistry between Danny and Matt is obvious as well as Jordan's obvious determination to change television as we know it. The behind the scenes work is fascinating since not everyone sees exactly how much work goes into a TV show, especially a live one. The actors do a good job of showing their characters under a tremendous amount of pressure to succeed under the heightened media coverage and public scrutiny. I believe this episode establishes a story line and character relationships slightly better than the pilot did. I am slightly behind in the series and am downloading the episodes on iTunes, but I'm excited to see what is to come.
Wow, if the show continues at this level, IMHO, it will be considered one of the best shows ever!
From the rocket paced dialoge, to the incedible opening of the show, this episode was wonderful.
The dyanamice between Matt and Brad really works. It is not hard to believe that they are more then best friends who have known each other forever.
I was a little worried that the show would deal with the minutea of production. That fear has so far been laid to rest. Sceans that dealt with show production were well paced and added rather then detracted from the story.
I'm just lov'n it soe far and want to thank NBC for showing it multple times on NBC, Bravo, and USA.
well i really like matthew perry and Bradley Whitford. Two really good actors. Then we have Amanda Peet witch is good as well. Im betting it will only get better from now on. its a good and new show, that shows that not all shows must be off dead bodies.
Matt's admonishing the writers to look and behave professionally seconds before Harry stormed in with a burst of righteous indignation was exactly the kind of moment we need to be responding with when people say "Oh, it's not funny enough. It's so boring."
All of the patterpatterpatter builds to huge explosively funny moments like that. Unlike other shows with more beat-set-laugh structure, there's a longer buildup to the payoff, but the resulting payoff is [i]sweet[/i].
In fact, they may have given away just a little too much in building up to the song, but ultimately it was quite good. Sadly, once you step into that particular song parody, you are trapped in its somewhat florid and repetitive structure, but they stepped around that well enough.
It was a truly inspired opening, and for those waiting to see the "Crazy Christians" sketch, from what Matt said, we may never actually see it -- he argued that too many people had seen it in the dress run and the dress run four years before, and essentially that it would, itself, be too old.
But if we do see it, it's almost certainly going to be funnier than most things on television.
It's the sort of thing that becomes all the funnier in legend form -- like Tenacious D's "Tribute to the Greatest Song in the World" or whatever that was, or Monty Python's "World's Funniest Joke" -- where we only ever just [i]hear[/i] about it rather than actually [i]experience[/i] it.
Either way, I'm looking forward to the rest of what they [i]do[/i] come up with, because this show is cool. In this episode, we learns something about the significance of natterboards and the impact of interest groups on programming.
I [i]loved[/i] Jordan's discussion of implementing a "coward tax." Nice.
And really, the discussion of playing to people's strengths was cool. I'm looking forward to D.L.'s reading the news. And the writers rebelling against the dress code. And all the other stuff they're doing.
Especially the window they opened on Matt's relationships with Harry [i]and[/i] with Danny (where she was saying Matt's head would explode if he saw her so much as slow dance with Danny). That's an interesting dynamic -- sort of "Nip/Tuck"-esque.
Can't wait to see where they go with it. ;)
All in all, well done, and a great second episode. :)
Being a huge Sorkin fan, I was not disappointed at all with this episode. The dialogue was amazing which is what I've come to expect from him. I love the development of the relationship between Matt and Danny and can't wait to see what the other characters will continue to contribute. I'm very excited about the rest of the season. I hope it continues to be as amazing as it was during this episode.
So, here we are with the second episode, and I’m getting nervous. I really liked the pilot episode, because I thought it managed to deal with the balance of exposition and character introduction quite well. It was no “West Wing”, but it got the job done better than most. In the second episode, however, we get a better look at how the series itself will operate, and I found it a lot less convincing.
Part of it is the setting, which I always knew would be a challenge. I personally found “West Wing” to be inspirational, even when I didn’t agree with the political views being touted by the characters. That series had a focal point in Martin Sheen, especially in the beginning, and I think that was a boon to Sorkin and the writing staff. There was this charismatic and complex figure at the center, and everyone else could operate around that steady ground.
In the case of “Studio 60”, that center doesn’t exist. It should be Matt and Danny, but that isn’t really coming out yet. They are more prominent, but there are other characters with more clout and power. It almost feels like Jordan should be more of a factor. While I think this episode gave her some necessary shading and made it clear why people are infatuated with her, Amanda Peet isn’t quite selling me on the character yet.
I think part of the problem is, once again, the setting. It’s one thing to be struggling with the State of the Union speech with hours to go, and quite another to be struggling with the “cold open” on a sketch comedy. I firmly believe that every business situation that involves politics can hold the kind of drama that Sorkin is invoking, but the kind of people who could get excited about a presidential election campaign may not be able to relate to the pressures of television production.
One other troubling aspect is the fulfillment of all this work and creative struggle in the final act. I wasn’t expecting the actual sketch to be included, because Sorkin’s usual MO is to lead up to the event without actually showing it. It might have worked better that way. Comedy is very subjective, and in this case, I didn’t find the musical all that amusing. For something that was supposed to be a triumphant opening, it seemed rather pretentious.
And maybe that’s where my nervousness sets in. “West Wing” was all about the crushing pressure of running the political show, with the stakes being about as high as they get. It was total wish-fulfillment most of the time, but all that work and stress would culminate in something meaningful (at least, in the fictionalized sense). In this case, all that work and stress is culminating in bunch of comedy skits. Even in the best days of “Saturday Night Live”, they would be lucky if half the material worked.
For all that, there were a lot of moments that worked for me. I’m getting over my initial concerns about Matthew Perry, for instance, and his reactions to the clock were priceless. I liked getting a better look at the ensemble, even if some of the dynamics are still sketchy and the “love triangle” is already annoying. Jack is wonderfully evil and self-interested. On the whole, I still like a show a lot, but my fear is that it will quickly fade as the general public loses interest.
(As a sidenote: I also have a new podcast associated with my various reviews called “Velocity TV”. Current episodes cover “Studio 60”, so it might be something of interest. Go to http://velocitytv.libsyn.com if you want to listen!)
The second show is really with lots of potential as Matt and Danny try to produce and get the show off its ground in order to succeed despite mounting pressure from the bigger suits at the network. As the network gets really bad complaints from the Christian community about a Christian scene in the "show". Very good show and hopefully it will breakout with the audience.
I wondered if the second (and subsequent) episodes of Studio 60 would continue to meet the high mark that the season and series premiere set; the second episode did, and may have even surpassed the first episode. The drama continued with Matt's ex-girlfriend, one of the cast members of the show within a show. The stress was on for them to come up with the great show that everyone was expecting of them, and Matt was stumped for an opening. Elsewhere, Jordan held a press conference, where Matt and Danny were supposed to toe the company line... unfortunately, Danny didn't quite do that.
The final scene, showing the opening that they came up with was great, and I'm certainly glad they didn't leave us hanging for that. The whole episode was great, and I'll still be tuning in for episode three... and four... and five...
From the opening press conference, which illustrates just how much better Matt deals with e public than Danny does, to the final notes of the cold open this episode illustrated what I love about Sorkin's writing. His shows move with a purpose and don't assume I'm stupid. This episode showed the process, from panic to production. I liked the hinting at the ramifications of working with someone you Love (even if you don't admit it to yourself). I liked that the 'saviors' of Studio 60 aren't being welcomed back like the prodigal sons. And, I loved the Gilbert and Sullivan nod at the end.
Admittedly, the rehashing of previous Sorkinisms brought some jarring moments, but part of me is hoping he works them out of his system soon so I can find new ones.
I don't know if Studio 60 will eclipse my love of Sports Night or The West Wing, but it has captured a small piece of my heart.
The Cold Open was an amazing kick off. The Pilot is used to set up characters and let the viewers get to know them and the situation of the series. The 2nd episode is truly in my opinion the REAL Pilot. And it did NOT disappoint. This is the best mix of comedy and drama I have seen in a long time. The cast is great. If Corddry and Hughley can step up and add even just a little bit to this show, then this cast will be unbeatable.
That matthew parry on that last show he did. whats it called. (that I am a huge fan of) was just a warm up for this show. He is really really good in it. The musical number was fantastic. "intelectual reach around" LOL to funny. this show is going to be great givn that NBC has the vision to let it mature.
I can't think of anything bad to say about this episode. As many of you know from reading my other reviews, I will tear into an episode. I loved every minute and didn't find too many moments where my attention drifted. It left me with renewed energy and an interest in the show.
I loved the walk and talks, how characters play off each other, the developing conflicts, etc. I loved how the show is willing to discuss standing up to those many people fear. Remember “we have nothing to fear but fear itself.” The 20% coward fee is priceless. I can't wait till the episode next week.
The episode sparked my imagination in an impossible way. It would be cool if there was a real comedy show on the weekends that followed the shows discussed on this series. I found myself wanting to see the episode they were planning. Think about it! An entire comedy show done as an opera / musical show.
As I said, my imagination in this case isn't possible. After all we have Saturday Night Live a tired old show, oops, maybe. Well anyway, maybe a skit about Studio 60 replacing SNL or from a different perspective a skit about a SNL make-over. On the other hand, a SNL show all in song would be very cool to watch - especially to Gilbert and Sullivan (though not necessarily).
I believe this episode was just as good as the first episode which I thought was very creative and fresh. There was a lot of character development and so far all the characters seem to be quite likable. The stage has been set for a long, yet fun, catch the girl/guy romantic climax. I believe the writers of this episode really outdone themselves with the effort put into creating the "Cold Open". I caught myself feeling like I was watching a live show that Matt (Matthew Perry) actually wrote and was airing in real life. The first episode could have been a great fluke, but they backed it up with an equally astounding second episode. I think this show is for real. All of a sudden I am really looking forward to Monday night at 10.00pm
this is... this is... this is so great, words fail me. how the hell can this not be already beating CSI Miami is beyond me. it has everything: funny lines (not ha ha funny, inteligent funny, you know as in intelligence), interesting situations (I always wondered how one of this shows was put together, and it seems we will get some snippets of it from week to week), and the rest is charm, beauty, top notch writting and talent. bradley whitford and Mathew Perry are just amazing in their roles. welcome S60, hope you guys stay for a while
This second episode had the unpleasant task of introducing and fleshing out the enormous cast and writing staff of Studio 60, various characthers relationships, and showing the process of how each weekly show is created. Lots and lots of exposition, but it moved fairly smoothly. At least they focused on the creative people and not on the corporate suits like in the first episode.
A few weak bits really stood out, like the following exchange between two female cast members:
"I wish my body looked like yours".
"I wish my talent looked like yours".
More significantly, the whole controversy over the "Crazy Christians" sketch just doesn't ring true. First, that title, "Crazy Christians": Was that really the best Sorkin could do? Crazy!?! Oh my God! How dare they! "Rapture Magazine" is not much better. But the idea that a huge boycott would be organized about a sketch that has not aired is simply not realistic. And we never got to see this sketch that has been the focal point of the first two episodes.
Also, it's not a cold opening if the announcer says "And now, the LA Philharmonic and the cast of Studio 60". What makes an opening "cold" is that the show opens with no announcement or title at all, as SNL has been doing for 30 years. Duh.
Nothing says cutting edge comedy like a Gilbert & Sullivan parody. The cold open, the first actual sketch we have seen, just didn't cut it.
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