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.