Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip

Season 1 Episode 15

The Friday Night Slaughter

Aired Monday 10:00 PM Feb 12, 2007 on NBC

Episode Fan Reviews (16)

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out of 10
235 votes
  • A waste of one hour of my life

    Neither dramatic nor humourous, just a complete waste of time. I have stuck with this series all the way because I wanted to like it, but it just gets worse and worse. There are still several episodes to go, but I think I will bail out now while I still have the will to live. Not surprised the series was canned - perhaps this was the episode that decided it. I have to write 100 words on this rubbish episode and I have to keep the description clean - both of those things are very difficult -only four words to go.....
  • A powerful exploration of depression and addiction

    According to several sources, “Studio 60” is leaving the air earlier than intended to allow “The Black Donnellys” to start at the end of the sweeps period. This is in response to the continued loss of viewers since the slight surge in ratings at the beginning of the year. Unlike some of the other series on NBC hitting a mid-season hiatus, “Studio 60” is in a dangerous limbo. If “Studio 60” was a hospital patient, the doctor would be advising the family to gather together at this point.

    This is unfortunate, because the series has always held so much potential. Nearly two-thirds of the way into the season, however, it’s hard not to wonder if that potential was squandered. For a good chunk of the fall, the series was hammered for being a thinly-veiled version of Sorkin’s life and a mouthpiece for anti-Christian ranting. This was followed by a plot thread for Danny and Jordan that left a sizable chunk of the remaining audience turned off by the implications. At this point, it hardly matters if the allegations and interpretations were fair or not; the effect has already done the damage.

    And so it goes that this episode, a mesmerizing study of a character suffering from self-inflicted depression and escalating drug addiction, garnered the lowest viewer totals in series history. It would be easy to point to the grim subject matter as the culprit, but the ratings for this episode are more a response to “The Harriet Dinner: Part II” and the sweeps episodes of “CSI: Miami”. Some viewers chose not to return based on the Danny/Jordan relationship (if online discussion is any indication) and some viewers are jumping to safer waters.

    What they missed was a classic Sorkin/Schlamme collaboration. The tone of this episode was much more in line with the pilot than some of the more recent episodes. That’s not to say that the direction was lacking in those installments; it’s more of an indication that Schlamme has a style that lends itself very well to Sorkin’s vision.

    In many ways, this episode is the flip side to “The West Coast Delay”, which was another atmospheric treat (and equally unappreciated). Both episodes inhabited a darkly romantic space that was reflective of Matt’s emotional state. The structure of this episode was fluid and dreamy, often slightly disjointed, suggestive of Matt’s mental state under the influence of the pain medication.

    Critics will no doubt charge Sorkin with mining Matthew Perry’s history with addiction to painkillers to compensate for a lack of original thinking. Then again, it is a time-honored practice of good television writers to use an actor’s personal life as grist for the character exploration mill. After all, it allows the actor to mine genuine emotional and psychological knowledge to give the performance authenticity. Perry should be given a great deal of respect for this episode.

    Matt Albie is not the only character living in an unusual state of mind. After all the hand-wringing over the past few episodes, Danny and Jordan seem to be living in that ecstatic haze that comes with fresh and somewhat secret love. It’s a bit jarring at first, but after reflection, it feels more like the calm before the storm. Over time, one would expect all the issues surrounding the relationship to come crashing down on their shoulders.

    Thanks to the various flashbacks, giving important context to the love triangle between Matt, Luke, and Harriet, there were some opportunities to look into the history of Studio 60. It’s actually hard to imagine how Matt won Harriet over, considering where he started. But it does serve as a good reminder of how Matt’s pursuit of Harriet led to creative inspiration, which in turn reinforces the effect that this latest break will have on his ability to run the show. One can only hope that the series manages to stay on the air long enough to explore this fertile ground.
  • Nathan Corddry (Tom Jeter), Sarah Paulson (Harriet Hayes), Timothy Busfield (Cal Shanley), Amanda Peet (Jordan McDeere), Bradley Whitford (Danny Tripp), D.L. Hughley (Simon Stiles), Matthew Perry (Matt Albie)

    it was a good very episode because Matt Albie lokked back in you could learn about Harriet and Matt met for the first time what i didn't understood was they end when Matthew looked at the picture and saw himself in that clothes....and it wasn't tha Tim guy.....i didn't understood is Tim a real person
  • This episode was definatley about character development and 'letting us inside' what happened in the past. An excellant storyline for Matt Albie.

    This episode was great in how much it revealed about the past with Matt and Harriet. It showed us quite a bit about how they began and I really enjoyed how Luke's character was shown to us. I wouldn't have guessed how much of a 'past' he had with Harriet. Matthew Perry shines in this episode and it truly shows that he is one of the 'big boys' now when it comes to acting. He truly made you feel the excitement of the past and the pain of his present situation. I think Sorkin will just continue to awe us with the magic of this show.
  • Amazing episode!

    I absolutely loved the episode which is a very dark one. It provided everything I was hoping for. First of all we got to see more of how the actual show is run, how they chose the sketches which make it on the air etc. The contrast between how things were seven years ago and how they are now (especially the reduced writers staff …) was interesting. So cute when Danny talked to Jordan’s stomach about how he is always right! I would have liked to see Matt and Danny together in the flashback-scenes though!
    What impressed me most about this episode was Matthew Perrys acting which was brilliant! I really suffered with his character and it was painful to watch him go down the wrong path. Nonetheless I have to admit that Matt Albies drug habit came a bit all of the sudden for me. Did he already take pills before the „break up“ with Harriet or did he just start taking them after their fight? Another thing I was wondering about is that the singer knew at once that Matt was high but Danny didn’t realize it? And if he did why wouldn’t he confront him with it? But those are just peanuts … it was an amazing episode and for me it comes right after „The Christmas Show“ which is my favourite so far!
  • An incredibly intense episode, Matthew Perry at his best...

    Studio 60 really hit an amazing balance tonight between drama and comedy, as we saw Matt struggling with his break-up with Harriet with flashbacks to their first week together at Studio 60 and pills.

    Matthew Perry was brilliant as a pained Matt, who isn't sure how to explain how this break-up is different but he knows it is. In an attempt to "start over," he originally wants all old, well-done sketches he wrote for Harriet to be part of the episode; eventually, he decides they can be pulled for tje Singing Teacher sketch, which was originally created by Luke, the man Harriet is with now. It is perhaps Matt's understanding that he has to move on.

    Meanwhile, Danny and Jordan are adorable as can be going about their daily business, with Jordan refusing to be kissed (after she has checked each angle to see where they can be seen from) and with Danny talking to the baby with his hands on Jordan's stomach about how his voice is the voice of authority.

    In the flashbacks, we see Luke and Matt both writing sketches for the new sketch-comedian, Harriet Hayes. Matt manages to affend her about her religious beliefs, but she allows him to write a sketch for her too. Young Matthew is disappointed when Wes picks Luke's sketch for Harriet, Singing Teacher, and not his.

    It's hard to capture in words why this episode was so moving, but I found myself sitting very still as we watched Matt tumble into a downward spiral. Was recognizing that he was having dream about a writer who never actually worked at Studio 60 -- who was in his dreams fired for taking pills, just like Matt was doing in this episode -- enough to have him sober up? Or will things only get worse?
  • Two words : Emotional Rollercoaster.

    All I could think after watching this episode was I CANNOT wait for the next one. I will be listing spoilers so all who don't want to know anything, STOP READING.

    Moving along,

    MATT ALBIE: This has been the most in-depth discovery of Matt Albie yet. We get to know where all the luke insecurities start from( Luke and Matt compete to get their respective sketches with Harriet on the show, Luke wins), his growing (and scary ) dependency on drugs ( A little close to Matthew Perry no?). All in all this is a very insightful episode. Kudos to Matthew Perry. His comic performance has always been amazing, but his dramatic moments are nothing to laugh about.

    DANNY/JORDAN: Very cute. Especially the part when Danny talks to Jordan's baby.

    TOM/DYLAN/ANDY: In a comparitively serious episode the Tom and Dylan chemistry was a pure pleasure to watch. Add Andy ("you graceless bastards"), Cal and Danny to the mix, It was freaking hilarious.

    JORDAN/HALLIE: Such a catfight coming up. It is so happening.

    All in all one of the best episodes ever. I disagree that Studio 60 is made for the "smart" audience, its just that language is stressed more than body language although this episode is slowly building THAT bridge.

    The cons: Very little Simon, No Jack :( , total cliff hanger end.
  • Great Acting from Matthew Perry and great writing from the writers of the show

    This episode is great because the writers are starting to use a different type of setup for the episodes. A little like how Lost is written...with a bunch of flashbacks. Hands down Matthew Perry displayed his versatility as an actor and not only as a comedian but as a great actor for a drama. Matt Albie showed that he has a drug problem and shows some of the effects of his drugs (i.e. someone that no one remembered). Incredible character development from Matt Albie and awesome cliff hanger at the end of the show. The flashbacks also reveal some of the history behind Matt and Luke. Don't the greatest archrivals start as friendships?

    Jordan and Danny are awesome in this episode. They really make you fall in love with them as they display the "honeymoon phase" of their relationship. However, with Jordan's hormones soon to come, will there be a change in how their relationship is and will this affect the work of Jordan or Danny?

    No Lucy and Tom scenes and hardly any scenes with Simon. But the scenes with Tom, Andy, Danny, and Cal are incredibly funny. An incredible episode that makes me can't wait for the next episode.
  • One of my absolute favorite episodes of television ever.

    This is a classic Sorkian flashback episode. Jumping between Matt's quick decline into drugs and his memories of first meeting Harriet back in 1999. Not only is it great drama but Sorkin also captures the differences between the two time periods. A point in time when our biggest question wasn't about Y2K.

    What made this episode so intriguing fantastic is that the audience knows, that both writer Aaron Sorkin, and Matthew Perry, have struggled with substance abuse. Their personal experiences add to the emotional core and truth that permeate throughout the episode. The expositional element of the show doesn't feel as such. So much more validity and depth was given to the Luke-Harriet-Matt triangle. Matthew Perry does a phenomenal job at portraying the 1999 version of his character as optimistic bundle of energy, contrasted with his 2007 version of his character which is pessimistic and depressed.

    Overall this should stand with Sorkin's best like "In Excelsis Deo," "Two Cathedrals," and "In The Shadow of Two Gunmen"
  • This is what was promised to fans of the show. This is the kind of perfect, emmy-worthy drama that set the Pilot episode's reviews. It was a revealing episode and was simply brilliant in every way. The best episode since the pilot episode!

    I think this was the most amazing episode of Studio 60 on The Sunset Strip I have ever seen since the classic pilot episode. ===========================================
    The Breakdown (Non-Spoiler)
    + Solid Acting
    + One of the most revealing episodes so far.
    + A much darker theme which helps push this episode to greatness.
    + Fantastic Writing
    + Major Character Development

    -Why can't all the episodes be this good?!?!?!

    The Full Review (Spoiler Ridden)
    This is going to be hard to say, seeing as how I have been a consistent fan and viewer of the show since it premiered:

    Studio 60 has (before this episode) been performing rather below expectations surrounding the hype.

    Phew...that felt good to get off my chest. But you know its true; everyone knows. But after this episode, your opinion of the show could be completely changed by this episode. That is how flawless it was.

    First off: The Acting
    -The acting in this episode was solid but Matthew Perry's performance alone made it a stand out episode. He perfectly portrayed Matt as an evolving character from witty and fun to being internally tortured by his love for Harriet, which eventually pushed him into taking drugs. A different approach from Perry was his character in the past when he started out in Studio 60 as a writer whose office was in the hall. He also played this part flawlessly, portraying the nervous and somewhat quiet Danny. Also notable acting came from D.L. Hugley as Simon waiting for 6 hours for an audition and Nathan Corddry as the anxious Tom Jeter, just waiting for his sketch to get on the air. Also notable was Amanda Peet(Jordan) and Bradley Whitford(Danny). That blends into the next section of the review...

    Character Development/Story
    -The biggest character development in the episode was (obviously) from Matt. He started off normally, like in every episode, and was watching dress rehearsal. This soon was led by a flashback sequence of him sitting on the floor of the hall (or known to him as his office) writing. We see a new character, Tim, leaving the studio saying he has been fired for taking drugs. Tim pops up a lot in this episode only and you'll see why later on. We then see Harriet first introduced as it is her first day on the job. Around there is when we see a change in scenery to the present. The rest of the episode continues on like so, switching between past and present seamlessly. You find out that Matt is starting to take drugs, most likely caused by the big break-up last week between him and Harriet. This drug addiction is what really drives the episode, inspiring the dark mood of the episode. You find out in his flash backs that he wanted to write for her from the beginning and this created the infamous 'Crazy Christian' skit which she denied because she believed in angels and found it offensive. Well I don't want to summarize the entire episode so I'll start jumping around now. You find out that no one remembers Tim except for Matt and Tim often pops up in his flashbacks reclaiming things he left, saying goodbyes, and reflecting on his mistakes. You later realize at the end of the episode that Tim was a hallucination of his drug intoxication as pointed out by Diana Vlades, their singer for the upcoming show on Friday, who has also experienced hallucinations such as conversations she thought she had but never did. This was the realization that Matt is going too far and he has to stop the drug taking but he continues as seen by the end of the episode. The story was powerful, poetic, and you get to see the birth of a new side to Matt not usually seen in him, a dark and confused side.

    The episode's directing was also above average. The seamless transition between past and present made the film crew stand out.

    Overall this episode was an unforgettable one that every fan must watch. 10/10
  • Matt takes a stroll down memory lane and recalls how he met Harriet.

    This episode is my absolute favorite so far. Matt Albie being my favorite character, it was great to see some character development. This episode really brought a new depth the Matt. The story deals with the start of his depression, in which he takes painkillers (Vicoden I think), and deals with flashbacks of when he first met Harriet. As for the acting part, Matthew Perry deserves and Emmy for this episode. His portrayal of Matt was so powerful and realistic, and it must have been hard for him, having dealt with a Vicoden addiction in the past. The only thing that annoyed me a little about this episode was the fact that Danny didn't seem to recognize that Matt was doing drugs, having been an addict himself. Either that, or maybe he realized but waited to say something to him later... I don't know, it just didn't seem very realistic. Anyway, the episode was brilliant, powerful and had a healthy dose of angst. Definitely watch it! 10/10
  • BEST Episode Ever, so far.

    this is hands down the best they have aired so far, its about love about drugs about how hard it is to make it, and matt is shinning in drama more than he shins in comedy, that look in his eyes where he almost cries but he doesnt, i would give him an oscar for just that.
    i love the show so much and pretty soon i will only be watching House, Studio 60 And Lost Only, anything else is a piece of crap.
  • Matt is popping pills

    How come Danny did not pick up on it? As a recovering drug addict you would have thought he would have noticed. Jordan throwing a fit was cute. The girl singing was great. I'm looking for her CD but I don't think she has one. Danny laughing at Jordan because she acted strange around the All About Eve woman was classic.
  • Who knew Chandler could act like that?

    Seriously, if Matthew Perry doesn't win some kind of award for this episode there is no justice.

    This week at Studio 60 we find Matt reeling from his blow-out break-up with Harriet. He is so obviously distraught at the thought of losing her he takes some pills which cause him to flashback to the early days of Studio 60. Danny and Jordan don't have too many scenes together but since they finally got together last week the little we see of them is perfect. Jordan is still trying to keep their relationship under wraps so she wil not allow any PDA, (I can tell this one is going to blow up eventually!) but their interactions are so cute it makes up for all of Danny's stalkering. Tom and Dylan are fighting to keep their sketch "metric conversions" in the show and they provide comic relief and several laugh-out-loud moments. Cal and Danny are trying to cut out almost an extra half an hour fromm the dress but Matt is not being much help becaus ehe is in a dug induced haze which is suspiciously overlooked by both Cal and Danny. Matt flashes back to the writers room at an early Studio 60 where a writer named Tim Batale is packing up after being fired for taking pills. Matt is shocked and tries to talk to Tim who explains that his girlfriend was making a movie in Toronto and found someone else. He says that he can't be funny without the pills because he is so depressed and being funny is his job. Matt seems to understand this but Tim leaves anyways. Matt then flashes to the first time he met Harriet and he seems to fall for her immediately. He decides to write a sketch for her (he has yet to get a sketch on the air) and tries to impress her with his writing. While trying to impress her he unknowingly insults her christianity and later confides in his friend Luke (yep the Luke who Harriet is making a movie with). Luke informs Matt that he has seniority and that he is writing a sketch for Harriet as well. Back in reality Matt is confused because no one remembers Tim Batale. He goes to talk to the musical guest who gives him some pills and tells him that sometimes when she is high she hallucinates things that shhe could swear are real. Matt flashes back to the "friday night slaughter" where Wes decides what sketches stay in the show. Lukes skecth for Harriet stays in while Matts get cut. After everyone has left Matt sees Tim Batale looking forlornly at the board and Tim explains that he submitted a sketch to try to get his job back but it got cut before the dress. Back to real time Matt remembers that Tim always wore a blue shirt and kakhi pants. Matt goes to ask Andy if he remembers Tim. Andy tells Matt to look at the pictures and point him out, when Matt looks at the picture he sees that the person wearing a blue shirt and khakis is himself. (side note: Tim Batale is an anagram for Matt Albie)

    This episode showed that Matthew Perry has acting chops never before explored in his characters, I loved him before but I was amazed by his performance this week. The show ends with Matt taking some more pills right before the live broadcast, which I can only assume will lead to some trouble next week. Tune in and find out!
  • Great juxtaposition of Comedy and Drama. Powerful perfomance by Matt Perry. Psychologically insightful. Moving musical score. Interesting flash-backs. Great plot twist.

    I think this is one of the most compelling episodes of American television ever created. Matt Perry's acting was incredible - he brilliantly portrayed the character development of Matt Albie, he charmingly illustrated the initial chemistry between his charachter and Harriet Hayes, he convincingly expressed his depression over their breakup, and he evoked a realistic psychological edge to his character. His performance, combined with the emotionally moving ubiquitous musical score, produced one of the most gripping episodes that I have ever seen. The old cliche "I was at the edge of my seat" sums up my reaction to this episode perfectly. Also, I think Danny Tripp (being an ex-coke addict) noticed that Matt was on something in the writers room - he seemed like he was staring at his pupils quite a bit.
  • A great episode...

    This episode shows the history of the complicated relationship of Matt and Harriet. The awkward way they began to get to know each other was funny to watch. I really enjoyed the spotlight on the past of Matt and Studio 60. The subtle references to N'Sync and Lance Armstrong winning the Tour de France as a way of pin pointing the time period was clever. The fact that Matt, Harriet and Simon worked their way up from the bottom at the show makes them a lot more likable now. Tom and Dylan's attempt to get their sketch on the air was a humorous side note to the story. Matt's realization about his problem with pills will hopefully be a step forward for him. Can't wait till next week!