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...
-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