Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip

Season 1 Episode 13

The Harriet Dinner (1)

Aired Monday 10:00 PM Jan 29, 2007 on NBC

Episode Fan Reviews (11)

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  • I love this episode for the same reason I love this series. It throws you into what appears to be another normal (i.e. hilariously hectic) day at Studio 60 and yet they still manage to throw yet another curve ball out from left field straight at you!

    In this episode, we see where the promise Jack Rudolph made to Zhang Tao actually leads and it is the funniest part of this episode which is why I'll focus on it. For those of you who are just tuning in, in last weeks episode, Jack asked Zhang for a favor: to cancel the deal NBS is about to make with him regarding Macao. In exchange for this favor, Jack told Zhang that he will get Zhang's daughter, Kim, to not leave Julliard (she's a viola prodigy) and start doing improvisational comedy much to the horror of her father who is very proud of her. Her we get to see Jack lay it all out to Tom Jeter, whom, we all know, Kim Tao has a major crush on. Jack tells Tom to take Kim as a date to the awards banquet, where Harriet is getting an award on Thursday, where he will not touch her in a sexual manner and tell her that a life in comedy is a life of rejection, unemployment, blah, blah, blah. But none of this goes according to plan. Tom sees Kim at the awards banquet but UH-OH!!! Kim is not the cute, little 20 year-old she was whence we last saw her. Now she is wearing red lipstick, did something with her hair although I'm not sure what it was exactly, and she's wearing a sexy-ass dress that clearly accentuates her cleavage, of which she has plenty of. Needless to say, Julia Ling, the wonderful actress that plays Kim Tao, is Smokin' Hot! In her case, that phrase ought to be trademarked. Here are two quotes from the episode which I got of the quotes page here at for this episode. Tom: Kim, you're twenty years-old, right?
    Kim: Uh huh.
    Tom: Well, just 'cause I'm a little responsible for you tonight, I wanted to tell you that the legal drinking age in California is twenty-one.
    Kim: What's the age for taking you back to my hotel room and dancing for you?
    Simon: Eighteen.
    Tom: Thank you. And then theres:

    Jack: Hi, Tom.
    Tom: Tell him I'm being a gentleman!
    Kim: He's an animal.
    Tom: I'm not an animal!
    Jack: Progress report.
    Tom: I'm doing my best!
    Jack: Your best isn't going to do it, Tom. You're going to need to do somebody else's best. At this point I was laughing pretty hard. Kim goes on to say to Tom, “Let's talk about that cute little ass of yours.” at which point I just started laughing so hard I almost cried. This is one of the best episodes of this series so far, right next to the pilot and s01e11 which is the episode where Wilson White gives his perfect monologue completely and totally dissing the FCC and their spineless ass. Whoo-hoo!!! That means you know it's good! Oh, by the way; all of this is happening while Matt and Jordan are stuck on the roof, Tom is lying to Lucy about why he can't make their date, and there's a poisonous viper on the loose in the studio. How do they do it?! Watch the episode. I gurantee, you're gonna like what you see ;)
  • Danny and Jordan get stuck on the roof when he tries to apologize. Matt and Harriet fight over Matt bidding because he thought Luke was going to win. Tom has to cancel his date with Lucy and Lucy finds out the real reason.

    This episode didn't have much action, but you can tell everything was setting up for the next episode. I thought the Danny and Jordan stuff was great, but I'm a huge fan of them as a couple, so that's probably why. I love Matt and Harriet together, so I'm sad that she ended things officially, but I can see her reasons. Matt was bidding on her because Luke was bidding on her, even if Matt really does like her (which he obviously does) And poor Tom!!! I felt so bad for him! I mean, he finally gets up the courage to ask Lucy out, she says yes, and then everything gets screwed. Even so, great episode that I know is going to lead to a major one.
  • i love the to be continued episodes..puts you on edge

    so now that i have watched a good amount of episodes from this show .. which is one of my top 5 shows..this episode is a fair example for why i keep watching it ..its great had a little something for everybody .. i loved the lost snake bit trying to figure out where its gonna turn out ..who's it gonna bite :P . and Matt is just hilarious in a childish way trying to compete for Harriet basically i liked everything in this episode ..except for jang's daughter kim .. seriously her part is a total waste. i hope she leaves soon.
  • oooh I love it!

    It was a very good episode for me. We had a few things going on, first we had Danny and Jordan with their thing that they have now. By the end of the episode they were stuck on the roof of the studio, and it looked like they weren’t really having all that fun. Then we had Mat and Harriet, who were together at some party that was being thrown to honor Harriet. Mat had won her as a date after bidding against, who he thought was, Luke but who actually was just some 15 year old kid. Harriet did not like that one at all, and by the end of the episode it looked like she has definitely had enough of this Mat stuff. The episode was to be continued so I obviously can’t wait to see what will happen on the next one.
  • Maybe a little on the slow side, but Sorkin's clearly moving the pieces around on his chess board to get ready for something big...

    I have to admit to being a little bit disappointed still in the route that Studio 60 is taking. The storyline is still progressing more slowly than I would have hoped. I am still going to keep watching because I know the team of Schlamme and Sorkin won't ultimately disappoint us. That said, there were many good points for me last night. The Tom/Lucy storyline was cute and refreshing....even if you could see from a mile away that Matt's advice to Tom to lie to Lucy was going to go astray. I thought the girl playing Tom's admirer was very funny in her tequila-stricken state. I can't wait to see how things progress from there.

    Also, I was extremely glad to see more of Timothy Busfield's Cal. He is so inherently funny; just by being on the screen, he amuses me. Big cliffhanger of the night: where will the missing snake turn up, or has it been eaten by the ferret, or has the ferret been eaten by the coyote? I also enjoyed Harriet calling Matt on his actions, or lack thereof in the past, and how nothing ever changes between them. Good for her; a change in their dynamics might just be what the show needs to be a tad more exciting in coming weeks. Darius and Simon's interactions were also Sorkin-worthy as Simon's punishing of Darius continues. I hope Darius continues to stand up for himself, and stand behind what he sees as comedy, even if that might not coincide with Simon's opinions.

    Lastly, Danny and Jordan....I'm glad to see Jordan hesitating a little when Danny said he was going to stop wooing her....her response of "well" makes us she that perhaps she has feelings for Danny too. Is she just afraid of owning up to them (like maybe he'll leave her just when she starts to depend on him), or is she worried that his feelings are just protective and pitiful, as she mentioned? Either way, I was glad to see Danny back to being "the man." That whole stalker thing last week freaked me out a bit, but he seems to be coming to his senses. And him not pursuing her might be just what it takes for her to pursue him.

    So, all in all, it was a decent episode. I think Sorkin is setting us up with great things to come shortly!
  • Hiro saves Studio 60!

    One of the best scene form the episode comes when a viper escape into a sewer. It may not be like thye movie "Snakes on a Plane," but it came pretty close. Next week, we'll know whatever they catch the viper or not. The two relationships continue to take form. Danny and Jordan is trapped on the top floor with all the doors locked. Meanwhile, harriet and Matt relationship take a turn. Harriet is warm up for the Catholic Awards in Entertainment. Even if she's isn't a catholic. Oh Well! Next week, stuck at the top floor and a snake on the lose, Part two will indeed be intresting.
  • Not up to usual standard

    Pretty much a filler episode except for Danny and Jordan stuck on the roof. And Matt and Harriet fighting at the awards banquet. The snake getting loose was way over done. Love Timothy Busfield and this was not good enough for him. Hopefully every thing wraps up nicely on next week's episode.
  • Well... that's not exactly true

    Things happened last night. Important things in terms of story development, but it was just sort of eh. I really love the energy of this show; the pacing, the revelations, the intertwining of storylines, and I was glad to see it back last week after hiatus. But this episode in particular was just a little boring. Not bad mind you. Danny and Jordan's story did in fact take the requisite romantic comedy scene. Matt and Harriet's story was predictable as well.
    More importantly, I have no problem with romantic connotations to these characters relationships, but they don't work well enough to carry the show. The controversies and deadlines are far more intriguing to me.
    One highlight was Lucy's honest reactions throughout the evening.
  • I don't know if i watch it because Perry is in it or if I like the show.

    I'm writing my first review here on so be nice. How ever, I guess this will be a review of this episode and also a few comments on what I think about the show in general.

    About this Episode.
    The show continues to use the ironic touched dialogs witch reminds me of Perry as Chandler in Friends, or maybe I want it to be. Well, lets say he is like Chandler, but just a little less ironic and overall not as funny as in Friends. "Danny" makes a classic move to lock him self on the roof with "Jordan", the girl that he loves, and I'm guessing we'll see a kiss next week. Overall it's 5-6 individual conflicts going on in the show at the moment. Matt and Harriet about love, Danny and Jordan about love, Jack and Tom about a fan, along with the Chinese family. Simon and the new male writer, respect issues? Tom and the new female writer about love. Also the new girl at NBS who came up with the new reality show and Jordan, Jordan doesn't like her.
    Feels like it's a relationship-show today and I don't know what it is I like about it, if its Perry or the whole show. But its nice to watch and I will continue.

    About the show in general.
    I'm sure I started watching the show because Perry was in it. I loved him in Friends, he was awsome in that Bruce Willis movie where Bruce is like a serial killer. Don't remember the name. Although I've started to like alot more then just Perry in Studio 60. Amanda Peet as Jordan is wonderfull, I understand Danny for falling in love with her. I could see Matthew Perry as a writer outside the show and for some reason I see this as being his future after television, writing comedy for movies or tv-shows, I'm pretty sure he would be good at it.

    Over and out.
  • More like a middle chapter than pure set-up

    According to various sources, the previous episode was the first part of a three-episode arc. Now this episode is listed as the first part of a two-episode arc. Someone needs to make up their mind and figure out how they want to promote the current episodes, because this is only leading to confusion among the TV critic community.

    On the other hand, the structure of this episode suggests that it is, in fact, the middle of a three-part story, regardless of how it is referenced. After all, the majority of the plot and character threads are directly dependent on the set-up from the previous episode, and all of those items remain unresolved at the end of the hour. That leaves the episode on somewhat shaky ground, as is the case for most middle chapters.

    The most controversial element of the previous episode had to be Danny’s stalker-esque behavior. Many people objected to his methods and unapologetic manner, while others steadfastly refused to judge it beyond the confines of romanticism. This episode manages to correct some errors and compound others. While Danny recognizes that he stepped over the line, he still acts with an inflated sense of entitlement (which is, to be fair, inherent to his character). Unfortunately, the oldest trick in the romantic comedy book is employed to force Danny and Jordan into a bubble to work things out.

    Now, it doesn’t count as clever just because Sorkin and the writing staff admitted to the fact that they were falling on cliché. It’s a fairly common way to gloss over the lack of originality: point out the cliché in a knowing fashion to make it seem less egregious. I’m hopeful that Sorkin is willing to avoid the most obvious resolution to this particular plot thread, though it is almost certainly going to end with Danny and Jordan in a relationship.

    The only person who seemed to think Danny should stick to his guns was Matt, which is a fairly good sign of his own lack of perspective. Certainly no one would mistake his efforts for anything remotely mature (and he would likely be the first to admit it). It’s good to see him called on his ridiculous antics, even if it was painful to watch. Harriet finally came to the realization that she was aiding and abetting Matt’s jealousy through her own comfort with the behavior, and it was not a pretty sight.

    Of course, this could lead to an interesting change of pace. Danny’s effectiveness is tied to his decisiveness. He’s all in on whatever he does (which, in turn, explains much about his addictive personality). He decided he wanted Jordan, so he went way over the top. He might very well succeed, which would put his universe back in order and make him that much more effective.

    On the other hand, Matt’s creative flow is fueled by his antagonistic relationship with Harriet. He needs to be caught in that obsessive and jealous state to get his job done. It’s not even remotely healthy or sane, but it’s something inherent to the character. Without the hope of winning her affection, Matt doesn’t have that desire to raise the bar. If Harriet really is ready to shut Matt down once and for all, it could have a profound effect.

    All that said, both Matt and Danny have been so open about their respective relationship-fueled neuroses that it’s hard to imagine that anyone would listen to their advice. Yet Tom walks right into the most obvious mistake in the book. Sure, Tom would have sounded like an idiot by telling the truth, absurd as it is, but at least he could have gathered witnesses and support to convince Lucy of his honesty. Now he’s been caught with his pants down (well, not quite yet, but Kim’s working on it rather persistently).

    The remaining material is split between two minor subplots. Cal’s struggle to keep the snake situation under control is very funny, and surprisingly, it originates with an idea that I found quite amusing. The tension between Simon and Darius is far less entertaining. The point that Sorkin is trying to make is largely lost, because Simon is being a complete jerk in the process of making it. One gets the impression that this is an important statement about the minority voice in entertainment, but when it’s buried under all the relationship angst and dominated by a petulant attitude, I fear that message is being lost.
  • Cliches abound, marring otherwise good stories as the Darius/Simon storyline takes a bad turn too.

    Aaron Sorkin is an incredibly talented writer, we all know that. So it hurts immensely that he is bringing himself down to such ridiculous cliches as in this episode:

    *Danny and JOrdan locked on a rooftop.
    *Matt finding out Luke wasn't the other bidder and Harriet fighting with him over it. *Tom lying over his date and getting found out about it.
    *The date TOm didn't want fawning over him. And the snake? Oh man...that was just too, too ridiculous.

    The thing is, the show can work. I was annoyed as hell at the last ep when Jordan tells Danny that she won't respond but Danny says he won't stop, which is just stalker behavior. But now they really talk about it with her bringing up his problems with his behavior, which is good. I just wish there were better circumstances to do it.

    As for the Simon/Darius story, I liked how it started, Darius standing up for himself. But now it looks like Sorkin thinks Simon is the one in the right, that Darius is "Uncle Tom" for not wanting to do black sketches which is just wrong. Masi's cameo was good and I liked how they used one of the "joke" takes as the real thing over Harriet's objections. I thought that once they got off the soapbox and focused on characters, things would improve but now it just shows how weakly fleshed out the characters are. Hopefully this can improve but I'm still disapointed Sorkin has come down to such trite stuff.