Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip

Season 1 Episode 14

The Harriet Dinner (2)

Aired Monday 10:00 PM Feb 05, 2007 on NBC

Episode Fan Reviews (13)

Write A Review
out of 10
231 votes
  • Too cute.

    Watching a show on DVD, knowing it has been cancelled, you look out for signs of what went wrong, especially if you're a fan of the creator's previous hit, The West Wing.

    Though I enjoy the series, I can see why it didn't work. It couldn't make up its mind about it wanted to be. This episode supplies enough proof of that. The romantic scenes never really work. The relationship between Danny and Jordan seems contrived, the one between Matt and Harriet is just plain irritating. I couldn't believe either. What's more, they diverted your attention from the bigger themes of the show. (In the West Wing they came about a lot more realistically. The Matt-Harriet relationship seems to be an excuse for discussions about left and right.)

    The subtle balance between drama and comedy that West Wing achieved at times, is completely missing here. The snake escaping under the floor and all of its consequences, that quickly becomes absurd. Jordan throwing away the stone that contained the key, that's straight from 'I Love Lucy'. And who couldn't see the painful meeting of Tom and Lucy at the dinner coming?

    A big story line is the attempt to keep the Chinese businessman as an investor, with his daughter throwing herself at Tom. This is pure screwball comedy, ... with a Capra-esk ending. It turns out the businessman spoke English all along. He understands the good intentions of the staff of Studio 60 and its network, and is willing to take a chance. A nice feeling to end the episode with. Too cute, not enough bite.
  • He speaks English... knew that was coming.

    Better than the previous episode but not up to their usual standards. Kim acting like a drunk teenager was getting annoying. Steven Weber was great. We need more of him and Ed Asner together. Jordan and Danny was starting to get old until they were rescued. Her faking him out was a nice change of pace.
  • I would watch it again and again and again!

    Great episode! One of the best really. Jordan and Danny were still stuck on the roof for the whole episode. Their dialog up there was great, the writers of this show are very creative, I love them! At the end Jordan confessed to Danny that she was crazy about him with a little note, and then he went after her and the kissed. Very sweet moment right there, loved it. Matt and Harriet were pretty much fighting all the way through the episode. It made me sad really because you can totally tell they're in love. Those two actors have great chemestry. Those were my two favorite storylines really, but all of them were very good and got my interest. Great episode!
  • An interesting installment made me really wonder about Harriet; a new view of her personality.

    OK I have to ask Harriet one thing. Did she really all true for words love Matt? Because if she really did she would know that Matt, the guy who hates hypocrisy, would not lie about love. I mean jeez woman. Now she is an example of why men think that women are complete mysteries. OK I understand that how he tried to tell her that he really loved her again was not necessarily the best way but its the thought that counts. Its as though she doesn't think about how anything affects him but rather on how it affects her and only her. It seems that though out the relationship she thinks that its just about her. In fact I feel sorry for Matt and I hope that the Writers give him a new gf.
  • A predictable, and very disappointing, end to the chase

    This is effectively the final part of a long arc that deals with the evolution of Danny’s relationship with Jordan and the concurrent breakdown of Matt’s relationship with Harriet. While the changes in one relationship make sense, given the situation and the characters involved, the other plot thread seems almost inexplicable. The result is an unsatisfying hour that does not bode well for the future of the series.

    Bradley Whitford is very good at playing arrogant authoritative characters, as his stint on “West Wing” clearly indicates. His long relationship with Donna was marked by a seemingly unending string of comments regarding his superiority and a sense of entitlement a mile long. That’s not to say that the crazy kids weren’t meant for each other. It just means that we’re used to seeing Whitford play the role rather well, and there’s a simply basis for comparison.

    The difference in this case is an important detail. Josh was Donna’s superior, which meant that there was no relationship until they were working for other people and conflicts of interest were resolved. Now, Whitford plays the subordinate, even if he’s a highly paid executive producer. Jordan is his boss, and as she deftly points out, there are issues involved with any potential relationship.

    Jordan actually outlines a long list of reasons why the relationship should never, ever happen, Those particular reasons are still valid by the end of the episode. Nothing Danny says is a good counter-argument to the massive amount of trouble that any relationship between them would create. And more to the point, Danny doesn’t seem all that sincere in his repentant about his methods, which crossed the line. (Yes, he apologized, but it had gone beyond that point.)

    So when Jordan chose to reveal her own interest in Danny at the end of the episode, it doesn’t feel earned. In fact, it seems deeply contradictory to everything leading up to that point. Either we’re meant to believe that Danny won her over through persistence, or that Jordan was testing Danny all along. None of that makes the relationship particularly healthy.

    At least Harriet managed to give Matt the crushing blow to his ego that he so desperately deserved. Matt may have a number of good qualities, but they seldom seem to come out where Harriet becomes involved. This should be interesting because Matt is creatively driven by his unusual relationship with Harriet. So long as he’s struggling to win her heart and respect, he pushes himself. With none of that hope remaining at this point, just how will his ability to write for the show be affected?

    Three other subplots get a sense of resolution before the end. Perhaps the most important is Jack’s attempt to use Kim to get something from her father. After some amusing complications in the previous episode, this falls apart well before the end. The only moment remotely satisfying was the revelation that Kim’s father could speak English. Otherwise, Jack manages to win without really earning it. In that respect, it’s very similar to Danny’s win with Jordan. (Even Tom manages to win with Lucy in a spectacularly unlikely manner.)

    Simon’s issue with Darius gets some minor clarification, but it still feels like Sorkin and the rest of the writing staff tried to tell a story without actually bringing up the topic at the center of the story. I’m also still wondering why Simon needed to be such a massive jerk while making his point, and while Darius thought it was acceptable to be treated so badly. Simon may have had a point, and might have been feeling responsible for getting Darius to step up, but something organic was missing from the execution.

    The final subplot is Cal’s attempt to hide the truth about the snake, ferret, and coyote. While there are some funny moments here and there, especially when Cal starts saying anything off the top of his head. But like the subplot with Kim, it seemed to fizzle out by the end. It led to an interesting enough montage at the end, with an odd song choice (another Christmas selection?), but when the credits finally rolled, it was all less than satisfying.
  • One of the best episodes of studio 60 by far.

    Hands down a really well written show. All of the questions from two episodes ago were answered. Tom and Lucy fix things and Tom finally realizes that he should have told the truth in the first place. Jordan and Danny found out that they are both crazy for each other. Zhang Tao is on board to help NBS and help out Jack. Darius and Simon finally work out their differences and are finally on the same page, even though Simon still treats him with a little less respect than he should be getting. Matt and Harriet still are fighting. Matt finally realizes that he still loves Harriet and that he wants a second, or well I guess it would be a 50th chance with Harriet. He realizes this at the end of the episode, but as the episode ends, you see Harriet looking distraught, maybe this is a sign that they might get back together. who knows!
  • Danny and Jordan finally kiss! Harriet and Matt are over for good (or so they claim). Tom still has problems with Kim and trying to tell Lucy the truth. Cal has animals galore under the stage.

    This episode proves how underrated Studio 60 is. My favorite moment was when Jordan slipped the paper into Danny's watch that said "I'm crazy about you" and the kiss. I have been waiting for that for so long and they did it so well. I was sad to see the Matt and Harriet parts because I love them as a couple, but I don't think they're really over. And poor Tom AGAIN! Kim just kept throwing herself to him and he just wanted to explain to Lucy. And the whole animals under the stage thing, that was horrible. And of course, it ended up costing so much more than it would have to film elsewhere. All in all, a great episode, especially the Danny/ Jordan parts :)
  • Sorkin shows us why he's the man at creating complex storylines as brings past episodes to some closure, and breaks down barriers (or the stage) to move the show forward...

    I'd been hoping that the first two parts of this three-part arc were prodding us towards an awesome third part, and Sorkin delivered yet again. The king of complex relationships, Sorkin brought one couple together, one couple closer, and tore one couple apart -- in one of the most compelling episodes this season.

    Lucy, after discovering Tom's lies in part 1 of the Harriet Dinner, tries to divert the inevitable "I'm sorry" by continually saying not now to Tom when he walked up to her. Then, Tom, in an act of manly prowess, said, "Yes, now." When asked if he realistically thought there'd be no chance of her going to the event, he said no, because she was too low down on the totem pole. His blunt honestly apparently appealed to him, and they moved their date to Sunday. Lesson learned: Honesty is the best policy.

    In other comedy-sketch actor/writer news, Simon continued to harass Darius about refusing his sketch. After scaring all the other writers out of the room, Darius was ready to throw down. Simon avoided this, however, explaining to Darius that he saw him first as a writer, then as black. But that he can't disappoint him anymore. Darius was apparently appeased by this, in what I thought was one of the more disappointing conclusions of the episode. Lesson learned(?): When your "superior" tells you what to do, you listen???? Even if he may be wrong???

    Next, we had Danny and Jordan stuck on the roof. Jordan basically makes Danny come clean about his feelings for her, by saying things such as it's just a physical attraction -- to which he basically replies, she's getting kind of big, being the pregnant lady that she is -- and that it's just him feeling good from his drug sobriety and he'll get sick of this in 4 months, but feel bad b/c she's very pregnant at that point, and then he winds up staying for years, until they just can't stand it anymore -- to which he says, with complete conviction, that she's wrong. The tide really turns for Jordan, though, when he makes fun of her magic tricks. She really proved him wrong though, when she shook his hand after Cal finally freed them from the roof and left him an "I'm crazy about you" note, which Danny found minutes later so he could run around the studio looking for her. They kiss, everyone sighs with happiness. Lesson learned: You should rely on fate to lock you on a roof so you can find true love. Also, magic tricks can be a turn on.

    Lastly, we turn to Matt and Harriet who didn't have such a happy ending. The truth comes out that Harriet wanted him to propose, which he never did, and that she doesn't think he every meant it when he said they loved her. She also reveals that she has been thinking about being with Luke again, and that she feels guilty because of Matt. Matt can't get over the fact that she's thinking about another man, so he bumbles his presentation introducing Harry. One things seems clear: things are rocky here. Lesson learned: Don't try to tell a joke when you just found out the love of your life is thinking about sex with another man.

    The episode ends with a montage, as the stage is broken apart to free Studio 60's zoo of animals, a non-so-subtle sign that things are ch-ch-changing. Lesson learned: snakes in the studio are not such a good idea, especially if you don't like ferrets and coyotes.
  • This show is on a sharp downward turn and as many have pointed out, it's the lazy writing and political mess that has pulled the show down. These two factors and little else come into play in this episode and the result is by far the worst episode yet.

    I have issues with the politics of the show, as well as why this series about a sketch show is political in the first place, but you can debate that to no end on the forums. I seek to explain exactly why this episode is bad to everyone, not just those that align with my political views.

    The writing is apathetic at best, and I've got a few examples to prove it: we've seen two romantically linked characters on a roof and a woman catching a man on a date with another woman are two situations you'd pull out of a bag labelled 'humour' in one episode. There are hundreds more examples to take from the series, but just those two should sway you. They're two the biggest examples of the lazy writing used to accomodate the weak storyline, headlined by two-dimensional characters each defined by their uniquely vague political views but shared unrealistic nobility. I'm just disappointed that it's such a contrived mess and trying to take off from its roots as a series about making a show without the characters or storyline nescessary to pull it off.

    The end of 'The Harriet Dinner (2)' was also some of the worst TV I've seen in a while. Danny running to Jordan, her "look behind you", Tom and Jack having a drink and cigar, not to mention "and you'll get that punchline too" set to a stupid metaphor for Danny's heart and the music you'd expect to take you into the credits of an 80's movie.
  • Snakes, ferrets, and coyotes! Danny and Jordan, Matt and Harriet, Tom and Lucy! LOVED IT!!!

    I am so excited after this episode! This is exactly what I have been waiting for! Danny and Jordan getting together. Matt and Harriet realizing they shouldn't be together. Different storylines developing so that maybe they'll pull new viewers in. It made me very happy. I seriously sat straight up when I saw that piece of paper in Danny's hand!!! :D And Matt bombing his speech and that joke, so uncharacteristic. I liked how we got to see some of the backstory of his and Harriet's relationship and how much she really gets to him, but then how much she hurts him at the same time.

    Really I'm just ecstatic that Danny and Jordan are getting together finally! And she was talking about marriage and everything else, geez girl...but whatever. It's cool with me. :)
  • Storylines from the previous two episodes, as well as the past months, finally come together.

    The thing that amazes me most when looking back on Aaron Sorkin's work in Sports Night and The West Wing is how he develops characters and storylines over the course of months and years, not just episodes. This conclusion to the three-part story arc not only connects the dots to some of the new storylines, but some of the old as well.

    What this episode will be remembered for is its depth. Harriet and Matt's relationship no longer has the silly feel to it - there is real reasons for the tension between them. Danny calming Jordan's fears honestly and the hookup were key (and who knew she could do magic?). Lucy and Tom have a Sunday date (still time to screw that up though!) and Simon finally gets into Darius' head. Again, if you could watch the season so far, from episode 1 to now, all of this makes sense.

    I was always curious about Jack and the China deal. During Nevada Day I, I felt that this plot line was completely irrelevant and could not imagine where they would be going with it. Again, wonderful connections made. Plus, Sorkin showed the man (can't spell his name) smiling when the judge called them Japanese. I thought from that point he could speak English and would eventually come out in the second part of that episode. But, by saving it, there were great moments of Jack having to learn some Chinese, the translation games, and so on. Sorkin knows what he is doing, and I am enjoying it!

    The show is finally starting to show its promise. Relationships are what drive shows - not necessarily what the main focus could be on (in this case, behind the scenes of late night tv; in TWW, politics, Sports Night, sports TV show). I find myself caring more about these characters every episode. With Sorkin, it just takes time.
  • Moving things forward ...

    I know this is part two, of a three part arc - and I can't wait to see what comes next! I absolutely love the pairings on this show - and truly hope that Matt & Harriet can work it out, as well as Tom & Lucy. A pivotal episode indeed, with STUNNING revelations about the Chinese businessman (and it's a 9.5 instead of a 10 because I'm sick of the slutty needy prodigy daughter ...)

    I really, really like this show - it's actually managed to make me laugh out loud, and it stars a re-pairing of two of my favorite actresses, Amanda Peet and Sarah Paulson, who worked together on the very short lived WB show, Jack & Jill (which also starred Jamie Pressley and Ivan Sergei!) Bottomline, I can see that they're still setting a lot up, and I hope this witty, intelligent show isn't yanked out of the lineup before it truly hits it's stride. It always makes me love a show when they don't treat the viewer like brainless morons, and explain every last little thing. (for example, Simon calling the newbie "Kunta Kinte" - we all know what that means, thanks for NOT explaining it! *If you don't know, look it up. you should know.)
  • excellent

    loved it.. though it is becoming a little painful to watch Harriet and matt figuring things out..still this episode was good.. every minute of it ..the snake, ferret and yodee the coyote bit l0oo0l .. i had a feeling this was kim's last episode i hope to god it to the core of this episode danny and'd never know the way she was acting around him that she'd end up slipping that note totally unexpected i never thought she'd budge let alone write what she did in that note ..she had to know for a while which means that she felt this way about him waaaay before they got trapped on the roof ..clever how she slipped it under his wrist watch funny what a little magic can do.