Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip

Season 1 Episode 9

The Option Period

Aired Monday 10:00 PM Nov 20, 2006 on NBC
out of 10
User Rating
271 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Word of Ricky and Ron planning to leave the show along with the writing staff causes trouble at Studio 60. Meanwhile, Harriet considers doing a sexy lingerie spread in a magazine and Jordan and Danny wrestle with pending budget cuts.

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  • Another good episode.

    The Option Period was another good episode of Studio 60. We all know that something's up with the writers, but we don't know what... and then we find out that there's an option period for one of the characters from one of the sketches, and Ricky and ...the other guy are working on that instead of working on the scripts for the show they're ~currently~ employed on.

    One of the things that made this episode so good was the fact that there's always been animosity between Matt/Danny and Ricky/Ron, so we all expect there to be a little vindictiveness, and for Matt to say, 'No, don't let them take it.' But the twist at the end is that he doesn't say that; he allows them to go with the character that he knows will fail as a sitcom, which means that while it looks like he's being nice, in fact, he's not. He's letting Ricky and Ron learn things the hard way, and I'm sure that we'll see them again later on in the season, when they come crawling back after their sitcom fails.moreless
  • Good show considering underwear and under-writers were the main themes.

    I guess that Matthew Perry is somewhat believable as a comedy writer. I mean he did co-star in a comedy. But what is the least bit funny about Ricky and Ron? One a snarling bald guy, the other a Lurch-type grinning goon. I was a little confused why Matt was conflicted on getting rid of the two guys that he hated the most. Oh well, then there's Harriet, the ditzy-blonde Christian stereotype, conflicted on whether or not to pose in a lingerie shoot while she is stalked and harranged by two of her co-stars. It's a good thing that I am one of those who find "West Wing" style drama very entertaining.moreless
  • This review is brought to you by TV.Com. TV.Com, for all of your Television needs.

    This show is exactly why I watch this series. The dialogue is top-notch, nothing better on TV right now. The dynamic between the cast members is outstanding. You actually believe that these people have known each other and worked with each other for years, not just 6 months. And the writing, especially in this episode, was fantastic. I truly enjoyed the constant bickering about product placement, while at the same time, the show was seemingly purposely putting in obvious product placement (the Mac computers, the Heinekin Beer) and I really enjoyed the not-so-subtle slams on SNL's "Tonight's musical guest brought to you by..." sponsorship. But it was the two side stories that really made me appreicate the show last night. I have been very cautious over where things were headed with the Harry. As a believer myself, I have been wary of the show becoming a platform to bash Christianity as intolerant and oppressive. And it certainly seemed to be headed that way over the last few weeks. And then when it was revealed that Harry was planning to pose for a skin mag, I feared that it was going to make Christians out to be hypocritical. But the exchange between Matt and Harry really impressed me. They were able to get to the heart of the matter in a way that allow Harry to maintain her belief system, while at the same time allow her to feel that being a Christian is important to some folks. I applaud the producers and writiers for doing this in today's TV culture.

    The second side story - Ricky and Ron leaving - was almost poignant. It explains why the show has made an effor to introduce Lucy and Darius in the last few weeks. But the most important scene in the storyline was when Ron explained why he remains loyal to Ricky, and when Matt made a last ditch effort to help them by suggesting the sidekick character. Yes, Matt is egotistical and a control-freak, but he also does care about the product and about the people behind the scenes. His efforts, while starting out selfish and self-centered, truly turned to concern for the well-being of others.

    I did pick up on the subtle (or not) shot at Tina Fey for leaving SNL to do a sitcom. It certainly wasn't coincidence that this storyline appeard on Studio 60. Although the timing certainly couldn't have been planned.

    I have been, and continue to be impressed with the ability of the cast to bring out these different emotions, while at the same time maintaining the humor and pace of the show. Kudos to Studio 60.moreless
  • Sorkin's rapid fire banter continues in this fantastic episode.

    Great, great exchanges between Amanda Peet, Matt Perry and Bradley Whitford's characters. Meanwhile, Harriet has a great subplot with Tom and Simon, and some heartfelt conversations with Matt and Harriet. This show just gets's actually cerebral and clever. I just hope NBC have the character and integrity to keep it on the air. The dialogue is crackling, and yep you have to concentrate, but it just improves each week. The chemistry between Matt and Danny is fabulous, and the nuances are terrific. Harriet and Matt still obviously still care for each other deeply. May this show just keep rating!!moreless
  • Overall it was a great episode, and some parts made me laugh really hard, but enough with the cheesiness already!

    It seems like Sorkin, who brought us Josh and Donna in The West Wing, one of the best played out sexual tensions in the history of television, has forgotten how to do it. There is just no way that Matt and Harriet would act so lovingly when they are broken up, and when just until very recently they were still trying to get back at each other. Maybe I am just a sucker for realism in portrayed human situations, but I think it can be widely acknowledged as too cheesy. Jordan and Danny, on the other hand, are just great, and the past few episodes really deepened the understanding of their relationship. I am definitely hoping for some well-written and well played-out interaction there.

    But again, it was a really good episode, that wasn't predictable, and that worked in the context of the show as a whole. Kudos for that.moreless
Lucy Davis

Lucy Davis

Lucy Kenwright

Recurring Role

Columbus Short

Columbus Short

Darius Hawthorne

Recurring Role

Ayda Field

Ayda Field

Jeannie Whatley

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (2)

    • Steven Weber, who plays Jack Rudolph, is listed in the opening credits but does not appear in this episode.

    • Throughout most of the show the countdown clock was on 6 days, 22 hours and some odd minutes and seconds. However at the very end the clock was back up to 6 days and 23 hours

  • QUOTES (5)

    • Matt: Do we have an answer on can Ricky and Ron be writing a pilot?
      Jordan: Kenny hasn't called back yet. It should be any minute.
      Matt: Alright, watch this.
      (Matt points his index fingers in the air and moves them slowly in small circles as he makes a humming noise and stares at Jordan's phone for about 3 seconds until he suddenly points both fingers at Jordan's phone and...)
      Matt: Ring!
      (Jordan's phone rings)
      Matt: There it is!
      Danny: Ah-hoh!
      (Danny spins around in a circle)
      Danny: Check it out!
      Matt: That, is mojo, baby!
      Danny: My boy's got skills!
      (Jordan, looking confused, answers her phone)
      Matt: Mad skills!
      Danny: That was sick!
      Matt: That was some Vulcan mind-meld mojo and I was right in the kitchen!
      Danny: I think you're a prophet.
      Matt: How do we find out somethin' like that?
      Danny: Things like this.
      (Danny points at Jordan, now on the phone, who has a finger in her ear, trying to hear her assistant)
      Matt: Where was that mojo when I needed it?
      Danny: You had it when you needed it!
      Matt: Get the audience back, let me do it again.
      (Jordan covering the mouthpiece)
      Jordan: Would you shut up!
      (Jordan uncovers the mouthpiece)
      Jordan: Yeah?
      Danny: I'm gonna take you on tour with that phone thing, you know.
      Matt: Once the show gets out there, you cannot get it back. You cannot un-ring a bell.
      Danny: It was a good show.
      Matt: Stop saying it was a good show!
      Jordan: Shhhh!
      Danny: We're talking quietly.

    • Harriet: (Knocking at Jeannie's door) Open the door Jeannie! Are you climbing out the window?
      Jeannie: (Opening the door) I'm not climbing out the window. I am not a child. I was pretending I wasn't here.

    • Harriet: People knock on closed doors in America! Were the two of you raised on a farm?
      Tom: I was.
      Simon: I was raised over a heroin dealership.
      Harriet: That's no excuse for bad manners.

    • Cal: We got to the goodnight's thirty-seven seconds early. Danny had to have Jessica Simpson fill. Nice girl, nice performer, don't want her to extemporize on our air. She had time to thank her pets, then asked us to pray for peace in the Midwest.
      Ron: I'm sure she meant the Middle East.
      Cal: I know she meant the Middle East!

    • Matt: I am psyched for this photo-shoot of yours.
      Harriet: I want to commission a scientific study of how news travels in this building.
      Matt: Hey, I'm not even sure there's such a thing as the Internet. It might just be Jeannie telling everyone stuff.

  • NOTES (3)

    • Music in this episode:

      "Closer" by Joshua Radin

    • Part of this episode's plot involved the network wanting to place various recognizable products in the sketches, as a way to increase promotional sales.

      During the previous week on NBC, two other shows- The Office and 30 Rock- had plot lines involving product advertising. In The Office, Kevin went on and on about how good his new document shredder from Staples was; on the shredder was a BRIGHT RED Staples label, and later, the same shredder was advertised on a commercial. Later, during 30 Rock, the writers are talking about how they are resistant to the idea of product identification in the sketches, yet during this discussion, they start talking about how good Snapple is.

    • Bradley Whitford does the "Previously on Studio 60" voiceover.


    • Ricky: (to Matt) We could write the damn 'Two Thousand Year Old Man' and you wouldn't recognize it cause it came from us.

      The Two Thousand Year Old Man is a famous comedy routine from the early 1960's, performed by Mel Brooks and Carl Reiner. Reiner would interview Brooks' character, the oldest man alive, about different historical events, which Brooks would spin in a number of directions. The sketches were very popular, given the talents for ab-libbing that both Brooks and Reiner possess, and spawned several comedy albums and television appearances.

    • Jordan: (to Danny) Do business? What am I? From the Tattaglia Family?

      The Tattaglia crime family is one of five major crime families in The Godfather books and movies.

    • Matt: ...but I also didn't anticipate Fox airing a contest of strength between an elephant and a group of dwarfs.

      He is referring to the Fox TV special, Man vs. Beast. The show had a variety of challenges where humans would compete with animals. One of the competitions was between 44 little people and an 8,800 lb. African elephant, they raced to see who could pull a commercial jet airliner a set distance the quickest.

    • Matt: That was some Vulcan mind-meld mojo.
      A mind-meld is a procedure from the fictional Star Trek universe. Performed by Vulcans, they are used to share thoughts and memories between two individuals.

    • Quention Tarantino's Hallmark Movie: "Turkey Won't Die" (about a mortally wounded Turkey that won't die even while being served) was disturbing and not funny because props used a "realistic" amount of blood rather than an "absurd" amount of blood. This alludes to the SNL sketch where Julia Child (played by Dan Aykroyd) cuts herself while preparing a chicken and a ridiculous amount of blood spurts from the wound.

    • In the scene with Harriet, Tom and Simon talking in the make up room a "Vote for Bartlett" poster can be seen on the wall.

      Bartlett is the fictional president on the Aaron Sorkin show "West Wing", which featured many of the main and guest stars from Studio 60, but is not a cross-over.