Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip

Season 1 Episode 9

The Option Period

Aired Monday 10:00 PM Nov 20, 2006 on NBC

Episode Fan Reviews (14)

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out of 10
271 votes
  • Not their best.

    Honestly nothing happened in this episode. Other than referring to the previous episode a few times. Harry was trying to decide whether she was going to do the semi-nude pictures. Ricky and Ron leaving was no big surprise. Although I loved the guy that used to be on Sex and the City.
  • Much better than the last few episodes...

    In an odd move, Sorkin decided to make this episode something of an epilogue to his “Nevada Day” two-parter. The surprising thing is that it works better than the two episodes that came before it. The pacing is much better this time around, and by the time the episode is over, the audience is left reeling at how quickly things have gone from bad to worse for Matt and Danny.

    If Sorkin dealt with the mass exodus of his writing staff on another series, I have no knowledge of it. Unfortunately, it seems like the extreme but logical consequence of Matt and Danny’s return to power. As Ron said, Ricky was essentially ruling the roost before Matt came back, and for better or worse, that should have granted him a conversation about the future, if nothing else. Instead, he was beaten down professionally and personally. It’s easy to see why he’d be able to convince the senior writers that they were equally undesirable.

    I imagine that the success or failure of Peripheral Vision Man will continue to fester in the background, especially if Studio 60 begins to falter from the lack of creative diversity. With Matt focused so strongly on the writing and his relationship to Harriet, it falls to Danny to keep things in order. But it looks like Danny is distracted by a desire to help Jordan keep her job. Part of the fun is watching them do this high-wire act, but I see some painful moments ahead.

    I’m beginning to fall in love with Jordan as a character. It doesn’t hurt that Amanda Peet is easy on the eyes, but it’s more her attitude and apparent naiveté. Was Jamie Tarses like this in the real world? She seems genuinely shocked at the prospect of being fired so soon, all while displaying a powerful stubborn streak and a lack of social skills. It doesn’t quite fit with the polished and confident Jordan from the pilot, but I think I like this more. I’m just a little worried that the decision to incorporate Peet’s pregnancy will derail the character development.

    While the inspiration for the mass exodus of the writing staff or Jordan’s personal struggles may be not clear, the inspiration for the subplot involving Harriet and the lingerie shoot is all too obvious. Just as the fallout from Harriet’s gay marriage statement was an echo of something that happened to Kristen Chenoweth, the whole lingerie shoot issue seems all too similar to the discussion and criticism of Chenoweth’s decision to pose for FHM. It’s a little disappointing to think that Sorkin is still using this series as an expensive outlet for wish fulfillment.

    (As a sidenote: I also have a new podcast associated with my various reviews called “Velocity TV”. Current episodes cover “Studio 60”, so it might be something of interest. Go to if you want to listen!)
  • The show's rough patches continue as Sorkin continues to use Harriet as a stand-in for his ex-girlfriend.

    Every time I want to love this show, it disapoints me. I am really getting tired of Harriet, a wonderful character, being used for Sorkin to get his feelings over Kirsten out. The whole thing of her wanting to pose was way drawn out but did have one moment where Tom tells her point-blank that she's the show's "cover" for getting out of trouble with Christian groups and her being hurt by it. Even in these rough patches, Sorkin's talents can show through which makes this so frustrating. The Ricky and Ron bit was expected but all it does is fuel Matt's ego that only he knows what's best for the show. Which wouldn't be as bad if it wasn't for the fact he's yet to write anything actually FUNNY! At least that female writer is kept who I like. The whole talk about the show's finances was what the series should have been doing, delving more into the backstage goings on rather than Sorkin getting on his soapbox. And the part of using the set billboards to sell advertising was actually clever. I want to really like this show but I'm also seeing it's not as good as it could be as long as Sorkin keeps pushing his ideas of what good TV is and keeps having Harriet be a stand-in for an ex-girlfriend. If he can get over those, the show can be what we've hoped it could be.
  • 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!!
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Bad is good, good is bad, and the problem at the end is the opposite of the one in the beginning. Three separate subplots are deftly handled as the focus of this episode shifts away from the show within the show to the characters themselves. Spoilers.

    This episode begins at the end of the show they were struggling to write and cast when Simon, Danny, and Tom were spending the day in Pahrump, Nevada with Jack Randolph, an NBS lawyer, a Chinese investor, and Judge John Goodman. In the first subplot, Tom and Simon try and fail to talk Harriet out of doing a sexy lingerie photoshoot only to have Matt come in at the end, quicky identify the real cause behind her temporary insanity, and convince her that the pictures would be a bad idea.

    In the second subplot, the fact that the show went badly and they ran out of script before the ran out of time quickly becomes a minor issue as Matt discovers that Ricky and Ron have been writing a pilot for their own series, a spinoff from their Peripheral Vision Man sketch, which we know from the pilot wasn't funny. Matt tries to talk them out of it because it is going to bomb, which will reflect badly on him and Studio 60 and leave the Ricky and Ron out of work at a time when the network is making budget cuts. When a furious and resentful Ricky is determined to go anyway, (and take most of the writing staff with him) Matt generously offers Ron some advice for improving the spinoff.

    In the final subplot, Jordan comes to Danny with news about network budget cuts that will be necessary to make the deal in China go through. He must either fire fifteen people or generate added revenue through product placement (having advertisers' prodducts and brands show up in the show itself, not just in commercials.) Danny balks at the idea of firing people because Studio 60 is one of the networks best-performing shows. Since their making more money than anybody, they shouldn't have to cut their budget. He also resents the idea of product placement because Studio 60 can't very well poke fun at the establishment if they become the establishment. Just about the time Cal solves the problem of product placement for them, Matt arrives to tell them that the writing staff is leaving to work for Ricky and Ron.

    The possible firing of Jordan McDeere is only briefly mentioned in the end to give us a nice cliffhanger for next week.

    I missed seeing Jack Rudolph and Wilson White, but their presence was certianly felt throughout the conversation between Danny and Jordan. I also missed Jeanie and other members of the cast of the show within a show, but the great thing about this big ensemble cast is that these people can all get a look in next week while some of tonight's players take a break.
  • STUDIO 60 KEEPS ON KEEPIN ON! The heads of the show are annoyed when Ricky & Ron don't switch the Final Draft format and the script makes the show run short! Jessica Simpson (host) fills with "Peace in the Midwest"!!! And Harriet wants to po

    This was a tremendously entertaining episode of STUDIO 60 with pressure to use product placement (I'm sensing a theme at NBC as THE OFFICE and 30 ROCK have both used this in their episodes recently!) on the set. Jordan continues to face the fear of firing over her wanker ex-husband's gossip. The show runs short and Jessica Simpson has to fill with "Peace in the Midwest"! And Ricky and Ron are the reason the show runs short...Who would buy Peripheral Vision Man and have it as a sitcom pilot anyway?!?...

    I loved the dialogue in this epsiode, as always! Brilliant!
  • Leave your problems out the door.

    "Studio 60 on the Sunset Stript" the second half of the best two hours on Monday night. It began with "Heroes" and it will end with "Studio 60 on the sunset Strip." That it shall be ever Monday night, unless NBC has other plans. Tonight's episode is about budget cuts and writers who wanted to quit the show. this is a well-written show about events after a show is put to bed. characters talking about next week's show, budget cuts, people who wanted to quit and Harriet who wants to be sexy. This epsode comes together very nicely. I like this epsiode. If I can stand behind "Heroes," I can stand behind "Studio 60 oin the Sunset Stript."
  • Matt being paranoid that the show sucked! Danny protecting Jordan? Harriet, Simon, Tom and even Matt deciding about lingerie! This may sound boring but it SO was not !!

    This show just gets better and better! Every week is building into something so good!

    The tension that built up throughout this whole programme was incredible. The characters came alive! The relationship between each other created a firm foundation for the future to what will hopefully be a long series run! Both Danny and Jordan are strong but they have shown their human side and the sexual tension between them is obvious - is this a hint for what is to come??

    The show also showed great irony in detailing the financial problems to allow a show to survive - also ratings - wow this shows what the show is really going through! Talk about bringing reality to the fore! Excellent - good move on the part of the writers!

    The underhanded way the writers behaved was brilliant and Matts involvement in their downfall was very slick! Hopefully we will get to see more from Lucy - especially now she has kissed Matt!!
  • One of the best episodes in the series so far!

    Its episodes like these that make me wonder, why do people say the show is a complete 'let-down'? Let me make one thing very clear, the target audience for Studio 60 isn't the same as your run-of-the-mill TV soap. It involves a lot more thinking and attention to dialogue is key. The show ends on a very high note, and for the first time in the series, you actually get a sense of 'I wonder what's going to happen next week'. A straight 10 for this episode and I do honestly hope the writers keep the momentum going in the next one as well. Awesome work, awesome show!
  • Better than ever.

    I've watched passionately every episode so far and I must say the show tonight has reached a success beyond my wildest dreams. It was superb, magnificent, eventful and dynamic...and I simply can't stop praising the astonishing writing or the outstanding performance of the cast.
    The begging when Kal finds out about Ricky and Ron's betrayal is ingenious. I felt confused but then it unfolded beautifully in the best story so far on the show.
    The Danny-Jordan chemistry was just palpable but still subtle and it left me just wishing for more. I thought Jordan's character was a bit over the place(I'm not Amanda Peet hater), but I guess it could be contributed to the pressure that she is under.
    I loved Simon and Tom trying so hard with absolutely no success to persuade Harriet not to do the lingerie spread. And then Matt comes along and understandingly fixes everything.
    The Ricky&Ron vs. Matt parts were a bit scattered but with tension, revealing and extremely well played.

    On the whole this episode is the true heir of the first two, I can only hope they go on in the same fashion and then we watch season two. ;)