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
  • 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.
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