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)

out of 10
271 votes
  • 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!)
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