Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip

Season 1 Episode 6

The Wrap Party

0
Aired Monday 10:00 PM Oct 23, 2006 on NBC
SUBMIT REVIEW

Episode Fan Reviews (17)

9.3
out of 10
Average
342 votes
  • A step forward after three backwards. The episode finally shows a little of the show\'s attractive side. No common story line, and a bit lack of focus, but on the whole much better and worth watching.

    9.8
    Since I fell in love with the first two episodes I\'ve been waiting for something exciting and smartly elaborate to happen. But after week 2 the show has steadily, and not so slowly, deteriorated to a rather expensive and clever soap. So far for three week being stuffed in the studio of \"Studio 60\" the best thing that could be said about the three shows, and about the only good thing, was \"revealing character development\"...
    Now I sat to watch this one with my fingers crossed, hoping that at the end of an hour I\'ll be able to shout \"IT\'S ALIVE!\"...and it still is! Well, not the \"running happily\" alive, more sort of \"twitching\" alive. There wasn\'t that purposeful, exciting, catching story of the first two episodes but the four themes that formed it were mostly excellent and even a little exciting. \"Matt-Simon theme\" was the best, I liked Simon questioning Matt\'s writing, and the possibly exciting new black writer.
    \"Ton and the Parents\" was very funny, entertaining, and naturally very clever, but the conflict was too revealing and subdued at the same time. It was nice to get some history too.
    \"Jordan\'s Friend Making\" was OK, but was a bit scattered through the show.
    \"Kal and the Mysterious Old Man\" was a bit overdone, I got the feeling they were all going to go back in time and develop superhero powers in the end.
    I still rate it high because of the clever jokes and the great play of the actors. I hope this was a step on the right path.
  • Some good, some not so good

    6.5
    "The Wrap Party" has a lot of good parts but none of them add up to an overall coherent episode.

    Oh, where to start?

    Let me start with Nate's parents. I get that Nate's dad is not happy with his choice of career. But his parents have never heard of "Who's on First?" Seriously, there are Amish people who know this routine. It was just beyond frustrating how far the story went to make Nate's parents such complete and total rubes. But I guess we're seeing some of the Hollywood view of those of us who are the "fly over" states. We don't know nothin' and it sure is good Hollywood is there to tell us about all this culture and such we are missin'.

    Meanwhile, Simon is unhappy about the lack of diversity on the writing staff and takes Matt to hear an up and coming African-American comedian. Turns out this guy is doing the standard, cliche ridden routine and while discussing that over a beer, the two hear a better comedian who is bombing. He has potential and so he's hired by the show. Huh? I get maybe bringing him in and giving him a chance, but to hire him full-time seems a bit too contrived for my liking. But while I didn't like where the story went, I did like the journey along the way. I liked seeing more of Simon and what drives him.

    And then we had Harriet's new boyfriend who is a flirt and maybe not faithful. Yeah, Sorkin, I saw Sports Night when you did this plotline there with Dana and Casey. And it wasn't exactly new ground back then.

    What kept me watching was the storyline with Cal. Even though I called early that the old guy stealing the picture would somehow be a connection to the history of the network and theater, it was still a nice, human story that actually worked. It didn't feel as contrived as it could have and it gave us some better understanding of Cal. I liked that part and that part alone helps me keep the faith in the show.
  • what are we waiting for?

    9.8
    Well i thing this was a great episode. but theres still something missing. Its informative. It shows how the things work on tv. but i thing there should be more emotion on the place... like matt and harriet while sting play\\\'s.. no matter where you are. this kind of emotion is always there
  • Sorkin takes a moment to relax and discuss some important themes he brings into the writing of this show.

    9.7
    This episode was everything that some of us diehards have been experiencing for the past month or so, tucked into the dialogue of three pinheads whose name Matt didn\'t even care to get right.

    \"When you say you write the show, what does that mean?\" \"If you do well enough, will they let you perform?\" And when they were distracted by the ballplayer, and then got so much more excited by seeing Simon ... how [i]frustrating[/i] were these people?

    There was another theme Sorkin wove into this discussion -- something that he doesn\'t forget. That America is engaged in putting people in harm\'s way. While Tom is entertaining millions of people every week, his brother is fighting a war, and on some level defending his ability to do so.

    So Middle America\'s reaction to jokes at the administration\'s expense at such a time is understandably nuanced, to say the least. There are good-hearted folks who honestly can\'t separate the fate of America\'s troops from the perception of America\'s leadership, and get understandably angry with sophomoric lampoonery.

    Although the other discussion Sorkin brought in was in my opinion just as valid. Even after participating in a decisive, tide-turning victory in World War II, Weinraub returned just in time to get blacklisted in the Red Scare. These freedoms we\'re defending, the battlefield is not the only place these wars are fought.

    And debate [i]is[/i] shut down -- less often, as people realize what\'s going on. Support of the troops is not the same as supporting the president. And insightful social satire is an important force for change unique to democracies and part of a tradition tracing through Shakespeare, Voltaire and Samuel Clemens.

    And as important as this satire, these jokes, this lampoonery, is to our national conversation and emotional wellbeing, the defense of it is as well.

    So Tom\'s failure to connect with his father was an important illustration. And so was his effort to reach out with the Abbott and Costello routine, which [i]is[/i] a piece of comic genius.

    As for the not-funny comic, Simon had a point in bringing Matt to the club, and his reaction was good as well. It was a nice juxtaposition of easy writing and hard writing. But what the guy they ultimately hired will bring to the room is the fresh perspective Simon wants. And what the room will do is make it funny.

    The fact that Darren Wells gave Jordan McDeere his phone number is a nice crack to send through the little Harriet-Darren pairing -- especially since he was mostly interested in reading about her at the sex clubs. She handled herself magnificently, I thought, and Harriet as well. I liked that Jordan was trying to reach out and make friends, and how genuinely bad she was at it.

    And I loved Jack\'s assault on Danny over the UN show \"Nations.\" That was almost certainly part of what Sorkin faced in pitching a show set in the White House, and all of Jack\'s immediate reactions were perfectly understandable. And [i]fun[/i]. It was cool that he got that nice well-written, well-reasoned rant.

    The concern that the show is terribly leftwing is valid. The show is. But part of Sorkin\'s genius is that he really does completely understand the perspective of the opposing view and can write truly intelligent debate from both sides. The fact that the leftwingy side tends to prevail is simply gratifying for those leftwingers among us who don\'t see our point of view prevail too often in real life, but good debate elevates us in a way that the shrill screaming matches between extremist ideologues does not.

    I thoroughly, [i]thoroughly[/i] enjoyed this episode, and I hope to G-d we can have a hundred more. :)
  • Some rough patches in execution but the plot lines are very good.

    8.7
    Despite how rough the show can be, I can't really give it a very bad score because the cast is so good. This episode showcased a common thing of Sorkin, in that sometimes his ideas can work great but other times the execution is sloppy.

    For example, Simon wanting a black writer on the staff is an excellent idea but the horribly unfunny cliched black comedians took something away. As did the one intelligent black guy instantly the one Matt wants and is hired immediately. But I liked Simon's statements on his past and how he wants to give more opportunities to others. Tom's parents being unhappy with his career was also a good idea but they went too far making them rubes (I mean, my four-year-old nephew knows Who's on First). And referring to the studio as "The Paris Opera House of American culture" was really pushing the arrogance. But I liked the bit of his brother in the war and how his dad calls him "Mark" at one point. And the ending of him handing a record of the routine to his dad was a good way to end it. One plot that was much better in execution was the elderly man who was blacklisted which was very well drawn out. The only complaint is how they went too far making the old man's staff be like the Studio 60 one (he wrote to get a woman's attention, two writers thought they were funnier than they were...) Some complain it was too much on the Greatest Generation but I liked it. Seeing Jordan drunk was funny but that also led to some character moments like admitting she had no friends and making one in Harriet by not wanting to tell her about the baseball. One bit that was a bit much was Jack exploding about the UN show and I couldn't help wondering if Sorkin was blowing off steam at executives who first turned down the West Wing. Still, overall this episode was very good and showcases that once you get past the unfunny sketches, the drama really does click. Concentrate on that more and the show can really live up to its potential.
  • Did you notice Lauren Graham? I did!

    9.0
    "The Wrap Party" is one of the better episode of the series. there are two great moments in this episode,1) the appearance of Lauren Graham who made a cameo. I wish that she was on the show for a few minutes mkore because she is a hot and talented actress. 2) Guest Star Eli Wallach gave the performance of the year as one of the former writers. He's my strong contender for Best Guest Actor in a Drama Series Emmy. Overall, I likke the episode and I hope I will continue to watch, despite hearing rumors that the series might be cancelled. I hope it's not true.
  • this episode was a lot better than last weeks i thought the storyline was good i hope they don't cancel it tho

    9.1
    so lauren graham guest starred!
    she wasn't in much but the scene with her and matt was hilarious
    very lauren

    well this episode mostly takes place after the show that night
    which is why it is called the wrap party

    taht guy has his parents visit him
    and it gets a little ugly at times

    jordan realizes she doesnt have a lto of friends and follows harriet and a few other cast members areound at the wrap party

    matt tries to take his mind off of harriet by talking to these three other woman

    there is a very odd guy who wanders backstage but doesn't give much clue to who he is and mutters really weird things

    simon wants the show to be more racist which matt gives a chance
    but after seeing a really racist comedian perform they change their minds
  • Some good, some ok

    8.6
    Things i liked about the epi:
    1. Fleshing out Corddry & Hughley\'s characters - starting to get backstories for the other characters
    2. additional WW references - when at the Improv, the comedian says (paraphrased) \" so i don\'t work for you\" - Albie/Hugley says \" yes you do\" - that\'s so WW
    3. Albie giving Lauren Graham his #
    4. Not so self-righteous as previous eppys

    Things i didn\'t
    1. I live in Columbus, they portrayed Tom\'s parents as complete rubes... although they should\'ve been fat. his father\'s ignorance was ridiculous
    2. Jordan McDeere - she\'s the head of the network and she\'s talking about that she has no friends? even to the bit players? I have a hard time that she could be as successful as she is acting that ditzy.

    Bottom line, i\'d give this a B+ - i look forward to seeing how they integrate the new writer into the storyline; I hope they can write mcdeere out of the show.
  • Started off strong, but slipped into too much sentimentality

    7.0
    Not everyone was as impressed with the previous episode as I was, so it’s probably a good thing that the series took a somewhat different direction with this installment. The first thing I noticed was the marked increase in clever banter. Matt had some hilarious one-liners throughout the night, and the scene with the brainless cocktail waitresses was simply inspired.

    For all that Matt and Danny are partners and effective co-leads, Matt is getting a lot better screen time lately. It might be his neurotic personality, but if he’s in the scene, he’s the focus. Danny, on the other hand, seems to be a bit more reserved. This episode shines more light on their professional relationship, confirming the Leo/Josh-esque dynamic. Danny is the business end, Matt is the talent.

    This episode also had a lot to say about Jordan, and despite the more amusing aspects, it wasn’t pretty. Jordan seems to have paid a steep price for her success: she has few friends. Even in a large crowd, she’s basically drinking alone. The desperation is played up a bit for the comedic aspects, but it’s hard not to feel sympathetic, especially considering how often her past seems to work into conversation.

    In fact, for an episode that started out with a lot of the funny, the tone shifted into deep sentimentalism by the end. Tom’s family issues were uncomfortable to watch, especially since it was clear that his efforts would be for naught. I think a lot of people can identify with Tom. It’s not easy when your choices don’t match your parent’s expectations, and it becomes impossible to bridge that gap.

    There was also the exploration of Simon’s history, which was a little less universal. It makes sense for him to point out the lack of diversity, considering that it is a major issue for the networks. If this is supposed to be an important show for NBS, then it would be high profile for Matt to bring in a good black writer. I was quite pleased to notice that the stereotypical black comedy was panned all around as feeding into racism, but the alternative wasn’t particularly funny or insightful. In moments like that, it can be difficult to relate to Matt, because it feels forced when this incredible talent finds some mediocre and overly intellectual joke so promising.

    If there was one plot thread that didn’t quite fit, it was the blacklisted writer. I wonder how many other viewers recognized that list of names as soon as Cal wrote them down. As a dutiful “Babylon 5” fan, I recognized those names instantly, so it was interesting to see how they led up to the reveal. I think that the only gratuitous reference was during Tom’s speech, though they were a little heavy-handed at the end.

    Overall, this started out with some strong comedy and ended with a mixture of social and political statements that didn’t all come together entirely well. I still get the feeling that the show is trying to find a consistent voice, even as it continues to improve, and that the network is losing patience with the mediocre ratings. I think a lot is riding on the performance during November sweeps.

    (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 http://velocitytv.libsyn.com if you want to listen!)
  • Clever, funny, intriguing, and smart. All the things I was hoping this show would eventually become.

    9.8
    Will this episode save Studio 60? Let's hope. With this being the first show without a sketch (not skit), Aaron Sorkin allowed us to look deeper into the characters, while having a few good laughs. The history provided by Tom on his tour and his parents was needed. The awkwardness of his parents and his gesture was touching. The dialogue between Matt and Simon was provacative and entertaining. Do we have a new member of Studio 60? I hope they work to develop this character. Also, Jordan not having any friends and Harriet being burned helped to move the show.

    I categorized this as a "very special episode" because it is the first time I have said "wow" at the end. I enjoyed a few laughs, was forced to think, and thoroughly enjoyed the hour. Hopefully, NBC will take the next two weeks, decide to keep the show, maybe move it to a different time, and we'll be able to see what happens next. I can say for the ffirst time that I have reasons to care about Harriet, Jordan, Tom, Matt, Danny, Cal, Simon, the Studio itself, and even Jack.
  • A good view into some of the lesser characters.

    9.0
    Again, I thought this episode was extremely well written (with Aaron Sorkin, I would expect no less). But the thing that I enjoyed the most was that it gave some insight into a couple of the lesser characters - Tom and Simon most specifically - and also went over some history. I am really growing to love the character of Tom. It started last week with the lobster costume and continued this week with his parents. Nate Cordry is doing a great job at bringing this character to life. DL Hughley is also doing a terrific job with Simon. I liked seeing more interaction between Matt and Simon.

    Overall, I really enjoyed the character development and writing in this episode.
  • Thought provoking, moving, excellent in every way.

    10
    The Wrap Party was perfect in every way. The music, writing, acting. set production...everything. Another courageous piece of film bringing issues to light and searching our hearts. Love it. Starting with Nathan Corddry who couldn\'t have done better expressing the love and frustration and anguish concerning his family. {I personally know more than one family exactly like Tom\'s family...truly scary. The actors playing Tom\'s mom and dad gave honest portrayals.} Then he delivered the long dialog about the history of the theater with heartfelt love and he made me care about it and wish I was there. Well, I already wish I was there. I love this world and the people in it.

    Amanda Peet was gorgeous. And her \"I don\'t have any friends\" was fantastic. I laughed and practically cried. Then there was the whole baseball anti-Matthew thing. Sadly true to life. Sarah Paulson is always wonderful, as is Timothy Busfield and D.L. Hughley nailed it with his deliverance of an in depth portrayal of a man\'s heart. The lonely lines of the new comedian/writer were funny and heartbreaking at once. Then there was Eli Wallach who was exquisite...and here I did cry...my god...blacklisted. Does anyone know about this anymore? We better. I mean it happened. Really. In the USA. And Mr. Wallach was around at the time, by the way. Very brave lines here, wonderfully acted by all involved. What a piece of film!

    Sorkin and the ensemble give their best every time. The show is always moving and important and I never tire of watching the episodes over and over again.
  • This is my favourite episode so far.

    9.4
    Although it was obvious in some ways, the level of character development was great and we\'re really starting to see the bonds between the characters. Plus the bit when they hired the new writer was great ;-)

    Admittedly the story with the guy and his parents (sorry, forgot his name) was a bit much, especially as doubt his dad would actually laugh at the record he gave him. It was also a bit obvious as way of revealing the history of the studio, so that it could tie in with the old man\'s story. I mean they didn\'t seem too interested, they probably would have preferred he just take them out to dinner...
  • Don't get me wrong, I liked it, but....

    7.5
    This was a very interesting episode of Studio 60. Yup, 'interesting'. That's not what this show should be doing at this point in its oh-so-young history. It should be going for "snappy", "witty", "funny", and "ground-breaking" . The previous shows have been all that and more. This show was a little slower. And with the way that networks treat shows that don't bring home the bacon (and eggs, and coffee and a maid to clean it all up afterwards), this is just not something that this show should be doing at this point.

    As I said, it was a very interesting show. The McCarthy hearings were a horrible part of Hollywood's history, and something that they still have to deal with. It's something that there should be more shows about. But not for episode four (five?) of a new series. I guess they're setting the tone of how they're going to be different. I guess that's a good thing. I'm not disagreeing; I'm just wondering if the network agrees? I'd like to keep watching this show, and if the network cancels it, that'll make it hard for me!

    So while I liked the episode, I had to give it a relatively low mark for bad timing. They should wait until they've got that contract for season 2 before doing an episode like this.
  • A look back and a look foward... S60

    10
    This episode is my favourite thus far. I loved Tom taking his parents on a tour around the studio and telling them the back history. As a Media Production student, it was fun. I remember doing Intro to Media and one of my favourite parts of the class was when we were studying the origins of NBC, ABC, and CBS; I think I got the best grade on that test. I also loved the gest start of the Studio 60 vet; the parts with Tom and Eli Weintrob were the best parts. Tom\'s parents remind me very much of my own (except they have heard of \'Who\'s on First\'), I know that a lot of people attacked Sorkin for his betrayal of mid-western american families, but I think he got it pretty much right (with a little exaggeration- A.L. anyone?) I mean, come on people, who doesn\'t know \'Who\'s on First\'? It\'s THE GREATEST of American classic comedy.

    What makes me upset is that stories like Mr. Weintrobs\' are true. Men who fought for the US were later called unpatriotic just because TPTB didn\'t like what they were saying... and in some respects, they were right. Overall this episode is one I can watch over and over again and not get tired of... much like Abbott and Costello\'s famous sketch.
  • Nice to see Lauren Graham in something other than Gilmore Girls

    10
    The writing on this episode was fabulous. Tom's poor parents struggling to get thru the night with one son while the other is getting shot at half way around the world. They broke my heart. Simon telling Tom to remember that his parents are working class people and not to put them down was nice. I like DL Hughley's character on this show. When Matt and Simon go to Darius after his lousy stand up act was like Richard Pryor meeting a young Eddie Murphy.
  • The best episode to watch if you want to get to know Studio 60. Brilliant writing, story and acting. Sorkin at his finest.

    10
    This episode was unbelievable. Sorkin took four different rivoting storylines and made them work together seemlessly. This episode revealed so much about many characters and their motivation. Eli Wallach was a brilliant choice for the blacklisted writer. Cal's attention to him was touching and I like the way they had us learn about the man's past. Watching Danny and Matt with him at the end and learning that we really haven't come so far was fantastic. Watching Matt find the new writer and learning about Simon's history brought great insight to his place in the show. I liked having Jordan become more involved on a human level and seeing that she is very far from the perfect, high-powered normal studio head. I think that this is just the tip of the iceburg for Studio 60 and it will truly become one of the best shows on TV.
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