Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip

Season 1 Episode 6

The Wrap Party

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

Episode Fan Reviews (17)

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out of 10
342 votes
  • Started off strong, but slipped into too much sentimentality

    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 if you want to listen!)
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