Thursday, July 10, 2014

Sork of July - Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip 1.7

Ok, so Sorkin has written about a sports network (Sports Night) a broadcast network (Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip) and a cable news network (The Newroom) so what will his next television show about television detail?

I don't know.  The only think I know for sure that I'm totally on board for whatever it is.

Today’s episode is called "Nevada Day Part I"

Host & Musical Guest: Jessica Simpson (as host and musical guest)

# of references “Crazy Christians”:  One

Sketches Referenced: Jesus as head of Standards & Practices, Mexican Santa Claus

Sketches Shown: a dress of Jesus as head of Standards & Practices

Today’s episode is called Nevada Day Part I

This episode is all over the place, but that’s partially by design.  It’s an episode that starts with the situation of Tom, dressed as Jesus, in handcuffs in Pahrump, hours away from show time, with Jack, Danny and Simon coming to his aide along with three other characters in tow.  Tom is facing a battery of charges which leads us to wonder how things got to this point. 

We then get a flashback to how things got this far. 

It’s a long convoluted story.  See, Harriet gave an interview that came off as homophobic, requiring Tom defend her against some homosexual hooligans, resulting in an assault charge.  Back at the studio, Tom borrows Simon’s jacket, which also happens to have a half smoked joke, resulting in the possession charge.  But for some reasons the speeding ticket that results in Tom’s extradition to Nevada isn’t explained.  Weird.

Prior to Pahrump, Jack was charged by Wilson with sealing a deal with Zhang Tao, a Chinese businessman, whose daughter is his interpreter.   Wilson wants to make Macau a Vegas-esque paradise, and Zhang is the key.  Unfortunately part of sealing the deal involves Zhang’s daughter meeting Tom, who she is totally head over heels into.  Zhang and his daughter Kim are two of the other people to make the trip to Pahrump. 

Why is Tom dressed up at Jesus?  Well, Danny manipulates Matt into writing a sketch about Jesus Christ being the head of NBS’ Standards and Practices.  It’s a way to get around the rule of not being able use “Jesus” or “Jesus Christ” as an exclamation.  And during a dress rehearsal Tom gets hold and Simon lets him borrow the jacket. 

Jack finds out about the sketch and tells Jordan to axe it from the show.  Jordan tells Danny, to put up a fight with Jack, but then to take a dive, because Jack needs a win.  While en route to Pahrump, Danny gives in too easily before confessing Jordan’s plan to Jack.  Incensed, Jack demands that Danny put the sketch on the show. 

When all of the chaos happens Matt is left alone with the cast and crew to prep for the episode.  While he’s not overwhelmed, he’s not exactly comfortable with not knowing how things are going to play out. 

And of course this episode has a killer guest star; John Goodman as Judge Robert Bebe.  Y’see in Nevada there’s a state holiday honoring when Nevada became a state.  And it happened to be that day.  So Jack calls in some favors with the Governor to get the judge to hear Tom’s case, in an effort to getting him released.  Goodman’s Bebe is all over the place.  One minute he’s pulling everyone’s leg by pretending to an ignorant backwoods Judge and the next minute he appears to be genuinely not terribly enlightened.  But the problem lies in the writing, not the performance. 

Equally troubling is Sorkin’s fixation with Pahrump as a slightly humorous word.  Granted, I lived in Vegas for four years, so Pahrump doesn’t sound odd to me, but nearly every character on the show who doesn’t live in Pahrump, finds the word Pahrump to be funny.  It’s a joke that wears thin. 

Unfortunately you have to wait until tomorrow to get to part two of Nevada Day. 

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