Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Sork of July – Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip 1.10

Studio 60, at it's topical best. (via danowen.blogspot.com)
Ok, so the Ricky and Ron era is over.  I'm sad about it, because I liked Ricky and Ron.  They were fun characters and they really added something to the show, and that something was jerkiness.

I'm still holding out hope for Sorkin to produce a Studio 60 spin-off, featuring Ricky, Ron and the rest of the former Studio 60 writers (including Hal) working on Perepherial Vision Man at FOX.  I really think that show could be a hit.

Well, today's episode is B-12.
Host & Musical Guest: Howie Mandel & Corrine Bailey Rae

# of references “Crazy Christians”: 1

Sketches Referenced: Howie's Monologue, The Bachelor: Rome, Nicholas Cage Show, Spit Take Theater

Sketches Shown: Howie's Monologue, The Bachelor: Rome (both in dress rehearsal)

This is an episode that’s all over the place.  There are two stories in this episode that are just completely absurd, one dramatic and one allegedly humorous. 

The first story is about Darius and Lucy getting a sketch on the air.  Matt and Danny decide to beef up their decimated writing staff by bringing in Andy Mackinaw.  Andy used to write for Studio 60, but was fired by Ricky and Ron.  Then to make matters worse his family died in a car accident.  So Matt is basically trying to kill two birds with one stone; help Andy out of a presumably dark place and give Darius and Lucy something he can’t be for them, a mentor. 

On Monday Danny tells Matt about an inept criminal who went to a T-Mobile store and brandishing a gun, demanded he get 500 minutes added to his account.  Matt feels that there’s a germ of a sketch there and assigns it to Lucy and Darius, with Andy supervising. 

At this point, it’s important to mention that also on Monday, starts a hostage situation in Grosse Poine.  A man barricades himself in his house and holds his family hostage.  It’s a story that  captivates everyone for the entire week.  That’s right; it’s a hostage situation that lasts an entire week. 

So remember that sketch Darius and Lucy are tasked with writing?  It appears that the sketch that involves a guy taking people hostage in a cell phone store.  And when things go bad on Friday (the hostage taker kills his family) it requires Lucy and Darius’ hostage sketch gets cut. 

Now, let’s seriously think about this.  There’s a man who takes his family hostage that’s a national news story, yet Danny and Matt have no problem using a sketch about a comedic hostage taking?  Lucy and Darius are literally following the story on the news in the writer’s room, but no one thinks that, perhaps given the story that has the nation’s attention, maybe they shouldn’t do a sketch involving hostages? 

Darius and Lucy took at least twenty-three passes at the sketch and at no time was the issue of taste raised?  Clearly Matt and Danny realize they can’t do the sketch when the hostage situation goes wrong, but that implies that they were totally cool with running the sketch if things ended peacefully, or even if they didn’t end horribly by show time. 

Also, this guy held off the police all week?  Is that even realistic? 

The other unbelievable story is that Harriet can’t tell a joke.  Harriet is being inducted into the Fallstaff Society.  She wants a joke to use with her induction speech and Matt gives her one.  Unfortunately she’s can’t recite it.  Harriet is incapable of telling a joke.  It’s a story that runs the entire episode. 

Of course that story ignores that Harriet actually has comedy chops.  She used to visit comedy clubs in NYC and worked with The Groundlings and Second City.  She’s one of Studio 60’s Big Three who’s also made it into movies.  She’s an anchor on News 60.  But for some reason she’s incapable of telling a joke?  Come on Sorkin!

Onto better stories.  Jordan has entered into the self-destructive part of her self-sabotage.  She's  combative in the one interview she grants with Time magazine.  She also continues to butt heads with Jack. 

And for some reason Jordan is working on her tv schedule.  It could be for the summer season, but the heft she’s giving the shows makes it seem like Fall programming.  The shows she’s getting updates about from her assistants are Cross-Country, The Beat, Gina and something called Lunch Pail, which she passed on but Jack greenlit. 

Also going on, everyone at Studio 60 is sick with a bug going around (hence the title of the episode) and everyone except for Harriet is sick.  Which is why it stinks that the sketch that replaces the hostage sketch is Spit Take Theater, which pretty much guarantees that she’s going to get showered with everyone’s germs.  High comedy. 

Martha is back and Danny is mad that she blasted Tom’s new movie and called it a box office failure.  But really Danny’s just bad that Martha quoted message board poster Dilbert27 in her column. 

Studio 60 does deserve credit for The Bachelor: Rome, which both manages to lampoon The Bachelor and offer up a prototype for Jersey Shore.  The sketch is predates Jersey Shore and is actually ahead of it's time.

Oh and Jordan is pregnant

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