Monday, July 28, 2014

Sork of July - Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip 1.19

Which is more labored; Jordan's unborn daughter's breathing or the "War on Terror" storyline? 
How cool would it be if Sorkin was given scripting duties to a superhero movie?  It's not that farfetched; there are a ton of superhero movies with even more just announced at SDCC.  I think there's room for a Sorkin scripted superhero flick.  

I think Batman vs Superman would be just as interesting if it was an East Coast intellectual butting heads with guy from the Midwest.  Let's be honest; Bruce Wayne and Clark Kent are basically Matt Albie and Hannah Harriet Hayes already.  Danny is Alfred and Jordan is Wonder Woman.  

Just think about it.  

Today's episode is "K & R."
Host & Musical Guest: Jenna Fischer & Gran Bel Fisher (this is a continuation of the previous episode)

# of references “Crazy Christians”:  None

Sketches Referenced: Zero

Sketches Shown: None

There’s kind of a lot going on in this episode, which is unusual for a Sorkin show. 

There’s basically a Matt story, a Danny story, a Tom story and a flashback. 

Matt and Danny start together, telling the cast about Tom’s brother (and two other  airmen) getting captured.  At first Danny wants to shut the party down, but Cal points out that if they do someone might realize that captured airman Mark Jeter is related to television personality Tom Jeter. 

At the hospital, Jordan is talking to her doctor in the ER.  Unfortunately her blood pressure is crazy high.  He asks if she’s under any pressure, at which point Jordan recaps the previous episode.  She then calls Danny, who heads immediately to the hospial. 

Because of Danny’s abrupt departure, Matt tells them about Jordan.  Harriet instantly gets on her knees an begins to pray, because she’s a Christian with a capital C. 

At the hospital, tests show that Jordan’s baby is being choked by the umbilical chord, but the doctor is totally cool with that, which causes Danny to ask for an older doctor to take over.  Jordan and Danny use this time at the hospital to talk about how to fix Studio 60. 

Jordan is worried that Matt will always slump whenever Harriet breaks up with him.  She also think that they should book more country musical acts and younger hosts.  (Given that Rob Reiner hosted Studio 60 this season, I’m inclined to agree.)  Suddenly she doesn’t feel too well and the young doctor determines that she’s doing the whole preeclampsia thing. 

The doc says that they need to do an emergency delivery.  Danny proposes to Jordan and even has a ring he’s been carrying with him for weeks, because that’s totally what you do when you date your boss who happens to be pregnant by her ex; you wait for weeks for the right moment to propose to her. 

Back at Studio 60 Matt goes to break his date with Mary, who happens to be the best thing that’s ever happened to both him and this show, she understands.  They flirt a bit and then she points out that her firm has kidnapping and ransom connections.  They beat around the bush, but eventually Matt give it up that he interested…in finding out more about this K & R stuff. 

Mary tells Matt that it’s probably going to cost $1 million to get Mark Jeter back.  When Cal gets folded into the conversation, the news is out that Mark is related to Tom, so Mary’s estimate balloons to $10 million. 

Across the street at NBS, Tom is in Jack’s office, when the news that he’s the brother of a capture airman breaks.  Jack does his best, but the genie is out of the bottle.  Tom then asks the pertinent question “didn’t we win this war once already?” Very subtle. 

Jack and Tom return to Studio 60 to meet up with Captain Porter, who has been sent to help Tom in this moment of crisis.  Captain Porter is evasive, which frustrates Tom.  Jack, Cal and Matt excuse themselves from Matt’s office to talk about their clandestine plot to get Mark Jeter back.

At their secret meeting, Mary tells Jack all about Trask’s success rate.  Cal points out that a) the are selling something, so you can’t believe what they say and b) that ransom money is going to terrorists who aren’t going to use it for good. 

Matt goes looking for Harriet and finds her praying.  He points out that Mary is actually working on the situation, trying to broker a deal and that Harriet is wasting her time.  Then we see a montage of all of the times Matt and Harriet have clashed about religion. 

And this is a good point to bring up the flashback that’s been running throughout the episode.  It deals with Matt and Danny trying to put together the first post-9/11 episode of Studio 60, which also happens to be the 2001-2002 season premiere. 

On the night of The Emmys, Matt stumbles across Harriet and Luke making out.  At which point we get a recap of Matt and Harriet’s break ups; he’s broken up with her twice and she’s broken up with him twice.  And this is in 2001. 

Matt points out that he’s been promoted to co-executive producer of Studio 60 over Luke and Luke has responded by getting back with Harriet. 

Later, we see Luke is very gung ho about the invasion of Afghanistan.  Meanwhile Denny, perhaps Studio 60’s most underappreciated writer, feels that this war is all about oil.  Matt tries to be the voice of reason and further, he doesn’t know if Studio 60 should even do a show.  He feels it might be too soon. 

Luke and other writers want to do an vengeance episode including sketches like Good Morning Cave Dwellers, Judge Mohammed, One of My Wives Is Missing, Faddah Knows Best, 72 Virgin Chat-line, The Flogging Show and Let’s All Rape.

But on the plus side, Andy wanders into the writer's room and announces that he's a father; his wife gave birth to their daughter.  It's ray of sunshine.  

Harriet and Matt talk about the show and his feelings.  Harriet feels like Matt is apprehensive because in a post 9/11 world he can’t make fun of his two favorite targets; Christians and Bush. 

Matt and Danny visit Jack, where we get an explanation of Wes’ absence; he’s under contract to Numb3rs he’s had a heart attack and is recovering from surgery.  Matt and Danny think the show should be pulled.  But Jack says it must go on for financial reasons, plus the fact that “a bunch of jews entertaining America” would piss off the Taliban. 

Matt and Danny point out that new cast member Tom Jeter’s brother joined the military on 9/12. Jack says there’s nothing to worry about because the war will be a quick one.   Jack tells them that the show doesn’t even have to be good, just on.  They can’t make fun of Bush or America, but Hollywood is totally fair game.   He also says that Studio 60 is the single most valuable property that NBS has ever owned.  Really?  And as if to really nail home a point, he reiterates that the war will be over very soon. 

Back in the present Matt gets a call from Danny about the emergency surgery and he and Harriet rush off to the hospital, but not before Matt looks to the dude upstairs and says “show me something.” 

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