Thursday, October 19

Simple subtraction at NBC


Plus this:

Equals "Layoffs loom at NBC Uni".

I concede. Mostly they're killing off news ops and shooting reporters in the back of the neck, figuratively.

But these two shows seemed so promising and, well: Ick.

Wednesday, October 11

Disappointed and still waiting

Maybe I shouldn't have praised the first date so much. You know what happens when the first date goes well.

Studio 60's post-pilot episode was solid and interesting, though it consisted largely of follow-on exposition. Damned good character exposition at that, but not bracing TV. So when Monday's episode slogged through soap opera - damned good soap opera - and the writerly standoff between Matty and Mr. Clean and his partner Dumber, I began to think pretty deeply ... that the Cheez-Its I was eating were the most satisfying part of the evening. I was forced to reflect on other bloggers who are saying that the inside-baseball of TV comedy can't sustain an audience. No matter how apolitical you are, when the estimable Mr. Sorkin writes that the president or his people and principles are in jeopardy, you feel it. You get it. In fact, you get cheesy salt on your fingers....zzzz. Was I nodding affirmation with those doubting bloggers or nodding off?

But the plagarism story line snapped me upright again. For the first time since the opening pilot scenes, the show raised stakes that everyone understood and cared about because they threatened Matt and Danny. They sowed the seeds of a gun-slinging showdown betwen Matty and the head writers. But then at the door, just before saying goodnight, did we get a kiss? A hand lingering low on the hip? No. We got a deus ex filing cabinet. "We own it." The material had been written by a staffer years ago. What a tease.

And is it just me, or were those 90 seconds of material just not funny? I'm not a hilarious guy, but I say, they were not funny. But Matty thought so. So, he went soft on Clean and Dumber to offer a sign of forgiveness? It seems thoroughly out of character to risk "not funny" on his show. So now I have to live with the fact that he's lost his judgment, either about comedy or people.

I'm keeping my options open. I mean, I have it on solid word from people know me well that this could be the one. You know, the real thing. But I can't tell whether Studio 60 is hot or if all that handwashing should make me wary.