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April 30th, 2007


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11:34 am - Epitaph for "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip"
"Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip" was a TV show created by Aaron Sorkin.
Aaron Sorkin is famous for creating a TV show about the White House.
He also created a TV show about a sports news show called "Sports Night."

While Sports Night was a show about a sports show, it was not about any actual sports. The emphasis was solely on the sports show itself.

Aaron Sorkin believed he could use the same formula for Studio 60, which was a show about a comedy show. However, he learned the hard way that while you can make a show about a sports show without featuring the sports, you cannot make a show about a comedy show without featuring any comedy.


EDIT: While Studio 60 will be returning at the end of May to finish out its season committment, the chance for renewal falls somewhere between a skinny cowboy and Mother Theresa -- that is, slim to none.

Resquiat in something, at least.





that was a guess; I can't decline Latin worth a tinker's damn

(27 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


[User Picture]
From:hyperina
Date:April 30th, 2007 03:46 pm (UTC)
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requiescat in televisium eterna
[User Picture]
From:derspatchel
Date:April 30th, 2007 03:50 pm (UTC)
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but it needs some kind of "boring" or "dull" adjective, because the show was as dull as dishwater and I don't mean the shiny dishwater with soap suds and bubbles and stuff.
[User Picture]
From:hyperina
Date:April 30th, 2007 03:53 pm (UTC)
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requiescat in televisium tedium extremis?
[User Picture]
From:derspatchel
Date:April 30th, 2007 04:27 pm (UTC)
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you are a very smart latin non lemur!
[User Picture]
From:sanspoof
Date:April 30th, 2007 04:31 pm (UTC)
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I think you want the ablative, but, uh, I don't know what kind of ending that would actually be in these cases. (D'oh, no pun intended.)
[User Picture]
From:resk
Date:April 30th, 2007 03:48 pm (UTC)
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I always decline Latin.

Stupid dead language.
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
From:derspatchel
Date:April 30th, 2007 04:25 pm (UTC)
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I am checking for truth -- I know it got yanked for the Black Donnellys, which then got yanked for Eating Doritos With The Stars or whatever bullshit celeb reality gawkcom came next.

Hmm.

Apparently it will finish out its season committment in May, but there is no word yet on a renewal.

STILL
NOBODY EVER WENT BROKE MISREPRESENTING THE DEATH OF SOMEONE
[User Picture]
From:derspatchel
Date:April 30th, 2007 04:31 pm (UTC)
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hope for renewal is slim.

Strike up "Nearer, My God, To Thee."
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
From:androidqueen
Date:April 30th, 2007 04:41 pm (UTC)
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You know, I really enjoyed parts of Studio 60, but there were definitely some things that bugged me. They had too many episodes focused on the intra-office romantic relationships. If they could have just focused on the actual show and spent virtually *any* time on non-romantic relationships, it could have been a really good show.

That said, I totally don't buy the argument that "ZOMG the sketches weren't funny!" SNL isn't funny, and people still watch.

RIP.

From:oakenguy
Date:April 30th, 2007 04:58 pm (UTC)
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It's not that the sketches weren't funny and the show soldiered on, which would have been very realistic (and which 30 Rock handles quite well); it's that the sketches weren't funny and the viewers kept being told they WERE. Over and over again. Highest ratings ever blahblah Danny's a genius blah stations in the deep south begging to broadcast the show blahblah.

I remember the story about Next Generation early scripts having "insert technobabble here" notes at various points. I think a similar thing happened with Studio 60 scripts and "insert something Amazingly Funny here" notes, but someone really dropped the ball when it came time to supply the fun.
[User Picture]
From:derspatchel
Date:April 30th, 2007 06:04 pm (UTC)
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30 Rock doesn't focus too much on their sketches, either, save for brief glimpses of characters (such as Cowboy Hey Hey!) and Jenna's bizarre musical numbers which end in tragedy. Studio 60 won't let its pieces de-evolve into surreal chaos, because it's supposed to be seriouser and not a cartoonish parody.

And I agree with your assessment of the Studio 60 sketches. We knew Matt & Danny had been brought in to fix up the show, and that Matt absolutely destested Ricky & Ron, the former head writers who'd let the show turn unfunny. Okay. That much is plausible.

And then it's time to Redeem Ourselves with something Really Huge And Hilarious which was... a Gilbert & Sullivan parody.

Of the most frequently-parodied Gilbert & Sullivan tune.

And, as Tom Lehrer once bardphrased, was "full of words and music and signifying nothing."

Then we are told this is Comedy Gold! Ratings shoot up! We love it when they sing G&S! Hey, here's a sketch about a militant black Fruit Of The Loom character! Give it to the black writer? NO, THAT'S RACIST! Let's talk more about issues! Because comedy writers don't care about being funny, all they want to do is Make Serious Points!

And everybody loves it! We must be on Earth2 or something by now, because I ain't seeing it.

I had kind of hoped that the bad comedy in the beginning was intentional so that later on, the good stuff would really shine. But we haven't gotten to the good stuff yet. And the Dolphin Girl subplot smacks of Recurring SNL Character Syndrome.

Harumph.
Again, I say, harumph.

30 Rock gets it because they let the stuff break down and freak people out. Studio 60 didn't because it presented the stuff and told us it was funny, laugh.
[User Picture]
From:androidqueen
Date:April 30th, 2007 08:07 pm (UTC)
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And the Dolphin Girl subplot smacks of Recurring SNL Character Syndrome.

Absolutely! And I think that was part of the point. I mean, Matthew Perry's character was really upset when she put it into the show's preview because *he had nothing written for it*.

I'm going to have to try out 30 Rock. I had one person tell me it sucked, but everyone else has said it rules.
[User Picture]
From:derspatchel
Date:April 30th, 2007 11:13 pm (UTC)
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30 Rock starts out as shaky as Studio 60 but by the time they got to the episode where Liz Lemon is seriously low on blood sugar and Tracy Jordan is off his meds so he keeps on hallucinating a little blue man (played by Rachel Dratch) is chasing him around, I knew there was something worth keeping in that show. And it's just improved from there.

The season finale featured Elaine Stritch as the mother of Alec Baldwin's character, and she was great.
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From:jason237
Date:April 30th, 2007 04:47 pm (UTC)
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I liked Studio 60, at least the first 8 episodes I watched. The sketch comedy part wasn't any better than SNL, but at least they only gave it to us in bits, rather than interminable 8-minute sketches. And I quite enjoyed the backstage banter. Still, not surprised or particularly sad to see it go.
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From:fancycwabs
Date:April 30th, 2007 04:50 pm (UTC)
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Since I don't really watch television, but still keep up with entertainment news sorta, I'm still in the dark vis-a-vis Studio 60 vs. 30 Rock. Shouldn't one be twice as good as the other? Or maybe just twice as long?
[User Picture]
From:hyperina
Date:April 30th, 2007 05:04 pm (UTC)
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e VIVA AMERICAN IDOL!
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From:samethreechords
Date:April 30th, 2007 06:01 pm (UTC)
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There was absolutely no reason to watch Studio 60 when I had my Sports Night DVDs *right there*. Fact is, it just never lived up to its own first ten minutes. I lost interest after about five episodes.

BUT, I think it was useful in at least showing that Matthew Perry had talent beyond being Chandler.
[User Picture]
From:derspatchel
Date:April 30th, 2007 06:43 pm (UTC)

it just ran out of bullshit.

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When your show's first ten minutes involves Judd Hirsch stopping a skit on live television to deliver a Howard Beale rant about the state of television, I don't know how you could even begin to top that.

[User Picture]
From:androidqueen
Date:April 30th, 2007 08:05 pm (UTC)

Re: it just ran out of bullshit.

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Yeah, seriously. That was the high point of the show.
From:dcart
Date:April 30th, 2007 08:02 pm (UTC)
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I am in the minority that really liked Studio 60. The comedy bits weren't usually funny. That was a huge weakness. Sorkin knows how to be funny, though. He could have hired someone with some SNL type experience to help with making the skits funny, although to a point, I think there's reality in the idea that most of the skits aren't funny. I still watch SNL regularly, but it's incredibly rare to find more than four truly funny skits in an entire 90 minute show. There are probably only a half dozen really memorable bits in any given season. Lately those have been the pre-taped SNL Digital Shorts. Dolphin girl is exactly the kind of recurring character that, for the most part, turns my favorite SNL cast members into annoying jerks.
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From:museumfreak
Date:April 30th, 2007 10:50 pm (UTC)
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+1
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From:littlegirltoast
Date:April 30th, 2007 10:36 pm (UTC)
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Man, I wanted that show to be good so bad.

And it was so offensively bad in so many ways I'm kind of unhappy you even reminded me just now that it was ever on at all.

Godddddddd.
[User Picture]
From:museumfreak
Date:April 30th, 2007 10:50 pm (UTC)
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requiescat in pace might be what you mean.
[User Picture]
From:derspatchel
Date:April 30th, 2007 11:11 pm (UTC)
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I'd started with torporem (torporum?) cause that's how I felt about the show, and then it turns out the show will still live a bit longer, so right now it's just resquiating un-adjectivally.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:May 1st, 2007 12:09 am (UTC)

I just found it dull.

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Aaron Sorkin's rapid-fire dialog just gets to me after a while. It's why I stopped watching West Wing after a while, even though I love Allison Janney. Wanting to beat the snot out of Josh Lymon/Bradley Whitford may have had something to do with it too.

Oh, and HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MR. ABBIE THE CAT!
[User Picture]
From:mmcirvin
Date:May 1st, 2007 12:57 am (UTC)
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I really, really wanted to like that show. Every episode would have a few moments that were worth seeing, but, ultimately, it just didn't deliver.

The pilot was great, and could have led to a fine series. I think the main difference between the pilot and the rest of the show was that the pilot took place before "Studio 60" was supposed to have gotten really good. The little bits of the show-within-the-show that we see in that episode are fairly vicious parodies of bad "Saturday Night Live" material, and I would have liked to see more of that.

I haven't actualy watched "30 Rock", but maybe that's why this concept works better as a comedy. If it's a sitcom, you can lampoon bad or malfunctioning sketch comedy; if it's an Aaron Sorkin drama, then the sympathetic characters have to be wonderful geniuses, and you'll never live up to how wonderful they are supposed to be.
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From:mmcirvin
Date:May 1st, 2007 01:23 am (UTC)
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Also, they canceled "Andy Barker, P.I.," and I'm sad about that.

Though the cancellation of "Andy Richter Controls the Universe" made me madder.

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