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Darren H

Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip

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So, I missed the Christmas episode. How was it? Should I hurry to the site and watch it?

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So, I missed the Christmas episode. How was it? Should I hurry to the site and watch it?

I had given up on S60, but some folks on AICN and EW persuaded me to watch it, being that it wasn't a "preachy" episode, and it was a celebration of Christmas.

Last time I listen to them.

To be quite frank, I have given up on the characters a long time ago. I don't care for them, so there may be some people who are moved by some of the relationship-based developments, but for me, bah. And some liked some of the comedy (I admittedly didn't stick around to the very end, so there may have been good laughs, there), but some of the comedy seemed ripped off from "The Nativity Story".

What was infuriating? Using the Christmas episode as a Sorkinese approach on debunking all that is held dear in the actual Christmas story. Everytime DL Hughley or Rod Coddrey opened their mouths, it was to bring out another facet they read on "debunkingthevirginbirth.com" or something like that.

How Sorkin can parade about insulting the faith beliefs of billions of individuals, while mistaking the "Immaculate Conception" for the "Incarnation" is simply beyond me. Steve Taylor's "Smug" is going on thru my head.

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What you missed was a beautiful instrumental jazz arrangement of Oh Holy Night by an alleged ad hoc combo of New Orleans musicians. I hate that song for all its maudlin, but the arrangement was gorgeous.

Actually, the debunking was a poor job. Maybe there was an effort at making it amateurish on the part of characters with not a whole lot invested in the issue. Nick, would you really expect something more supportive of your own views?

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What you missed was a beautiful instrumental jazz arrangement of Oh Holy Night by an alleged ad hoc combo of New Orleans musicians. I hate that song for all its maudlin, but the arrangement was gorgeous.

Actually, the debunking was a poor job. Maybe there was an effort at making it amateurish on the part of characters with not a whole lot invested in the issue. Nick, would you really expect something more supportive of your own views?

Actually, I went into this with the expectation that there was to be no Sorkinizing whatsoever, (that was the impression I got from AICN). To not only get veilied Sorkinizing, but an attack at the very essence of what I hold near and dear, I thought to be disengenuous.

It's not like I don't think certain aspects on the holiday season aren't ripe for parody. I have both Dr. Demento Christmas albums, and I could very easily harp on some of the other kookier aspects of the season, like the history of mistletoe or Christmas trees, or the fact that Jesus was likely not born on December 25. But an attack on my faith was not expected... and then when Sorkin with all of his sincere posturing and secular apologeticizing doofusly confused "The Immaculate Conception" with "The Incarnation", then all bets were lost. My faith was being attacked by someone who was too lazy to get his facts straight, all under the guise of utter pompousness.

I suppose I shouldn't be surprised, but I was.

Nick

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What was infuriating? Using the Christmas episode as a Sorkinese approach on debunking all that is held dear in the actual Christmas story. Everytime DL Hughley or Rod Coddrey opened their mouths, it was to bring out another facet they read on "debunkingthevirginbirth.com" or something like that.
Maybe I am overly eager to defend Sorkin, but I thought the writing was mocking the characters who were spending all of their time "debunking" the Christmas story. By citing debunkingthevirginbirth.com (or whatever it was) that particular character was not meant to be seen as wise, but as having gone off the deep end. As Rich said, I was not expecting Sorkin to defend the virgin birth, but to me, there is enough "is-Christianity-good-or-bad?" tension in the show as a whole that this episode didn't feel like an attack. Maybe the show leans in one direction on that question, but it still comes across to me as a genuine question. If Sorkin really wanted to stack the deck, Harriet would not be written as the most talented actor on the show, Tom would not have defended her from the "gay thugs," this episode would not have ended with the playing of a hymn, etc.

Does anyone know if the storyline with the trumpeter

(the part about LA musicians calling in sick so that musicians from New Orleans can work and earn a union card)

is based on reality? I looked around today and didn't find anything, expect that the musicians were organized by the Tipitina's Foundation, which is dedicated to rebuilding the music scene in New Orleans. Sure is interesting that this episode was filmed in the middle of November, yet aired just a couple of days after the plight of New Orleans was back in the news.

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Maybe I am overly eager to defend Sorkin, but I thought the writing was mocking the characters who were spending all of their time "debunking" the Christmas story.

I just watched it, and I have to agree. If Sorkin was putting his views in their mouths, he was making himself look petty and ridiculous.

And any frivolous potshots fell ker-splat under the power of "O Holy Night," which was show-stoppingly beautiful... one of the most resonant flourishes on network television I've seen in years. Beautiful, beautiful stuff.

And I was terribly impressed that the show had a "Joseph" taking a pregnant not-so-innocent "Mary" into his care without any give-away lines or neon signs pointing to it and saying "Look, a Christmas allusion!" Very nice.

I love what they're doing with Danny and Jordan. And I loved the Ed Asner line about the fight he's been waiting for his whole life. And I loved the "To Catch a Predator" idea... made me want to see more of that sketch.

A home-run episode.

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Maybe I am overly eager to defend Sorkin, but I thought the writing was mocking the characters who were spending all of their time "debunking" the Christmas story.

I just watched it, and I have to agree. If Sorkin was putting his views in their mouths, he was making himself look petty and ridiculous.

And any frivolous potshots fell ker-splat under the power of "O Holy Night," which was show-stoppingly beautiful... one of the most resonant flourishes on network television I've seen in years. Beautiful, beautiful stuff.

And I was terribly impressed that the show had a "Joseph" taking a pregnant not-so-innocent "Mary" into his care without any give-away lines or neon signs pointing to it and saying "Look, a Christmas allusion!" Very nice.

I love what they're doing with Danny and Jordan. And I loved the Ed Asner line about the fight he's been waiting for his whole life. And I loved the "To Catch a Predator" idea... made me want to see more of that sketch.

A home-run episode.

Yeah, I more or less saw it the same way. It seemed like a sincere effort (at least through Perry's character) at attempting some innocent enjoyment of Christmas without all the cynicism that comes with it in a post-post-modern age.

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Maybe I am overly eager to defend Sorkin, but I thought the writing was mocking the characters who were spending all of their time "debunking" the Christmas story.

I just watched it, and I have to agree. If Sorkin was putting his views in their mouths, he was making himself look petty and ridiculous.

And any frivolous potshots fell ker-splat under the power of "O Holy Night," which was show-stoppingly beautiful... one of the most resonant flourishes on network television I've seen in years. Beautiful, beautiful stuff.

And I was terribly impressed that the show had a "Joseph" taking a pregnant not-so-innocent "Mary" into his care without any give-away lines or neon signs pointing to it and saying "Look, a Christmas allusion!" Very nice.

I didn't catch that. Very nice! High Five...

I love what they're doing with Danny and Jordan. And I loved the Ed Asner line about the fight he's been waiting for his whole life. And I loved the "To Catch a Predator" idea... made me want to see more of that sketch.

A home-run episode.

Yup, the first in-show sketch I've legitimately laughed at. Very funny.

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I wish I can share in Jeffrey's adoration of the episode, and it appears I missed something very special about the "O Holy Night" performance. Two thoughts: first, if they were that good, then this would not be the last we hear of them. Second, if they were that good, I kinda wished NBC would replace S60 with an hour-long holiday special with this group. As it stands, it was too little, too late, no matter how beautiful they did their job.

Because when it all comes down, every cynical anecdote proposed by the writers is still out there, unanswered. The website given free advertising is probably inundated with free hits. The people on the show may admittedly be "shallow", but the creators of said-website are presumably not so. Such arguments, to me, cry out for a debate, one which never materialized, even from its token "Victoria Jackson/Kristin Chenoweth" composite.

I don't mind Sorkin wrestling with issues of faith. But I sense the episode was saying "Christmas is a lark. Christians are fools. But, wow, they sometimes can come up with great art--(with some inspirational Katrina subtext thrown in)."

Not to beat a dead horse, but that's still a slam on faith.

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I wish I can share in Jeffrey's adoration of the episode, and it appears I missed something very special about the "O Holy Night" performance. Two thoughts: first, if they were that good, then this would not be the last we hear of them.

Oh, I don't know about that. This world is crawling with great musicians and writers and artists no one has ever heard of.

The website given free advertising is probably inundated with free hits. The people on the show may admittedly be "shallow", but the creators of said-website are presumably not so.

But...near as I can tell from googling, the site they mentioned in the script does not exist. I think the point was that our cynicism has grown so much that it's gotten to the point of the ridiculous and such a site could exist, and the writers go looking for it for show ideas because that's what American humor has become.

I don't mind Sorkin wrestling with issues of faith. But I sense the episode was saying "Christmas is a lark. Christians are fools. But, wow, they sometimes can come up with great art--(with some inspirational Katrina subtext thrown in)."

I'll give you that as possibly what was going on. But, you know, it's his right to do that. It's his show. The way I see it is a good show with good writing that offers a far more complex and conflicted look at faith, Christianity (both genuine and cultural), and the struggle to be human than most of what's available in network primetime. I'd rather watch a well-executed show that criticizes my beliefs than a schlocky one that affirms them. (And possibly the latter is generally more harmful than the former? I don't know.)

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I'd rather watch a well-executed show that criticizes my beliefs than a schlocky one that affirms them. (And possibly the latter is generally more harmful than the former? I don't know.)

Indeed. The latter can inspire the former.

Edited by Jeffrey Overstreet

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don't know if anyone saw the latest installment -- evidently the 6000000 viewers per week previously weren't enough and sorkin has been given 6 or 7 more episodes to draw more people in. therefore there will be less inside stuff (i.e. the making of the show) and more relationship stuff. and if the next few episodes are as melodrama/ soap opera as this week's i'm done...

boring.

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http://community.tvguide.com/thread.jspa?threadID=800007623

A fresh release from NBC, cementing the plans to shelve Studio 60 as well as 30 Rock (!), to make room for two new series:

"NBC's new mid-season drama The Black Donnellys will premiere on Monday, March 5 (10-11 pm/ET) — following the hit drama Heroes — while the new comedy Andy Barker, P.I., starring Andy Richter, will debut on Thursday, March 15 (9:30-10 pm).

"Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip will return later this season on a date to be determined. 30 Rock will return... with original episodes on April 19, after Andy Barker completes its slate of episodes" and Alec Baldwin's SAG Award gathers a good inch of dust.

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well - i for one no longer care. s60 has pretty much lost me as a viewer. the part i liked best (the tensions of working towards a show) has obviously been cast aside in favour of melodrama. boring melodrama at that.

i might only continue to watch until simon comes out of the closet...

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well - i for one no longer care. s60 has pretty much lost me as a viewer. the part i liked best (the tensions of working towards a show) has obviously been cast aside in favour of melodrama. boring melodrama at that.

Yeah, this week's episode - blah blah blah, Matt and Harriet - blah blah blah, Simon and the new writer dude -- it seemed like I was seeing variations of the same scene over and over ("What if we wrote it this way? ... How about this way? ... Eh, let's show all of them"). Roof-top stuff didn't seem to annoy me as much, not sure why though. And the animal bit had its moments.

Still some funny/interesting, but I don't like the shift in the show either. Oh well, Lost is back to enabling my sucker addiction...

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I'm still watching, but during the last episode I think I caught up on email and balanced my checkbook. So it's not exactly keeping me absorbed. It seems like instead of making existing storylines better, they just keep adding and adding. Does anyone even understand anything about the whole Macau subplot? Does anyone care? That Macau guy seems to exist only and exactly when they need him to advance some other plot or Sorkin's political views. I still think the performances by the leads are some of the best on the air.

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http://blogs.orlandosentinel.com/entertain...idnt_nbc_s.html

NBC's ballyhooed but ratings-starved "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip" is a goner. The network decided instead to save low-rated "30 Rock" and "Friday Night Lights."

"You can reach for only so many of these," Kevin Reilly, president of NBC Entertainment, told TV reporters Monday. The network was scheduled to unveil its fall lineup later in the day to advertisers in New York.

"The show had run its course," Reilly said of "Studio 60."

Series creator Aaron Sorkin had done the show he wanted, and now it was time to move on, Reilly said.

NBC gave "Studio 60" a big launch in the fall, and critics heralded it as one of the fall's better efforts. Sorkin's record at "The West Wing" was one reason for the hope. A cast led by Matthew Perry of "Friends" was another.

But viewers quickly decided they didn't care for this inside look at a TV sketch show in trouble.

Sorkin tried to revamp the show by focusing on romantic drama, but viewers didn't cotton to that approach either. And Reilly said the show presented a barrier to new viewers joining later in the action.

This season, the 10 p.m. Monday has been a rough slot for NBC. "Studio 60," "The Black Donnellys" and "The Real Wedding Crashers" all failed there. The network is putting "Journeyman" in the slot next fall.

That show concerns a time-traveling newspaper reporter (played by Kevin McKidd of "Rome"). Given the way the world is going for newsapers, perhaps NBC's faith in that series is misplaced. Maybe the reporter will spend a lot of time in the past.

And if you want to see "Studio 60," the show returns to the schedule at 10 p.m. May 24. That's the day after the current TV season end.

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The network decided instead to save low-rated "30 Rock" and "Friday Night Lights."

These shows may be "low-rated"--I don't follow ratings much myself--but they're highly praised by critics, who started comparing Studio 60 unfavorably with 30 Rock pretty early in the season. In addition FNL, particularly, from what I've read, has a very loyal fanbase. I know ratings are supposed to make all the difference, but it's more complicated than raw numbers.

Edited by BethR

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