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By David Poland poland@moviecitynews.com

Why Studio 60 Sucks

I hated the pilot… but the pilot made the second episode look like genius.
The truth of the matter seems to be that Aaron Sorkin is making a show about making an hour long drama and not really about live TV or SNL or anything else. Not surprisingly, Sorkin doesn

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64 Responses to “Why Studio 60 Sucks”

  1. T.H.Ung says:

    It was so arch and bad and overcrowded with yak, I couldn’t watch it, Clinton going off on Wallace is where it’s at and Keith Oberman gave the commentary of his life going past the hour mark — f Sorkin for Studio 60 cutting Keith off.

  2. waveblue says:

    Totally agree. I’ve given this show two chances and now the game is up,

  3. KamikazeCamelV2.0 says:

    I’d heard nothing but positive notices throughout the blogosphere.
    Oh well, doesn’t matter, the show won’t make it to Australia until, like, March next year and then it’ll air at Midnight and nobody will watch it.

  4. T.H.Ung says:

    I heard there’s a better tv reflective show premiering on NBC soon, I gotta look it up.

  5. palmtree says:

    Loved the script early and I have to admit I was blinded by it being Sorkin. Aside from it being unrealistic and unfunny (there were a few good ones in there but it probably played better because I knew they were coming), it wasn’t dramatically pleasing either.

  6. T.H.Ung says:

    I have it on good authority that next month NBC’s Tina Fey sitcom “30 Rock” is good.

  7. Crow T Robot says:

    I really enjoyed the Studio pilot last week, but the second episode I felt slipped up a bit in one major way: The dialogue just sounded way too deliberate. There’s not enough reasonable contrast between its “real world” and its “TV world.” Real TV producers may be completely full of shit, but they never ever prattle on like some Kevin Smith movie.
    Sorkin should messy the place up a bit more; stop making every character behind the scenes sound as if they’re in front of the scenes. Perhaps a colder cinema verite approach would provide the right contrast. Sorkin could be the Paul Greengrass to (what looks like) Tina Fey’s Christopher Guest model.
    I am still tuning in though. CSI Miami has long gone stale and Sorkin’s exploration of integrity in this heartless industry greatly interests me. And unlike you DP, I think it captures a real dynamic in live tv production I’ve observed in my years here in LA. Those places are busy, busy, busy and everybody involved is scared to death.
    (And hey, who couldn’t predict that countdown clock gag would end up the last shot of the episode. Was that lazy shit or what!?!)

  8. James Leer says:

    That’s Sorkin for you. Don’t expect realism, expect idealism — no matter the milieu. Did anyone really think this was going to be a realistic look at television sketch shows? And BTW, when is Nathan Corddry, late of The Daily Show, a dramatic actor?

  9. I was trying to like this show. One of the things that is irritating (among many) is the camera movement. It dates the show and puts it into the “ER” and “West Wing” era. Compared to more contemporary, entertaining and more likeable fare like “Nip/Tuck” and “Rescue Me”, “Studio60” has a very middle-aged feeling. Powerful people walking down the hall to DO VERY IMPORTANT things! March madmen, march!
    The characters are uptight, alpha aggressors and invested with flaws that are surface (like drug abuse). I couldn’t give two shits about Matthew Perry and his relationship with that Christian comedienne with the limp hair whom he would never have dated in the first place. Perry is perfect for this role, because he is so arrogant and sharp tongued, but the artifice around him, from the phony golden lit set to the Masters of the Universe bosses, make him unappealing.
    The so-called daring in criticizing other NBS shows is like calling Democrats courageous for possibly asking for a possible (please sir) withdrawl date from Iraq. There is no daring or imagination in this show. It is seriously unfunny, and dramatically superficial.

  10. Paul8148 says:

    I forget where I read it, but someone said after last week pilot that Fast Talking Does Not Equal Smart Talking.

  11. Rob says:

    I sampled this last night too and was not pleased. I almost fell out of my chair when I realized Sarah Paulson was playing the long-running sketch comedy star. Uh, sorry, don’t buy it.
    No show should include both Matthew Perry and Steven Weber. They’re one chromosome away from being the same actor. And the episode-crowning Gilbert & Sullivan joke totally didn’t play.
    I agree about the horribly unflattering lighting. I didn’t even recognize Timothy Busfield.

  12. adorian says:

    The pilot was merely ok. I gave up last night after about 15 minutes. To me, the only interesting thing was trying to recognize who looked like what previous SNL stars. Last week, I saw someone who was probably supposed to be Adam Sandler. Last night, someone looked like David Spade. But then I realized that it doesn’t matter, I wasn’t amused, and I wanted to watch the Saints play football anyway.

  13. PetalumaFilms says:

    I agree with DP and Crow T….last night was weak. The dialogue was totally “Sorkinized”
    (What do I mean by that?
    What?
    Sorkinized?
    Yeah, Sorkinized.
    It means I don’t like it.
    Well, you never liked it before so maybe you like it now
    (30 SECONDS TO AIR)
    can we talk about this later?
    Later?
    Yeah……)
    and I mean, come on. Who the fuck resolves a personal situation RIGHT before air time on live TV. I never watched WEST WING but I know SPORTS NIGHT was like that where they bicker until the 3…2…1…but it’s lame.
    I’m still giving it a shot though. And I really, REALLY liked HEROES!

  14. PetalumaFilms says:

    Oh, crap…T.H….what happened with Olbermann last night? He’s my new favorite…Jon Stewarts jumping the shark as we speak and Olbermann’s taking over Fonzies bike.

  15. Hopscotch says:

    Ok, DP thinks Studio 60 sucks. Fair enough.
    Now, he isn’t going to pull a “Hollywood Elsewhere” and put a billion posts revolving around how much he thinks it sucks and the levels of suckiness? Right? Let’s hope so.
    I didn’t think the show was that bad. Not particularly good or interesting, but have you seen some of this other crap? Me neither.

  16. Hopscotch says:

    I like Olberman, but he has a ways to go to match Stewart or Colbert.
    And after the Clinton-Fox News’ Wallace bout. Scripted TV just does not seem that provocative.

  17. Lynn says:

    You can read Olbermann’s comments here, via Crooks & Liars:
    http://tinyurl.com/zvsyy
    I haven’t watched the second episode of Studio 60 yet. Nothing new so far this season has blown me away, though Heroes (which I haven’t seen yet either) is all over my friends’ LJ’s and blogs this morning.

  18. Crow T Robot says:

    I’m digging that “middle-aged feeling” observation, hereinvannuys. Studio 60 would be the undisputed best on TV… uh… 12 years ago.
    And here fucking here… if more Dems were like Mr. Olbermann, Republicans would be shaking in their boots right now. Somewhere Edward R. Murrow is smiling.

  19. David Poland says:

    I’m ok with Heroes… waiting to see if it goes anywhere… very dense first show… no real clue on how it becomes a weekly storyline…
    (Looking forward to another week or two when real movies return to discuss instead of bad TV.)
    And have you noticed that Sunday night has turned into Monday night? Football on network. Only one or two shows demanding the Tivo. And HBO in recess. Grey’s Anatomy, Boston Legal, and L&O:CI all gone to new homes. Save us, Ricky Gervais!

  20. mysteryperfecta says:

    Per Clinton’s and Olbermann’s comments:
    Blather, however passionate, is still blather.

  21. jeffmcm says:

    So what marks the difference between blather and non-blather? The answer can’t be “if I agree with it, it’s not blather”.

  22. palmtree says:

    Mr. Poland, I agree about Heroes. Though it has no apparent trajectory, it feels like the show is slowly going to some big moment…sort of the appeal of Lost. They’ve got my attention.

  23. Cadavra says:

    Haven’t seen last night’s episode yet, but I loved the pilot and need to watch it again, since I somehow managed to miss Donna Murphy. It may well be that Sorkin is an acquired taste, like sushi–you either go with him or you don’t. Personally, that walking-and-talking style suits me far more than all that jittery photography and ADD-editing we’ve had to endure since SE7EN. And when it’s marvelous talk, nothing else matters. (It may not be “realistic,” but that’s the difference between dialogue and conversation.) Of the five shows I was most looking forward to, STUDIO 60 easily tops the list, though granted the season is still young. (The others, in case anyone cares, are SHARK, MEN IN TREES, both of which lived up to expectations, and two yet to premiere: 30 ROCK and 20 GOOD YEARS.)

  24. ASD says:

    So much to dislike about last night’s episode. How about that every character continuously expounds about how brilliant and talented a comedianne Sarah Paulson’s Jesus freak is when there seems to be no evidence to support it. With all of the great female comedians churned out over the years by the Daily Show or SNL you’d think the show might have shown a little bit of spine and actually cast the role with a someone with a little bit of comedic timing, but I guess Amy Poehler or Mya Rudolph or Rachel Harris or Samantha Bee doesn’t make Sorkin go weak in the knees like the pretty but vacant Sarah Paulson does.
    Or how about that utterly embarrassing “cold opening” which somehow mistakes an arch Gilbert and Sullivan-esque opereta that uses the expression “intellectual reach-around” as the height of comedy and not acknowledging that the piece would have been met with nothing but abject horror by all who saw it. Sorkin is as funny as a bucket of dead kittens; since this is ostensibly a show about comedy he might want to get some people with a sense of humor on that writing staff post-haste.
    And there

  25. ASD says:

    Not that it matters a ton, but the last sentence of my third paragraph should have read
    “Sooner or later, people are going to realize the guy

  26. David Poland says:

    The difference here, Cad, is that self-important seriousness about getting a show written (which is written by a team and never ever written by one guy in a week, except on an hour-long series with a deadline to shoot) or who is sleeping with the allegedly spectacularly talented star (who is never funny or especially compelling here) or whether the guy who has been on the show for seven years is still a star (if he’s been on an SNL-esque show for that long, he isn’t and never was) is not as powerful in any way as the idea of putting human faces in the deadly serious world of the White House.
    The reason why a movie like Broadcast News actually works is that it isn’t really about the news business. It focuses intensely on three characters in a triangle and each represents a clear iconography. They could be in almost any world at that moment in people’s 30s when they are advanced enough in their career to have to decide which way to go. And then, the backdrop of TV news and the sense of lost values makes it even better.
    Here, besides it being reality-challenged in so many ways, each character is so self-obsessed they are bores and then

  27. Brett B says:

    I miss Larry Sanders.

  28. waterbucket says:

    D-Po, you unsexy beast, you need better taste, as well as a closer shave.
    I’m very impressed with NBC this year. They have good new shows like Studio 60 and Heroes, not to mention the great comedies like Earl, Office, and Scrubs.

  29. palmtree says:

    Mark McKinney was hired to give the show’s sketches a more authentic/funny feel. But as the episode cleverly alluded to, Sorkin does like to take over writing duties despite other ideas in the room.
    On the plus side though, I thought Amanda Peet improved her performance from the pilot.

  30. anghus says:

    Yes. The Wire is the best show on TV.
    On the subject of Studio 60: Sorkin sucks. The show feels like a guy writing about what he thinks happens on a popular live comedy show, though there is nothing to denote that whitford and perry are a) funny or b) talented.
    the whole show feels like it takes place in another universe, where hot girls head TV networks and sketch show comedy is painfully unfunny.
    i LOVED the scene where they come up with the ‘genius’ idea for the cold opening, doing the bit with the philharmonic. and by ‘loved’, i mean ‘laughed my ass off about’. it’s the problem with a show like Studio 60: it’s not funny, and when your show about a comedy isn’t funny (which is the danger that happens when you show’s supposed sketches from the fictional show), the whole concept falls apart. I can’t buy Sarah Paulson as a comedy star. She’s hot, and i wouldn’t mind sticking a few fingers in some orifices, i can’t buy her in that part. Much like i could never buy Felicity Huffman in Sportsnight.
    There are cringeworthy awful moments in the show, and the whole thing feels so cold and convoluted. It amazes me how bad this show can be.
    Even the premise just confounds me. A flagship network show at 11:30 on a Friday Night? The weird religious subtext with Paulson’s character and the Christian Magazine? A sketch called ‘Crazy Christians’? A discarded sketch from a comedy show 4 years ago causing this much controversy? It all feels like it’s written by a crack smoking, mushroom smuggling lefty wacko….
    Even the name of the sketches “Crazy Christians”

  31. Hopscotch says:

    I’m still going to give the show some more episodes…sometimes it takes awhile (granted with Sorkin at the helm it’s not going to become un-Sorkin). I didn’t think it was bad.

  32. Boonwell says:

    While I agree with many of these comments (and would never enter into a critical pissing match with most of you ’cause you’d mop the floor with me), I LOVED the second episode, even more than the pilot. I’m a complete sucker for Sorkin’s style and I’ve missed it so much since he left “The West Wing.”
    Depending on my mood “Sports Night” is my all time favorite show. This “feels” like the correct evolution.
    Maybe not perfect, but better than “Brothers and Sisters,” “Kidnapped,” “Six Degrees,” “Jericho,” and some other easily forgotten pablum that I’ve easily forgotten (“Heroes” is TiVo’d and all spun up for tonight).
    I also miss “Larry Sanders.”
    And Filliam H. Muffman was fantastic on “Sports Night.”

  33. PetalumaFilms says:

    DP- are you implying Tim Meadows, Darrel Hammond and Chris Parnell aren’t stars? For shame…

  34. Jeffrey Boam's Doctor says:

    Can’t we all see what this post is really about? Dave signals his true feelings in his opening salvo. This isn’t the 100% accurate docudrama that apparently many of you and Dave want – get over it – did you all bitch constantly about THE WEST WING’S tv trappings? The show isn’t firing on all cylinders or being the definitive ‘Live TV’ drama but thats not why Dave is annoyed. Dave interned or something similar for SNL back in prehistoric times and now he’s the authorised executioner for any shows that dare speaketh the name or dramatise the ins and outs of live TV.
    And THE WIRE is without peer on television today. The UK show BODIES comes close though.

  35. Harley says:

    I dunno. It’s certainly over-directed — is Schlamme auditioning for something else? — and a lot of the details seem to have been beamed in from another planet (if there’s a director who failed a drug test and couldn’t work for 18 months? I’ve certainly never heard of him.) and Amanda Peete is woefully miscast and directed (“Amanda, stare into the middle distance, no, no, take any semblence of an expression off your face, okay, got it, great, now, allow yourself an eighth of a smile — perfect!”)

    And Battlestar Galactica is the best show on TV.

  36. Aladdin Sane says:

    I never really got into The West Wing, but I do enjoy Studio 60. I haven’t watched every pilot that’s aired this season, but this is the only show that I have watched that I’ve found marginally interesting. Both episodes so far have entertained me, and that’s what TV is for – it may not be documentary-level facts, but it’s a good distraction.
    But, I do think Sarah Paulson is miscast as a funny person. Everytime I see her, I think of her character from the second season of Deadwood, who was a coniving little bitch. Ms Ingrinhausen (sp?) I think was her name.
    Anyhow, I didn’t catch Heroes, but maybe I’ll give it a shot.

  37. THX5334 says:

    I second that Battlestar Galactica is the best show on TV

  38. David Poland says:

    No one wants a docudrama JBD… it would be a complete bore.
    Did I think West Wing was docudrama? Nope. Homicide? No. The Wire? No. Grey’s Anatomy? Duh.
    The show is dramtically invalid. Let’s not even get to the point where “Crazy Christians” is never seen or even dumped (that seemed like the obvious gag that was coming). “That was the best dress ever!”
    Nothing is worse than a comedy that has to resort to the on-screen talent laughing at the jokes to signal to the audience that it is funny. It occasionally works. But by the third cut away to the “he’s on a role” face-making when nothing funny was happening… that was where I really checked out.
    But hey, JBD, make it about me. Everything is about me. The 30something comments that agree in a wide variety of ways should be disregarded. No, it’s all about me!!!

  39. jeffmcm says:

    Why is the show getting such good reviews in other places?

  40. ^^^
    Because people have differing opinions. All this definitive talk is more boring than a supposedly “poor” show could be. Personally, I dig the stylzed, total non-reality of it all. It’s like live TV seen through the eyes of a toned-down David Mamet (and I’ve done some work in live TV – so I’m not totally out to lunch on what’s not there). But then, others just…don’t like it.
    Basically…I guess what I’m saying is…SO?? It’s TV, after all. When was the last time something riveting and worth raising on high was REALLY put on the small screen? I mean…REALLY? If you ask me, Deadwood is the real loss in the world of television…talk about removing true art. But still…none of it is earth shattering anymore, so if I’m entertained, good enough.

  41. James Leer says:

    Petaluma, don’t forget that other player who was on SNL for “seven years” and thus, clearly is not a star: Will Ferrell.

  42. Cadavra says:

    “A flagship network show at 11:30 on a Friday Night?”
    Did they actually say this, or are you just assuming it because that’s when SNL airs? I got the impression it starts at 10:00 and runs an hour. (It couldn’t be NBS’ #1 show if it’s airing outside of prime-time.) Anybody confirm one way or the other?

  43. palmtree says:

    I think so much of one’s enjoyment of Studio 60 has to do with whether you enjoy the inside baseball references of it all. It’s the same problem I had with Love Monkey, where name dropping became really annoying because it was used to generate hipster credibility rather than to further the drama.

  44. palmtree says:

    Cadavra, I remember them saying 11:30 pm on Friday too. In fact, the pilot also mentions that the show ends at 1am, which is when SNL also ends.

  45. jim emerson says:

    Man, what a lousy show that was. I hadn’t seen the pilot (though I watched some of it online to prepare.) Sorkin is perfectly entitled to create his own world — albeit one with obvious parallels to existing ones (like the Lorne Michaels reference) — but come on: A live network sketch comedy show with no Jews? Where the cast not only has the time, but the inclination, to gather in a circle, holding hands and praying to JESUS moments before the show? Where the (generally too old) writers’ “dress code” isn’t odd because it’s casual or collegiate (which it would of course be), but because it’s from fifteen years ago. Where the cast and the writers are not only on separate floors, but don’t even seem to interact? How does anyone get anything into the show if nobody’s fighting for anything? Maybe Sorkin could get away with some of these things in a series about pre-taped episodic TV, but even then they’d be hard to swallow.

  46. Me says:

    I don’t know. I’m on the fence about the show. I’ll keep watching it, as I love Sorkin’s dialogue. But the problem for me, so far, is that the humor hasn’t caught me the way Sports Night and West Wing did – which carried me through the drama parts of both shows. I could care less if the skits are funny (SNL has yet to make a skit that if put on this show wouldn’t seem equally shitty) I just want the rapid dialogue to be funny (which it is in fits and starts). If that finally shows up consistently, I couldn’t care less whether it gets the SNL details right or wrong.

  47. Aladdin Sane says:

    Tapley, I agree with you about Deadwood. It has been my favourite show since I bought the first DVD set when it came out. I hope HBO follows through on the two 2 hr movies.

  48. Tofu says:

    Loving the show, nothing is lighted this good. The whole shakey camera shit is nothing new to television, anyone watch a cop drama in the past 12 years? I’ll stick with something that doesn’t try to make me throw up.

  49. KamikazeCamelV2.0 says:

    “Because people have differing opinions.”
    Pfft, Kris. Nobody has different opinions. And if they do they’re not allowed to have them. YA HEAR ME!?!
    😛

  50. Mr. Muckle says:

    I agree that the pilot had a marginal “well maybe I’ll watch the next one” quality. And the second episode went right into the dumper. Holy crap!
    Let’s face it, it is by no means a comedy. And as a drama what’s at stake to make anyone give a damn? Nada. Smart-ass unjustifiably self-important TV people pimping their careers.
    Sorkin-quality dialogue just calls attention to itself and takes you out of the “moment,” such as it is. I guess you can feel smart if you catch all the references, but that’s pretty cheap entertainment.
    If the Sarah Paulson character is going to be pimped as indispensable because “I love her talent,” then you’d think we’d see a little of it. Her armpits are nicely shaved, though.
    I hope this show goes off the air real soon.

  51. storymark says:

    Well, I dug the hell out of it. I’m looking forward to seeing where it goes. I’m not a huge Sorkin fan (liked Sports Night, didn’t get into West Wing), but I found Studio 60 to be highly entertaining, though mostly just for the dialog.
    I don’t get all the complains about it not being funny, though. It seems pretty clear that it’s a drama about a comedy show. Doesn’t mean it’s got to be funny.
    Really, I think Dave just hated it because of what they said about internet press. “Revenge of the Hack!”
    Just kidding, Dave. I know, it’s not “all about you”. But as soon as I heard that line, I had a feeling you might not like the show.

  52. Lynn says:

    Battlestar Galactica and The Wire are both truly excellent shows. Comparing the quality of one to the other is… kind of impossible. What they do have in common is the relevance of the questions both shows raise — and often (intentionally) fail to answer.
    BTW, BSG fans — if you don’t buy it, definitely rent disc 1 of season 2.5 from Netflix. It has the extended version of Pegasus, and both the episode and the commentary are great. My favorite part of the commentary was Moore and Eick discussing how they’ve subverted Sci-Fi’s persistent requests to make the show “lighter.”
    Next week is going to be an embarrassment of riches with the return of Veronica Mars, Lost and BSG.

  53. Martin S says:

    Dave, have you seen anything alluding to who Sorkin based Perry and Whitford on? The drug binge screams Mr-Locked-Hotel-Room chose himself for Perry, but I picked up two different vibes. First, it seemed like they were going to be stand-ins for Franken and Davis, but then I realized it was a Sorkin fantasy because he had the duo as a success outside the show. At that point, it seemed like they were Mandell and Ganz.

  54. Zac Bertschy says:

    I like Studio 60 because I accept that it’s The West Wing set inside SNL, not some docudrama or some single-camera zingfest.
    Also, I refuse to believe that David Poland knows so much about television that he can actually condescend to a respected industry vet like Sorkin and tell him he doesn’t know what he’s talking about.
    Christ, that’s pure arrogance.

  55. Cadavra says:

    My guess is Perry and Whitford are both Sorkin: his Jekyll and Hyde, if you will.

  56. machiav says:

    “Also, I refuse to believe that David Poland knows so much about television that he can actually condescend to a respected industry vet like Sorkin and tell him he doesn’t know what he’s talking about.”
    Poland worked at SNL – if I’m not mistaken.

  57. David Poland says:

    By that standard, Zac, there can be no critics at all… right?

  58. storymark says:

    That’s a bit of a reach Dave. There’s a difference between offering critique of something, and explaining why you don’t like it. It’s something else to say the person who’s been working successfully in TV for a decade has no idea what he’s talking about. One is criticism, the other comes off as an ill-informed personal attack.
    If you have such a deep understanding of live TV that you can back your statement, do so. Otherwise, it just sounds like a tantrum.

  59. palmtree says:

    What credentials does Sorkin have regarding sketch comedy or live TV? None as far as I know.

  60. David Poland says:

    I worked in live TV for the first three or four years of my career, including SNL, Letterman, and a daily show in the early days of the Fox network in NY.
    But my point is more that he is not even trying to capture the reality of live TV. He is pressing the issues and pressures of writing a weekly – paging Rod Lurie – and spinning it into this SNL-style show (which is, in some ways, more like Fridays, which had 2 show-runners and was based in L.A., and co-starred Larry David). He is taking something that is utterly autobiographical (or onanistic, you take your choice) and trying to make it less obvious by putting it in a forum in which he never worked.
    The issue of, for instance, having to deliver a complete script under the pressure of a weekly hour-long schedule, might be very interesting drama in a show about that. But that’s not what he’s making here. And for me, it’s like the old joke, “Let’s not talk about me anymore… so what do you think about me?”

  61. The Carpetmuncher says:

    I like the show a lot so far. I’ll be the first to admit that the pilot felt very pilot-y (but don’t they all?), and that there are certain things I don’t like about it – for instance, I don’t get the Sarah Paulson thing anymore than I got the Allison Janney thing on the West Wing. But the best TV shows take time to get going, just as the West Wing did, and tens of others that turned out to be great.
    But I don’t get what seems to be Hollywood-insider snobbery, the attitude that “I know SNL and Sorkin doesn’t” – or “I know live sketch TV and Sorkin doesn’t” – especially when I imagine most of these critics never worked on SNL, or on a live TV show, but whatever… The point is, give it a break already with the pure authenticity stuff…this is a TV show, it seems insane to hold any TV show to standards like that, it’s purpose is to entertain.
    I’m totally thrilled to have Matthew Perry and Bradley Witford back doing great work, and Sorkin spinning his cracking dialogue, and think most of the “high” criticism just seems overly-angry, as if people are jealous of Sorkin’s success. As for me, I’m in for the ride – outside of HBO, most everything else on TV is garbage. In that world, to say that Studio 60 sucks and just blow it off just seems nuts.

  62. palmtree says:

    All praise for Studio 60 seems to come with the disclaimer “when compared to the other crap on TV.” That isn’t the barometer for success in my book. Believe me, I wanted to like Studio 60, having liked the scripts and even rewatching American President to prepare myself for the genius of Sorkin. But alas it didn’t work.
    The issue of it not being realistic is a real issue, because the show pegs itself as an insider’s view of the process, not as parody or satire. As the New Yorker’s positive review said, “But Sorkin isn

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My friend paid my rent for a year while I wrote, because it turned out we couldn’t get a writer. My friends kept on me about, well, if you can’t get a writer, then you write.”
~ Hampton Fancher

“That was the most disappointing thing to me in how this thing was played. Is that I’m on the phone with you now, after all that’s been said, and the fundamental distinction between what James is dealing with in these other cases is not actually brought to the fore. The fundamental difference is that James Franco didn’t seek to use his position to have sex with anyone. There’s not a case of that. He wasn’t using his position or status to try to solicit a sexual favor from anyone. If he had — if that were what the accusation involved — the show would not have gone on. We would have folded up shop and we would have not completed the show. Because then it would have been the same as Harvey Weinstein, or Les Moonves, or any of these cases that are fundamental to this new paradigm. Did you not notice that? Why did you not notice that? Is that not something notable to say, journalistically? Because nobody could find the voice to say it. I’m not just being rhetorical. Why is it that you and the other critics, none of you could find the voice to say, “You know, it’s not this, it’s that”? Because — let me go on and speak further to this. If you go back to the L.A. Times piece, that’s what it lacked. That’s what they were not able to deliver. The one example in the five that involved an issue of a sexual act was between James and a woman he was dating, who he was not working with. There was no professional dynamic in any capacity.

~ David Simon