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Studio 60 Rewatch - Ep. 2, The Cold Open

My re-watch is back after a looong hiatus!  Bear with me because I'm commenting as I watch so this post may get pretty long.  On a related note, I need some Studio 60 icons as I only have two right now.  If anyone can point me in the direction of some really good ones, your help in this matter would be greatly appreciated!

I need to start off by saying that last night I watched the pilot with the commentary by Aaron & Tommy.  I wish they did more than one episode with commentary, but I'm sure once they realized the show wasn't going to make it past season one, they decided it wasn't necessary.  Too bad because I never fail to learn something new from those guys whenever they comment.  Okay, on with the show....


I *heart* Amanda Peet.  I do.  I know a lot of people don't like her and didn't like Jordan McDeere, but I think she's great.  Even in later eps when everyone thought Jordan was letting Danny off too easily (but I'll wait to discuss that when I get to those particular episodes).  I think she's a good female lead.  The way she's funny and joking with around with the press reminds me a lot of CJ Cregg.

Brad's hair is starting to become that coppery color.  I don't personally like it that much, but I do appreciate how it makes him seem less like Josh Lyman.  Interesting conversation between Matt & Danny here...Matt is complaining to Danny about how he needs more time to write the show, and Danny, well he's preoccupied with watching Jordan's press conference.  For those of you who don't know, the romance between Danny & Jordan was planned by Aaron from the very beginning, so it wasn't added just because Amanda Peet got pregnant, although the timeline had to be sped up a bit.  I did not know this until last night...there is actually a part in the Pilot episode commentary where Aaron notes the exact moment Danny falls in love with Jordan.  Seriously, go listen to the commentary, it's very insightful.

Another one of Tommy Schlamme's classic long shots, moving from room to room in the studio.  Damn, he's talented.

Evan Handler.  YAY!  My favorite role he's ever done was Charlotte's husband on Sex & The City.  I'm glad they got him for the part of Ron here.

Steven Weber.  Amazing as always.  He does powerful exec very well.

"I raised the bar a little high?  Sorry.  Clear it."  Hee!  Aaaand smash cut to opening credits.

Act One:

Let the discussion about Matt's need to write a cold open begin!

"You're taking Wes's office."
"You're taking Wes's office." 

Oh, boys.  I love Matt & Danny's relationship.  It reminds me a lot of Dan & Casey from Sports Night.

The Countdown Clock of DOOOOOM!!!   It always knows.  Mwaahhahaha!

This set is unreal!  There is so much detail.  I want to pause the DVD during every scene just to look at the walls.  There is Bartlet for America poster somewhere, but I don't remember what episode it's in.  I don't think it's this one.

Ooo...Jeannie should have kept her mouth shut about staying at Matt's house.  Harriet is not happy.  I have to be honest here and say that I love Harriet and I love Matt, but I do not love HarrietandMatt.  They're okay, I just never got that interested in their relationship.

Okay, now Brad's hair looks blonde.

Act Two:

Wow, these writers have some crappy sketch ideas.  The look on Matt's face is priceless when he's listening to them pitch stuff.  Matthew Perry really took his acting to a whole new level in this series.  It's such a mature character, totally different from Chandler Bing and yet equally as likeable.

Aaron's dialogue really shines during the argument between Harriet & Matt.  Fast paced, back-and-forth, perfect.  Oh, I just realized something funny (well, in my mind anyway)...Harriet says there are rumors about Matt having an affair with Marlo Thomas.  Marlo Thomas played Rachel's mom on Friends!

Okay, almost that entire act was a single conversation between Matt & Harriet.  That is a long scene with a ton of dialogue.  I'm quite impressed with Matthew Perry and Sarah Paulson now!

Act Three:

"Can someone go over to their houses and teach them how to change the channel?"  Thank you, Jordan.  I am not a fan of censorship.  If you don't like it, don't watch it.  How hard it that??

More things I like about Jordan:  she's bad with names (a good plot device to show that she's still new), she stands up to Jack, she refuses to break her promises.

Everyone's on standby!  What a funny scene.  Is this the first time we see Danny with his glasses on his forehead?  I'm pretty sure it is.  I really like that character quirk.  I think I saw an icon one time that says, "Danny wears glasses, Josh does not."  Has anyone else seen it?

DL Hughley is awesome and that is all I have to say on the subject.  :-)

Aaron Sorkin must really love Gilbert & Sullivan.

"It's just a clock."  A clock of DOOOOM!!!

Act Four:

I like how they have the principals doing background work.  You can see Cal (Tim Busfield) through the window of the control room but he doesn't have any lines in the scene...it makes it so much more realistic.  The used to do that on The West Wing a lot, too.

"Oh my God, we are so screwed."  Yes, Danny, Matt is still in love with Harriet.  Are you really surprised?

For some reason I am not a fan of the phrase "Eat 'em up."

Talk about name dropping:  Jamie Foxx, Will Smith, Denzel Washington all mentioned while discussing Simon's resentment toward Danny.

Jack just called Jordan "J-Mac."  Ha!

Matthew Perry does nervous very well.  He looks like he's on the verge of passing out.  Either that or puking everywhere.

Oh, I forgot to do this earlier:  shout out to Diana-Maria Riva, also known as Edie from season 7 of The West Wing.  She's one of the control room people.  She's a great supporting cast member, even if she only has a few lines per episode.

FYI:  The Studio 60 announcer is played Aaron's assistant's dad!  I learned this from listening to the Pilot commentary  (See, you NEED to watch it with the commentary!).

I'm going to have that song stuck in my head now.  Nice reaction from Brad when the cast sings about Danny being "caught doing blow."

Aaand...the clock of doom restarts.  One more week till the next show, Matt.  It's 1:30 in the morning where I am, so in the words of Edward R. Murrow...Good night, and good luck.


( 18 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 28th, 2009 08:35 am (UTC)
The Bartlet for America poster is in "The Option Period". It was discussed last week on Aaron's Facebook page, it was news to him!

This is my one and only S60 icon and I'll have more comments at a decent hour.
Jun. 28th, 2009 05:06 pm (UTC)
Thanks for letting me know what ep the poster is in. I'll keep an eye out for it once I make it to The Option Period.

I really need to spend more time on Aaron's facebook group. I always forget to visit it whenever I check my facebook, so I only hear about what's going on over there from other people.
Jun. 28th, 2009 01:35 pm (UTC)
Okay, you're making me want to rewatch this episode AGAIN (I just watched it a few weeks ago). And watch the commentary on the first one, which I haven't done. Hm. Maybe I'll do that today and then comment in greater length.

But what you said about the Danny/Jordan thing being planned from the start made me giggle - I wonder if Brad thanked Sorkin for not making him drag it out for seven years this time?

I need more S60 icons too.
Jun. 28th, 2009 05:12 pm (UTC)
Yes! Watch with the commentary! There's a lot of interesting stuff about how they cast the different roles, how Tommy and Brad worked together to try to make Danny as different from Josh Lyman as possible, and of course the Jordan/Danny stuff.

What if the show had gotten picked up for a second season? Do you think Aaron would have dragged out the relationship like he did with Josh and Donna? I think yes.
Jun. 28th, 2009 05:18 pm (UTC)
Well. True. But at least they, you know, acknowledged that they liked each other in the first season. It's progress. ;)
Jun. 29th, 2009 01:22 am (UTC)
Okay, I just watched the pilot with commentary. Off to actually watch this episode. I love this show more every time I watch it.
Jun. 29th, 2009 02:01 am (UTC)
Yaaay!! I'm planning to watch episode 3 as soon as In Plain Sight is over.
Jun. 29th, 2009 03:46 am (UTC)
Okay, I just watched "The Cold Open," but I have pages of notes and it's past my bedtime, so I will write them up tomorrow and probably post them as their own post instead of a comment.

Random thought: do we need some sort of S60 rewatch community?
Jun. 29th, 2009 12:42 pm (UTC)
Cool, I look forward to reading them and commenting!

Random thought: do we need some sort of S60 rewatch community?

Hmmm...that's an interesting question. Do you think people would participate?
Jun. 30th, 2009 01:56 am (UTC)
I got home later than anticipated tonight so I won't have time to post until tomorrow. Just wanted to let you know I hadn't forgotten.

With the community idea, I was mostly thinking that that way we could put our posts in one place. I don't know how interested others would be. Hmmm. I'm fine either way; it was just a thought.
Jun. 30th, 2009 02:34 am (UTC)
I was mostly thinking that that way we could put our posts in one place

Oh, that might be a good idea...having posts across two people's journals could potentially get confusing. And if other people wanted to join in, that would be fine too, but we don't have to promote the community or anything. I'm actually cool either way, I don't have an issue discussing here and/or at your journal, but the community thing is also a good idea. Whatever you think.
Jun. 30th, 2009 02:41 am (UTC)
Enh, let's try the community thing. We can start it with these rewatch posts and then keep it going with general S60 discussion afterward or not, depending on what we feel like/if there's interest. Name ideas? Something along the lines of Studio 60 Reruns occurred to me because it's about TV, but now that I think about it it sounds kind of dumb.
Jun. 30th, 2009 02:50 am (UTC)
Hmmm...I like the idea of trying to make the name be about TV. I noticed today there is a new rewatch community for WW, and they are calling it West Wing Recount, which I thought was cute because it has to do with elections. What about Studio 60 Repeat or Studio 60 Rewind?
Jun. 30th, 2009 02:53 am (UTC)
I like Studio 60 Rewind!
Jun. 30th, 2009 03:01 am (UTC)
Awesome, that was the first one I thought of.
Jun. 30th, 2009 02:55 am (UTC)
I'm headed to bed, but go ahead and make it with that name if you want, or we can talk more tomorrow. (or if you want me to make it, just send me a message or something.)
Jun. 29th, 2009 04:37 am (UTC)
Before I read thoughts on the next ep I wanted to comment on the "sun-kissed" look of tinting the hair - blech. First, I thought often the show was shot so dark that it was hard to tell and he didn't really need it to differentiate between Danny and Josh. Secondly, it freaked me out how like Tim Busfield he was looking (inspired some rewatching of Revenge of the Nerds II).
Jun. 29th, 2009 12:36 pm (UTC)
I didn't mind the hair being just a little bit lighter...sort of brown with coppery highlights. But when it started turning totally blonde, I was not a fan. I never noticed that before -- he and Tim having almost the same color hair in this!
( 18 comments — Leave a comment )