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13's Studio 60 Rewatch - Ep. 1, Pilot

There is some kind of stomach bug going around my office, and guess who caught it?  That would be me!  So while I was home sick from work today, I decided to finally start my rewatch of Studio 60 (you know, in between puking my guts out).

Up first is, obviously, the pilot episode.   Here are a few of my thoughts...

I have a love/hate relationship with this show.  On the one hand, I have great respect for Aaron Sorkin and his amazing talent.  I also adore Bradley Whitford and Matthew Perry and think they are fabulous.  On the other hand, this is just not Sorkin's best work.  But I have to give him credit for admitting that the show had some problems.  In a recent GQ interview (I can't find the link right now but I'm pretty sure it's floating around some of the Sorkin-related communities here on LJ), he said at the time he wrote Studio 60 he was dealing with a lot of post-9/11 anger and it was apparent to the audience.  I've heard some people say his writing was too preachy, and it probably did seem that way to some people (although not really to me).  Anyway, moving on to this particular episode instead of the show in general...

Okay, so I liked the pilot, but it's not the best pilot I've ever seen.  It's a little slow upon rewatch.  At the time it originally aired, I was so excited to watch the premiere that I really didn't notice.  But I can see where a casual viewer who doesn't give a crap about Aaron Sorkin or Chandler Bing or That Guy From The West Wing might switch channels during an especially slow part.

The "that remote in your hand is a crackpipe" scene is very intense.  And I completely agree with pretty much everything Wes says.  I'm one of those people who think that American television (especially broadcast) is going downhill and reality shows are making people dumber.  The only reality show I watch is Project Runway, and the reason I watch it is because the contestants are actually required to possess some kind of skill to be on the show.

Let's see, what else?  I like Jordan's interaction with Jack.  Steven Weber is really stellar.  He comes off like a total jerk, but for some reason you still kind of like him.  He was like that on Wings a little bit, too.  Wow, now that's a show I haven't seen in years!

Matt and Danny are complete believable as best friends.  Matt Perry and Brad Whitford are, as usual, superb.  My only complaint (and it's not even really a complaint, it's more of an observation) is that Danny is very Josh-like in this episode.  I think a lot of it has to do with Brad's own personality shining through in both characters...so of course they're both going to have some similarities.  Plus, if I recall correctly, the pilot was shot about the same time West Wing was shooting it's final few episodes, so Brad was probably still in Josh-mode a little bit.

Danny-and-Jordan are no Josh-and-Donna...but I do think they have decent chemistry.  Amanda Peet is cute.  Jordan's not as fun as Donna, though. 

There's probably a lot more I want to say about this ep, but it's getting late and I'm still a little sick and I can't think clearly.  I'm planning to watch episodes 2 and 3 this weekend, but until then here's my favorite quote from the pilot:

Danny:  "I have no reason to trust you and every reason not to."
Jordan:  "Why?"
Danny:  "You work in television."