21 August 2006

Why Is "Studio 60" Doomed?

I can answer that question with three simple words: horny teenage boys, and the fact this fantastic new drama from NBC has nothing that would appeal to them -- television's target demographic.

We were able to watch the pilot episode of this NBC series last night because the network has some kind of exclusive offer for Netflix subscribers: rent a DVD with the first episodes of "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip" and "Kidnapped" as well as previews for two other new shows.

"Studio 60" is clever, well-written, incisively observed and character-driven. In short, a diamond in the coal bin of network television that stands no chance of finding an audience.

Here is a list of its faults: Subtle acting, believable characters, and a plot unlike anything else on television. What was NBC thinking? How is this ever going to succeed?

Then, there is the expert writing of Aaron Sorkin ("West Wing"). Every word uttered is totally believable. My favorite line is spoken by the new entertainment president watching news reports of a big fiasco that just occurred at her network. When the reporters keep comparing the event to the movie "Network," she says: "
They've heard of Paddy Chayefsky. That's a step in the right direction."

(This ranks right up there with my favorite line from another doomed television show "All is Forgiven" spoken by a writer who just heard someone quote a famous writer:
"You quoted Tennessee Williams. That means you read!")

If you care about changing the sorry state that is network television today, then you need to rent "Studio 60" from Netflix, or watch it on NBC on 18 September when it premieres. Get it quickly, as quality programming like this will not be around long!


Dan said...

I'll have to make a point of checking out this show as I've long given up on consistently watching primetime network TV. Can't say that Matt has steered me wrong on anything yet!

Oh, and for the record, it's Aaron Sorkin, not Sarokin. :-)


Christopher said...

Oops. Thanks, Dan. (I always appreciate a good copy editor.)

Anonymous said...

The show is horrible. I have watched most all the episodes and it is the same BS week-in and week-out. The obvious attempt to appeal to liberals by bashing Christians, military, republicans, family values, and personal responsibility is tiresome.

It may make insecure intelligent wannabe TV connoisseurs (oxymoron) feel important or elite – but really how many of these fools are there in America.

GE should be reconsidering the ongoing direction and diatribe of NBC’s continual attacks against majority America. Here is some novel advice for NBC – stick to entertainment and get out of making politically and religiously insensitive comments.