Posted by: Joe | September 27, 2006

Hey, haven’t I seen this before?

Anne convinced me to sit down and watch Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip Monday night. It follows in the footsteps of both Sports Night and The West Wing (also Sorkin/Schlamme endeavors) by displaying the inner workings of an environment that we normally only see from the outside.

First impressions:

  • Schlamme’s “Walk and Talk” shooting style, combined with Sorkin’s rapid-fire dialog make for a familiar feel. Too familiar, in fact. I half expected Martin Sheen to burst out of a side door with a witty quip to break the tension of a scene. West Wing’s lengthy run and overwhelming popularity may have overused the Sorkin/Schlamme (Sorkamme? Schlorkin?) Formula. When Family Guy is lampooning your one cinematography device, perhaps it’s time to find a new schtick.

  • While I can understand the desire to stick some Friends/West Wing references into the scripts, it would be nice to be a little more subtle than Whitford’s godawful Chandler Bing impersonation. Seriously, Perry is typecast as it is, you’re not helping.
  • Sorkin seems to be looking for some catharsis with this show. The clichéd, blowhard-studio exec is obviously a shot at the ABC execs that canceled Sports Night, and Whitford’s character is pretty clearly a stand-in for Sorkin himself, who has had his own history of substance abuse.

Overall, it feels like the show is trying too hard to fill the void left by West Wing. I’ll give it a few episodes to find its own identity, but I’m not confident of that happening.

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