Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Studio 60 - Entertainment Plus

NBC.com - Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip

"Does Aaron Sorkin's "Studio 60" tackle the self-perpetuating mediocrity of the TV industry, or romanticize the self-importance of overpaid jackasses?" Heather Havrilesky

Well. Okay. Apparently I was so busy enjoying Aaron Sorkin's latest TV show I missed the deeper socioeconomic issues it raises. Or hey, maybe Ms. Havrilesky, usually a solid, thoughtful reviewer needs to step back, sit down and just enjoy.

Why trample on a vastly entertaining, sharp, literate, nearly pitch perfect new show with over analytical psychobabble?

So what if Studio 60 reflects the over inflated egomaniacal self-important hubris of virtually everyone involved in commercial television ... that's what makes it so much fun.

It's also the touchstone of Aaron Sorkin's standout brilliance. His singular writing is so passionate and intelligent and witty, it sucks us--heart and soul--into his world with brio and gusto. He did it for the political arena with The West Wing.

Now with Studio 60, Sorkin tackles high stakes television. He takes us behind the velvet rope, makes us privileged insiders. We root for the 'good guys,' loathe the 'bad guys,' make fun of the 'losers,' cheer the 'winners,' share the thrill of their victories and feel the agony of their defeats.

Who cares if nobody talks or acts that glib and gutsy and slick and funny in real life? If only more people in television did. We get enough bumbling, mind-numbing reality in our own lives as it is. You want idiotic over-hype in the supposedly "serious" side of television, tune in to the Katie Couric circus, also known as the CBS Evening News.

You want superior, self-confident, robust diversion on the entertainment side, tune in to Studio 60 On the Sunset Strip. For one hour each week, we're not stay-at-home moms, cubicle geeks, white collar drones, plumbers, waiters, lawyers ... or even brain surgeons. We're flies on the walls surrounding the sexiest business on the planet. We're in show biz, baby.

Here's a short list of what I want/don't want in a TV show:
Engage and entertain me.

Don't insult my intelligence.

Make me laugh. And think. And care.

Don't bore me with stupid dialogue and even stupider people.

Give me characters and situations that, though larger that life, reflect today's reality and take a stand.

Don't irritate, annoy or belittle me with schlock.

Suck me in. Keep me on board. Make me want more.
Aaron Sorkin meets my criteria and then some. He may be an acquired, cultivated taste, but to my mind Sorkin--and the shows he presents--are downright delicious.

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