Spoilers for "Studio 60" just as soon as I figure out how long it takes Sorkin to write an episode set in Lake Titikaka...
Congratulations, everyone who had "Tom was speeding to see his little brother before he had to go stand IN THE MIDDLE OF AFGHANISTAN!" as the reason for this entire wheezing mess of a farce. Because there's no way Tom could have been speeding just to be speeding, no way Judge Goodman could have taken these people out of their world of pain without realizing the guy in the Jesus suit had a brother fighting abroad, no way we could have gone for something remotely subtler or more interesting, is there?
Last week's episode felt like it was dragging things out to save all the good stuf for the conclusion. Apparently, "the good stuff" got lost somewhere on the way to and from Pahrump. (See? "Pahrump." It's a funy name. Like "Turd Ferguson." Just keep saying it over and over, and apparently it just gets funnier.) Because after feeling only bored and ambivalent about the show last week, I was back to cringing, "Mommy, please make the bad man stop" with this one.
In particular, that last scene with Matt and Harriet was appalling in a way that I didn't think was possible outside of an Endemol-produced reality show. "Oh God, Matthew. Are you crazy about me or just crazy?" That's an actual line of dialogue? One that Sorkin thought that any actress in the history of space and time could deliver? And all that back and forth about whether gays are the same as blacks and "judge not lest ye be judged" and on and on to the point where I wouldn't want either of these yahoos as the spokesperson for my point of view?
Phil Rosenthal -- "Everybody Loves Raymond" Phil Rosenthal, not my friend Phil Rosenthal -- once told me about how often his wife Monica would watch a "Raymond" episode featuring a story inspired by one of their arguments, and when Ray would give a big speech apologizing to Debra and explaining what he did that was so wrong, Monica would always punch him in the arm and complain, "How come you understand it for television!" Not having been a fly on the wall for any of the Sorkin/Chenoweth relationship, I can't say how much of this series is therapy, how much is apology, how much is Sorkin trying to get the last word, but I think it's safe to say that no matter what it is, Aaron still doesn't understand.
Meanwhile, I remain both impressed and amused by how the cast of the faux-"Studio 60" are the most supportive, least competitive group of comedians of all time. Like the non-Big 3 castmembers wouldn't be clawing and scratching each other for the chance to replace Simon for a night? I know that Harry Shearer couldn't stand to appear on Weekend Update during his first "SNL" stint because Lorne wouldn't let him do it in character, so on that level I can understand Dylan's discomfort. But why weren't the other three all running to Matt to argue their own case? (And who the hell was anchoring the news before Danny put Simon and Harriet on it? Wouldn't there be someone in the cast who A)Has experience behind that desk, and B)Is just a mite resentful at being replaced?)
Sorkin continues to wildly overestimate the interest anyone would have in the love life and personal opinions of a network entertainment president, but God do I love Jack Rudolph. Weber almost makes me wish Sorkin could take his carpet-cleaning idea and really do it, but only bring along Jack, Matt, Tom, Cal and maybe Lucy (and that's only because I like watching Lucy Davis cry). Because I'm all for any excuse to eliminate the deadweight characters, get away from any discussion of The Culture Wars and keep Sorkin from ever having to pretend that he can write sketch comedy.
What did everybody else think?