Spoilers for "Studio 60" coming up just as soon as I figure out why NBS would allow its "flagship" show to feature so many plugs for NBC series...
Wait, I'm confused: was it Sorkin's dream to write for "SNL" or to write for "Three's Company"? Because between the Two Dates On One Night and Locked On The Roof, all the episode was lacking was the Misunderstood Overheard Phone Conversation where Matt started to believe that Harriet was pregnant. Doesn't matter if you have Danny comment on the hackiness of the roof situation; it's still hacky, and no amount of highbrow name-dropping can disguise that. Commedia Del'Arte, this ain't.
I'll go with the cell phone issue, as the latest TCA press tour was held at a top LA hotel where you could only get reception in the strangest of places, and being outdoors wasn't always a help. But Tom lying to Lucy about the dinner was the most idiotic of Idiot Plots, a decision made for no reason except that the plot wouldn't work without it.
(Speaking of both TCA and Tom's lie, I don't think I've ever been at a dinner where they had the actors wait tables, but Jimmy Kimmel once cooked burgers for us and I once ordered Martha Stewart to serve us all lunch, so there's at least a little precedent.)
And the fact that Sorkin has stretched Harriet's dinner across three episodes makes all the telegraphing even more painful; any viewer who's intelligent enough, in Sorkin's mind, to watch this show would be intelligent enough to see every single plot development coming at least twenty minutes, if not an entire episode, in advance. The trip to Pahrump didn't need two episodes, and this story sure as hell doesn't need three.
Aside from Snakes On a Soundstage, every storyline was just dragged along from last week, so I don't have much new to say. Of course Jordan is starting to warm towards Danny now that he's backed off even a tiny bit, of course Hallie's awful reality show idea that no one in 2007 would actually want to watch is moving full-steam ahead, and of course Simon is still acting like a complete jackass towards Darius.
And with so much story carryover, I've realized a problem that goes far deeper than the unfunny sketches, or the score-settling writing, or the condescending, factually innacurate vibe: I don't like any of these people. Well, I like Jack sometimes, and Cal is amusing enough in his limited doses, and Matthew Perry has enough personal charm that I can enjoy him sometimes in spite of the negative chemistry levels between Matt and Harriet, but there's no one I care about, no one I feel affection for, nobody who's so compelling that I don't care if he or she makes awful decisions.
Sorkin has said that his backstage world is so much more squeaky-clean than what we know of "SNL" because he likes to write about characters working together to achieve a common goal that the audience can root for. And I don't want to root for these characters.
What did everybody else think?