God bless this series of tubes. I'm still TV-less, but I just got through the latest "Studio 60" episode over on NBC.com. Spoilers coming up just as soon as I pay royalties to the "Veronica Mars" guys for stealing one of their episode titles for my subject line...
I quote my friend Phil: "Boy, when Sorkin says the show's going to lurch into more of a romantic comedy, it really lurches, huh?" If this is a sign of what the new direction is going to be, I don't think I'm in danger of having to write a "Boy, 'Studio 60' has sure gotten better" column anytime soon.
Could Danny possibly be any creepier in his pursuit of Jordan? I know that dogged pursuit in the face of constant rejection is a classic romcom trope, going back to '30s screwball comedies, even back to Shakespeare, but those stories always take place in some elevated plane of reality. This, on the other hand, is a show that tries to trade on taking place in something resembling the real world, and in the real world, Danny's a walking sexual harassment suit. Jordan's already been a tabloid joke for months, and now he's calling around to every celebrity he knows to get them to help him woo his pregnant boss? Is there any way that doesn't wind up on Defamer or Page Six or PerezHilton?
And the thing of it is, the show has Jordan go and make this point, and has Danny play contrite for all of 30 seconds, only to have him insist that he's going to go right on doing it, anyway. If they had chopped off that very last bit, it would have been fine, would have shown that Danny can be arrogant and impetuous and overbearing but is also capable of listening to the woman he's allegedly interested in. That would be a decent jumping-off point for their inevitable coupling. What Sorkin actually did, however, just squicked me out.
Also squicky? Simon acting like Darius has to be his manservant for the next 75 years because he happened to be standing next to Matt when Matt offered him a job.
Just plain boring? Matt and Harriet. No chemistry, nothing interesting about the two of them behaving like five-year-olds, no point except that they're The Couple We've All Been Waiting For or somesuch.
Really frustrating? The FCC subplot, which would actually be really good if Sorkin had bothered to give Jack and Wilson a cause that only a complete imbecile would be on the wrong side of. Have them support the First Amendment by going to bat for some fictionalized version of Howard Stern or Sarah Silverman, and you have a much more complicated, much more interesting, much better storyline.
And continuing with the show's complete disinterest in nuance, we have Jordan's new nemesis from Illiterate Programming. Leaving aside the fact that both Jordan and Sorkin's condemnation of reality TV ignores Sturgeon's Law, why does the new VP have to be such a blatant conniving bitch? Bob Rumson was more sympathetic. And her show idea was just as lame and unlikely to gather a huge audience as "Search and Destroy."
(Oddly enough, the first time I heard of "The 48 Laws of Power" was on "The Contender," where one of the contestants had read it and was using it to manipulate the others.)
But I'll give "Monday" this, and maybe only this: I could see Dylan's chubbby gymnast idea being very funny.
What did everybody else think?