Spoilers for "Studio 60" coming up just as soon as I escape this meatlocker I'm trapped in...
Okay, so the new thing that drives me most nuts about this show -- more than the sketches, or the smugness, or the awful writing of women -- is how Sorkin just grossly miscalculates where the audience's sympathy is going to be -- or, at least, how he consistently presents such an awful argument for the side he wants us to be on.
Simon? Condescending, revisionist historian, bullying jackass. He had somewhere between Jack and Squat to do with Darius getting hired, save that Matt was tagging along with him at the time. And even if he was, even if he had discovered Darius entirely on his own, gone and pled his case to Matt, maybe even sacrificed a favor or twelve to get him the job, it still wouldn't give him the right to talk down to him in that way. And yet the way the story and its conclusion are written, we're clearly meant to believe that Simon has been right all along, and that Darius should be grateful for the opportunity to write horribly-dated underwear commercial parodies.
Danny? Arrogant, preening stalker. But it's okay, apparently, because we now know that Jordan wasn't really upset by the inappropriate phone calls, or the refusal to take no for an answer, or the potential public humiliation that could come from the letter-writing campaign. No, Jordan was upset because she didn't think Danny was attracted to her for the right reasons! And now that she knows his motives are pure, all the rest is forgotten! Like the booze ads say, brilliant!
Matt and Harriet? Well, here I'm in a bit of a pickle, as I can no longer tell who I'm supposed to feel sorry for, or care about, or like, or tolerate the presence of in any storyline involving the other person. But every time Matt spoke to Harriet, I felt like he was wrong, and almost every time Harriet spoke, I felt the same thing -- though the latter is largely because Harriet has an uncanny knack for allowing her opinions to be swayed wildly anytime a guy tells her what to think. This whole burning-down-the-house breakup scenario is the kind of thing a show has to earn after multiple seasons, and here we're being asked to invest based on things that happened long before we started watching. (Next week's flashback seems like an attempt to correct that, but putting a backwards baseball cap on Matthew Perry doesn't make him look seven years younger; it makes him look like a suburban dad who has some painfully misguided notion of being the cool father on the block.)
As usual, the best stuff involved Steven Weber, and I will give Sorkin credit for recognizing how good he is in the role and re-calibrating the writing on Jack just enough to make him human without robbing him of his appealingly jerky traits. Don't know that I liked the revelation about Kim's dad speaking English this whole time; either it's such an unguarded secret that it would have come up in any serious kind of due diligence on this mega-billions deal, or he guards it so closely that he would never reveal it to someone like Jack, even under such relatively intimate circumstance. Felt like a forced punchline that didn't fit the previous material.
What did everybody else think?