I thought Studio 60 was very compelling. I never thought I’d see Matthew Perry as anything but that Friends ham, but by the end of the premiere, Chandler Bing was mercifully erased from my brain. I thought Danny Tripp’s riff about not shooting their film in Vancouver—“Vancouver doesn’t look like New York. Vancouver doesn’t look like anything. It doesn’t even look like Vancouver. It’s…Boston, California.”—was brilliant. I will work it into conversation any time someone mentions Vancouver for the rest of my life.
What I didn’t like had little to do with Sorkin, Perry or anyone involved in the creative aspects of Studio 60, and I’ll bet Sorkin fought NBC good and hard on it. The peacock bug reminding viewers to visit nbc.com for the first 15-20 minutes of the show distracted the heck out of me, and really stood out amidst the program’s rich cinematic feel.
And Sorkin’s dialogue was every bit as sparkling as expected. But if ever a show needed cursing to sound authentic, it’s one about a viper-pit of network execs, comedy writers and live-TV producers. Keeping 60 FCC-friendly is like asking Dice Clay to be the entertainment at a convent.
By Michael Malone