Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip

It's been two episodes and I'm already addicted.

I was home last night so I decided to catch the pilot of "Heroes". Not good. Overwrought "X-Men" rip-off that adds nothing new but melodramatic "Lifetime" crap. "Studio 60" follwed it and I left it on because RG had told me it was great.

It is. I never saw much of "the West Wing" but I can see what people loved. Aaron Sorkin definitely has a style. The way Joss Whedon or David Milch has a style. Just listen to the rhythm of the dialogue. It's fast, sharp and fun to listen to.

The cast is strong. Amanda Peet is not annoying. This is the highpoint of her career. Just being not annoying. Matthew Perry decided to stop making terrible movies and stretch himself as an actor. He pulls his persona over to drama effortlessly. So does DL Hugley who after finishing a long run on a sitcom no one watched leaves a talk show no one watched. Judd Hirsch was so damn good in the pilot I was pissed he wasn't a regular. And I had no idea Steven Weber was in this until he walked on screen. Smart career moves all around.

And for a drama it sure has some great insights on comedy. Monday's episode included this exchange.

"I got a huge laugh when I asked for the butter at the table read and nothing at dress. What did I do wrong?"

"You asked for the laugh."

"And at the table?"

"You asked for the butter."

That advice gave me a good set last night.

Looks like the pilot is gone but you can watch Monday's epsiode (which frankly was better) here. I hope they keep doing this because I can't count on being home every Monday.


Renee said...

I loved the pacing; it was not forced like "The Paper" or movies/shows that have the theme of the countdown. That clock turning over for the new week is great, even though it did remind me of Monster House. :)

VE said...

Couldn't agree more, Jon. It's the best new show this season.

An old theatre prof down at Jolly Rolly college used to tell that one to his acting classes -

You never heard that old bit about asking for the laugh vs. the item? Guy auditions for lead role, gets a one-liner as a butler. He doesn't even bother watching the rehearsals, he just shows up, does his thing, walks off. Opening night, he walks on, and he says, "Excuse me, sir, I need the salt." Laughter. Huge laugher. Pause two minutes for applause and laughter. He walks off and thinks, "holy shit, I just stole the show." The next night he walks on, ready to blow 'em away again. "Excuse me, sir, I need the salt." Dead silence. Because this time he asked for the laugh not the salt.

Ed Murray said...

HA! Told you the pilot was gone!

It's always great to be correct in my hopeless isolation from what I want.

Monica said...

we're totally addicted! by 1/2 way through the pilot, we were done in.

matthew perry is even more *you* in this show!