The Christmas Episode of Studio 60 bought a good chunk of the Sorkin magic back, for the first time in a long time. First of all the Sorkin TEAM is back: we no longer have the lame hit-you-over-the-head artists versus the corporate guys -- everyone, it turns out, is a good guy (which shouldn't work, but Sorkin always makes it work), including Webber and Asner. We have a better screwball couple -- an actually adorable story -- to eclipse the Matt and Harriet thing, which just didn't work, perhaps because Sorkin was too close to it (it is largely autobiographical). Danny falling for a pregnant woman he should, by all rights, hate, is great fun (and Whitford makes it work, with his awkward little kid looks and smacking the desk); big declarations of love while Jordan is wide-eyed and has a mouth full of sandwich is what I was looking for. Hopefully these kinds of scenes will replace the Matt-and-Harriet wet-fish-love-looks-during-Sting-songs scenes. Sorkin also gets his tearjerker, although it has to be admitted that he gets it in the easiest way possible, by milking recent real life tragedy, rather than, say, writing one of those great Sorkin speeches ("They weren't born wanting to do this!"). The Harriet scenes still drag, and the view of the show-within-a-show is still horrendous, but otherwise -- we have a good direction established. I am feeling more confident, and I just thought people would like an update.
[I am moving the usual Tuesday commonplace book entry to Thursday, so this post will be more topical].