Saturday, March 03, 2007

TV: The Week in Review

Studio 60 may be gone forever. This week the show was not in its slot, was replaced with the pilot of a new show, and there was no announcement of when we will see it again. Frankly I am glad, as it was a chore to watch: the only reason I watched it was out of loyalty to Sorkin for Sports Night and West Wing and A Few Good Men. I probably would have watched, but not enjoyed, two years of the show before giving up. We will see what happens next.

I wanted so say one more reason the show went bad: Sorkin writes great male friendships: Leo and the president on the West Wing, Danny and Casey from Sports Night. Studio 60 looked like it was going to be about Matt and Danny, but then became the Matt and Harriet Show, with Danny and Jordan as a foil. He is writing against one of his main strengths.

Lost this week was fantastic, good fun. It is important to notice that Buffy, for example, cannot have an episode like this, where the big arc or monster focus is put aside for a great short about four guys drinking beer and fixing a car just for the fun of it. On Buffy they can do smaller episodes but they usually involve finding some magic thing or some new creature coming to town. The power of Lost is in how many different kinds of stories the concept allows for.

30 Rock was less good -- Fraiser has told that story before, with a guy in a wheelchair -- but still funny. I did like it when LL Cool J asked Kenneth "What's your game" and he replies, without missing a beat, "Boggle."


Patrick said...

Because you're all dying to know this-I've decided I will be picking up the Buffy Season Eight comic.

Why? Because with Spike out of the picture (for the most part) hopefully there will be a re-emphasis on the Buffy/Willow/Xander friendship(the destruction of which largely counts for my hatred of the last two seasons)-

And because of this-

That's just damn funny

LurkerWithout said...

Kenneth is probably the best part of 30 Rock. I missed Lost this week. After last weeks dissapointing Jack centered episode (now with even more pointless flashback action) it wasn't on my Must Watch radar...

Coligo said...

I watched the first few 30Rock episodes when it began last year, but I couldn't find enough to like about it. After hearing some consistant praise from many who post hear, and yourself, I thought I'd go back and give it another try. I'm still unconvinced though. Baldwin is great value for money but I find Fey's writing to be a bit of a run through the sitcom-gag-classics-vault, and her performance seems to me to be all too forced. Most of the other cast members appear to exist for only one joke each, and those jokes were already used in the pilot. That said I don't think the show is without its charm, and Baldwin almost always raises a chuckle.

Patrick: I agree with you about the poor direction Buffy went in the last two seasons (as did Angel in its last season), but its because of those awful developments that I won't be reading Season 8. The poor writing, and effects of stretching the show to breaking point over two unnecessary extra seasons, have left me in a position where I was glad to see the back of the whole universe. In its best days Buffy was cutting edge comedy/drama/horror fun, but as far as I'm concerned its day is done.

Well it seems that I'm now Scrooge McGrinch and I hate all television. So in an effort to show that there is TV I like I'm going to ask if anybody here watched the fantastic Deadwood, and if they're looking forward to the movies we should alledgedly be expecting?

(I'm not sure if that sentence should end with a question mark, seeing as said I'm going to ask a question, and didn't actually ask a question. Or did I?)

Madd_Hadder said...

I tried to watch Deadwood, but the amount of swearing just seemed like incredibly lazy writing to me and I gave up after about the 5th or 6th episode.

Geoff, while I seem to disagree with you about Studio 60 big time, I have to say I agree with your point about wishing it focued more on the male friendships, like his former shows. Plus, The two male leads have very good chemistry and I'd love to have seen more of that. However, if Black Donnelys doesn't pick up in ratings, we may at least get the final episods of Studio 60's first and probably only season.

Marc Caputo said...

Geoff: Yeah, S60's dead to me. I remember how I wanted this show to be so great, and it kills me to turn my back on it (emotionally, that is - I'll still DVR it but I'm not expecting any miracles)

Thank you for your defense of Lost - I thought the missus and I were the only ones who liked it! All the papers are talking about how the show is on its last legs and I totally disagree; the show is great and getting better. I just hope ABC will let them play out the 5 year plan.

Remember, 3/14 - Buffy season 8 #1 from Dark Horse Comics!

marcin said...

is it really necessary to dig studio 60's grave before they're dead? the network has said that it's going on hiatus, and the ratings have been decent.

it's this kind of paranoia that kills good series before they start.

souschef said...

a good series, maybe, but a disappointngly awful show? perhaps for the best.

Matt Brady said...

Last week was probably the weakest episode of 30 Rock this season, but that doesn't mean it wasn't hilarious. The scene with Kenneth that Geoff mentioned was great, and I loved the bit where Alec Baldwin was reading the names of all the rappers that would be at the Source Awards, with Tracy noting the feud he had with each one. "Homunkulus?" "No way!"

Scrooge: I've watched a couple episodes of Deadwood, and found it very entertaining. I plan to watch the two seasons on DVD sometime, I've heard nothing but praise (sorry, Madd Hadder, "excessive profanity" counts as praise to me, not criticism).

Geoff Klock said...

Patrick: awesome, thanks for that.

Lurker, it should have been.

Coligo: I agree that there is a certain satisfaction in a thing ending, especially when it got bad as Buffy did, but remember: Whedon was on Angel and Firefly when Buffy got bad -- the Buffy comic will have more Whedon attention and care.

Marc: yeah, agree -- the papers say it is bad but I think it just gets better and better.

Marcin: no one here is paranoid -- no one is out to get us. Also Studio 60 has had many episodes and is hardly just getting started. West Wing and Sports Night both showed some of the best episodes before this deep in the show. I don't think this kind of talk does harm a show, but I think it SHOULD -- I am a fan, his best audience, and I hate this Show. Sorkin has failed, and he needs to stop, regroup, and come back.

Matt: Homunkulus -- that is a GREAT line, one of the best.