Tonight I caught up with my tape of last week's premiere episode of Aaron Sorkin's new series, STUDIO 60 ON THE SUNSET STRIP.
I adored Sorkin's SPORTS NIGHT, which I found one of the most delightful TV shows ever, and thought THE WEST WING was superb television as well. THE WEST WING, incidentally, had one of the all-time best pilot episodes, which I've viewed at least three times.
Unfortunately I can't say I felt the same about STUDIO 60's premiere episode, despite its positive reviews. I didn't find Amanda Peet at all believable as the head of a television network, didn't care for the overall SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE atmosphere and accompanying (so-called) music, found the snarky asides on Christianity tiresome, and generally found it disappointingly phony and shallow. I also could have done without the caption cards borrowed from FRASIER or the live television rant borrowed, as we were reminded incessantly, from NETWORK. And I could have done without the repeated use of a word I'm not sure I've ever before heard on national television.
All in all, the show had an unappealing smug, crass tone which was probably supposed to be "cutting edge" but left me cold.
That said, I'll try it again, because of my respect for Sorkin's past work and my enjoyment of several members of the cast, including Timothy Busfield, Bradley Whitford, and Matthew Perry. Here's hoping the show finds its feet.