Quickie Film Review: Studio 60 On The Sunset Strip
I realize that this Quickie Film Review is about a television program and not a film. I promise you’ll get over it. I certainly have.
Arrested Development, this web Freaks And Geeks, approved Greg The Bunny, Kitchen Confidential, Clerks: The Animated Series, Undeclared… It always cheezes me off when really good shows are not given time to prove themselves and are cancelled before they ever have a chance to find an audience. Studio 60 On The Sunset Strip is among the best of those programs. I recently re-watched the one and only existing season of Aaron Sorkin’s follow-up to The West Wing. Studio 60 takes place behind the scenes of a Saturday Night Live-esque, late night sketch-comedy show. It makes me sad for America that this show was not well received. It’s surprising because the show was smart, funny, well written, socially relevant, interesting, the characters are likable, the stories are entertaining, the acting is top-notch; everybody involved really brought their A-game. It’s not surprising because it didn’t pander to the vast majority of Americans who seem content to sit and watch Reality TV, the death of “Television as Art.” Reality TV is the DEVIL. *Editor’s Note: Danny HATES Reality Programming with the passion of ten passionate men. (That’s a lot of passion, my friends.)
Watch the first scene of the first episode of Studio 60. Judd Hirsch, as Studio 60 executive producer Wes Mendell, has basically reached the end of his rope with the network telling him what he can and can’t put in the show because of how the viewing public will react, with the dumbing down of the content to suit the lowest common denominator, of pandering to focus groups and corporate lackeys. Fed up, he interrupts the live broadcast and has himself a righteous meltdown for 53 seconds before they pull the plug on him.
Watch this scene. Judd Hirsch’s speech is dead on, 100% on the money and it sets up what I believe to be one of the finest seasons of television that no one ever saw.
Studio 60 On The Sunset Strip can be bought here for about 10-20 bucks. Totally worth it.