Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip (a review only 4 or so years late)

3 Mar

I finally started watching Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip a few weeks ago and last night I watched the final episode. For those of you who don’t know/haven’t heard of it the show is written by Aaron Sorkin, creator of The West Wing (which is my favourite TV series ever) and stars Bradley Whitford (Josh in The West Wing) and Matthew Perry (famous for being some guy called Chandler…)

Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip is a behind the scenes look at a fictional live comedy show. Like Saturday Night Live, I believe. It was about three or four years ago when the show was announced and I was incredibly excited. I’d recently finished watching all seven seasons of The West Wing and was getting massive withdrawal symptoms. This show promised, not just West Wing actors (including the brilliant Timothy Busfield) and Amanda Peet from my favourite film ever, to be a feast of televisual beauty. But the rumours were starting already. It may well be big, glossy, funny and well written…but it wasn’t doing well with audiences in the US. When it started showing in the UK (without much fuss) I caught the first few episodes, missed a couple, and didn’t carry on watching. Not because I didn’t like it but I hate missing episdoes. I have to watch from the beginning, in strict order, otherwise I wait for the DVD or repeats which is what I did for Sherlock.

I wasn’t in a rush to watch the rest however. I was sorely disappointed it was only for one season and didn’t know what the point was of watching.

Well, how wrong I was. This series has to be one of the best US TV programmes I’ve watched. And yes, it is up there with The West Wing. I might even prefer Danny Tripp to Josh Lyman. I certainly enjoyed seeing another side of Matthew Perry with his portrayal of Matt Albie. The writing in funny, poignant, emotional, as is the acting. There is one scene with Nathan Corddry who plays Tom Jeter where I was in bits just from the expression on his face.

Oh and the episode with Allison Janney playing herself is hysterical. Although you might have to be a fan of The West Wing to get it.

(Incidentally this article in The Guardian is great and explains certain things.)


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6 Responses to “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip (a review only 4 or so years late)”

  1. Karen March 17, 2011 at 2:07 pm #

    Like you I started watching this when it originally aired in the UK, liked it, but missed a couple of episodes and gave up. I’m definitely going to get it out now on DVD and watch the lot, so thanks for the review!

  2. Karen March 17, 2011 at 2:08 pm #

    PS – I can highly recommed The Comeback, starring another ex-Friend’s actor, Lisa Kudrow, which sank without trace in the US but I thought was absolutely fantastic!

    • Helen March 18, 2011 at 9:58 am #

      Thanks Karen! I went straight to amazon to find The Comeback and have popped it in my shopping trolley for the future. Will let you know what I think.

  3. diane March 23, 2011 at 1:22 pm #

    It’s brilliant, isn’t it? I wish I could watch it again for the first time :) I didn’t like The Comeback as much; it’s satirical and a darker sense of humour that didn’t always make me laugh, but it is good and deserved more recognition. Lisa Kudrow is great in it.

    Interested to see how Sorkin’s new TV show gets received. It’s another behind-the-scenes show. (Ooh! Have you ever seen Sports Night? Fabulous cast, lots of WW peeps, and once they dumped the laugh track, totally fab.)

    • Helen March 23, 2011 at 1:32 pm #

      How did I not know Sorkin has another show coming out? I will investigate immediately. I also haven’t seen Sports Night. Is that Will from the Good Wife in it? Looks like him on the dvd cover. Again, will investigate!

      • diane March 23, 2011 at 1:50 pm #

        I think it *is* Will from The Good Wife! Never realised before. (Think I watched it on Living, circa 2006.) Plus Will from The West Wing, obvs. His new show sounds like it could be good… Will be on HBO in the US, fingers crossed we don’t have to wait too long here.

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