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