Monday, October 16, 2006

Sarah Paulson, I Think I Just Fell In Love With You A Little

Dear Aaron Sorkin,

Tonight, for the first time, I really liked Studio 60. Enough to know that if - okay, when - it gets nixed, I'll miss it. There were stories about people tonight. I wasn't sure about the whole bible-crossed lovers thing. All that whining was getting old fast. On this ep, however, Harriet became a person. Sure it was through a tired, Sorkin-approved, here-use-this-clear-audience-surrogate-to-foward-the-narrative, but hey, when the story comes out so sweetly and so well acted, who can focus the rightful amount of ire on Christine "Don't Call Me C.J." Lahti's smug journo? Not me.

And the comedy! Okay, the Nicolas Cage bit went on WAY too long and wasn't funny. But the Nancy Grace bit - that was pretty good. Sarah Paulson's surprisingly good timing and expressive face are wasted in the genre, but if I let myself get lost in the show, well, brilliant. Too bad about SNL having its own Nancy Grace bit recently. Then again, that unholy, bellowing cow deserves all the skewering she can get, so lance on. That Jenny doesn't have a baby - or whatever - bit was good. Perhaps just because it rang a tad too close to home [readers: stuff the bio-clock jokes, women get why those jokes aren't actually funny or accurate. Men don't.] Lauren Graham had better material here than on her on show lately. True story! Note that the only funny show-within bits thus far have featured Harriet. Life imitating art imitating life? Who gives a crap. Start cutting all that other un-funny stuff you try so hard to convince us is funny. It never will be. Sparingly, Mr. Sorkin. Sparingly.

But anyway, thanks for showing that you can still write a damn good bit of talk and do so for people with real chemistry.

Too bad I still don't have much hope for the show. But I thought tonight was sweet, even as it remains sweetly flawed. I cared about the characters for the first time. And about T.V. And America. [unfurl Patton flag here.]


p.s. When it becomes available - check out the reel of last night's The Word on The Colbert Report. It pretty much captures my problem with American politics today.

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