If you look around a little on the Internet, you can find copies of the pilot episode of Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, Aaron Sorkin’s new one hour TV drama. It’s about a weekly sketch comedy show unsurprisingly like Saturday Night Live, with the expected Sorkin-load of interpersonal drama and principles and so on. No Joshua Malina yet, although I expect him to show up in the second season as the remarkably bright yet socially slightly inept wunderkind. (It’s a fair prediction. Come on.)
Anyway, me and S. watched the pilot the other night. Try and avoid the download that claims to be for an iPod; the sound is not quite synced perfectly with the video. Y’know, it’s Sorkin — there are principled monologues and two of the cast members used to be in a relationship with each other but now have to work together. I don’t think, one show in, you can really know if he’s breaking new ground, but the same old ground is still pretty good.
In particular I like that Sarah Paulson plays a devout fundamentalist Christian who happens to be one of the big three cast members on the show within the show. Sorkin likes discussing religion, and President Bartlet’s Catholicism was always taken seriously. If he can keep that up here, I’ll be intrigued.
The cast has the chance to grow on me. Matthew Perry was really good; Bradley Whitford was pretty good. Timothy Busfield has a regular role as the guy who runs the control room, and he easily distinguishes it from his West Wing role — Whitford had more trouble doing that, which may wind up being a minus. Steven Weber was good as the network chairman, but he’s playing the role a little too young. I kept forgetting he’s supposed to be as important as he is. Amanda Peet has the potential to be the weak link in the cast. Maybe she’ll surprise me.
But yeah, it’s Sorkin, it’s fun. I’ll watch it.