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The 7 - Movies & TV - Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip
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EddieBurkett
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#21 Posted on 4.10.06 0926.51
Reposted on: 4.10.13 0927.01
This news is disheartening, as I've been enjoying the show. The backstage drama and everything is still typical (enjoyable) Sorkin, but my only complaint is that from what we've seen of the actual Studio 60 show, the sketch comedy sucks. That quiz show bit came off way too preachy. Even Harriet's "when asked for comment, the bear said 'ROAR'" was lame, and I would have thought after Matt and Simon agreed that she would pull it off regardless, we'd see her make it funny on the show. Part of me wishes that they'd hire a writer just to handle the sketch comedy, but that probably isn't feasible. As I said though, the rest of the show is great, and I do hope NBC gives it more time.
Ryan_A
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#22 Posted on 4.10.06 1000.29
Reposted on: 4.10.13 1000.55
I thought I read somewhere that Kids In The Hall's Mark McKinney had been hired to handle the sketch comedy portions. IMDB (us.imdb.com) has him as story editor.
haz
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#23 Posted on 4.10.06 1025.27
Reposted on: 4.10.13 1025.36
I am as big a CSI-lover as there is, but I just don't get the love for CSI-Miami. It is by far the worst of the series out there.

I certainly would rather watch Studio 60 than it...
John Orquiola
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#24 Posted on 4.10.06 1107.01
Reposted on: 4.10.13 1107.23
EddieBurkett is 100% on point. As much as I'm generally enjoying Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, it's getting harder and harder to ignore how unfunny the show within the show is. They not only need a real sketch comedy writer, they need actually funny performers. The show calls Sarah Paulson, DL Hughley and the other guy The Big Three and they're supposed to be the most popular and talented of "Studio 60's" cast. Three episodes in and it just isn't there. None of them are convincing as comic actors. Sarah Paulson's news joke about the bear going "Roar!" was terrible. Terrible! They are just not funny. And yet, the show keeps insisting they are. The show keeps saying "Studio 60" is hilarious, that it's killing in the ratings and demos, and is getting better and funnier. We're continually being told something that my eyes and ears do not recognize is true, and it's hurting an otherwise dynamite show.

Is no one running Studio 60 honestly not seeing the fundamental problem the show has? Why didn't or don't they hire actual successful real life comic actors to be on the show? Why not hire people like Dana Carvey, Jon Lovitz, Norm MacDonald, Tim Meadows, Molly Shannon, or (even though he wasn't SNL) Andy Richter -- people who are genuinely from a sketch comedy background to give "Studio 60" the authenticity it needs? Why not a storyline that SNL knows all too well from real life - a talent purge where the old cast gets ousted for newer, fresher faces, especially since the crux of this show is that Matthew Perry and Bradley Whitford are supposed to be restoring an old warhorse to its former glory.

Every episode thus far has ended in a complete victory for The Real Big Three, Perry, Whitford, and Peet, with "Studio 60" supposedly getting better and better even though every time we are shown the sketches they're worse than the worst SNL or Mad TV sketch. I find that story simply not believable. A season long arc where the Real Big Three have to fight and claw their way bit by bit to making "Studio 60" a success again might have been better. Instead, the Real Big Three are presented with a problem and they beat it in the hour, all the while telling us the show they're putting out is great when it clearly isn't. From what they've shown us, I wouldn't watch their "Studio 60".

(edited by John Orquiola on 4.10.06 0909)
Matt Tracker
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#25 Posted on 4.10.06 1122.01
Reposted on: 4.10.13 1122.09
While I loved the "Penzance" parody in the second episode, the funniest thing about this episode's fake show were the impressions. And they were genuinely good impressions.

The roaring bear joke is exactly the kind of thing they would use in recent years of SNL's news sketch. And it would be followed the co-anchors laughing to each other. The trick of the fake show isn't just to make funny sketches, but to make funny sketches in the SNL mindset. I think that criteria handicaps them, limits them really, to stuff that's either achingly funny or just "eh." And that's why I think so much time was spent on the Comedia Del Arte; Sorkin was telling us why we're not gonna laugh at the fake show, underscoring that it takes time for us to catch his sketch-show humor. I don't quite believe that though. His humor has always worked for me before. As Siskel said, you can't convince someone that something is funny or sexy. Either it is or it ain't.

The real bitch of it is that I want to see Crazy Christians, but it's just a McGuffin for years-long grudges and new sponsor boycotts.

I hope Sorkin's use of previous coworkers (Huffman was on SportsNight, Reiner directed this American President script) leads to cameos by people I haven't seen in a while, like more SportsNight folks.
Spaceman Spiff
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#26 Posted on 4.10.06 1146.21
Reposted on: 4.10.13 1147.30

    Why not hire people like Dana Carvey, Jon Lovitz, Norm MacDonald, Tim Meadows, Molly Shannon, or (even though he wasn't SNL) Andy Richter -- people who are genuinely from a sketch comedy background to give "Studio 60" the authenticity it needs?

2 reasons:

1) The show already name-checked Lorne Michaels, so they are going w/ the premise that SNL exists in the Studio 60 universe. Therefore, people are going to recognise those guys as SNL alums, and would wonder why they'd go back to late night variety TV.

2) Those guys are well established comedy actors. Is anyone going to buy them doing serious stuff? Sure, DL Hughley & Nathan Corddry are comedy guys, too, but not as widely known that nobody would take them seriously working "serious".

(edited by Spaceman Spiff on 4.10.06 1246)
John Orquiola
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#27 Posted on 4.10.06 1249.30
Reposted on: 4.10.13 1249.31
[quote Spaceman Spiffhr>
2 reasons:

1) The show already name-checked Lorne Michaels, so they are going w/ the premise that SNL exists in the Studio 60 universe. Therefore, people are going to recognise those guys as SNL alums, and would wonder why they'd go back to late night variety TV.

2) Those guys are well established comedy actors. Is anyone going to buy them doing serious stuff? Sure, DL Hughley & Nathan Corddry are comedy guys, too, but not as widely known that nobody would take them seriously working "serious".

(edited by Spaceman Spiff on 4.10.06 1246)


1) Okay, but if Lorne Michaels and SNL exists in the Studio 60 universe, as does NBC, than it stands to reason two other real life shows also exist(ed) in the universe. You might have heard of them, they were kind of famous: Friends and The West Wing. And yet there Matthew Perry and Bradley Whitford are, not playing themselves or their characters on those other shows. So why couldn't Carvey, Lovitz, et al do the same? What 'people' do you mean would be wondering why any currently out of mainstream work SNL alum to return to late night TV?

2) Serious stuff isn't the point. The point is that for a supposedly successful sketch comedy show, "Studio 60" and its cast aren't as funny as we're being told they are. And depending how well written, produced and directed they are, even the most famous funny man can do serious drama: take another couple of famous funny men: Jim Carrey and Robin Williams for instance.
Big Bad
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#28 Posted on 4.10.06 1337.20
Reposted on: 4.10.13 1338.32
I don't think the problem behind the show's ratings is the comedy (or lack thereof) from the show within the show. I mean, on West Wing, nobody complained that we didn't get to see the Congress passing bills.

The ratings woes may be attributed to the tough timeslot, and the fact that Studio 60 is kind of a tough show to just jump right into. Judd Hirsch's rant in the pilot is true -- Americans prefer 'simpler' shows.
EddieBurkett
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#29 Posted on 4.10.06 1346.24
Reposted on: 4.10.13 1346.30
    Originally posted by Big Bad
    I don't think the problem behind the show's ratings is the comedy (or lack thereof) from the show within the show. I mean, on West Wing, nobody complained that we didn't get to see the Congress passing bills.

    The ratings woes may be attributed to the tough timeslot, and the fact that Studio 60 is kind of a tough show to just jump right into. Judd Hirsch's rant in the pilot is true -- Americans prefer 'simpler' shows.


I don't think anyone is saying that the ratings suck because the skits suck. The skits have thus far been a minor part of the show. You're right as to why the ratings are low. Plus, Sorkin is sort of a cult favorite. Sports Night got pulled after two seasons. And from what I recall, The West Wing didn't draw stellar ratings as much as it drew a worthy demographic (rich people). I would hope that NBC anticipated low ratings for Studio 60 and are willing to let it gestate for a while.

The problem we are arguing pertains to the ability to enjoy the show. You are told "these skits are funny" and then you watch, and while its ultimately irrelevant to the plot whether the real audience of Studio 60 finds the skits funny (all that matters is that in Sorkin-land the viewers there find the show funny), it does affect the ability to appreciate the show. That said, there is plenty of Sorkin-style humour around the rest of the show, so its not like Studio 60 is totally devoid of laughs. (For example, I laughed at the preview for next week's show. I did not laugh at any of the skits in this week's show.) Its really a nitpick, but its a major nitpick. To follow your West Wing comparison, it would be like if the few times that they did show Congress, the Congressman all spoke in German instead of English. It would be a minor issue, but it would disrupt the rest of the show.
Spaceman Spiff
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#30 Posted on 4.10.06 1533.43
Reposted on: 4.10.13 1534.06

    1) Okay, but if Lorne Michaels and SNL exists in the Studio 60 universe, as does NBC, than it stands to reason two other real life shows also exist(ed) in the universe. You might have heard of them, they were kind of famous: Friends and The West Wing. And yet there Matthew Perry and Bradley Whitford are, not playing themselves or their characters on those other shows. So why couldn't Carvey, Lovitz, et al do the same? What 'people' do you mean would be wondering why any currently out of mainstream work SNL alum to return to late night TV?

I adhere to the notion, when watching TV shows, that unless a specific other show/movie is mentioned, it doesn't exist in that show's universe. Unless "Friends" or "West Wing" gets mentioned, I go w/ the premise that it never existed in the Studio 60 universe. Plus, those guys are too associated w/ their time on SNL that it would be distracting (to me, anyway) to have them playing the exact same role on Studio 60, even if they played fictional characters. It would put too much focus on the fictionalized sketch comedy show rather than the overall Studio 60 show.

Weber/Peet/Perry/Whitford are the "stars" of the show, with the rest of the cast as secondary. Adding big name real life sketch comedy guys would only serve to overshadow them.


    2) Serious stuff isn't the point. The point is that for a supposedly successful sketch comedy show, "Studio 60" and its cast aren't as funny as we're being told they are.

The point of Studio 60 isn't sketch comedy. The show is a dramedy. The sketches take up very little time. Would seem to be a waste to bring in guys like that to make the sketches funny when we only see mere seconds from any given sketch.
geemoney
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#31 Posted on 4.10.06 1535.58
Reposted on: 4.10.13 1537.58
For the people complaining that Paulson's "roar" joke wasn't funny: wasn't that the point? She wanted to replace a funny joke with another joke, but the replacement one wasn't funny?
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#32 Posted on 4.10.06 1833.21
Reposted on: 4.10.13 1834.42

I blame focus groups on Studio 60's bad ratings.
Quezzy
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#33 Posted on 5.10.06 0928.54
Reposted on: 5.10.13 0929.02
Come on people, have you even seen SNL or Mad TV in the past three or four years? THey are the most horribly unfunny shows on tv. I wouldn't say Studio 60's sketches are any worse and I'd rather watch Paulson and Hughley over any of the SNL and Mad TV cast any day.
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