TV Recap

On the Lot
Apparently I was right in my hypothesizing a few weeks ago, as I’ve still got last week’s episode sitting on the Tivo and I really don’t care if I watch it or not! The show is too showy for its own good (i.e. it hasn’t earned the right to act so flashy and take eight commercial breaks an hour during two episodes a week. Even though I’ve heard that they’ve scaled it back, this one just really missed the mark for me and Project Greenlight was a much better look at independent film making.

Pirate Master
I know, I know – it sounds ridiculous, but I’ve actually taken a bit of a liking to this one, if not just because I think the drama is amusing and the theme is kinda cool. Basically this is a variation of Survivor, also created by Mark Burnett, actually, only now everyone is on a pirate ship and they get their prizes as they go along so they can use the money to buy each other, stir up controversy, and so forth. The last few episodes focused on some early complaints about the system, as “the pirate code” has the Captain automatically take 50% of whatever the crew wins from a challenge and then the rest is divvied up somewhat evenly between the rest. Big surprise – a lot of folks didn’t like that, you know with the thought of getting $2000 while your “Captain” buddy just made $20,000 – there’s a little bit of real life for you! But it’s interesting – I set it to Tivo during the first week just because I thought it would be funny to watch once, but I sat down Thursday night and ended up watching all of them back-to-back. It’s like Survivor, only with the twist that the show needed to keep me watching five or six seasons ago…

Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip
I’m starting to get bitter about this show because at this point there’s only one episode left to air and I just can’t figure out this – was the show cancelled because the plotline took such a controversial twist, or was this plotline created because the show was getting cancelled anyways and they wanted to go out with a bang? Aaron Sorkin is a genius – I loved Sports Night, even though I absolutely hate sports – and I was really hoping that Studio 60 would stick around for a while because it was smarter comedy and we don’t really have anything else like it today. But these latest episodes have really been dragging hard – not necessarily uninteresting, but just one bad thing after another and after part 3 this week and still nothing has really been resolved, you’re just sort of left thinking, “What next?!” Anyways, the final episode airs on Thursday and I’m really hoping that a miracle happens and the show gets picked up by HBO or Cinemax and is allowed to continue (hey, that’s how Sports Night made it as long as it did), but it isn’t looking good … and that sucks.

I like the show, I watch it every week, and for the most part I’m still in good spirits about it as a whole, but I hate the Billy Walsh character for how much of a jerk he is (not like Ari at all – different kind of jerk, mind you) and I hated the last episode because it pretty much centered around him. I also didn’t care much for the style of the episode, shot documentary-style to show “the making of Medellin.” It just didn’t work for me, but at least the show’s getting enough attention from HBO to not have to worry if it will be around next week.

Isn’t it sad when you have to rationalize it like that?


  1. I was afraid Studio 60 was going to get shit on like Sports Night did, too. But in the back of my mind I knew it would because that’s what happens to all the smart shows. So I’m just going to wait for it to finish out and pick up the whole thing and watch it all in one sitting, which is what I did to Sports Night the last time I borrowed it from my friend.

    I realize that I’m part of the problem of the show getting canceled, but I don’t think my one viewer-ness would matter much in the big picture of screwing Aaron Sorkin’s dramadies.

  2. Unless you can bring another million viewers with you, sadly I don’t think that the one-viewer-ness has much of an effect, either. It’s depressing that network television really has to cater to the lowest, or dumbest, common denominator to prove that it can make any money, whereas it’s been proven that cable shows require a fraction of the viewership to be considered successful. Not as many people want to think during primetime as those who would rather just sit back and watch Joey or Who Wants to Marry a Midget, but I still have to wish that the powers that be would just realize that there ARE still people who want to watch smarter television programming and that, in fact, our advertising dollars are probably worth considerably more than somebody who just watches whatever is presented in front of him.

    There’s a crazy concept – market good products during smart shows at reasonable timeslots to people who are actually interested in them … gee, I wonder what would happen…
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