What do you mean, 25 cabs for 25 players?
October 26, 2006 5:16 PM   Subscribe

 
You mean sorta like Sports Night?
posted by Mikey-San at 5:23 PM on October 26, 2006


Not bad. See what he can do with a rewrite of the Honeymooners by Friday. And yes I mean the "to the moon, Alice" original.
posted by hal9k at 5:26 PM on October 26, 2006


Not bad, not bad at all.

But it reminds me. RIP, Leo.

There's a bunch of West Wing I haven't watched. I should get the DVDs.
posted by blacklite at 5:29 PM on October 26, 2006


Who?
posted by koeselitz at 5:33 PM on October 26, 2006


dear god Ken, you are BRILLIANT. So far no one has really been able to explain why Studio 60 stinks. But in your one little scene, you did it.

Really, up until now nobody had been able to crack the "I'm taking myself and writing and this show and comedy and the history of television a little too seriously" code?

Thanks Ken. BRILLIANT.
posted by tallthinone at 5:37 PM on October 26, 2006


Whoa. This is by the same guy who authored "Mannequin 2: On the Move".
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 5:49 PM on October 26, 2006


I like Aaron Sorkin dialogue. I can't get enough of it. Your favorite TV writer sucks.
posted by found missing at 5:51 PM on October 26, 2006


Huge Sorkin fan here to say: Not bad. I also liked the comment that said the only thing missing was a Gilbert & Sullivan reference, to wit:

LEO: Sandy Koufax had a good curve ball. He could throw it for strikes. Knew where to find a good lobster, too.

DANNY: Yeah. Talk about the very model of a modern major leaguer.
posted by diddlegnome at 6:16 PM on October 26, 2006


What, as opposed to the rest of the stellar dialogue on TV?

LEO: What's up, Danny?

DANNY: What's up, Leo?

LEO: How is your curve ball?

DANNY: It is good.

LEO: Good.

And Studio 60 is a great show, pretentiousness and all.
posted by JWright at 6:32 PM on October 26, 2006


Either this sucks, or you really need to know baseball to understand it.
posted by bonaldi at 7:09 PM on October 26, 2006


no, bonaldi, it just sucks.

I'm sorry the author doesn't like Sorkin. Unfortunately, Sorkin is a much better writer than this blogger.
posted by Inkoate at 7:22 PM on October 26, 2006


Written by the guy who said Becker was House without a cane, which was inadvertently funnier than this baseball thing.
posted by aaronetc at 7:31 PM on October 26, 2006


Have no idea who Adam Sorkin is.
posted by wfc123 at 7:37 PM on October 26, 2006


I've spent waaaaay too much time trying to get into the head of Aaron Sorkin lately, and while bits of it are very good, the underlying structure of it sucks.

Mainly, the non-sequitorness of it overwhelms everything else about it. For all his flaws in making everything the most important thing ever, and throwing random side plots in at weird moments, nothing Sorkin writes would ever make so little sense as a whole.

Also, big important speeches aren't mixed up and interspersed in the middle of things. They're given big important spots with swelling music to lead into them.
posted by jacquilynne at 7:37 PM on October 26, 2006


I never understood why you'd come into a thread just to say your ignorant. What's the point?

Sorkin's one of those people who a lot of people I respect like, but leaves me cold. I thought this was pretty good. Not as funny as the recent parody of Deadwood, though.
posted by Bookhouse at 8:28 PM on October 26, 2006


I'm skeptical that the blog is by who it says it is. If it was indeed by the Emmy award winning writer/director/blah/blah, don't you think he'd know the show he was involved in was not named "Everyone Loves Raymond?"

It was a funny piece, nonetheless.
posted by spock at 8:34 PM on October 26, 2006


I'm a huge Sorkin fan. His work features a massive streak of arrogance (which, to my way of thinking, is quite different than pretentiousness), a fairly large degree of self indulgence, and a political ideology with which I often disagree. However, he's such an incredibly talented writer that he's able to, in most instances, overcome these problems and put out some of the greatest TV or screen writing in recorded history.

Personally, I don't get the Studio 60 criticisms. I've been enjoying the hell out of the show. In this week's episode, the high points were the performances by Steven Weber and Amanda Peet: both their characters, normally a bit on the reserved side, were a bit sloshed and got to unload. It's pretty rare that you'll see someone steal a scene from Brad Whitford in a Sorkin show, but Weber managed to do it.

As for the parody, I thought it was well written, funny, and pretty accurate.

Oh, and one more note on Sorkin's alleged pretentiousness: Yeah, he's guilty of it some of the time. But I've seen far more pretentiousness in a four minute clip from NYPD Blue or CSI than I have in half a season of Sorkin work. On those shows, it just oozes out of every pore. In a Sorkin show, it only emerges when he's short on story. Or in the last five minutes when the orchestal score swells and someone makes a speech.
posted by Clay201 at 8:42 PM on October 26, 2006


Personally, I don't get the Studio 60 criticisms. I've been enjoying the hell out of the show.

Every bit of criticism I have read or heard about the show centers around Sorkin's inability to write even mediocre sketch comedy. The most recent episode was my favorite of the entire run and I am torn about the reason I love it so much. Was it because there was virtually no sketch comedy in the show or was the show just more compelling?
posted by aburd at 8:58 PM on October 26, 2006


Yeah, I LOL'd.
posted by Guy Smiley at 9:00 PM on October 26, 2006


I do know who Aaron Sorkin is.
posted by delmoi at 10:10 PM on October 26, 2006


Studio 60 flame wars will eventually take over the entire Internet.
posted by smackfu at 10:21 PM on October 26, 2006


The sketch comedy in Studio 60 is lousy but still (just slightly) better than the crap coming out of SNL these days. I mean, come on guys, "Jon Bovi"? Really? What the hell?
posted by JT at 11:35 PM on October 26, 2006


Here ya go, delmoi. Took me mere seconds.
posted by zardoz at 11:49 PM on October 26, 2006


I far prefer West Wing (Sorkin's seasons) and Sports Night over the current Studio 60. It's just not as funny!

Having said that, I still love the dude. Come on, if you're sitting down to catch some t, the choice between Studio 60 and say, Survivor, is clear to me. :)
posted by slf at 11:50 PM on October 26, 2006


I am enjoying the hell out of Studio 60. I never watched West Wing or Sports Night, so I don't have any comparison there. Who cares about the sketch comedy that's in the show? The show isn't *about* the sketch comedy. And every episode contains very, very little sketch comedy to begin with, so if that's your biggest complaint about the show, you really don't have much to complain about.
posted by antifuse at 3:07 AM on October 27, 2006


Here ya go, delmoi. Took me mere seconds.

delmoi said he did know who Sorkin is.

I've liked Sorkin in the past -- Sports Night is one of my all-time favorite shows. But Studio 60 Sucks with a Capital S. It's so labored, so look-at-me, and so hectoring and lecturing. Bah. I had such high hopes.

Ken Levine is very funny guy, with a very funny blog. He's been a sitcom writer since M*A*S*H, he wrote for Cheers and Frasier, I believe he was a showrunner or executive producer, or something for Cheers. This was a funny piece. To say "For all his flaws in making everything the most important thing ever, and throwing random side plots in at weird moments, nothing Sorkin writes would ever make so little sense as a whole" is to not understand exaggeration for comic effect.
posted by pardonyou? at 6:22 AM on October 27, 2006


Have no idea who Adam Sorkin is.

And we're all very proud of you. Now go away.

(For true Sorkinization, Kathy would be a hooker with a heart of gold.)
posted by ook at 6:51 AM on October 27, 2006


I understand exaggeration for comic effect. I also think that this piece takes that so far that it overwhelms all the really good bits. He does a great job with numbers, and the bits of dialogue at the end, and the kindly mentor thing. But you really have to dig for all of that, because your overwhelming sense when you read the thing is 'holy shit, this doesn't make sense.'

And 'holy shit, this doesn't make sense' is not one Aaron Sorkin's particular problems. 'Holy shit, that was a random aside' sure. But the stuff Sorkin writes makes sense.
posted by jacquilynne at 6:52 AM on October 27, 2006


Really, I love Aaron Sorkin. I have learned so much from him.

I increased the pace of all my dialogue and now i am gripping. GRIPPING. Watch out Sorkin! Thenewgenerationisverywellversedintheartoffasttalking.
posted by shownomercy at 7:04 AM on October 27, 2006


For true Sorkinization, Kathy would be a hooker with a heart of gold

And her romance with Matt would be more of a "no-mance".
posted by WolfDaddy at 7:10 AM on October 27, 2006


Has anyone noticed really only nitpickers slam Sorkin? I'd say this is because they don't really see what he's doing: Sacrificing his integrity in order to use the largest mouthpiece available to him, network television, in order to make fun of conservative Christians, midwesterners who give a damn about the civil war, and people who read slowly.

Seriously, these people need making fun of, because they just don't do enough of it themselves. Help Aaron Sorkin help the people, by ripping on nimrods any way you can. Even if it's by tricking pseudo intellectuals into thinking your show is some cultural statement.
posted by judge.mentok.the.mindtaker at 7:15 AM on October 27, 2006


midwesterners who give a damn about the civil war

Huh?
posted by crumbly at 7:33 AM on October 27, 2006


Has anyone noticed really only nitpickers slam Sorkin?

People can disagree on the merits of a creative work. You don't need to put your opponents in a little box like this just so you feel better about your own opinions.
posted by smackfu at 7:45 AM on October 27, 2006


Dude that is the entire point of elitism. Not to feel better, but to compartmentalize annoyances so the rest of society can move on and leave the detritus behind. -- Aesthetically you can argue however you like. That was kind of the point I was making:
Aaron Sorkin is a terrible artist, BUT....
posted by judge.mentok.the.mindtaker at 9:16 AM on October 27, 2006


Sacrificing his integrity in order to use the largest mouthpiece available to him, network television, in order to make fun of conservative Christians, midwesterners who give a damn about the civil war, and people who read slowly.

I think his point has much more to do with bringing the two sides of the debate together. Matt and Harriet's relationship is included for a reason. He wanted to show that the elitism that the show presents isn't the reality on a personal level. That we are all humans and Americans stuck in this crap-hole with each other. Why do you think he goes out of his way to put an intelligent, sympathetic human face on mid-western, right-wingers?

If he wanted to just rip on these people he would go work for SNL and just produce these mediocre sketches.
posted by aburd at 11:52 AM on October 27, 2006


But it reminds me. RIP, Leo

truly.

.
posted by matteo at 12:58 PM on October 27, 2006


If I get Sorkin, and I like to think I do, he's actually trying to offend me and make me laugh at the same time. When it's really funny, I don't care that he's smug, or that he writes more strawmen lines into his scripts than Noel Langley. I don't care that the sheer volume of bon mots and repartee cause my suspension to creak under the weight of disbelief every time a character opens their mouth. I don't care that Sorkin and I, if sharing a table at a dinner party, would have, within 5 minutes of introductions, invoked Godwin's law and thrown our drinks at each other. I don't care that Sorkin would probably never deign to attend a cocktail party at which someone like me may be present.

When it's funny, I'm like, "Hahaha!" and occasionally, "You got me."
posted by rush at 1:08 PM on October 27, 2006


I'm forcing myself not to give up on Studio 60 because I was such a huge fan of Sports Night and West Wing. But there's nothing worse than a naturally funny and intelligent dramatic writer trying to write sketch comedy. The sketches (and the actors) on Studio 60 are terrible. They feel like the crumpled-up first drafts of the SNL-clone scenes from Bob Roberts.

I always come away from Studio 60 thinking that the 60 stands for the median age/generational mentality of the writers - both real-life and on the show. Whereas 30 Rock is 8 million times funnier (and, sad to say, more relevant), and obviously feels much more authentically written by 20-30 something comedy writers.
posted by ericbop at 1:15 PM on October 27, 2006


everythings just So Damned Important. Matt and Danny are Saving Network Television. Matt and Simon are Saving Smart Black People From Mediocrity.

/former sorkinaholic...not feeling the new show.
posted by softlord at 1:57 PM on October 27, 2006


Why do you think he goes out of his way to put an intelligent, sympathetic human face on mid-western, right-wingers?

Because of his ill-fated romance with Kristen Chenoweth, to whom the characters of Ainsley Hayes and Harriet Hayes bear more than a small resemblance.
posted by Dreama at 8:01 PM on October 27, 2006


And on West Wing, he eventually just gave up and used the real thing.
posted by smackfu at 9:53 AM on October 28, 2006


Must be open season on Aaron Sorkin: AARON SORKIN VISITS A DENTAL HYGIENIST
posted by spock at 8:15 PM on November 2, 2006


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