Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Tune in.

I'm a TV guy. I grew up with a healthy dose of Thundercats, Airwolf, Perfect Strangers, and even old reruns of the Dick Van Dyck Show. (Man, I hated it when he wouldn't trip over that ottoman.) Since then, I’ve grown to absolutely love exceptional television. Movies always come off as the upper echelon of Hollywood, while TV gets dubbed "the small screen". But I think it's way harder to craft a compelling series, than to captivate someone for an hour and a half or two.

So the fall TV season is always an exciting time. My wife puts together a list of new shows worth investigating, and we check a bunch out. This season looked very promising, seemed like a great line up especially from NBC and ABC. But I'll be honest, we've turned a bunch off after about 5 minutes of torture and for the few where we actually lasted through the pilot, trust me when I say that we won't be back at the either the same Bat-time or Bat-channel. This has been true so far of all new shows this season, except one. For two weeks now, I've tuned in to NBC on Monday night at 10/9 Central, to the new series: Studio 60.

Yeah, I'm not really a fan of the title either, and that was almost a turn off. But, I've learned my lesson from Arrested. (Quick theory: Arrested Development would still be on the air if it didn't have such a crap title.) Anyways. This combination of West Wing, The Whole Nine Yards, and Jack & Jill alums has proven to be totally intoxicating. For those of you who don't know, Studio 60 is a behind-the-scenes Sorkin drama, set at an SNL-style show, based out of LA, on a fictional network called NBS.

Matthew Perry and Bradley Whitford are brought in as a crack writer/director team, with the challenge to salvage the network's flagship show headed up by Amanda Peet. The premise sounds all right, but I'm here to tell you the show rocks. With stinging dialog that's witty and fast, as well as classic West WIng Steadicam action, even after two episodes you already feel like the show is tighter than tight. If you think about it, each episode can showcase a week's worth of prep for that week's show. It's pretty brilliant.

Here's the best part. Perry is funny, but not haha funny. Whitford is annoying, but not irritatingly annoying. And Peet is sexy, but not dirrty sexy. It's like the writers figured out what we loved about these actors, and ditched what made us roll our eyes at them from time to time. Bottom line, it might be too soon to tell, but this combo could just end up being the perfect storm—so tune in.

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