What goes on behind the scenes of a nationwide late-night comedy sketch show? Aaron Sorkin, creator of The West Wing, answers that question with a must-see show within a show filled with engaging characters, ear-grabbing d... more »ialogue and a Hollywood hive of insider buzz. Matthew Perry and Bradley Whitford portray the likable hotshots brought in to revive NBS-TV's sagging flagship comedy series and Amanda Peet plays their savvy boss in episodes exploring the lives and loves of and the make-or-break creative pressures on the show's staff. Panic. Chaos. Fear. Sleep deprivation. Just make sure it's funny by Friday. Because that's when a nation tunes in to Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip.DVD Features:
Kyle T. (KingKong) from KINSTON, NC Reviewed on 8/16/2010...
This Series Deserved To Survive
Studio 60 follows the exlploits of the cast and crew of a SNL-type show. I know what you're thinking, but this was on before 30 Rock. This show featured, to me, some of the best writing in the history of television. Few writers can write this way. A way in which fifty topics can be covered in one conversation between several characters and instead of being confusing, the dialogue flows with such a lucid intensity that the viewer understands and retains all the information spoken. But you know what you need to make such great writing work? A great cast. And if there ever was one, you've got it here. Matthew Perry, Bradley Whitford, Amanda Peet, D.L. Hughley, Steven Weber, Sarah Paulson, Nathan Corddry, Nate Torrence, and Timothy Busfield (who also directed many of the episodes) all do some of the best work of their careers on this show. The show is original, funny, and at the same time rather controversial-covering such subjects and faith, drugs, abortion, celebrity obsession, politics and death. Its not afraid to take jabs at itself or at others, and almost never looks at any one subject from one point of view.
So what happened? I mean we all want more original, more intelligent programming right? We've complained about being fed the same old cop shows and crime dramas right? Its amazing how we as an audience will beg for a better level of entertainment and then when its actually on we're watching those same old shows! The death of FOX's brilliant Arrested Development could be painted the same way. It was called "the funniest show nobody ever watched" (I don't remember where I heard that). Studio 60 could be similarly labeled.
The DVD is a decent release. The show would have to be the main selling point. The picture and sound quality are good, but a drastic lack of features is dissapointing. It contains one featurette that is more annoying than educating and no episode commentaries. I would love to see a cast and crew commentary on at least a few of these episodes. But get this DVD for the show, that's the reason to go for it. Enjoy an amazing show, pick out your favorite episodes and revisit them whenever you like. The wonder of DVD.
"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana." -G. Marx
2 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Sheila J. from ARDEN, NC Reviewed on 2/16/2010...
Excellent! Filming technique is different and intriguing. Don't know why this series was canceled. What a mistake.
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
A step in the evolution of television.
Thomas Cannold | 07/05/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"On the one hand, it didn't crackle the same way Sports Night or The West Wing did, and plot inconsistencies and occasional heavy handedness revealed a show that never fully trusted its truth. Still, I can't shake the feeling that Studio 60 is a link in an evolution toward a new, more complicated, more interesting television. NBC should have given it more time to find itself. Doing that would have benefitted the network, the audience, maybe even the society (that's a lot of pressure!)
Imperfections included, Studio 60 made me laugh, it made me cry, it literally made me cheer, and it did what Aaron Sorkin's work always does: celebrate the human condition (instead of tearing it down, as many shows do.) Like other Sorkin series, Studio 60 focused on people of good will doing their best to support each other and create something of value. I inevitably felt cleansed when I watched it, and I didn't clear the episodes from my DVR until the DVD was in my mailbox.
As for the DVD, I wish there had been more extras on it than the Pilot commentary, and a mini-documntary made early in the season. It would have been fascinating to hear Mr. Sorkin and his partner Tommy Schlamme have an honest discussion of the strengths and weaknesses, successes and demise of this show. What can be learned from the path Studio 60 traveled?
I hope Mr. Sorkin keeps on evolving, and keeps on writing television, plays and films (and books, too), 'cause his dialogue excites my mind, and his work fills my soul."
Just saw the last show
Lenard Marcus | Chicago, IL | 06/29/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Just watched the last show. I still can't believe that it has been cancelled. Witty, intelligent, perhaps sometimes a bit "snotty" but always entertaining. Perhaps with all the drivel on television that now passes for entertainment, this show was just too smart and required the viewer to actually think about what was being presented, is why it failed. Could it actually be that if "West Wing" was first being premiered this fall that it would also not last one season? The chemistry between Matthew Perry and Bradley Whitford needs to be seen. By the way, the ending was absolutely perfect. I really wish that one of the intelligent cable channels had picked this show up. How ironic that while Studio 60 was winding down, NBC had the nerve to show commercials for some really stupid show about singing bee?"
"Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip was a backstage view of a live comedy program like Saturday Night Live, Fridays, Mad TV, etc. The Inner working, the politics and the backstabbing is normal in any show.
So what made this different? Lets start with the writing. Aaron Sorkin did a TV show about behind the scenes show with Sports Night. However in Studio his wit is sharper. The story lines are well thought out, more thought out than 30 Rock.
Steven Weber, Matthew Perry, Bradford Whitford and Amanda Peet mesh as a cast, so why cancel a show wherethe cast works so well. Some of the scripts were uneven and sometimes puzzling in why they would do some of the things they do.
So why did this show fail? I think the audience wanted a show about a comedy show to be funny and not so dramatic.I wish someone would have given this show a chance...but the network didn't!
Well now we as a DVD audience can watch this show in his own season. We can enjoy what NBC passed on and dream what could have happened. another intelligent show has bitten the dust, pray for intelligence!
Bennet Pomerantz AUDIOWORLD"
"God, Jack, there's about seven things that are funny about
Lawrance M. Bernabo | The Zenith City, Duluth, Minnesota | 04/07/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I like to watch television series from start to favorite and have over three dozen complete runs to enjoy. My standard practice is to watch one episode a day for the series I am going through, although I might go back-to-back with a two-parter. But when I decided to watch the one season of "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip" I went through all 22 episodes in five days (it would have been less but I had other things to watch, classes to teach, time to spend sleeping, etc.). When my wife heard what I was doing she decided to lie in bed for two days and watching the entire series from start to finish. So that would be a pretty good indication of how much we liked the late and lamented television series from Aaron Sorkin.
I am enthralled the art of writing and so wish that when it comes to writing that my attention span was better suited to actual works of literature than writing reviews. With this television show I get to appreciate both the writing of the episodes and the parts in the episodes where people are writing. But the bottom line remains that I simply love the way Sorkin writes and have yet to reach my saturation point with watching (although I should really say "listening") repeats of "The West Wing" the way I have other series that I love (Yes, I know that Sorkin only produced and wrote the first four seasons of the show, but those were the best ones and I would swear that those who wrote in his wake were trying to emulate his style). It goes without saying that the same comments apply to Sorkin's first television series, "Sports Night."
Beyond that, I find this television shows particularly affecting. I think I got choked up more often watching "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip" than for any single season of any television show I have ever seen. I do not just mean getting teary eyed over all of the life and death questions resolved in the final episode ("What Kind of Day Has It Been"), or when Harriet tells Matt "You knock my sox off," or when Danny tells Jordan "I'm coming for you." I mean things like when Matt bet Jeannie $10,000 that the number of people who liked her "Commedia dell'arte" routine is going to go from two to three people ("The Focus Group"). My wife probably cried more often than I did watching the show, which apparently speaks to a hitherto unrecognized point of commonality between our disparate natures, but once again reinforces our shared affection for the series.
This is not to say the show was perfect, because it was not. My first fear that the series might be fatally flawed came in the second episode where we did not get to see the Crazy Christian skit and were instead treated to reworked lyrics for a Gilbert & Sullivan songs that were okay, but not memorable. You can only talk about a killer skit so much before you have to show the damn thing. Of course that means you have to write an absolutely killer skit and maybe it is the case that Sorkin never tired, but what matters in the end is that we never get to see any of it in the show. Because the point is the show behind the show we do not get to see that much of the show in front of the show behind the show, and what we do see is not stellar late night sketch comedy. The takeoff on Nancy Grace was pretty good and I liked the dry wit of the White House press conferences, but the news segments never amounted to much of anything. For me the funniest bit of the entire season was the running gag in "The Harriet Dinner (1)" of Harriet's inability to tell a joke, although I have to say it is a toss-up between Holly Hunter and Dolphin Girl for which of Harriet's voices cracks me up more.
I know that Sorkin is condemned as a liberal, but he certainly writes some of the best political characters. That was true on "The West Wing" with characters from Ainsley Hayes to Arnold Vinick, with the likes of Christopher Mulready and Sheila Brooks in between, and with Harriet Hayes we find Sorkin doing for evangelical Christians what he did for conservative Republicans (I always thought it would have been interesting to continue "The West Wing" with a Republican president to show that dramatic political storytelling is not just the province of the left). Ultimately what makes Harriet a fascinating character is that despite the inherent contradiction, she is never going to give up her faith in God or her love for Matt. The question is whether he will ever stop taking one step backwards for every step forward in his relationship with here. Sorkin and his talented ensemble cast knew the show was over by the time they got to the final episode and were already to provide a sense that the characters go on even if the series does not, which provides some small measure of comfort. I certainly appreciate that because tonight I start watching "Carnivale," a series HBO jettisoned before the end was even in sight. "