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Studio 60: Why Jordan Should Push Danny Off The Roof

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I waver between love and like of Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. I mostly get why it doesn’t appeal to some people. I don’t get why some people watch it religiously and then spend additional time analysing it if it doesn’t appeal to them. It’s not The West Wing. It’s not even Sports Night. But it’s not nearly so bad that I can understand expending much energy into pillorying it. I don’t understand that with any show, but I’m repulsed by the glee of some writers who are not only reveling in Aaron Sorkin’s supposed fall from grace, but hoping to accelerate that fall.

But the last couple of episodes have left me repulsed by the show itself. Sorkin has said, in response to criticism, that he’s retooling his drama-about-a-comedy-show to focus more on the romantic comedy elements. And yet one recent storyline makes his grasp of romantic comedy seem a lot shakier than The American President would suggest: Danny as stalker.

We’re used to the romantic comedy scenario where the man and woman hate each other but really love each other. See Bridget Jones’s Diary. Sometimes one person supposedly hates the other and the hatee must work to win over the hater. See You’ve Got Mail.

But, like some of the worst romantic comedies, Studio 60 has veered into stalker fantasy. I was willing to overlook it when Danny told Jordan in the Christmas episode: “You'd better run, because I’m coming after you.” Just a figure of speech, after all.

But no. He then proceeded to come after her despite her repeated objections, and declared his intention to continue coming after her following another unequivocal “stop.” Just what we need — to have “no means yes” become a more entrenched part of our romantic mythology.

I know we’re supposed to get that Jordan secretly wants Danny, too. The last episode made that clearer, when she was less than thrilled when he told her that while he was in love with her, he’d stop aggressively pursuing her. That still doesn’t make it romantic. That makes it worse. Just what we need — to have “she secretly wants it” become a more entrenched part of our romantic mythology.

In real life, women are far, far more likely to encounter annoying and sometimes frightening situations where men will not accept that their attentions are not wanted, than they are to regret missing out on the love of their life who turned out to be that annoying or frightening man.

But watch enough romantic comedies, or enough Studio 60 lately, and you’d think aggressive persistence was romantic. You’d think putting your own desires far above the object of your desire’s desires was romantic. You’d think not respecting someone’s right to say no was romantic.

It’s not romantic. At all. It’s just plain creepy.

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About Diane Kristine Wild

  • http://midnightcafe.wordpress.com Mat Brewster

    Agreed totally. Studio 60 was my favorite show of the season, but the last couple of episodes have made me reconsider.

    The Harriett/Matt love thing was ok, but now we’ve got those two, Danny Stalking Jordan, and the whole Lucy/Tom thing. That’s way too much love, and not enough good story telling.

    Another thing with the Lucy/Tom thing, come on, how dumb was that plot line. Who didn’t see Lucy catching Tom in a lie from 8 miles high?

  • http://awardisshowing.blogspot.com/ Kathy Scovill

    And why would Tom lie, when the obvious route to a woman’s heart is to heroically salvage the studio from impending doom by attending a dinner with the viola prodigy gone awry? And to take said lying advice from Matt, the romantic imbicile? I do like this show, I do. But what to do about the romantic tension that’s strangling me.

  • Unto the Breach

    I disagree… the first of the three parter – yes Danny was a dick. But he is also a character who has been written as a addictive personality. As someone who has worked with similar types of people I saw someone very believable – but what was even better, was the fact that he *realised* what he was doing and did in fact stop.

    I understand how some people a so opposed to the show. It’s fashionable. Mediocrity is a killer. Any former American Idol will tell you – middle of the road isn’t good. People are ‘meh’ – you WANT people to love you or hate you – either way they are TALKING about YOU and not some other schmoo.

  • http://www.iamcorrect.com lono

    who cares? I am more disappointed that this has turned into a relationship show. As a life long addict of SNL, I was expecting or more compelling look at the nature of how such a show works. If I wanted a love story, I’d watch one of the 3200 medical or legal dramas on.

    I have to go to 30 Rock for my fix now, but that is just because Alec Baldwin somehow gets better in that role every day.