Aaron Sorkin is capable of writing an intelligent, fast paced, timely, witty and compelling comedy about the behind-the-scenes machinations of a television show. We know, because we have evidence. Sports Night was and still is one of the best shows ever aired. Its abrupt cancellation left a hole which even the fine West Wing was never completely able to fill.
When Sorkin is writing well, it’s everything good that television has to offer — intelligent, funny, warm and really entertaining. When he sucks, however, it’s like listening to a four-year-old tell a joke. You see the punch line coming before it enters the building, but you still have to sit through its pained delivery and a ten minute explanation as to why, exactly, it’s really funny.
I’ve actually started to write about Studio 60 multiple times, but always managed to be convinced, either by listening to Sorkin fans talk up the show or catching a new episode which didn’t suck, that I was judging it too harshly. That I needed to give the show time to find its groove. Never mind that most TV series get two episodes to find their grooves before they’re relegated to the cancel bin. Appreciation of true genius requires patient investment.
So I ignored the facile nonsensical “she’s a Christian, but she’s actually not a retard” storylines. The stuck in flyover country two-parter in which John Goodman proved that them thar people who ain’t living in NYC or LA do SO understand fancy pants in-tie-lek-choo-all humor, they’ms just don’t like it.
Then I saw last weeks’ episode. I'd offer a spoiler alert here, but "spoiler" implies the discussion of an original story.
After behaving like a deranged, threatening stalker last week, Danny pulls Jordan aside to apologize and, oh my god, the wackiness… They accidentally get locked on the roof! Wouldn’t it be totally wild if their enforced confinement actually led Jordan to fall for Danny? And after behaving like another deranged stalker, Matt wins the charity dinner date with Harriet which blows up in his face when she discovers he’s still jealous of that other guy she’s not dating. Even though she and Matt are not dating, she dumps him, again, and this time, she’s totally serious. Wouldn’t it be totally wild if her ultimatum caused Matt to do something completely outrageous like propose?