Yesterday, the few remaining fans of STUDIO 60 ON THE SUNSET STRIP took out an ad in the Hollywood Reporter ‘thanking’ STUDIO 60 as well encouraging donations to the Tipitina’s Foundation of New Orleans.
Encouraging donations to the Tipitina’s Foundation of New Orleans, most definitely worth the ad buy. But thanking STUDIO 60 for “intelligent, inspiring and compelling drama we’ll never forget,” well that my friends is a completely different story.
Don’t get me wrong. I love Aaron Sorkin and think he’s one of the most talented writers on the planet. Not only do SPORTS NIGHT and THE WEST WING both sit proudly on my DVD shelf, I quite literally never tire of THE AMERICAN PRESIDENT. But the unfortunate reality is that STUDIO 60 never lived up to the hype.
What started off as one of the most promising pilots in recent memory quickly devolved into a weekly Sorkin lecture on politics, religion, the war, censorship and pretty much anything else that Sorkin wanted to get off his chest. The show that should have been filled with snappy dialogue, fantastic characters and great writing essentially became that ‘very special’ episode of THE WEST WING where the cast dealt with the aftermath of 9/11. Which if you remember the episode, is not a good thing.
In the end, the thanks should really go to NBC. Not only did the network give Sorkin free reign to run a million dollar drama into the ground. It hopefully gave him enough airtime to articulate each and every one of his political views so that the next time he returns to television, he’ll remember that the medium should entertain first — educate second.