Well, we did it, folks. We finally made it to the episodes I haven’t seen of Studio 60. I don’t know if this will be a good thing or a bad thing, but I’m excited to see what’s to come for this cast and crew of comedians. I love these guys and after the shocking news (that wasn’t so shocking) that Ricky and Ron were jumping ship, it’ll be interesting to see how Matt, Darius, and Lucy handle the transition.
Nothing is easy in the world of Studio 60 and it seems like it’s just going to get harder. I’m interested to see how Lucy and Darius step up. I’m also interested to see how Suzanne handles her new position. And, lastly, this episode sees the return of Martha O’Dell. You know, the journalist that seems to have a whole heck of a lot of chemistry with Danny and who only seems to talk to Danny the most. Let’s be real. I think Martha has a crush on our resident producer, but it’s becoming more and more obvious that his gaze is elsewhere.
That becomes even more obvious in this episode. So, without further ado, let’s get a shot of “B-12.”
- Danny coming on stage for a sketch. Okay. I wasn’t expecting this. I wasn’t expecting it and I kinda like it. He’s good at it. Remind me again why Danny is a producer and not on the stage? Because I feel like he needs to be on the stage more. Or maybe not. Once again, sketches by Sorkin aren’t great.
- Real-life? I’m not old enough to remember what happened at Grosse Pointe? What is that and what happened? Why are five dead? I’m assuming it’s something to do with the war, but that doesn’t seem right. Oh, I was right. It isn’t about the war. It was about a hostage situation with a family, though I think it was made up for the show? I don’t know. Yup, it’s just for the show.
- “Could these lights possibly be any hotter?” “No, they’re as hot as they get.” Can confirm. Stage lights are hot. If you’re sick or running a fever, I can’t imagine how awful standing under them can be. What is even going on at this point in the studio? These poor guys can’t catch a break.
- Matt just waltzes in to see all of his actors, save for Jeanie, standing around, and spitting water at each other. And we wonder why everyone is sick now and are fainting on set. Okay. Good to know. I like the structure of this episode and how it goes back and forth between the past and the present. I’ve always liked stories like this.
- So far, the only unrealistic thing in this episode, the thing that’s distracting me the most, is that it’s been storming in Los Angeles for two days straight. Does that actually happen? Because I didn’t think that it did.
- I think Jordan is pregnant. And when I mean Jordan, I mean Amanda Peet. Even though Jordan is pregnant in the last half of the show. I think that they made Jordan be pregnant because Peet got pregnant. Because all of a sudden, Jordan is carrying things in front of her and wearing shirts that hide her stomach.
- When Jordan is upset, she goes for the throat and I love that about her. Her brashness and bluntness she portrayed in the first two episodes that I didn’t like are now two things that I do like.
- This writer dude that Matt brought in is scary and I don’t like him. I mean, his advice is sound advice but when it comes from a guy who is speaking in monotone, it’s a bit unnerving.
- Lucy and Darius are precious and seeing them finally get a sketch on are priceless. I love it. I have been rooting for these two since Darius was hired and since we got to see more of Lucy. They’re both great.
- The amount of bickering between Martha and Danny almost makes me ship them, but we all know that it’s Danny and Jordan who are getting together, and man, I am ready for those episodes. I think they’re on their way and I’m excited. Also, can we just say that Corinne Bailey Rae singing about love while Danny goes to check on Jordan isn’t prophetic? (Hint, just kidding, it is.)
Who knew that a simple shot of B-12 would be the reoccurring theme in an episode of a comedy-drama? No one but Sorkin. And who knew it would be effective? Again, no one but Sorkin. The cast and crew come down with a mysterious illness that reminds me of the flu and are required by the NBS nurse to get shots of B-12. For some reason, Danny doesn’t get his which leads to a riff about him possibly being pregnant, only for it to be revealed that Jordan is the one pregnant and she can’t get the shot because of the baby. Who saw this coming? Well, I kind of did, but that’s only because of Sorkin’s ridiculously on the nose foreshadowing that was more giant pieces of breadcrumbs as opposed to something delicate to be picked up on.
Beyond the horrible use of foreshadowing, Sorkin structures this episode in a way to focus completely on Matt, Danny, Jordan, Darius, and Lucy without it feeling overly cluttered like “Nevada Day” was. Of course, it probably helps that I like the structure of the narrative. Sorkin plays around with time in a way that feels similar to Christopher Nolan, but it isn’t quite as complex. That works on a smaller level whereas Nolan’s time meddling works better on a bigger level.
Sorkin’s grasp of time sometimes feels a bit more tenuous than Nolan’s, but Sorkin works well by peppering in not only character beats but plot points and then merging them all together. I will admit that sometimes Sorkin’s payoffs aren’t great, and this episode has a lot of those moments, but he does pull it off. For me, the oddness about this episode stems from the lack of payoff from the virus storyline as well as the payoff with Harriet and her inability to tell a joke.
First, it feels unrealistic to me that Harriet wouldn’t be able to tell a joke. Her entire career hinges around the fact that she tells jokes. She memorizes scripts and sketches and tells jokes to an audience of over 5 million people. To write that she can’t tell a joke is like writing in that Danny can’t tell time with a pocket watch or something else equally ridiculous. Once again, Harriet’s job is to tell jokes and she has phenomenal comedic talent. She swept the floors at Second City. Tell me again that Harriet doesn’t know how to improv a joke.
Second, where did the virus come in to play and why is it important other than drop the bombshell that Jordan is pregnant? We don’t know what the virus is. We don’t know how it spread. (Though we can guess by the whole spit-take scene I mentioned in my thought list.) And we also don’t know why Harriet doesn’t get it. This episode feels like an entire exercise of just dogging on Harriet and now I’m reminded why Sorkin gets flack from his treatment and writing of female characters. This is something that Harriet doesn’t deserve.
Despite those giant missteps, it’s the little things that save this episode. For instance, Danny and Jordan are precious and I am now wholly invested in Darius and Lucy. Let’s see what the rest of the episodes bring us with those four characters. Also, here’s to hoping that something happens between Matt and Harriet soon. I need my OTP to do something other than arguing.
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