Better Late Than Never: 10 Random Thoughts On Studio 60 Episode 12

Credit: NBC

Welcome back to Better Late Than Never. We are inching closer and closer to the series finale of this uneven but brilliant comedy-drama. In fact, we are now over halfway through the season and I’ve hit the episodes I’ve never seen. Let me tell you something, things are getting absolutely batty in some corners of the studio and I am kind of here for it. Mostly because I love Matt and Harriet. Danny and Jordan at the moment? Not so much.

Read my thoughts and then stay for my mini-review which is more of a discussion about Danny and Jordan and the huge problem that’s cropped up with their “relationship.”

  1. Danny is a persistent little bugger and I’m not entirely sure if that’s a good thing or if that’s just slightly creepy. 
  2. Here we are again. Matt and Harriet arguing. You know, one day, one or both of them (or I) am going to get tired of hearing the sound of their voices, especially when they argue, which is ALL THE TIME. Seriously. Is that all they do? 
  3. I like and appreciate that Sorkin is always ahead of his time. Whether it’s mental health in The West Wing or this FCC fight over censorship in the news with the networks, Sorkin always feels timely no matter what he’s writing. I enjoy that and think that it’s important we acknowledge that because I feel like not a lot of people do.
  4. First off, why do we always seem to pit powerful women against powerful women? Second off, I definitely don’t like this new girl who is head of alternative programming, probably because I, like Jordan, also don’t like alternative programming. Third off, what kind of woman throws the fact that her co-worker is pregnant at her like it’s some sort of sin that she’s having a baby and working at the same time? Sometimes I like Sorkin. Sometimes, not so much. 
  5. “I like it for its maturity,” Matt says meaning that it’s the most immature thing he’s ever heard of, and dear God, Danny, why are you going to inundate this poor soul who is pregnant with meaningless letters of recommendation?
  6. Gotta give Jack props for trying to learn how to speak Mandarin over the course of a three hour (?) symphony performance so he can speak to the head of the Macau deal. That takes a lot of guts and gumption. It’s also awkward as all get out and I don’t know if I can watch it. (It was not as awkward as I was expecting it to be. But how will the outcome work? I don’t know and I’m scared to know.)
  7. I love Tom and Lucy. I think they are the cutest couple in this show that isn’t Harriet and Matt. I am so rooting for them. 
  8. What is Matt’s issue with this book that he keeps reading from? I feel like he’s just latching onto something to latch onto because he’s worried about Harriet and that director who’s name eludes me. 
  9. ‘Will you please stop?’ is usually a thing that you don’t say ‘no’ to, Danny. In case you were wondering. Now I can say I was right and this has transcended the normal levels of creepy and I don’t like it. This is not the Danny I know and like. This is some pushy dude who doesn’t know the rule of consent. 
  10. I don’t know what else to say about this episode other than everything is falling apart which means we are in the rising action of our season-long story arc and we’re about to hit a climax sometime in the near future and that scares me to death.

Oh, boy. I feel like I have a lot to say about this episode but I don’t know if my words are going to work the way they should because I have a feeling that I’m about to get a bit upset about everything. Actually, it’s a guarantee that I’m upset about everything because I am. Articulating it is another story.

We are finally getting a glimpse at Danny in all his glory and I don’t like what I’m seeing. At all. Maybe his possessive personality is supposed to mirror that of drug addicts and what some drug addicts deal with once they’re sober, I don’t know. I’ve never been a drug addict and I don’t know many former addicts, but I do know that addictive personalities have…issues with being obsessive and possessive. Or at least, they can have issues. For some, that means being a workaholic. For others, it means something else. Apparently, Danny’s obsession has shifted from work to Jordan and the baby and it’s creepy.

Not only is it creepy, it’s actually wrong. Jordan asks Danny to stop. Flat out. Danny doesn’t accept that meaning that Danny doesn’t understand the concept of consent. He is encroaching on Jordan’s privacy as well as making her uncomfortable to the point that she has to screen her calls because he’s basically stalking her. This is highly unacceptable and I’m hoping that Sorkin fixes this in future episodes. Because right now, Danny is gross and has quickly become my least favorite character in the series. You know, at least Jack has boundaries, despite being a raging misogynist. At least Matt has boundaries as well.

Speaking of Matt, let’s compare Matt and Harriet and Danny and Jordan for a moment because I understand where someone could argue that Matt’s obsession with Harriet is on equal footing with Danny. But you’d be wrong and here’s why. First, Harriet has never told Matt to stop. She complains about him being an absolute ass sometimes. She complains about him meddling but she’s never told him to stop with his over the top attempts to sabotage Harriet’s personal life. Mostly because Matt is doing it in a way that doesn’t directly make Harriet feel threatened or uneasy. Harriet also encourages it in various ways that suggest that if we saw more of Harriet, she would be doing the same thing with Matt and his conquests and relationships. This is a relationship of implicit trust. It’s also a relationship that is based on consent. If Harriet asked Matt to stop his playful shenanigans, we are led to believe he would without a second guess because Matt respects Harriet.

Danny and Jordan do not have the relationship that Harriet and Matt have. Harriet and Matt have known each other for years. Danny and Jordan have only known each other for a few months. Their entire relationship is based on distrust and borderline blackmail. Danny stated in the first episode that he didn’t trust Jordan in the slightest because she worked in television and, we’re meant to infer, because she blackmailed him with a failed insurance test to ensure that he would work at Studio 60. None of that has been apologized for or mitigated. Absolutely none of it. Now, Jordan is asking for Danny to stop in his pursuit of her because he made her feel small and embarrassed, and, not only that, but she has her career to think about and she’s not one to fraternize with people at work. (This is even obvious in her awkwardness with Harriet and the cast at wrap parties if you need more evidence of Jordan’s reluctance and uncertainty in regard to interpersonal relationships with her underlings.)

While the subtle flirtation before her pregnancy was a bit endearing, for reasons I can’t explain, Danny and Jordan are in a place that I don’t know if they can grow from. I don’t know how their relationship is going to pan out, but right now, they’re starting in not the greatest place and it’s icky to watch as an audience member. Maybe Sorkin will soften Danny and, you know, make him understand consent, but I’m worried he won’t and I’ll have to just accept that this relationship is just going to be gross. And I don’t want to do that. But I guess I have no other choice.

Shelby Arnold
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