Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Studio 60

That lucky duck Aaron Sorkin is landing on his feet over at the peacock network -- they're leading their fall TV lineup with "Studio 60 On the Sunset Strip," his dramedy about an "SNL"-type show. Since they're tossing it all over the upfronts this week, you should watch the six minutes of footage that are in circulation -- it looks like a monster.

I really enjoyed "SportsNight," but by the time "West Wing" came around, I'd lost my taste for authority-type characters walking briskly ahead of subordinates while barking dialogue at them. Seemed like a trope he went to the well for far too often. Mind you, he had great actors in Richard Schiff and Bradley Whitford, but the confines of the Washington setting were not pop culture-y enough for me.

Now, it appears like Sorkin's found the sweet spot: a workplace comedy/drama built into his milieu -- L.A. entertainment. We should fully expect his better predilections towards rat-a-tat dialogue and quirkedgy characters to take over. Boy, it's strange to see Matt Perry look like he's in a position of authority -- but I believe it, just so long as he keeps elocuting that idiosyncratic Sorkinian speech.

The Perry aspect is intriguing, and the cast seems estimable consisting of the former "Friend" and "Wing" alumnus Whitford in the lead, supported by Amanda Peet, Brian Weber, D.L. Hughley, and Judd Hirsch, among others. A strange melange of pedigrees, to be sure, but I look forward to seeing how they play together.