I am continually digging myself into a hole. Before I called in all the favors owed me (and gave away a few of my future children), and now I owe everyone. On the upside, I’ve seen 30 Rock and Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, which almost makes up for it.
I don’t care what NBC says, avoiding any discussion of quality, longevity, the audience’s interest level, acting, writing, etc., etc., I can’t avoid the stark fact that these two shows should not be airing on the same network. They just shouldn’t, it’s not right. My pure speculation is that both were in development, the Aaron Sorkin/Thomas Schlamme one was clearly better and worth a spot in the fall lineup, but NBC didn’t want to upset Lorne Michaels and Tina Fey (heaven knows why) and so agreed to air that show as well.
Don’t get me wrong, the Fey one is funny, and I appreciate the fact that they take shots at NBC and corporate parent GE (something which the Sorkin one does not do as directly), and Alec Baldwin is really very good in his role, it’s just not as well written, well acted, well directed, well conceived, or well executed as Studio 60. The absolute funniest thing about 30 Rock is that the deal Tina Fey’s character makes with Alec Baldwin’s at the end of the episode secures a spot for herself and Rachel Dratch’s character on The Girlie Show (the variety show 30 Rock is about), however in real life Dratch has just been demoted to a recurring role appearing as several different characters. It’s too bad Fey didn’t make the right deal with Kevin Reilly to protect Dratch herself.
As for Studio 60…it’s funny, it’s serious, and it’s really good. It’s not great, but it’s really good. The moments at the end of each act of the show are really well executed. Going into virtually every commercial break something truly compelling or outstanding occurred, something that absolutely made you want to see what would happen when the show came back.
If you are a faithful reader you will know that Studio 60 was scheduled to be on my fall watch list and 30 Rock was not. After having seen 30 Rock, I may decide to add it to schedule, I’m going to have to give Jericho a chance to develop and see what happens. I also may end up TiVoing one and watching the other live (something I’d prefer not to do, but I may have to).
Okay, I still maintain that it’s not a bad thing, but I’m addicted to television; I can’t wait for the new season to begin.