Saying goodbye to ”Studio 60”
Born in September 2006 to Aaron Sorkin (father of acclaimed series The West Wing and Sports Night) and struggling network NBC, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip — a backstage drama set at an SNL doppelgänger — was a precocious infant, spouting wonky arguments about gay marriage, religious intolerance, and Hurricane Katrina. The development of its sense of humor, however, was stunted, as it found amusement in spit takes and impressions of Cape Fear-era Juliette Lewis, and it delivered topical jokes that were like New Yorker articles with punchlines tacked on. Even bolstered by Matthew Perry, Amanda Peet, and Bradley Whitford, the show struggled under its imposing father; Sorkin seemed to use his baby to grind axes against bloggers, network testing, and TV scribes who resent it when their brilliant boss does all the writing. In December, amid ratings struggles, Studio 60 hit adolescence hard, abruptly transforming into a romantic comedy, with Whitford’s character pursuing Peet’s like some kind of witty David Berkowitz. This awkward phase attracted few viewers, and Studio 60 was abandoned, left to live out its last episodes in the summer doldrums, a broken show prone, in its last sad days, to grumbling about the war in Afghanistan, troubled pregnancies, and drug abuse. (The finale airs June 28.) It will be mourned by Rob Reiner, the Fruit of the Loom guys, and Dolphin Girl.