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brianjedi
12-04-2006, 05:33 PM
It's Christmas time at Studio 60!

"Matt wants to bring the spirit of Christmas to Los Angeles when he and the "Studio 60" team put on a holiday show. Meanwhile, Danny tries to figure out his true feelings for Jordan."

Let's hope this is another Sorkin Christmas episode in the tradition of "In Excelsis Deo," "Noel" and "Holy Night."

jrepka
12-04-2006, 06:33 PM
There is an article on Kristen Chenowith (http://www.nytimes.com/2006/12/03/theater/03Gree.html) in the Arts section of Sunday's NYTimes (I don't think this is behind the dreaded "TimeSelect" wall). It's interesting to note that

1. She said afterward that she regrets appearing on the 700 club;

2. She was "disinvited" from appearing at a "Women of Faith" conference a year ago;

3. She did a bikini spread in FHM (not lingerie);

4. She is a supporter of gay rights and gay marriage ("Get over it, people"). She comes off pretty much as a thoughful, liberal Christian (I believe that the term being pushed is "red-letter Christians," based on versions of the bible that print Jesus' words in red ink);

5. Sorkin asked her permission to base Harriet's character on her. He has obviously decided to make her a bit more "red-state friendly," i.e. a bit more of a straw person.

Eve
12-04-2006, 07:25 PM
I predict a chemistry-free hour of Chandler Bing and Kristen Chenowith sermonizing at each other.

brianjedi
12-04-2006, 07:43 PM
I predict a chemistry-free hour of Chandler Bing and Kristen Chenowith sermonizing at each other.

I predict... you're wrong.

Sam Stone
12-04-2006, 08:34 PM
Saw it last night. I liked it. The last couple of episodes have been better than the first few. Hopefully, that means that the show is finding its 'voice' and becoming better.

jacquilynne
12-04-2006, 11:00 PM
I loved Danny's declaration, it was so charming and dorky all at the same time.

brownie55
12-04-2006, 11:09 PM
As a Jew, that horn rendition brought tears to my cynical eyes. That, my friends, is what television was invented for, to bring us together. The tune, and the few words of it I know, juxtaposed with the images of New Orleans. OK, I get that it was pure manipulation, but I don't care. It was wonderful, and I loved it. I guess my hard ass cynic cred just got shredded. The only thing that hurts is that it was network TV.

randwill
12-04-2006, 11:35 PM
Great episode. They are finding their way. Ed Asner's scene kicked ass!

But what's Wynton Marsalis of NBC doing over at a NBS show? Or was that Wynton Jarfalis of "The Goodnight Show" starring Tay Veno?

Fiddle Peghead
12-04-2006, 11:47 PM
I know I should know the name of the song at the end, but I can't place it. Please help!

Exapno Mapcase
12-04-2006, 11:48 PM
I knew as soon as I saw Jordan in the doctor's office that nobody at any time would utter the word abortion or even give the teensiest hint that Jordan might have thought about one or might be better off if she had one.

And they stuck to it despite her being a now pregnant and unmarried and unattached-to-the-father network president who is going to get plastered all over the tabloids yet again - again - after the uber-chairman said "make it stop." Not only that but he didn't say a word about it. He seemed to be all twinkly eyed.

Does anyone at that show even watch the show to know what got said the last week?

For that matter, which is less plausible: that Studio 60 was the only live show, i.e. current, i.e. meant to be seen in context, i.e. does-Christmas-when-everybody-is-thinking-about-Christmas show in the history of television not to do a yearly Christmas show or that the Jewish atheist Matt suddenly wakes up one morning and decides to be all Christmas-y?

And the FCC not only has been backing off fines for accidental profanity in real life, but nobody, nobody, nobody would threaten fines for a Marine saying fuck in a live news interview when under attack. Nobody. If anybody were that stupid the entire blogosphere and every cable news show would be talking about nothing else 24/7 blasting them into smithereens. So why did the fucking network chairman think that his fucking conglomerate chair boss wouldn't have heard about this? Did he think the government acts in secret? That they fine networks and don't tell anybody but the network chair? That the news department isn't involved? That it isn't a public document?

And of course coconut cooks under the lights you stupid fucks!

This show drives me utterly crazy! It's so good in so many ways, yet every bit of good dialogue is in thrall to incidents of such appalling stupidity as to knock a buzzard off a shitwagon, to paraphrase George Carlin. Why does every single person on the show have to be so stupid every single minute? Why? Why? Why?


P.S. It was Kevin Eubanks. Branford Marsalis quit the Tonight Show around 1994.

Exapno Mapcase
12-04-2006, 11:53 PM
I knew as soon as I saw Jordan in the doctor's office that nobody at any time would utter the word abortion or even give the teensiest hint that Jordan might have thought about one or might be better off if she had one.

And they stuck to it despite her being a now pregnant and unmarried and unattached-to-the-father network president who is going to get plastered all over the tabloids yet again - again - after the uber-chairman said "make it stop." Not only that but he didn't say a word about it. He seemed to be all twinkly eyed.

Does anyone at that show even watch the show to know what got said the last week?

For that matter, which is less plausible: that Studio 60 was the only live show, i.e. current, i.e. meant to be seen in context, i.e. does-Christmas-when-everybody-is-thinking-about-Christmas show in the history of television not to do a yearly Christmas show or that the Jewish atheist Matt suddenly wakes up one morning and decides to be all Christmas-y?

And the FCC not only has been backing off fines for accidental profanity in real life, but nobody, nobody, nobody would threaten fines for a Marine saying fuck in a live news interview when under attack. Nobody. If anybody were that stupid the entire blogosphere and every cable news show would be talking about nothing else 24/7 blasting them into smithereens. So why did the fucking network chairman think that his fucking conglomerate chair boss wouldn't have heard about this? Did he think the government acts in secret? That they fine networks and don't tell anybody but the network chair? That the news department isn't involved? That it isn't a public document?

And of course coconut cooks under the lights you stupid fucks!

This show drives me utterly crazy! It's so good in so many ways, yet every bit of good dialogue is in thrall to incidents of such appalling stupidity as to knock a buzzard off a shitwagon, to paraphrase George Carlin. Why does every single person on the show have to be so stupid every single minute? Why? Why? Why?


P.S. It was Kevin Eubanks. Branford Marsalis quit the Tonight Show around 1994.

jacquilynne
12-05-2006, 12:02 AM
And of course coconut cooks under the lights you stupid fucks!

Really? Of course? You're sure? How often do you cook at temperatures that are tolerable for humans to work in? Frankly, my expectation is that under those circumstances the coconut would dry out, but not actually cook. And I'd anticipate that dry coconut (which, frankly, is probably what I would have started with if I was trying to make snow out of groceries) would actually be more effective than fresh.

Little Nemo
12-05-2006, 12:14 AM
I liked this episode. Yes, there were certainly plotholes, as Exapno pointed out. But for the first time, the general quality of the show was high enough that the problems didn't stand out. Maybe it's just Christmas magic.

flurb
12-05-2006, 12:21 AM
I've blown hot and cold on the show, but I have to say that I'm getting a little tired of how noble everyone on the show is. Constantly. Danny's playing substitute father for Jordan and hiring homeless jazz musicians, Steven Webber's ready to resign over the FCC issue, they've even got Ed Asner willing to risk his beloved Macau deal to stick it to the FCC. Yeah, I know, did I ever see the West Wing? It's Sorkin's calling card, but it would be nice if he didn't have to divide his world between unfailingly upright main characters and off-screen, straw-man villains (e.g. the FCC, Women of Faith, etc).

Snooooopy
12-05-2006, 12:33 AM
I've blown hot and cold on the show, but I have to say that I'm getting a little tired of how noble everyone on the show is.

Another show that had that problem was Star Trek: TNG. If any crew member on that show was anything less than upstanding, it was because of mind controlling aliens or something.

This show could use some mind controlling aliens.

LavenderBlue
12-05-2006, 12:36 AM
I thought this was the best episode since the pilot. The sketches on the show were actually funny. The final scene with the musicians from New Orleans, the marriage proposal and the Ed Asner speech was wonderful.

My only quarrel was that they telegraphed some of the funnier bits (the table breaking coconut, the Nazi saluting santa) in promos.

brianjedi
12-05-2006, 12:41 AM
I knew as soon as I saw Jordan in the doctor's office that nobody at any time would utter the word abortion or even give the teensiest hint that Jordan might have thought about one or might be better off if she had one.

And they stuck to it despite her being a now pregnant and unmarried and unattached-to-the-father network president who is going to get plastered all over the tabloids yet again - again - after the uber-chairman said "make it stop." Not only that but he didn't say a word about it. He seemed to be all twinkly eyed.

Does anyone at that show even watch the show to know what got said the last week?

For that matter, which is less plausible: that Studio 60 was the only live show, i.e. current, i.e. meant to be seen in context, i.e. does-Christmas-when-everybody-is-thinking-about-Christmas show in the history of television not to do a yearly Christmas show or that the Jewish atheist Matt suddenly wakes up one morning and decides to be all Christmas-y?

And the FCC not only has been backing off fines for accidental profanity in real life, but nobody, nobody, nobody would threaten fines for a Marine saying fuck in a live news interview when under attack. Nobody. If anybody were that stupid the entire blogosphere and every cable news show would be talking about nothing else 24/7 blasting them into smithereens. So why did the fucking network chairman think that his fucking conglomerate chair boss wouldn't have heard about this? Did he think the government acts in secret? That they fine networks and don't tell anybody but the network chair? That the news department isn't involved? That it isn't a public document?

And of course coconut cooks under the lights you stupid fucks!

This show drives me utterly crazy! It's so good in so many ways, yet every bit of good dialogue is in thrall to incidents of such appalling stupidity as to knock a buzzard off a shitwagon, to paraphrase George Carlin. Why does every single person on the show have to be so stupid every single minute? Why? Why? Why?


P.S. It was Kevin Eubanks. Branford Marsalis quit the Tonight Show around 1994.

Could the fact that Amanda Peet is ACTUALLY pregnant possibly have anything to do with Jordan not having an abortion? It might be a bit awkward if she has one and then keeps ballooning up to the size of a house.

I can see S60 not doing a Christmas show, for exactly the same reason Matt gave: it's L.A., Studio 60 is an "L.A." show and 75 and sunny isn't exactly Christmas weather.

The FCC thing was a little unrealistic, but it gave Steven Weber something to do.

The coconut wasn't even a major plot point, so getting wound up over it doesn't make a lot of sense.

I thought this was a great episode.

Kiros
12-05-2006, 01:16 AM
I thought this episode was keeping with the trend of the last few, which is to say it has improved a ton and has more than enough redeeming value to be worth watching despite some flaws. I even liked Weber in this episode, which is saying something.

Oh, and this time around, Bradley Whitford gets to get all of that sexual tension out in the open right away instead of letting it just sit there the entire length of the series!

Horatio Hellpop
12-05-2006, 01:52 AM
I know I should know the name of the song at the end, but I can't place it. Please help!

I believe it's called "Angel Voices," but it's better known in this country as "O Holy Night."

zagloba
12-05-2006, 02:07 AM
This was my favorite episode of the show.

But I'm pretty sure they said the earthquake was a 4.1. I don't think 4.1's cause building and structure collapses, do they?

amarinth
12-05-2006, 02:45 AM
This show drives me utterly crazy! It's so good in so many ways, yet every bit of good dialogue is in thrall to incidents of such appalling stupidity as to knock a buzzard off a shitwagon, to paraphrase George Carlin. Why does every single person on the show have to be so stupid every single minute? Why? Why? Why?It's just so odd in so many strange ways. It manages to be bad in ways that I could never predict.

After last week, I thought "well, he's finally fixed the writers room," but no. It's broken again. Now we know that none of them have ever read a book and are amazed at basic factual information - so much so that they stop working.

I think I could have liked Danny and Jordan... but he made me not.

Jack's storyline was quite good - I'm not sure what it's doing on the show though, nor how it has anything to do with Studio 60, nor why Jordan crashed a meeting exactly the same way that Ainsley did once (down to the obsession with the food service). And again, why am I watching it? I enjoyed the scene - but I'm not seeing the relevance.

On the other hand "To Catch A Predator" was funny. The first show within a show sketch that actually made me think the writers were good sketch comedy writers.

It was a better episode though and a little bit closer than last week. By this rate - Season 8 should be good.

brianjedi
12-05-2006, 02:49 AM
On the other hand "To Catch A Predator" was funny. The first show within a show sketch that actually made me think the writers were good sketch comedy writers.

That was literally a laugh-out-loud sketch, and one I could see working on SNL or Mad TV.

I am seriously hoping they keep Mark McKinney on-camera, because he's making the writer's room work. The entire Christmas tree exchange was great, as was Cal with the coconut.

"Matt?"
"Yeah?"
"What's that?"
"It's a Christmas tree."
"What are you, Linus?"

MaxTheVool
12-05-2006, 03:46 AM
My only quarrel was that they telegraphed some of the funnier bits (the table breaking coconut, the Nazi saluting santa) in promos.


One of many reasons I never watch promos, at least not for things I'm already certain I'm going to watch.

running piglet cheese
12-05-2006, 07:20 AM
I believe it's called "Angel Voices," but it's better known in this country as "O Holy Night."

The song was "O Night Divine" not O Holy Night".

Eve
12-05-2006, 08:42 AM
I predict a chemistry-free hour of Chandler Bing and Kristen Chenowith sermonizing at each other.
Well, I stand corrected. Not a bad episode, though the sanctimonious New Orleans subplot made me gag.

RealityChuck
12-05-2006, 08:48 AM
I knew as soon as I saw Jordan in the doctor's office that nobody at any time would utter the word abortion or even give the teensiest hint that Jordan might have thought about one or might be better off if she had one. Considering the fact that no one on network prime time TV has had an abortion since the mid-70s, that doesn't take much psychic power. It's too hot an issue for the networks to deal with.

This was another good episode. The New Orleans subplot was sweet, as was Danny and Jordan. I really can't think of anything that didn't work.

Draelin
12-05-2006, 09:03 AM
I thought it was a great episode, right out of the gate with Matt and the Christmas tree. I especially loved the Matt and Danny "say it" bit, though I couldn't really tell you why.

And I have to say, it's nice to see something go Jack's way for once. Sure, he's been a dick for most of the show so far, but he's had a lot of shit dumped on him. Now he's learned the true meaning of a Christmas Show. :)

Skammer
12-05-2006, 09:10 AM
The song was "O Night Divine" not O Holy Night".Huh? The classic Christmas carol of that tune is called "O Holy Night" (http://www.cyberhymnal.org/htm/o/h/oholynit.htm); although it does contain the words 'O night divine,' I've never heard the hymn nor the tune called that.

Skammer
12-05-2006, 09:15 AM
Here's a better cite (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/O_holy_night) for O Holy Night.
One other thing I really liked about this episode is that Harriet wasn't a complete and total idiot, although she could hit Matt (her boss, remember?) with a harassment suit. In fact in this episode we had Matt kissing a subordinate, and Danny declaring his love for his immediate superior. I don't think the NBS Human Resources department is going to be too pleased.

Sean Factotum
12-05-2006, 09:31 AM
For that matter, which is less plausible: that Studio 60 was the only live show, i.e. current, i.e. meant to be seen in context, i.e. does-Christmas-when-everybody-is-thinking-about-Christmas show in the history of television not to do a yearly Christmas show or that the Jewish atheist Matt suddenly wakes up one morning and decides to be all Christmas-y? I'm not sure what you mean with the first part of this, but what gave you the impression that Matt "suddenly" decided to have Christmas spirit? This is the first year that S60 is doing a Christmas show because this is the first year that Matt is running the content and not Wes.

I thought this was the best episode since the pilot. The sketches on the show were actually funny. The final scene with the musicians from New Orleans, the marriage proposal and the Ed Asner speech was wonderful.
Did Danny propose to Jordan, or did he just say that he's falling in love with her, so she better be ready for him? Hopefully it won't take the rest of the season for them to get together. It has been pretty obvious for a couple of weeks how he feels about her, at least to me.

Couple of callbacks to some Sports Night and The West Wing I saw:
- Harriet screwing up on air after Matt kisses her -> "The Hideous Cheese Incident" on SN (And a quick sidebar, your honor: Matt has previously said that Simon works for him, so then doesn't Harriet work for him too? Sexual harassment anybody?) (Damn, on preview Skammer beat me too it!)

- The coconut cooking in the lights - Dana's turkey thawing out in the lights above the anchor desk in SN

- A lot of the Matt and Danny rapid-fire dialogue reminded me of conversations between Josh and Sam in the first couple of seasons of TWW.

- Asner's response to the FCC sounded like something Leo would have said to Jed Bartlet on several occasions.

All in all, I liked this show a lot. They dealt comfortably with internal matters (even the FCC thing was more "how do we handle this" instead of "the injustices of the FCC". I think that even Otto would have liked this episode.

Dinsdale
12-05-2006, 09:36 AM
I enjoyed this ep more than previous ones - which I attribute to the fact that I no longer expect anything out of it. Lower your expectations sufficiently ...

The only thing that really grated with me was the decision to stretch the comedic envelope by having a pregnant woman constantly stuff her face. Never seen THAT before.

randwill
12-05-2006, 09:55 AM
I knew as soon as I saw Jordan in the doctor's office that nobody at any time would utter the word abortion or even give the teensiest hint that Jordan might have thought about one or might be better off if she had one.


Maybe she wants to have the baby, the circumstances surrounding the conception and worthiness of the father notwithstanding. And it would certainly not be appropriate for any other character to suggest that she have an abortion. Dramatic, maybe, but more rude and tactless. Maybe if Kramer were in the show.

Quiddity Glomfuster
12-05-2006, 10:12 AM
And it would certainly not be appropriate for any other character to suggest that she have an abortion. Dramatic, maybe, but more rude and tactless. Maybe if Kramer were in the show.

Particularly since all the people who have been told are male. How often in real life has a woman you know told you she was pregnant and your first response was 'hey, so ya gonna get rid of that?'. I don't think even Kramer would be that ignorant.

Ethilrist
12-05-2006, 10:40 AM
This was my favorite episode of the show.

But I'm pretty sure they said the earthquake was a 4.1. I don't think 4.1's cause building and structure collapses, do they?
Not usually, no. Cheap, poorly-maintained buildings or ones without reinforcement, sure. That's why relatively minor earthquakes do so much damage in Iran.

It was a little odd that they kept emphasizing how hot it was, and then they cut to the executive viewing room where Ed Asner's grandchildren are all wearing matching sweaters...

Ethilrist
12-05-2006, 10:41 AM
Oh, right, the "not talking about an abortion" thing. When Jordan said that her ex-boyfriend had offered to "take care of it," that's what I thought she was talking about... that he had offered to pay for an abortion.

Sean Factotum
12-05-2006, 10:42 AM
It was a little odd that they kept emphasizing how hot it was, and then they cut to the executive viewing room where Ed Asner's grandchildren are all wearing matching sweaters...
I think that was a relative term, not that the current temperature was in the 90s. Christmas is time for snow and warm fires - not something that gernerally applies to Los Angeles.

Eve
12-05-2006, 11:58 AM
. . . by the way, I did laugh at the To Catch a Predator sketch.

Exapno Mapcase
12-05-2006, 12:16 PM
Yes, it was the funniest sketch they've put on, damn them. It made up for the horribly unfunny jokes they were rehearsing for the News.

I'll give them this much: it has to be frustrating to write for what's supposed to be a topical news sketch when you're doing it months ahead of time. You're stuck with generic commentary.

Mark McKinney has been a plus for the show as well. If Matt is doing the work of a dozen writers he shouldn't have time to sleep. Or eat. Or breath. Somebody was needed to work with the new writers, and he's doing a fine job. Now if they actually would write a sketch...

The problem with Jordan's pregnancy is twofold. First, as someone pointed out, everybody she's told except her assistant has been male. This is a continuing problem on TV. You have one lone female in the boy's club and she is never depicted as having any female friends, female mentors, female relatives, any female she can turn to. Second, while there was no way an actually pregnant star could have a TV abortion, the first thought of every single person she told should not have been "how wonderful for you" but "you're going to get fired tomorrow if you don't take care of that now before you tell anybody." That's the real world, baby. Even on a Christmas show.

Ethilrist
12-05-2006, 12:21 PM
First, as someone pointed out, everybody she's told except her assistant has been male.
Even he is a guy.

Sean Factotum
12-05-2006, 12:42 PM
The problem with Jordan's pregnancy is twofold. First, as someone pointed out, everybody she's told except her assistant has been male. This is a continuing problem on TV. You have one lone female in the boy's club and she is never depicted as having any female friends, female mentors, female relatives, any female she can turn to. Second, while there was no way an actually pregnant star could have a TV abortion, the first thought of every single person she told should not have been "how wonderful for you" but "you're going to get fired tomorrow if you don't take care of that now before you tell anybody." That's the real world, baby. Even on a Christmas show.
Jordan doesn't have any friends, male or female, outside of the cast and crew of S60. Remember her conversation with Harriet and Jeanie at the Wrap Party episode where Harriet's date hit on her?

Walter Windchill
12-05-2006, 12:58 PM
I went through all last week's episode trying to figure out who the new writer guy WAS, and this time suddenly realized it was Mark McKinney way out of context. He's a good addition to the show, and I'm glad they're developing the Dawn Tinsley character better.

TheOnlySaneOne
12-05-2006, 01:11 PM
First, as someone pointed out, everybody she's told except her assistant has been male.

Not entirely true. She's seen talking to Ed Asner's wife about her pregnancy ("I can't stop eating") right before Jack's offer of resignation. But for the most part, yes, mostly men.

Zakalwe
12-05-2006, 01:23 PM
The problem with Jordan's pregnancy is twofold. First, as someone pointed out, everybody she's told except her assistant has been male. This is a continuing problem on TV. You have one lone female in the boy's club and she is never depicted as having any female friends, female mentors, female relatives, any female she can turn to. Second, while there was no way an actually pregnant star could have a TV abortion, the first thought of every single person she told should not have been "how wonderful for you" but "you're going to get fired tomorrow if you don't take care of that now before you tell anybody." That's the real world, baby. Even on a Christmas show.Actually, I see two things wrong with your rants on the subject.

1. The subject of abortion *was* raised (although it was subtle and the actual word was never uttered). During the tease, Danny makes a little speech about the ex's reaction to the news, roughly "Of course, it's totally your decision and I'll pay whatever you decide...". Maybe it would have been nice to see her decision process (do I/don't I keep it), but it was obvious last week that she was already past that point.

2. There have been a number of references to how conservative (read Republican) the Chairman, *whatever the hell Ed Asner's role is*, and Board of Directors all are and you think someone's going to tell Jordan to get an abortion? Can you imagine the unholy stink that would be raised if *that* ever got out? I submit that they might fire her, they might "suggest" that she get married post-haste, or they might ignore it altogether, but it would be completely unrealistic for any of them to suggest that get the Big A.

Exapno Mapcase
12-05-2006, 01:30 PM
Not entirely true. She's seen talking to Ed Asner's wife about her pregnancy ("I can't stop eating") right before Jack's offer of resignation. But for the most part, yes, mostly men.
It's hard to say exactly, but the conversation with Asner's wife appears to have been after a public anouncement. That wasn't made completely clear, so we'll have to wait for whenever the next episode is to find out whether the world knows.

Fiver
12-05-2006, 01:32 PM
It was a little odd that they kept emphasizing how hot it was, and then they cut to the executive viewing room where Ed Asner's grandchildren are all wearing matching sweaters...
I hadn't noticed that, but today's world is so over-air-conditioned I don't see that as a problem. I wear sweaters every day at my workplace, even in the summertime.

flurb
12-05-2006, 02:17 PM
It's hard to say exactly, but the conversation with Asner's wife appears to have been after a public anouncement. That wasn't made completely clear, so we'll have to wait for whenever the next episode is to find out whether the world knows.

And I imagine that the entire world will be shocked, shocked I tell ya, by the front-page news that a network president is [gasp] expecting a child out of wedlock! I expect, at the very least, a series of self-immolations by Christian right activists in the NBS lobby to protest her continued employment.

randwill
12-05-2006, 02:33 PM
I'm having trouble with the notion (either here or on the show) that the president of the entertainment division of a television network having a baby out of wedlock would be such a big deal. Why on earth would this be a public relations problem for a network? Letterman has a child out of wedlock and I don't see Les Moonves getting all bent out of shape over it. Several movie stars continue to draw big box office despite having children without benefit of marriage. The private lives of the behind the scenes executives is not on most people's radar. In today's world, love it or hate it, these issues aren't the scandalous deal-breakers that they were in the past.

randwill
12-05-2006, 02:35 PM
You beat me to the point, flurb. I was busy getting "The page cannot be displayed" messages every time I hit the "Post Quick Reply" button.

MaxTheVool
12-05-2006, 02:57 PM
And I imagine that the entire world will be shocked, shocked I tell ya, by the front-page news that a network president is [gasp] expecting a child out of wedlock! I expect, at the very least, a series of self-immolations by Christian right activists in the NBS lobby to protest her continued employment.

It has already been firmly established that, in the Studio 60 universe, Jordan's private life is tabloid fodder. That's the way it is. Once that's firmly established, it's preposterous to think that her pregnancy would NOT be additional tabloid fodder.

Whether or not a studio exec's life ever could become tabloid fodder is another question. I think it's unlikely, but not impossible, particularly given someone as female, hot, and young as Amanda Peet. And celebrity of that sort can be self-sutstaining.


After all, who would think that the daughter/granddaughter of someone who owns a bunch of hotels would end up being tabloid fodder, yet we have Paris Hilton.


Anyhow, as I said, the fact is that IN THE SHOW'S UNIVERSE, it is clear that Jordan is more of a celebrity than network execs usually (ever?) are in our universe. Let's accept that plot conceipt and move on.

Dumbguy
12-05-2006, 02:57 PM
Second, while there was no way an actually pregnant star could have a TV abortion, the first thought of every single person she told should not have been "how wonderful for you" but "you're going to get fired tomorrow if you don't take care of that now before you tell anybody."You donít know what their first thoughts were. You only know the first thing they said. Jack paused long enough to have had half a dozen thoughts before deciding to say congratulations, which is what anyone with any class would say in that situation.

Little Nemo
12-05-2006, 05:18 PM
Asner's response to the FCC sounded like something Leo would have said to Jed Bartlet on several occasions.
I was thinking Lou Grant talking to Joe Rossi.

Ferd Burfel
12-05-2006, 05:43 PM
It's obvious she's planning on keeping the baby. When the OB/GYN asked her if she'd told anyone, she said no, you don't announce until after the 12th week. Clearly she was ensuring that she didn't mis-carry before announcing her condition.

Exapno Mapcase
12-05-2006, 07:23 PM
You donít know what their first thoughts were. You only know the first thing they said. Jack paused long enough to have had half a dozen thoughts before deciding to say congratulations, which is what anyone with any class would say in that situation.
The first thought of a fictional character is indeed exactly the first words they say. That's what makes them fictional characters instead of real ones.

Or your first thought might have been that I was using a figure of speech rather than being utterly literal.

Either one is an adequate explanation of what I said.

And none of their second thoughts raised the subject either.

MaxTheVool has it correct. Someone said many threads ago how ludicrous a plot line it was to make the gossip about a network president the source for serious recriminations in the corporate board. Oh right: that was me.

However, now that they've headed toward that abyss, they can't suddenly decide to walk on air and have the ultimatum issued by Ed Asner utterly vanish when they write a new scandal into the plot. Well, they can, of course, but not without serious recriminations from anyone watching the show in disbelief. :smack:

The point is that no matter how they finally decide to go ahead with the plot line, the consequences would be foremost in everybody's minds. Danny making a snide comment about birth control is not sufficient. They've backed Jordan into an idiot's corner. She had a one-night stand with some guy. Bad. She doesn't use birth control. Bad. She doesn't get a quick very discreet abortion when she has the chance. Bad. She keeps the baby. Bad. She'll be tabloid fodder as a symbol of single motherhood. Bad. (Murphy Brown lives!) She'll be a pregnant mess when her first upfronts arrive. Bad.

I know the best advice about creating plot lines is to torture your characters, but c'mon. Every one of these makes Jordan look too stupid to be a network president and a liability to a network that's already told her she's on the edge of firing. If they have a plan to dig themselves out of this hole in a smart way that would be superb writing that I'll want to see. If they resolve it with stupidity equal to the stupidity that got them into it, the show has no chance.

merrily
12-05-2006, 07:52 PM
If they resolve it with stupidity equal to the stupidity that got them into it, the show has no chance.
Um, watch much TV? Next you'll be telling me it's a reasonable universe.

I loved this episode, and I'm at a solid 50% in terms of being right.

Clever dialog wins for me every time. I'm not so worried about how realistic this is, not knowing much about the TV business.

And I'd have so married that movie director guy, even if all he wanted to do is cheat on me.

Baldwin
12-05-2006, 09:15 PM
After last week, I thought "well, he's finally fixed the writers room," but no. It's broken again. Now we know that none of them have ever read a book and are amazed at basic factual information - so much so that they stop working.And, they managed to repeat at least a couple of bits of popular bullshit during their "Christmas debunking". For Christ's sake (to coin a phrase), doesn't anybody in tv know what the Immaculate Conception refers to?

Dumbguy
12-05-2006, 09:23 PM
The first thought of a fictional character is indeed exactly the first words they say. That's what makes them fictional characters instead of real ones.You've been watching too many George Lucas movies.

Walter Windchill
12-05-2006, 09:26 PM
The Chatholic school alumn raises his hand eagerly, grunting "pick me! pick me!"

Exapno Mapcase
12-05-2006, 10:39 PM
The Chatholic school alumn raises his hand eagerly, grunting "pick me! pick me!"
But aren't we all Chatoholics here? :)

Walter Windchill
12-05-2006, 10:43 PM
Speak for yourself, pal. I haven't had a glass of chatohol in nearly a week.

Quiddity Glomfuster
12-05-2006, 10:56 PM
The Chatholic school alumn raises his hand eagerly, grunting "pick me! pick me!"

You mean they have a school for people addicted to chatting? What a crazy little world we have!

Exapno Mapcase
12-05-2006, 11:31 PM
Tell that to Headmaster Cecil.

IvoryTowerDenizen
12-05-2006, 11:35 PM
And, they managed to repeat at least a couple of bits of popular bullshit during their "Christmas debunking". For Christ's sake (to coin a phrase), doesn't anybody in tv know what the Immaculate Conception refers to?


I do!! For no good use either, 'cause I'm Jewish!


and so many of my good Christian friends misunderstand it- hehe

SmackFu
12-06-2006, 01:27 AM
I can't stand it when Sorkin gets in his "I'll educate the clueless peoples by having character recite trivia" mood. He would do it on West Wing and it was lame, and it's no better here. But I know some of his fanatics really love that stuff, so who knows.

Also, the basic unreality of the FCC plot and the 4.1 earthquake just drive me nuts. Particularly the FCC, since the big moral choice is based on something that would never happen.

flurb
12-06-2006, 09:57 AM
From what I heard on the radio this morning, it sounds like the ratings for this week's show took a nose dive. I can't find the numbers though -- does anyone know where to find them?

SmackFu
12-06-2006, 10:09 AM
Ratings (http://www.zap2it.com/tv/ratings/zap-ratings120406,0,811652.story?coll=zap-tv-ratings-headlines).

It didn't do any worse than usual. But it still lost half of the Heroes audience, and couldn't beat a rerun of CSI: Miami, so it's not like they're celebrating over at NBC.

randwill
12-06-2006, 10:19 AM
I'm afraid that a show about the lives of people putting on a Saturday Night Live-like comedy show may be no more viable than a show about the behind the scenes action at the U.N.

The public just isn't very excited about Saturday Night Live anymore. If Studio 60 had been created back during the days of the Not-Ready-For-Prime-Time Players fame I think it would have stood a better chance. Today's viewers seem more interested in crime solving.

brianjedi
12-06-2006, 11:30 AM
Ratings (http://www.zap2it.com/tv/ratings/zap-ratings120406,0,811652.story?coll=zap-tv-ratings-headlines).

It didn't do any worse than usual. But it still lost half of the Heroes audience, and couldn't beat a rerun of CSI: Miami, so it's not like they're celebrating over at NBC.

I'm amazed it keeps half the Heroes audience, actually. Heroes is completely the wrong show to lead-in, because it's a completely different demographic.

To be honest, I think if you put Studio 60 in ER's spot on the schedule, we'd be talking about a major success. Of course, you'd have more 30 Rock/Studio 60 comparisons.

Gadarene
12-06-2006, 11:34 AM
I'm amazed it keeps half the Heroes audience, actually. Heroes is completely the wrong show to lead-in, because it's a completely different demographic.

Yeah, I agree with this. I don't watch Heroes at all, and I do tune in to see S60...so if I were one of the viewers being counted in those ratings, I'd be going the other way.

jrepka
12-06-2006, 06:46 PM
I like the show. But:

Those of us who grew up, and live, in El Lay know:

1. A 4.1 magnitude earthquake causes no damage, even at the epicenter. Even older buildings in earthquake country would survive that kind of jiggling (forget about injuries or collapsing freeways).

2. No Christmas? A network television show, even one shot in LA (as most are), would not even consider not doing a Christmas show. 85 degree temperatures would be unusual in december (we're having a heat wave now and it's in the low-mid 70's). And KRTH is playing Springsteen's "Santa Claus is Coming to Town," not "Hot Fun in the Summertime."

3. Coconuts? There are hundreds of prop shops in the local area that could have supplied fake snow on a moment's notice (and I can't imagine that any of these people wouldn't have at least seen Cast Away, and known how hard it is to get into a coconut).

not local issues, but still...

4. The FCC. even if you buy the whole impossible logic of the FCC actually levying a fine under the described circumstances (or a network news organization actually broadcasting a live report from Afghanistan), the idea that a media conglomerate would actually be worried about "lawyering-up" and fighting the government is laughable. Media conglomerates come as close to owning and running the government as energy conglomerates.

5. Everyone's covered all of the abortion angles. No pregnant TV character has considered having an abortion since Maude (and a big part of her decision had to do with her being in her late 40's-early 50's). For all of the to-do about Murphy Brown, can you imagine how nuts the right would have gone if she'd had an abortion instead of an out-of-wedlock baby? From Maude to Murphy Brown to "Sex and the City's" Miranda to Jordan, all the career-oriented women make the Brave Choice.

Ellis Dee
12-06-2006, 07:23 PM
Originally posted by jrepka
Everyone's covered all of the abortion angles. No pregnant TV character has considered having an abortion since Maude (and a big part of her decision had to do with her being in her late 40's-early 50's).This rang false to me, mostly because I remember Abby on ER discussing her long-ago abortion to someone who may have been considering one. I could swear at least one non-recurring patient had one, but no cite on that. Anyway, a quick google search yielded this blog (http://coolbeanscool.blogspot.com/2005/05/abortion-on-tv.html), which claims: Everwood depicted a character having an abortion. (She is, of course, punished severely by karma in the next episode.)
House performs an abortion on a 12 year old, and even honors confidentiality.
On Party of Five, Neve Campbell's character decided to have an abortion, though conveniently miscarried before actually having one.
Degrassi: the Next Generation had a girl have an abortion. (Though it seems it may not have been aired in the US because the station that carried the show refused.)For what it's worth.

amarinth
12-06-2006, 08:23 PM
5. Everyone's covered all of the abortion angles. No pregnant TV character has considered having an abortion since Maude (and a big part of her decision had to do with her being in her late 40's-early 50's). For all of the to-do about Murphy Brown, can you imagine how nuts the right would have gone if she'd had an abortion instead of an out-of-wedlock baby? From Maude to Murphy Brown to "Sex and the City's" Miranda to Jordan, all the career-oriented women make the Brave Choice.Cristina had made an appointment on Grey's Anatomy last year. She miscarried before it happened, but the character's intention was to have an abortion (even if the writers and producers and networks would never let that happen).

It's not the unmarried, pregnant female celebrity that the American public might have a problem with (see Suri) - it's the unpartnered, pregnant female celebrity that needs an explanation. If they live in a world where Jordan is important enough to be a celebrity - news like a pregnancy has to be announced by her press secretary and spun, especially if there's no partner in the picture. That's the question I was expecting "when's the press conference?" or "how are you going to explain it?" or "are you announcing who the father is?" basically - how are you going to tell this story in a flattering light before someone tells it for you and cements you as the whore of NBS?

She's had 12 weeks to come up with some kind of announcement and apparently hasn't - which just makes her even more media illiterate than she has already been portrayed, and still doesn't make any sense for someone who is a high on the ladder at a broadcast network. Of course, the fact that none of the of the NBS employees can see any media problem means she's got company.

jrepka
12-06-2006, 08:59 PM
This rang false to me, mostly because I remember Abby on ER discussing her long-ago abortion to someone who may have been considering one. I could swear at least one non-recurring patient had one, but no cite on that. Anyway, a quick google search yielded this blog (http://coolbeanscool.blogspot.com/2005/05/abortion-on-tv.html), which claims: Everwood depicted a character having an abortion. (She is, of course, punished severely by karma in the next episode.)
House performs an abortion on a 12 year old, and even honors confidentiality.
On Party of Five, Neve Campbell's character decided to have an abortion, though conveniently miscarried before actually having one.
Degrassi: the Next Generation had a girl have an abortion. (Though it seems it may not have been aired in the US because the station that carried the show refused.)For what it's worth.

The story on ER is kind of the point I think. When Miranda became preggers on SATC, everyone had stories about abortions in their past. In the present, M was required to make the Brave Choice

I don't watch the other shows, but from what I can see we have
[list] Everwood: A character having an abortion, but punished by karma afterward (was it a recurring character?) You win this round
House: They painted the blue-noses into a corner with a 12-year-old, plus this isn't a recurring character, so there's nothing to deal with in subsequent episodes. But it is abortion, in prime time, on a real network, so I'll give it to you.
Party of Five: wimp out.
Degrassi: certainly doesn't count if it didn't air (OK, it aired outside the US but outside the US they can say "fuck" and show nudity -- My original, unstated point was about how Victorian we've become in this country since the 70's).

Also, to Amarinth: My point wasn't about whether or not Jordan should have made that choice or not, just that no matter what the parameters are for a regular character on a prime-time network show, the writers are not allowed to have her choose and go through with an abortion.

Ellis Dee at least shows that the rules have caveats for non-recurring characters, or if the character is punished later on.

Little Nemo
12-06-2006, 11:49 PM
Everyone's covered all of the abortion angles. No pregnant TV character has considered having an abortion since Maude (and a big part of her decision had to do with her being in her late 40's-early 50's). For all of the to-do about Murphy Brown, can you imagine how nuts the right would have gone if she'd had an abortion instead of an out-of-wedlock baby? From Maude to Murphy Brown to "Sex and the City's" Miranda to Jordan, all the career-oriented women make the Brave Choice.
Lucy Bates (Betty Thomas) revealed she had an abortion on Hill Street Blues. Georgia Thomas (Courtney Thorne-Smith) said she had considered the possibility of an abortion when she found out she was pregnant on Ally McBeal. And on The West Wing, there was a controversy when Chief Justice nominee Evelyn Lang (Glenn Close) revealed she had an abortion.

Quiddity Glomfuster
12-07-2006, 12:11 AM
3. Coconuts? There are hundreds of prop shops in the local area that could have supplied fake snow on a moment's notice (and I can't imagine that any of these people wouldn't have at least seen Cast Away, and known how hard it is to get into a coconut).


That was so lame that I thought there must be an explanation for using coconuts (of all things) that I'd somehow missed. There have been thousands (at least) of TV shows and movies showing snow which were not filmed in actual snow so it was completely whack to have them resort to coconuts.

So you're saying there was no plausible reason offered for not using your regular garden-variety prop snow? :confused:

Captain Amazing
12-07-2006, 12:18 AM
4. The FCC. even if you buy the whole impossible logic of the FCC actually levying a fine under the described circumstances (or a network news organization actually broadcasting a live report from Afghanistan), the idea that a media conglomerate would actually be worried about "lawyering-up" and fighting the government is laughable. Media conglomerates come as close to owning and running the government as energy conglomerates.

My boss and I were laughing about that. And, putting all that aside, what's the chance the FCC would issue an NAL only a week after the incident occurred? The Enforcement Bureau is slow.

Ethilrist
12-07-2006, 09:34 AM
It's not the unmarried, pregnant female celebrity that the American public might have a problem with (see Suri) - it's the unpartnered, pregnant female celebrity that needs an explanation.
Yeah, Paula Poundstone ruined it for everybody.

MaxTheVool
12-07-2006, 01:06 PM
So you're saying there was no plausible reason offered for not using your regular garden-variety prop snow? :confused:

Their snow was in a warehouse that collapsed in the earthquake. Or maybe that was on the far side of a collapsed highway.

The explanation that was lacking was why they did not contact any of the certainly numerous prop companies that must exist around Hollywood. Oh well.

Skammer
12-07-2006, 03:53 PM
Joanna Cassidy's character Jo-Jo on Buffalo Bill got an abortion in the two-part episode "Jo-Jo's Problem" in 1983 or '84. She was a major character on a prime-time sitcom, way after Maude. But the series only lasted two seasons.

foolsguinea
12-07-2006, 06:33 PM
They've backed Jordan into an idiot's corner. She had a one-night stand with some guy. Bad. She doesn't use birth control. Bad. She doesn't get a quick very discreet abortion when she has the chance. Bad. She keeps the baby. Bad. She'll be tabloid fodder as a symbol of single motherhood. Bad. (Murphy Brown lives!) She'll be a pregnant mess when her first upfronts arrive. Bad.

I know the best advice about creating plot lines is to torture your characters, but c'mon. Every one of these makes Jordan look too stupid to be a network president and a liability to a network that's already told her she's on the edge of firing. If they have a plan to dig themselves out of this hole in a smart way that would be superb writing that I'll want to see. If they resolve it with stupidity equal to the stupidity that got them into it, the show has no chance.I disagree. Jordan is, what, 31 & childless? It's not that strange for a woman in that situation to take an unplanned pregnancy as kismet, & figure this is her chance to have children.

Exapno Mapcase
12-07-2006, 11:58 PM
I disagree. Jordan is, what, 31 & childless? It's not that strange for a woman in that situation to take an unplanned pregnancy as kismet, & figure this is her chance to have children.
A network president in trouble with the tabloids about her sex life and told by the Board to cool it? Really? You think she's grabbing her chance? As in, we've seen this over and over and nobody would think this is unusual? Or poor thinking?

BTW, for the people who still think that abortions can't be mentioned, apparently they're talking about one on Scrubs, as per this thread (http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=399223).

Little Nemo
12-08-2006, 12:51 AM
Let's not overanalyze this. Undoubtedly, the main factor is deciding to make Jordan McDeere pregnant was that Amanda Peet was pregnant. Sorkin had probably made other plans for the character.

Sean Factotum
12-08-2006, 09:36 AM
No kidding. As we've seen from shows like Will & Grace ans X-Files, there's only so much you can do to hide the pregancy of an actor whose character isn't pregnant. And in the last couple of months of the pregnancy, it's just downright silly looking.

So this looks like they're taking advantage of a real-life situation in the best way they could on short notice. Cut them some slack.

Exapno Mapcase
12-14-2006, 09:32 AM
Real Life Alert!

Sen. Tim Johnson of South Dakota had a brain hemorrhage yesterday. He's in the hospital in critical condition after surgery.

And what is the very first thing all Washington is talking about? Not whether he's going to get better (except in the most token terms). Nope, they leapt immediately to speculation about what would happen if he dies or has to leave Congress and the Republican governor of South Dakota chooses a Republican replacement.

People reacting exactly as they would in real life. What a concept! If only someone would tell Aaron Sorkin about it.

TheOnlySaneOne
12-14-2006, 02:38 PM
You know, I was just thinking how much of a West Wing plot this sounds like.

In the episode, the governor would respect the wishes of the people and appoint a new Democrat into the Senate. The Republican Party Leadership gets uber-pissed at him, but there are no real repercussions.

...

If only.