So did you watch "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip"? The second episode aired last night. In short, its a very thinly-veiled jab at the sorry state of affairs with the prehistoric Saturday Night Live.
Now, its not breaking news that SNL hasn't been funny since the Ford administration, but here's a thought: instead of poking fun at a show that jumped the shark long before Anthony Michael Hall was popping zits in his parrent's bathroom, why not just kick the sorry dog to the curb and be done with it? NBC has allowed Saturday Night Live to turn into the Terry Shaivo of television: A withered, incoherent shell of what it once was, whose parents don't have the courage to finally pull the plug.
How sad is it that a network would rather make fun of its own programming than do anything to change the way it operates? Of course this way, Aaron Sorkin stays knee-deep in mushrooms and NBC can continue to milk every last drop of advertising revenue from the dried up teat of the prehistoric elephant in the living room.
Still, I am a fan of Sorkin's work with the West Wing and judging by the pilot episode of "Studio 60," it looks like he is going to infuse his familiar magic into this new show. It's always refreshing to see Hollywood look at itself in the mirror and admit they look like shit. But I'd like to caution that if that introspection is only used as a means to drive the story and not change the mindset of the network presenting it at least a little bit, then its simply a cliche plot device and nothing more. In other words (for you screenwriters out there), a series-long MacGuffin.
I really hope NBC is paying attention.
On a quick side note: The creative marketing department for the show needs to be dragged out back and beaten senseless. Instead of coming up with anything creative on their own (as their name might imply), they decided to instead rip-off of an existing Hollywood blog and create their own in-character website, complete with a link to a phony Daily Variety issue. Some of you may get a kick out of this, but I thought it was cheap, poorly conceived and not nearly as funny as the real site it ripped off. Lame.
[note: after several un-filtered comments were posted to the site in the past week - thanks to the gentle ribbing by Defamer- it appears they may have taken the site down and replaced it with a slightly better construct]