Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Some notes on television

So "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip" appears to be dead, though NBC is kind of saying it may put it back on the air. I doubt it. How two shows about the production of a an SNL-type show ever got on the air the same season on the same network is beyond me. I saw "30 Rock" only once and it was dreadful. Perhaps I saw it on the wrong night. But "Studio 60" was quick and funny and clever and had the great Sarah Paulson in one of the juiciest roles I've seen in a while. The show also featured a wonderfully dry and sardonic Amanda Peet, and both Matthew Perry and Bradley Whitford were excellent.

The word was that Hollywood-type writers were offended by "Studio 60," which apparently cut too close to the bone. There was even a Hollywood-writers comedy troupe that went to clubs and did send-ups of the show.

Meanwhile, "The L Word"'s final episode for the season aired last week, and featured a strange fantasy scene, in which Shane and her new girlfriend Paige think about living together--like a 1950s housewife and husband. If it was intended to be ironic, I failed to catch the motivation for the irony, unless we were supposed to think that this was one (or both) of the character's fears. But why would one of these hip characters fear that their relationship would mimic an outmoded heterosexual relationship? Or maybe we were just supposed to laugh at the idea of an exaggerated butch/femme relationship in L.A.'s hip lesbian community. But why is that funny?

In the meantime, the rumors that Jenny would be killed off this season may be grounded in reality. In the final scene of this season's last episode, the now evil Jenny has drifted away on a boat to a fate unknown. The rumors of Jenny's impending death began because of talk that the other cast and crew members could not bear to be around Mia Kirshner (although only recently, Marlee Matlin had very nice things to say about her).

"The L Word" has been renewed for a fifth season. The first two seasons were very enjoyable, but--as I have written on several occasions--the last two have let a lot to be desired. The show has never quite known what to do with itself, but that would be okay if the writing had not become so dreadful. Some of the main characters--Jenny, Alice, Helena--have been so corrupted by the writers that it is hard to recognize them now. Scene motivation is often very weak, and storylines sometimes do not make any sense. Also, as I have mentioned before, all of the men are portrayed as stupid, dorky, arrogant, or morally questionable.


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