Thursday, September 21, 2006

Two Openings

Aaron Sorkin returned to NBC on Monday, with Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, another ensemble show, set this time amongst the glitterati of network television.


Is there anything less interesting to anyone outside the inner workings of network television than the inner workings of network television?

Now I'll be willing to give it the benefit of the doubt for a whole host of reasons. Sports Night was a Sorkin-created show about the making of a TV show and it became one of my all-time favorites. The Sorkin-written years of The West Wing became my favorite TV drama ever -- the chief reason being Sorkin's writing, which took a step up even from Sports Night's tremendously high level.

But if the premiere is any indication, this one has a ways to go. While some old Sorkin favorites make the move (Bradley Whitford, Timothy Busfield, Felicity Huffman in a cameo), I really have to say that I have problems with a couple of the show's principals -- Matthew Perry and Amanda Peet.

I know Perry was a West Wing character for a few episodes, but I didn't think much of him there either. Bankable? Probably. Believeable? Nope.

And Amanda Peet as a network president? Really not believable. Amanda Peet as an actress? I don't know. I guess I expect an actor to have more than one facial expression.

On the other hand, The Wire recently opened its fourth season. Now I'm not going to claim that I've paid any attention at all to the first three seasons -- haven't watched an episode -- but the show has been getting all kinds of ridiculously great press lately, so I figured I'd give it a try.

Consider me hooked.

Actually, the show had me in the first three minutes -- even before the credits rolled. "Snoop" rolls into a Home Depot look-alike, buys a new nail gun, and rolls out with a newly devoted fan.

Check it out.