Walk-and-Talk to be Replaced by Just Walk

I've tried. I've watched every episode so far. The first one was good enough to keep me interested. I've watched the rest hoping it would at least get back to that level, if not better. No such luck. I've officially given up on "Studio 60."

I came to a few realizations last night while watching this show.

1. There's really no possible subject matter for a TV show more boring than studio politics. On Sorkin's previous (and highly, highly superior) "backstage" show, "SportsNight," there was the occasional subplot about, "The big bosses want this and that," but mostly the show was about the people working on the show-within-a-show and the various ways they related with one another. "Studio 60" is just constant, unending waves of "the guy from 'Wings' wants this, Chandler Bing and Whatsisname from 'West Wing' don't want to do it, and Whatsername Who Can't Act makes a compromise." It never ends, and it's like watching paint dry, only it's on television, so you don't even get the mild high from the fumes.

2. The bits and pieces of comedy sketches we see from the show-within-a-show? Not even remotely funny. Smug, sarcastic, trying way too hard to be funny? Yes, all of these things. But actually make-you-laugh funny? Nope. Sorkin can do funny - "SportsNight" was, in its day, one of the funniest shows on TV. But he's not doing it here...

3. Following on that, one of the main reasons it's never funny: Too much Jesus. The half of the show that doesn't revolve around boring-as-fuck studio/network politics revolves around Chandler Bing writing sketches that mock Christianity, and somebody, usually but not always That One Blonde Chick Whose Character is a Christian But Not One of the Bad Ones, gets in a snit and says, "You're mocking the deeply-held beliefs of millions of people!" I think Sorkin just wants to see how many weeks in a row he can include the same line in a show, because with little variation, it seems to be there every week. Last night, special guest star John Goodman got to say it.

And the thing is, they're right. If Observation #2 weren't true, it would be a different story. That is to say, if we were seeing them mock Christians and Christianity in a funny way, it would be easier to buy that there's actually an argument worth having there. But as it stands, all they're doing is taking smug, easy cheap shots at Christians and Christianity, and it's stupid and insulting. Don't get me wrong, I'm not defending the hypocritical Jerry Falwells and Ted Haggards of the world, who deserve every cheap shot that gets lobbed at them. But as much as Sorkin tries to disguise it, he seems to be pretty clearly of the opinion that the entire religion and all of its adherents deserve no mercy from his (and his proxy Chandler Bing's) rapier wit.


At the other end of the "shows about a not-so-thinly-veiled-standin-for-SNL" spectrum, my not-so-secret Secret Girlfriend Tina Fey's "30 Rock," which I've caught a couple of times now, has been at least entertaining and amusing if not uproariously funny.

Also, "Heroes," about which I was cautiously excited, just rocks, and is getting better and better.