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160 of 172 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sorkin is genius, Studio 60 is brilliant - but it does have one major flaw...
In this review I will frequently refer to 'Aaron Sorkin'. Sorkin is the writer/creator of this show, and he also wrote the mega-hit 'The West Wing'

Firstly if you liked 'Sports Night' or 'The West Wing' then this is an essential purchase.

Aaron Sorkin is in my opinion the best writer in the world and he proves it again with this show. The dialogue is...
Published on 20 Aug 2007 by Curtis Shamsaee

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars IT'S NO WEST WING!!!
Brilliantly written, but flawed. The characters are well drawn and interact extremely well. The dialogue is intelligent, thought provoking, fast and snappy. However the problem lies in the storytelling and the pace of the show. It just doesn't move fast enough and the story arcs don't grip you. There just isn't anything on the screen for you to invest in! It's worth...
Published on 23 Jun 2009 by John Cotter


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160 of 172 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sorkin is genius, Studio 60 is brilliant - but it does have one major flaw..., 20 Aug 2007
By 
This review is from: Studio 60 On The Sunset Strip - The Complete Series [DVD] [2008] (DVD)
In this review I will frequently refer to 'Aaron Sorkin'. Sorkin is the writer/creator of this show, and he also wrote the mega-hit 'The West Wing'

Firstly if you liked 'Sports Night' or 'The West Wing' then this is an essential purchase.

Aaron Sorkin is in my opinion the best writer in the world and he proves it again with this show. The dialogue is witty, back-and-forth and yet somehow always seems real. Sorkin has an uncanny ability to throw out one-liners and insert jokes into a script, and it doesn't seem forced. I'm sure we have all seen shows where the characters interact with each other through a series of one-liners and the show seems fake because of it.

Sorkin always makes you believe that you are behind the scenes, watching regular people doing an extraordinary job. This is evidenced here.

The acting is superb, Perry is a revelation. Whitford and Peet are their normal brilliant selves, and Steven Weber's performances were a very welcome surprise. Hard to believe he was the same actor who played the ir-responsible brother on 'Wings'. All of Sorkin's shows are superbly acted and this is another example.

On top of an incredible core cast, there are an array of guest stars. Judd Hirsch, Allison Janney, Sting & Jason Alexander to name but a few.

Honestly up until this point, i'm sure it sounds like a perfect show - but there is a problem.

Matt (Perry's character) is sold to the audience as the best writer in Hollywood. He is the funniest guy in America and the only person who can save an ailing sketch show from being cancelled. He takes over the show along with his best friend and producer Danny Tripp(Whitford).

This was big news and there is a lot of pressure on their shoulders to prove that they are deserving of the praise being given to them.

This is an excellent premise for a show, and is something different. Up until this point the show is a 5 star television classic.

Now onto the major flaw I mentioned in the title, this is such a big flaw that IMO it is the reason the show got cancelled.

The sketches we see are painfully unfunny and quite frankly it shatters the entire illusion of the show. There are episodes where you watch 40 minutes of a great writer preparing this brilliant sketch, then when you see it performed at the end of the episode.... To call it underwhelming is to be kind.

As I said it shatters the entire illusion. When you watch 'The West Wing' you believe that you are watching the most powerful man in the world struggling with decisions that can affect the course of history. It is 100% believable. Now imagine if in every episode The President ultimately made the wrong decisions at the end.

That is what Studio 60 is like, instead of feeling like you are watching a comic genius constructing a piece of comic art, you feel you are watching a hack who has an undeserved reputation.

This is such a shame, because everything else about the show is so very good. The worst part is that i'm sure by hiring one or two writers with history of writing a sketch show, that this could have been easily avoided.

Here is another problem, although it isn't that big of a deal. Sometimes Sorkin takes the situations way too seriously. Sometimes I felt like yelling at the screen that they only work at a comedy show. You'd think you were watching the West Wing sometimes, they take it so seriously.

Matt Albi honestly thinks that he has a duty to the American public to make them laugh and to help them through their tough times etc it is at times ridiculous.

I know I have spent a lot of time criticising Studio 60, but I do love the show. It was brilliant and didn't deserve to be cancelled. It should have been allowed the chance to mature, very few shows hit the ground running.

I recommend this show to anybody - especially Sorkin fans, but sometimes the show has believability issues.

Nevertheless this was the best show on tv in 2006, and it's a damn shame we'll never see any more.

I'd just like to add that Sorkin knew that the show was cancelled, and as such there is a fitting finale, everything is resolved. You won't be left on a cliff-hanger or anything, as is sadly so often the case with other cancelled dramas.
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40 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WHY WAS THIS CANCELLED?????, 4 Oct 2007
This review is from: Studio 60 On The Sunset Strip - The Complete Series [DVD] [2008] (DVD)
I'll be honest, i was concerned that this would be another forgettable series of fake one liners and pointless story lines but...well....i was suprised. This show was acted out brilliantly by all he characters and the chemistry between them is amazing. Yet again though they cancel a show because it's not broad enough and doesnt appeal to the masses who would prefer to watch a fake painted backdrop and faceless characters batting forgettable one liners between one another. This show did make you feel you were getting a privliged behind the scenes view of a sketch show. I love how the writing was quick back and forth that at times seems ad-libded and the performance of Matthew Perry is fantastic (Chandler Bing is dead) I hope that the networks see sense and relaunch the show because seriously, how can a show like Will & Grace go on for a long as it did???? it still baffles me.
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you liked the west wing..., 2 Aug 2007
By 
Mr. D. M. Barnes (Grantham, Lincs, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Studio 60 On The Sunset Strip - The Complete Series [DVD] [2008] (DVD)
If, like me you were a fan of the West Wing you will love this show! The writing is fast paced and the storylines are gripping; much the same as the west wing. The humour is sometimes a little too fast paced and you may miss it but will howl even more on repeat viewings. Watch out for cameos from some of Aaron Sorkin's previous shows and appearances from other great guest stars.

The main cast are simply excellent. This is Mathew Perry's best performance since Chandler, and Bradley Whitford's performance, although playing a similar character to Josh Lyman in the West Wing is also superb. That is to take nothing away from the other main cast members who have great chemistry throughout.

The only negatve comment about this show it that this is the one and only series. The storylines that Sorkin and co were developing needed much longer to flesh out, but on the whole, great viewing. I look forward to Sorkin's next project!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars IT'S NO WEST WING!!!, 23 Jun 2009
By 
John Cotter "seancotter2004" (Ireland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Studio 60 On The Sunset Strip - The Complete Series [DVD] [2008] (DVD)
Brilliantly written, but flawed. The characters are well drawn and interact extremely well. The dialogue is intelligent, thought provoking, fast and snappy. However the problem lies in the storytelling and the pace of the show. It just doesn't move fast enough and the story arcs don't grip you. There just isn't anything on the screen for you to invest in! It's worth watching, don't get me wrong, but it's not a 5 star show...... in fact it's not even close.

For those of you wondering why it was canceled..... It came down to cost and ratings. NBC committed to the show before a script was even in place and paid a huge amount of money to Warner Brothers so that the show would air on NBC.

As for the ratings, well they sucked and unfortunately it wasn't down to bad scheduling. NBC had the show airing at 10pm Mondays with Heroes as it's lead in. At the time heroes was drawing upwards of 15 million viewers, so the show had no excuses when it lost 60% of it's lead in audience. Granted the shows were not compatible, but what show would of worked with Studio 60?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Hollywood shmaltz, 18 Sep 2010
This review is from: Studio 60 On The Sunset Strip - The Complete Series [DVD] [2008] (DVD)
The worst aspect of this series is that it is too cheesey. All these top television producers who would have shopped their own Grandma for shop-lifting if they felt it would move them up another rung suddenly have major attacks of conscience and put their integrity on the line: "I feel I have to resign - I really believe in America's freedom of speech even if it does upset the authorities..." type speeches fall out of virtually every corporate mouth. Oh come on! And then there is the "lurve" element - no-one has meaningless sex but are there to meet their soul-mate and swear undying love, always,and I mean always, at the end of an episode when the singing/music artiste is on and acting as the sound track. Oh come on!And another thing - no-one ever rats on anybody or tries to claim the credit for something they didn't do, everybody,even the bad guys, are decent human-beings and are just awaiting their chance for redemption - oh come on! This is American television and to survive you have to be as sharp as a government spin-doctor and have the integrity of a New York lawyer - this lot have about as much spunk as a dead gerbil.And I agree with one reviewer who says that the comedy it was supposed to espouse was about as unfunny as it gets. However, I did give it 3 stars - one star for the acting; one star for the episode with Sting (who stole the show - brilliantly)and one star for the Corporation who cancelled a further series - they knew it was unrealistic and unbelievable and unfunny because it was supposed to be about them and no-one recognised themselves.....
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5.0 out of 5 stars "God, Jack, there's about seven things that are funny about this", 25 May 2008
By 
Lawrance M. Bernabo (The Zenith City, Duluth, Minnesota) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
I like to watch television series from start to favorite and have over three dozen complete runs to enjoy. My standard practice is to watch one episode a day for the series I am going through, although I might go back-to-back with a two-parter. But when I decided to watch the one season of "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip" I went through all 22 episodes in five days (it would have been less but I had other things to watch, classes to teach, time to spend sleeping, etc.). When my wife heard what I was doing she decided to lie in bed for two days and watching the entire series from start to finish. So that would be a pretty good indication of how much we liked the late and lamented television series from Aaron Sorkin.

I am enthralled the art of writing and so wish that when it comes to writing that my attention span was better suited to actual works of literature than writing reviews. With this television show I get to appreciate both the writing of the episodes and the parts in the episodes where people are writing. But the bottom line remains that I simply love the way Sorkin writes and have yet to reach my saturation point with watching (although I should really say "listening") repeats of "The West Wing" the way I have other series that I love (Yes, I know that Sorkin only produced and wrote the first four seasons of the show, but those were the best ones and I would swear that those who wrote in his wake were trying to emulate his style). It goes without saying that the same comments apply to Sorkin's first television series, "Sports Night."

Beyond that, I find this television shows particularly affecting. I think I got choked up more often watching "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip" than for any single season of any television show I have ever seen. I do not just mean getting teary eyed over all of the life and death questions resolved in the final episode ("What Kind of Day Has It Been"), or when Harriet tells Matt "You knock my sox off," or when Danny tells Jordan "I'm coming for you." I mean things like when Matt bet Jeannie $10,000 that the number of people who liked her "Commedia dell'arte" routine is going to go from two to three people ("The Focus Group"). My wife probably cried more often than I did watching the show, which apparently speaks to a hitherto unrecognized point of commonality between our disparate natures, but once again reinforces our shared affection for the series.

This is not to say the show was perfect, because it was not. My first fear that the series might be fatally flawed came in the second episode where we did not get to see the Crazy Christian skit and were instead treated to reworked lyrics for a Gilbert & Sullivan songs that were okay, but not memorable. You can only talk about a killer skit so much before you have to show the damn thing. Of course that means you have to write an absolutely killer skit and maybe it is the case that Sorkin never tired, but what matters in the end is that we never get to see any of it in the show. Because the point is the show behind the show we do not get to see that much of the show in front of the show behind the show, and what we do see is not stellar late night sketch comedy. The takeoff on Nancy Grace was pretty good and I liked the dry wit of the White House press conferences, but the news segments never amounted to much of anything. For me the funniest bit of the entire season was the running gag in "The Harriet Dinner (1)" of Harriet's inability to tell a joke, although I have to say it is a toss-up between Holly Hunter and Dolphin Girl for which of Harriet's voices cracks me up more.

I know that Sorkin is condemned as a liberal, but he certainly writes some of the best political characters. That was true on "The West Wing" with characters from Ainsley Hayes to Arnold Vinick, with the likes of Christopher Mulready and Sheila Brooks in between, and with Harriet Hayes we find Sorkin doing for evangelical Christians what he did for conservative Republicans (I always thought it would have been interesting to continue "The West Wing" with a Republican president to show that dramatic political storytelling is not just the province of the left). Ultimately what makes Harriet a fascinating character is that despite the inherent contradiction, she is never going to give up her faith in God or her love for Matt. The question is whether he will ever stop taking one step backwards for every step forward in his relationship with here. Sorkin and his talented ensemble cast knew the show was over by the time they got to the final episode and were already to provide a sense that the characters go on even if the series does not, which provides some small measure of comfort.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars After Westwing, studio 60 is a delight, 15 Mar 2013
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This review is from: Studio 60 On The Sunset Strip - The Complete Series [DVD] [2008] (DVD)
Addiction to West wing withdrawal symptoms set in, and my daughter recommended this series to me which was very much love at first sight. I am so sad that the series never made it from season 1 to season 2. I would happily have watched for years to come and am very relieved it had a happy ending to round it up. Lovely ladies, brilliant sharp clever and lovely, and fine performances from the leading men too. Sorkin appears to use the same actors in his TV series, so there are cameo roles for many old friends here.
I shall watch it again and again when life is gloomy and dull and I need something to cheer me up. The trouble is, one just never wants to stop watching and have to be cruel to be kind and go to bed as usual and not stay for just one more episode.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Its Truly Perfect, 22 Oct 2012
This review is from: Studio 60 On The Sunset Strip - The Complete Series [DVD] [2008] (DVD)
This for me is one of the best shows ever created. Aaron Sorkin is one of the best writers in TV/film history. He just never misses his mark.

Studio 60 is basically a drama/comedy behind the scenes of an American, weekly sketch show (much like Saturday Night Live.) Each week the producers, writers and cast struggle to put together a truly amazing show for America. Its just a brief idea really. So what makes the show that great? Well its the style and writing. You genuinely feel these characters are real and have actual problems. Their dialogue is natural and Sorkin fits in jokes into the lines making the show not seem forced. Its something people want out of a show to be taken away into a real world.

This show was cancelled after one season but Sorkin knew it was getting cancelled so tied up all the loose ends in what seems like a 5 episode end. It is brilliant and its something which had gotten me into wanting to write when I first watched it. I was truly compelled to get into the TV industry and am still working towards that today so its had a big effect on my life. I recently watched the show again and as that last episode finished I took out disk 1 again to start the series over again. You just can't go wrong with this series and heck its on 10!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An enjoyable watch with great dialogue, but key flaws., 21 Aug 2012
This review is from: Studio 60 On The Sunset Strip - The Complete Series [DVD] [2008] (DVD)
I recently wrote a review of Sorkin's first TV Show, Sports Night and reflected it against his giant of a work, The West Wing and find myself having to do the same here.

Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip was Sorkin's first TV work after leaving The West Wing after the 4th season. He once again uses actors that have appeared in his previous works; both Matthew Perry (known for his Chandler Bing character in Friends) appeared in 3 episodes of The West Wing and Bradley Whitford, surely best known as Joshua Lyman in the same series. Timothy Busfield, aka Danny Concannon, the news reporter in the West Wing, appears in every episode of Studio 60. It's clear that the band of actors that Sorkin uses, appreciates his abilities to get the best from them, as he clearly helps many of them push the envelope. He does so here with Perry, who brushes off both the Chandler character and indeed Perry's lack of movie success with a strong performance which earned him much deserved accolade and indeed a Satellite Awards nomination for Outstanding Actor in 2006. Whitford, who in my opinion, was outstanding in The West Wing and performs here without breaking a sweat and still manages to remain a class above most (if not almost all) of TV actors in any reoccurring TV series, past or present.

The show like most of what Sorkin does and does well, goes behind the scenes of a fictitious network, NBS and a comedy sketch show, Studio 60. It's obvious that Sorkin likes to go behind the scenes, given that he does the same in Sports Night, The West Wing, Studio 60 and his new potential masterpiece, The Newsroom.

Sorkin is a idealist and I love him for it, but it fails to ignite in Studio 60, despite it being a watchable and highly likeable series. It failed to impress on the viewing figures and was canned after one season. As with much of what passes as success on American TV, it's suggested that both ratings and cost brought about the demise of Studio 60.

However, I suspect that part of the lack of success of the show was due to the unrealistic nature of what really goes on behind the scenes of a comedy sketch show. I read somewhere that a cast member of the real comedy sketch TV Show, Saturday Night Live, wrote that it would be impossible to actually show what goes on behind the scenes of a comedy sketch series and I do feel that whilst the show is entertaining, you don't leave it feeling as if you have been enlightened. I concur with the view that the major flaw of the show, is that the premise is that Perry's character, Matt, has been drafted in, along with Whittford (Danny Tripp) to save the show; he is apparently the best writer in Hollywood. Why then, are the sketches you see on the show, not at all funny. Perhaps with alternate view of the show, this could have been a cross between what it is and The Larry Sanders Show.

The dialogue, as you'd expect from Sorkin, is fast paced and whilst not on a par with The West Wing, is still intelligent and stylish. I'm not sure where the show would or could have gone with a second season, but I am pleased that the series was produced at all.

I feel for Sorkin, given that everything he does is going to be compared to The West Wing and for good reason; its brilliance is that it remains with you and inspires you to want to know things about, in my case, a political system that doesn't directly affect me. The West Wing changed my life and whilst I am grateful for Studio 60, primarily for Whitford and I'm pleased to see see Perry in good form, I long to be inspired by a TV series and I feel Sorkin is more likely to do that than almost anyone else. I'm hopeful that The Newsroom may just be current enough to be the next big thing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great US series with Chandler from Friends., 27 July 2011
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This review is from: Studio 60 On The Sunset Strip - The Complete Series [DVD] [2008] (DVD)
This is a heavily underrated US TV show. Studio 60 is an enjoyable series with the likes of Matthew Perry and Bradley Whitford as the starring roles. If you enjoyed the West Wing then this is one for you. Aaron Sorkin is a great writer and it shows in the storylines and bombshells that happen throughout. Unfortunately the show was cancelled but fortunately Sorkin knew this and the finale ends with everything being tied up nicely. A great watch for anyone that enjoys US dramas and sitcoms.
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