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September 3, 2015

Sports Night: The Quality of Mercy at 29K

by Bob Sassone, posted Jul 27th 2006 8:45PM

Josh Charles(S01E09) While the Sports Night team readies for special 2am coverage of a climber's assault on Mt. Everest (not sure if ESPN would break in for that), Jeremy and Natalie come to terms with their growing relationship, Dan tries to figure out what charity to give his money to, and Dana plans to bring her niece to see The Lion King on Broadway.

Of course, she thinks she can get tickets the same day of the show. She calls and the guy just laughs at her and hangs up.

Luckily, Isaac knows that Dana has been in NYC for three years and still doesn't know how to entertain someone, so he bought tickets for her.

Jeremy and Natalie aren't sure what to do about their attraction to each other. So they start kissing, and decide to date. They also decide to be professional at work, though all the kissing in the editing booth might put a crimp in that plan.

Dana comes back from The Lion King absolutely thrilled and changed. She had an almost church-like experience at the show. She didn't know that people could make other people feel that way with singing and dancing. Isaac is happy she had such a good time. She tells Casey about her experience.

Dan is feeling liberal guilt and doesn't know what to do with his extra money. Heart disease? Diabetes? The homeless? AIDS? He goes to find a turkey sandwich he remembers is in the studio (everyone is starving and no one will deliver because of a water main break in front of the studio), and goes to get it. He finds a homeless person in the room. Dan decides to give the man his turkey sandwich. The man pulls a knife...but it's only to cut the sandwich in half so they can share it. They sit and watch the climber make it to the top of Everest.

This is an OK episode. I don't think there are any "bad" episodes of Sports Night, but this one is one of the lesser efforts. They don't do enough with Dana's experience at the theater (her emotional reaction isn't fully explained), and the whole homeless guy eating the sandwich with Dan is overdone and way too coincidental. I would have liked to have seen more of the Jeremy/Natalie relationship and more jokes about the water main break and the lack of food. Still, a fairly solid effort.


"Good to get that out of the way at 15." - Dan, about an Olympic gymnyst saying that she "reached her lifelong dream" of winning a medal.

"You know while we've been having this conversation, a couple of people have probably died of something you could have cured." - Casey, about Dan's inability to pick a charity to give money to.

"I hear the air gets kinda thin near the juice bar." - Natalie, about Casey comparing a gym wall climb to an Everest climb.

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I remember this episode receiving a fair amount of criticism when it first aired, thanks to Dana's unabashed, over-the-top endorsement of The Lion King. Sports Night appeared on Disney-owned ABC, and The Lion King, of course, was also a Disney production.

July 30 2006 at 4:45 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

"I didn't know we could do that."

July 28 2006 at 8:22 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

"Way to ease the liberal guilt there."

I used the juice bar line a few weeks ago in a online discussion about indoor rock climbing. I don't think anyone else got it. :(

"29,000 feet."

"Actually, it's 29,029 feet."

"It's those last 10 yards that'll kill ya."

"What can we think of 29,000 feet in?"

"How about 29,000 rulers?"

That's sad that I just quoted these lines from memory. :)

July 27 2006 at 10:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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