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Sports Night: How Are Things In Glocca Morra?

by Bob Sassone, posted Aug 28th 2006 7:01PM

Josh Malina(S01E17) Basically, it's all Pete Sampras' fault.

That's what everyone thinks in this, one of my favorite episodes. Pete Sampras is in the middle of a U.S. Open match with a guy he should be beating easily, but the nobody is actually making a comeback against the world's #1 player, which means that Sports Night is delayed (side note: I'd love to find out how CSC got the rights to the U.S. Open). It also means that Dana might have to cancel her date with Gordon, Rebecca won't be able to see her first live broadcast of the show, and Dana might have to hand the show over to Sally's 2am show.

But it gives Jeremy time to write a letter to his sister Louise, who's in college but is thinking about quitting because of boyfriend problems.

This is actually a device that Aaron Sorkin has used before, in a classic West Wing episode, "The Stackhouse Filibuster" (only in that ep everyone on staff was writing letters to relatives). I like it, though I've always been a sucker for first person narration in TV shows and movies. Jeremy catches Louise up on what's going on with everyone at the show.

Dan wants to know what's up with Casey's shirt, how he lost in at Sally's and what happened to it, but Casey doesn't want to tell him that he saw Gordon with it on the other night. Meanwhile, to pass the time, Dana is challenging everyone to trash can basketball (she's very good). She goes to call Gordon to tell him that she might not be able to make their date, but Gordon has already left to pick her up at the studio.

Rebecca is sitting in Dan and Casey's office, and she has intercepted two phone calls from Elaine, the other woman Dan was seeing. She's not too thrilled that Dan still won't be honest about Elaine, but she won't be upset if he wants to see them both. Dan insists he doesn't want to see Elaine, and he's going to break up with her (Dan and Rebecca remind me a lot of Sam and Mallory from The West Wing).

Casey finally tells Dan that Gordon had his shirt on, which means Gordon is sleeping with Sally too. He doesn't want to tell Dana though, because if he tells her that Gordon is sleeping with Sally, Dana will find out he's also sleeping with Sally, and he doesn't want to hurt her feelings. Another reason I like this show. The people are kind and moral and care. There's a scene in this where Jeremy sticks his head into Dan and Casey's office to see what's up and if they want anything, and Dan actually asks him if he's done with his letter to his sister. Those are nice touches.

Gordon isn't happy with Dana having to do the show late (and Dan isn't happy with Gordon, which he shows by practically ignoring him). Gordon demands a decision from Dana about their relationship. Dana, pressured, gives the show to Sally for the night, and leaves with Gordon. Casey is crushed. Jeremy tells Louise about it. He also tells her that under no circumstances is she to leave school. Everything will be ok on the other side.


"Dan was doing what he always does 2 minutes before the show. Annoying Casey." - Jeremy, in his letter to his sister.

"Hey Sally, you must have slept with this guy Fedrigatti, how long do you think he can keep at this?" - Dan, to Sally, about the tennis player challenging Sampras.

"He's not doing it to you personally, Casey. He's doing it to me personally." - Dana, to Casey, about Sampras' match dragging on too long.

"I understand what would make a woman think any man is better than nothing, but I'll never understand what makes a woman think she's got nothing." - Jeremy, to Louise, after Dana kept her date with Gordon and blew off the show.

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Alberto Fedregotti was the name of an Italian ambassador on The West Wing. He was in the episode where a kid kills his teacher in Georgia and flees to Italy to avoid prosecution.

Yes, I typed that from memory. I rule! :)

August 31 2006 at 12:45 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

i was going to post about the "used the letter thing before" bit (used the letter bit again would be accurate and one letter shorter to type). and also the "dan and rebecca remind me of sam and mallory" thing. but i understand that TWW had a much larger audience than SN and as such many readers would follow that sentence as is.

but i'm now writing (since aforementioned topics have, at least in part, been covered) about CSC getting the US Open rights. Since Sampras is playing "fettucini" (as dana comically calls him early on), it's likely to be an early round match. it wouldn't be outside the realm of possibility that CSC got early round coverage of a grand slam. like espn/usa gets the early rounds of many of the slams. how the tennis channel (in the scheme of things a tiny network) just bought the rights to the non-final (and maybe semi) rounds of the french open (btw, a mistake if you ask me unless they sublet the rights, which they are allowed to do, to a larger network, back to espn2 maybe, for cross promotion).

August 29 2006 at 7:53 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Aaron M

Funny, I tend to loathe Sorkin's letter-writing device. But I'm still a complete Sports Night whore, and rewatch the whole series on dvd at least once a year. :)

August 28 2006 at 11:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I love Sports Night! Every once in a while I break out my DvD and watch it. Love it! I could be wrong about this but the tennis tournament Pete is supposed to be playing in the CSC cup or something like that but the footage they use of Pete is from the US Open. I think that is one of the TV goofs that they hope no one notices.

August 28 2006 at 10:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I like how Aaron Sorkin reused names in both shows. Alberto Fedrigatti was also a one time character in The West Wing as a movie producer, I think. It's kind of fun to rewatch the shows and pick out the little things. I wonder if there will be an Alberto Fedrigatti in Studio 60...

August 28 2006 at 10:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Bob Sassone

Shani, yeah, I know Sports Night used it first, I just meant that the same writer/creator used it on another show of his.

August 28 2006 at 10:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Shani Ferguson

This is actually a device that Aaron Sorkin has used before, in a classic West Wing episode, "The Stackhouse Filibuster"

Actually, it's a device that was *reused* on The West Wing, as that episode of Sports Night preceeded "The Stackhouse Filibuster" by two years.

August 28 2006 at 8:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Everytime I read one of these Retro post about Sports Night I want to run out and buy the DVD's, maybe I will give them my husband for Christmas. This show was so memorable that I only have to read the first few sentences of the recap and it all comes back to me. I especially love the last quote by Jeremy. I have a girlfriend who just isn't happy unless she has a boyfriend and I have never understood why she can't just be happy with herself. I should repeat his quote to her everytime she breaks up with the latest jerk/nobody!

August 28 2006 at 7:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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