Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip: B-12
I'm not sure about the whole set up of this ep though. I mean, yeah, OK, there's a virus going through the studio and everyone has to get a B-12 shot. Happens in a lot of companies. But would everyone be in the same room, sick, dropping like flies? It was like something out of a sci-fi movie about some killer virus and the CDC was called in. But it gets everyone in the same building and allows for a cool flashback, which Aaron Sorkin and Tommy Schlamme have always excelled in.
While Matt has to deal with a smaller writing staff (Ricky and Ron took everyone last week), Danny is dealing with Martha O'Dell doing another story on the show. Meanwhile, in the executive offices, Jack orders Jordan to do an interview with Newsweek about all of the controversies swirling around her. After a battle, she says yes, but wants to go with Time instead (wow, finally, one instance where the corporate synergy didn't win - Newsweek is partners with NBC).
Of course, the synergy was alive and well in the ep's most annoying scene: Howie Mandel was the host of this week's Studio 60. Now, while the opening sketch was cute/kinda lame in an SNL sort of way, I thought it was just so obvious they were pushing another NBC show. But even beyond that, really, the last thing I want to see on the NBC schedule is yet another appearance by Howie Mandel and those Deal Or No Deal briefcases.
This episode answered some questions for people who dislike the show and also moved the entire plot forward. People have complained that in the real world, no one cares about the personal lives of network execs like Jordan McDeere, and Jordan herself says this to Jack in this ep. He doesn't care, because Mr. White and the TMG board cares, and that's all that matters. Jordan blows the interview by insulting and being really sarcastic to the reporter. She explains to Danny that it's because she's "hormonal."
The way the show moved the plot forward was this: the old writing staff is gone, and so are many cast members, so the entire show is sorta being retooled before our eyes. Matt hires Darius, promotes Lucy, and also brings in a writer who used to be on the show but got out of comedy when his wife and kids were killed in a car accident. Looks like he's going to be a new regular too. So I like how this show isn't just the "drama of the week" or "wacky situation of the week." There's a continuing story here.
I wasn't sure if a news event where a gunman killed 4 hostages and then himself would cause a late night show to dump a sketch about an armed robber in a store, but I've been thinking about it, and I think it might. If the writers and producers were watching the news that night, that is, which they might not be. Some people would dump it, some wouldn't, but Sorkin's characters have always been good, moral people, in all of his shows, and they know that they know that it happened, and they want to do the right thing. They wouldn't use the excuse of "it's too late to change it" or lie that they didn't see it.
Good episode. I like how Harriet couldn't tell a joke (more fodder for the "Harriet isn't funny" people!), how Danny dumped on "Dilbert27" at aintitcoolnews.com (face it, he has a point, and I say that as a staff writer at a TV blog), and the great banter back and forth between Matt/Danny, Matt/Harriet, and Jack/Jordan.
A question (and a possible SPOILER): at the end, we find out that Jordan is pregnant. Who the hell is the father? I read somewhere that Danny was going to be the father, but have they even hinted that the two have gotten together? Did I miss that?