(S01E23) This is one of my favorite episodes of the show. It has so many great lines and exchanges that I really can't put all of them down here. It's the first season finale, and the way it ends, it almost seems like they weren't sure if the show was coming back and they wanted to end it in a very definite manner, with many plots tied up and the return of a beloved character.
Casey's son Charlie is coming to the studio, and he seems to have an odd relationship with his father. Meanwhile, Dana bought that camera she talked about endlessly in the last episode and wants to take a picture of the staff in their nice clothes to break in the camera, and Dan is still wondering if Rebecca will change her mind and come back to him.
(S01E22) This is one of the more soap opera-ish of the Sports Night episodes, because it deals with relationships and secrets and who's sleeping with who and who knows and who doesn't know and will they find out. But it doesn't feel lie it, because it's still Sports Night, and that means it's still funny and smart and well done.
Gordon proposes to Dana, who has accepted, and this ticks off Casey, who knows that Gordon slept with Sally. But he can't tell Dana because then she'll find out that he too slept with Sally. Casey says he's just going to follow "Napoleon's Battle Plan" and just see what happens. Dan isn't sure if this is such a good idea, and has a plan of his own.
(S01E21) You know, when you get right down to it, there's nothing sadder than a man in love, waiting for his woman, holding a bottle of wine, a bouquet of flowers, and an old abacus.
Dan has a special night planned for Rebecca, but she's thinking about going back to her husband. Meanwhile, Casey is still freaked out about last week's bomb scare and still ticked at Dana for bailing on the show to go to dinner with Gordon. And Jeremy is still broken up with Natalie. At least he thinks so. Natalie is telling him and everyone else in the studio that they are still together. Maybe Jeremy's obsession with a cricket (the sport, not the insect) story will make him forget how maddening she's being.
(S01E20) While Isaac continues to recover from his stroke in the hospital, Dana is in charge, and the network execs are putting a lot of pressure on her. Meanwhile, Rebecca might want to go back to hubby Steve, which doesn't please Dan too much, and Jeremy wants to break up with Natalie, because there are way too many things happening right now, including his parents breaking up.
Oh, and there's a bomb threat called in to the building.
(S01E19) It must be hard as hell to do an episode of a show where something bad happens to one of the characters that actually happened to the actor in real life. In this episode, we find out that Isaac had a stroke after returning from a vacation. Actor Robert Guillaume had a stroke in real-life too. It's a tricky thing for a show to write in a real-life incident into a show, but because of the way this show is structured - a seamless blend of comedy and drama - it actually works.
Before they find out about Isaac, the staff is getting ready for special March Madness coverage. They're working on a Saturday, Bobbi Berstein is coming in to co-anchor (which thrills Dan, since she still thinks they slept together in Spain), and Dan is wondering why Rebecca's ex-husband Steve is in her office. On a Saturday. He thinks it's like "Eli's Coming," the classic Three Dog Night song, that something bad is about to happen. But as Casey reminds him, the song isn't about that, it's about a womanizer. No matter, Dan still thinks it's going to be a bad day.
(S01E18) At this point, the show is rather complex, with many storylines going on and continuing from episode to episode. There's even a "previously on Sports Night" clip at the beginning, though it's kinda odd. They show a scene with Jeremy telling Natalie that his parents are getting divorced, but I don't remember that from a previous episode.
Jeremy is going to see his parents about the divorce, and Natalie is upset because he hasn't called her in a few days. Meanwhile, Dan is trying desperately to get Rebecca interested in baseball.
(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.
(S01E16) This episode has one of the great surprise lines in sitcom history (in my opinion anyway, don't want to oversell it).
While Dana is upset that Gordon stood her up last night and Jewish Jeremy is freaking out that he has to spend three days with Natalie's Catholic family, Casey talks to Dan about a shirt of his that's missing, and Dan figures out how and why this particular shirt is missing.
(S01E15) While Dan tries to get help - from Casey, Jeremy, or anyone, really - on how to go about winning over Rebecca, a nervous Dana agrees to go snorkeling with boyfriend Gordon, even though fish completely freak her out.
I feel the same about the fuzz on peaches. Sends shivers down my spine.
(S01E13) This isn't the "funniest" episode of Sports Night (and I think I sense them using the laugh track less here), but it's a truly solid episode, because it tells a lot about the characters, strengthens the relationships they all have, and has three different plots that work seperately but also work off of each other too.
Casey and Dana have a night off on the same night, so they decide to double date: Casey will be with on a blind date with a lawyer (Lisa, with an "S" but pronounced Liza), and Casey will be with Gordon. Neither Casey nor Dana really want to go on the date (they think they'll be too uncomfortable), but Isaac won't let them work that night just because a trade "may" happen.
Meanwhile, Natalie is in charge for the night, and Dan has to deal with a substitute anchor who insists they slept together in Spain a few years earlier and he never called her afterward. Dan says she's a nut.
(S01E12) Isaac knows that one day he won't be in charge at the show forever (especially after embarrassing him by supporting the college players in the last episode) , so he wants to groom Dana to take over someday. But she doesn't even want to talk about it. He wants her to come to the monthly executive meetings, but she doesn't want to. He tells her not to tell anyone what they've talked about.
She immediately tells Natalie.
Meanwhile, Dan thinks it's time to get Casey back into the dating scene.
(S01E11) This is one of my favorite episodes of Sports Night. Not only for the plot (six football players refuse to play at a Tennessee college where the Confederate flag is displayed), but also for the fact that we get to see future West Wing cast member Janel Moloney is a small but pivotal role.
While CSC owner Luther Sachs sides with the college, Isaac says on the air that he doesn't agree. Will this cause a problem for Isaac and the show?
(S01E10) The two anchors that do the 2am West Coast update are stuck in Pittsburgh because of a snowstorm, which means Dan and Casey have to give up their night in Atlantic City to do the show. So they put together a staff poker game.
Meanwhile, Natalie is mad at Jeremy for ditching her the other night and playing tennis with a movie star, and she plans on making him pay when they play poker. Dana confronts Sally about the way she's going to produce the 2am update, and Isaac thinks he's shrinking.
(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.
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