(S06E08) "I'm glad you finally admit the last five years of your life were all fantasy provided by me." - Ari
Because I've been such a big proponent of this season (despite what I'm about to say, I still say this has been the best season since the third), I'm starting to think that everything has been a fantasy up until this point when it comes to Entourage.
There are so many solid plots going on this season and every time I think that something big is gonna happen, it falls flat and leaves me disappointed.
I agree with most of the critics that the series took a drop in quality in Season 5. With the departure of Sorkin, the characters began to make decisions that seemed inconsistent with the first four seasons (I'll write more about that in a separate article). Seasons 6 and 7 saw an upswing in quality, mostly due to the change in the whole premise of the show (making it about the Presidential Election rather than the Presidency).
The West Wing was a very deep and intelligent program and probably better than we deserve. Next up: Aaron Sorkin's other television contributions, Sports Night and Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip.
If Jay Leno isn't the answer for NBC prime time, perhaps the network should think about booking President Obama. NBC News devoted two hours, on Tuesday and Wednesday night, for Inside the Obama White House and the ratings were strong. Better than the insipid I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here, which acted as a lead-in. Of course the season finale of Law & Order: SVU on Tuesday didn't hurt the news production.
Having watched the two hours, NBC should sign the president ASAP. There's always the curiosity factor when a viewer is being given access behind the scenes, and that's what Inside the Obama White House did. It was a look at the real West Wing, which reminded me a lot of the fictional, Aaron Sorkin West Wing creation, and that was quite cool. President Obama still fascinates me, and it's well past 100 days.
His last show utilizing this concept, Studio 60, didn't fare so well and was cancelled after a single season. However, this program concept would also incorporate the discussion of politics, which Sorkin excels at, as proven in The West Wing. We may have a winner here.
Sorkin is certainly a multi-talented writer. He's written movies and plays as well as television. I believe he can make this sort of program work. I even confess to liking an earlier incarnation of this concept, Al Franken's Lateline.
So what do you think? Do you welcome a return by Sorkin to television or is his reputation overblown?
The premise is the same: Trevor Pierce claims to be Cupid, exiled from Mt. Olympus, and he needs to find true love for 100 couples before he is allowed back home. After Trevor is arrested for one of his stunts and sent to a psychological hospital, singles self-help guru Dr. Claire McCrae is assigned to keep track of him as he makes his way in the outside world. This time around, the show is set in the fast paced and cynical world of New York, complete with all the modern touches of dating in the late '00s (Maybe Cupid will have a Twitter account).
I spoke to the stars of the new Cupid last week. While I was on the phone, I asked Paulson about what happened on her previous series, Studio 60. I got a pretty interesting response...
Well, now we do. Shout! Factory has released a new 10th Anniversary set for the show, and all of the the extras that were missing in that set are here, and then some.
Sorkin actually feels guilty about the entire thing, because he knows he screwed it up. He tells Mickey Rapkin that the ultimately the show didn't work because he made too many mistakes:
I was too angry when I wrote Studio 60. The show became like the cover of Abbey Road. Everybody was trying to figure out who this character was in real life or what that incident was trying to be.
On the Pie Hole set of Daisies, for instance, all the stars and producers were available for interviews. Kristin Chenoweth held court right outside the pie-shaped diner's entrance, sporting a splint on her right hand from a recent bat bite (I kid you not... wonder what scene they were shooting at the time). But I was there to ask her about how she felt about being the model for Harriet Hayes on Studio 60 two years ago. And she was very candid about the situation,especially in light of the fact that her former (and current?) boyfriend, S60 creator Aaron Sorkin, never was.
First, though, a question about Jeff Probst; Chenoweth dropped the tidbit that the two of them dated when she announced his Emmy nomination the week before. Audio is after the jump.
Who says you can't learn anything from television? We talk about a lot of things here on TV Squad each week, and it's amazing what TV Squad and TV in general can teach you about life.
TV ... it's like the Bible!
1. America likes making a point rather than rewarding talent. Let me say upfront that even though I wrote this, I still think that David Cook is a good singer, and it was great that the American Idol final came down to him and David Archuleta. But I'm baffled as to why he won by 12 million votes! It's almost as if viewers were voting for Cook not just because they liked him, but because they didn't want to fulfill the predictions many had weeks and weeks ago that Archuleta would win (as if the kid could control any of that). They didn't want to prove to everyone that American Idol is predictable, or that Simon's comments about Archuleta winning the final night of singing meant anything. And what about that night? Come on, Archuleta clearly won that night, but it's almost as if they don't even have to have that final night of singing, because fans are clearly voting for other reasons. The Archuleta backlash has to be one of the weirder things that has happened this TV season. I have a very good friend who is a Cook fanatic. Nothing could make her say anything bad about him and I think she broke her phone calling in to vote for him, and even she admits that Archuleta did better that last night. I think fans convinced themselves that they had to vote for the "rocker" (cough cough) and not the kid who sings well (and I have to disagree with my cohort Debra - there's nothing "unique" about Cook).
The box set costs $69.99 and contains a 10th anniversary book, behind-the-scenes featurettes, new interviews, blooper reels, commentaries by the cast and creative team, and deleted scenes. A complete series box set has been available since 2002, but that version had no special features.
This news could make Sports Night fans go crazy like ... well, people who go crazy and stuff.
TV Shows On DVD is reporting that a 10th anniversary set for the short-lived ABC comedy is in the works, to be released this fall. As fans know, a complete DVD set for the show was already released a few years ago, but it didn't have any extras on it at all (and I remember that some of the first DVDs had a lot of problems with skipping and freezing, though I've never had a problem with my set). This set is rumored to have extras on it, and we can only hope that includes commentaries by the cast and Aaron Sorkin.
No word yet on who is putting it out or even why this set is getting the anniversary treatment (other than it's a great show and deserves it!). Maybe the success of Felicity Huffman and Brenda Strong on Desperate Housewives helped.
1) Cowboy Up Time
Remember the episode of Lost when Ben wanted to convince Jack that he was in communication with the world outside the island? To prove that he was telling the truth, he showed Jack a video of the Boston Red Sox winning the world series in 2004. You can't get more real than that, right? And yet it was used in one of the most out of this world shows on the air. In fact, using Lost's own terminology, the Red Sox video is a constant truth in a universe that's a complete fiction.
I'm not sure if Bravo has brought back their "West Wing Mondays" for good or if this is just an election year thing, but today the network is airing a marathon from 9am to 5pm.
And it's not just any season they're doing. The first episode is the fourth season opener, which means that most of these episodes are election-related, including the "20 Hours In America" two-parter, with Josh, Toby, and Donna trapped in a small town during a campaign swing; "Debate Camp," which shows the Bartlet campaign gearing up for the showdown with Governor Richie; and "Game On," the classic episode where Bartlet and Richie debate and Bartlet decides not to hold back and just creams the guy (more debates should be like this). You'll also see "Election Night" and "Process Stories," which were the start of Rob Lowe's exit from the show.
I wonder why they're not doing this next Tuesday, which is Super Tuesday? That would have been clever programming.
I almost didn't want to review this DVD set. Did I really want to go back into those murky waters again and bring up all those old disagreements? But here we go...
Actually, the DVD set for Studio 60 is much like the TV series itself. It starts out brilliantly and then as it goes on it starts to get worse and worse. But then it ends nicely!
Pretty standard packaging, just a regular box containing three plastic holders housing two DVDs each. The artwork on each plastic holder is fairly interesting. Instead of a large pic on the front and the info on the inside, all the episode info is on the front and back of each individual holder, including pics from episodes and promotional pics.
A Q&A panel at TCA isn't complete unless a star or two is asked about his/her personal life -- either directly or indirectly. Andy Samberg deftly deflected an inquiry about his being associated romantically with ex-SNL host Natalie Portman.
Then, it was on to questions about the show...
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