Aaron Sorkin

Studio 60 begins in the UK

After a long wait, Studio 60 arrives in the UK. This is the new Aaron Sorkin Production, of The West Wing and Sports Night. It stars Matthew Perry as Matt (of Friends and also a small part in The West Wing), Bradley Whitford as Danny (Josh in The West Wing).

Timothy Busfield (who played Danny in The West Wing) has a major part.

The show has been cancelled in the USA, but don't take that to be a condemnation, after all, they cancelled the superb Firefly! It's a Sorkin show, so expect adult, intelligent, well written and entertaining TV.

The piece is set in the world of television, at a fictional comedy show called 'Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip'. The show is tanking, and the producer is replaced. Enter Matt and Danny. The 'Show within a Show' is in the same vein as Saturday Night Live, i.e. they bring in a guest host each week. Sometimes they're seen, sometimes referred to, sometimes not even mentioned.

The first show's host is Felicity Huffman (Desperate Housewives, Sports Night). Throughout the series there are other famous names, such as Masi Oka (Heroes).

Interestingly, Alison Janney (of West Wing) guest hosts a later episode, it'll be interesting to see how they handle this - will they pretend Janney was in a different political drama ('The White House'?), will they ignore 'The West Wing' completely? Maybe they'll acknowledge 'The West Wing' but forget that the current cast were in it.

Either way, Studio 60 is something I've been waiting for since The West Wing went off the air...

... I just regret that we're only going to get the one season.

It starts on Thursday, 26th July on More 4.

It has arrived!

The West Wing - Complete Season 7 The completist freak side of me is slightly satiated for a time, though there is a mild disappointment that only one version of the 'live debate' episode is on the discs (they could have done something nice there, options to play the two versions side by side, for example).

Where else can I go for a fix of political drama now?

If I was starting from not having the DVDs at all, I'd get this.

The Complete West Wing - Seasons 1-7 Box Set

West Wing - The Nightmare

As I may have mentioned one or several times, I quite like 'The West Wing'. The West Wing - Complete Seasons 1 and 2 [2001]

The West Wing - Complete Season 7It's at about this point after a season finishes that I start to anticipate the next (in this case) non existent season.

Last night, I dreamt I was watching Season 8 (the Santos Administration) - I would have loved the show to refresh itself with Vinick, but it wasn't to be. So, there I was, 'watching' the Santos whitehouse, and the Richard Schiff character, Toby Ziegler comes in (which makes no sense in the storyline). Only Richard Schiff had opted not to return to the series, so they got Tom Hanks in to replace him.

To prove his Jewish credentials in the role, Tom Hanks kept shrugging his shoulders and saying 'Oh, Vey'.

I switched off the virtual TV in disgust, and at this point woke up.

Should I be concerned?

Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip

I'm looking forward to the new Aaron Sorkin show, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, Sorkin created one of my favourite US dramas 'The West Wing' (now sadly finished), and it looks like he's getting the band back together, with Bradley Whitford, Matt Perry (who appeared on the West Wing) and also Timothy Busfield, aka Danny on the west wing. As such, the show is eagerly awaited.

The Pilot was on Youtube, but has been removed. The trailer is still there.

I've seen the pilot, and I like the show a lot, the monologue at the end of part one is right bang on the money. Of course, with the setup about dumbing down TV, they've given themselves a target to meet...

I'll be re-watching it when it goes out on TV.

This thing premiers in the states in september, I think it'll be on more 4 in the UK.

See also: The Official Site

The West Wing

For people that missed it completely, More 4 (UK) are showing the complete West Wing from the first episode, starting this sunday at 8pm. It really is an excellent series (with occasional American schlock). Martin Sheen's entrance at the end of the first episode is wonderful, and the establishing shot of John Spencer (RIP) playing Leo McGarry walking through the White House is really the bees kness - it just brings home the quality of the show in that it's all one shot.

Yes, the West Wing can be fast talking, but viewers should be aware that much of this isn't really essential for the plot, it's about 'flavour'. Go with it.

If you've never seen it, be happy. You've a lot of quality programming ahead of you.

I maintain a calendar of what I consider to be good programmes on google calendar, and you're welcome to share that calendar by clicking on the button shown here. (I don't plan to add the West Wing re-runs here, as I tend just to include 'first time' programmes - but if anyone wants to take it on....)

West Wing Season 7

The excellent West Wing Season 7 is now available for pre-order on Amazon.

The West Wing is a fantastic series (if a bit sentimental at times), and I can highly recommend it, it's well worth watching from the start due to ongoing threads - but with the magic of 'previously on... ' one can pick it up at any point.

Things to note: Don't expect to have to follow all the details, the bit plot arcs are the key thing - I like all the details though!