Letters to Holly

Wednesday, August 1

Studio 86'd

The weather was much nicer yesterday, and Kempas was in a proportionately better mood as well. I took care of the animals and the house fairly quickly. Your Sis made a steak-and-potatoes dinner using some of our homegrown taters.

We inhaled the rest of the poundcake while watching the first of our TiFauxed Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip episodes. We have about 10 to go. The show took a definite new turn once it was obvious that ratings were not going to rocket up to the level commiserate with all the hype and budget the show enjoyed. This second block of shows is all about romantic comedy subplots instead of broadcasting strategies, and this is obviously a tact to draw in female viewers. Then again, if you're romantic leads are Josh from West Wing and Chandler Bing, it's not likely you'll pull in piles of dreamy-eyed gals. Not when they have to compete against Dr. McDreamy for romantic/professional series hunks.

I dug the show muchly. Great cast, great writing, great premise, and, most important, great pacing. You have to pay attention, and pop-culture geeks were rewarded with shotgun blasts of allusions and references. This may be why the show floundered, not the scheduling or show-biz focus. This wasn't a background-noise show, and 10 p.m. may have been too late in the evening for the mainstream audience to lock onto a lightning-banter series. The network scuttled its chances by providing two similar shows, along with 30Rock, and viewers clearly chose the lighter, goofier show. I haven't seen it.

Your Sis doesn't share my infatuation with Studio 60; she vocally derides Amanda Peet's lack of range at every commercial break. And she's right. But Peet has real purty hair, so I cut her some slack. The show makes me laugh out loud, and I genuinely like all the cast members. No one distracts me with their shtick. On the contrary, the fake skit show's cast are all genuinely funny people.

Sarah Paulson, who played the religious Harriet Hayes, should be on SNL and headlining. She routinely busted out impersonations worthy of a late-night series (Holly Hunter, Nancy Grace, Juliette Lewis). It's quite amazing: A series revolving around a skit show with an impossibly gifted comedienne actually found such a performer. I have a theatre crush on her.

The whole series comes out on DVD in October, and I'll probably buy it even if we do finish the series within weeks of it hitting the shelves.

Picture of the Day
Hot nuns.

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