Sunday, December 03, 2006

The (Far) West Wing

Tomorrow night is the sixth (or maybe seventh) episode of Aaron Sorkin and Thomas Schlamme's follow-up to "The West Wing," the Emmy-winning hit that ran for seven seasons on NBC. "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip" is not being received as warmly by audiences (or by some critics) as "The West Wing" was, but I for one am a fan. Enough of one to encourage you to watch the show. I think what I like best about the show is what I liked best about "The West Wing": it's inspiring. It's about a group of people who care very deeply about what they do and want to do it as well as can possibly be done. It's a goal I, too, strive for --but achieve must less often than I'd like.

Unfortunately, not enough people agree with me and the show may not last into a second season. I'm not sure why it's not doing well in the ratings; it has a popular lead-in show "Heroes," which I have never watched) and it's smart and funny and talks about important things. Actually, I may have just explained why it is in danger of cancellation -- it's TOO smart. There's a lot going on in this show: social satire, occasionaly slapstick comedy, romance, rapid-fire banter. To get the most from this show, you need a broad cultural knowledge, a decent vocabulary and a fair amount of attention. Let's face it, it's a demanding 40 minutes (sans commercials, thanks to DVR) -- but a rewarding one. Tune in.

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