Aaron Sorkin is writing a new show, for HBO. Read all about right here (from TV Guide’s Scott Huver). This has me excited in a way that I haven’t felt about an upcoming TV show, since the production of Studio 60 was announced in early 2006. Not to mention that I think Sorkin could really shine on HBO, where language and subject matter won’t necessarily be hindered by the sanitized restrictions of “safe harbor” programming. No date or even a rumor of an ETA has been announced for the premiere, but rest assured I’ll be among the many who tune it to see the next chapter of Sorkin’s career unfold. (more…)
Yesterday’s prompt was about Guilty Pleasures, and I missed that one, so I’m going to take care of that with tonight’s post.
When I think of what I consider to be a guilty pleasure is something that I like but I’m embarrassed to admit. The problem with that is that I’m unabashed at proclaiming my fandoms.
If I did have a guilty pleasure, I think it might be my inability to pass on anything related to Doctor Who. Most everyone knows about my Trek fandom, but what they might not understand is that I was less vocal about having watched most of Tom Baker’s Fourth Doctor when I was a kid growing up on PBS stations here in the Bay Area. Tom Baker was MY Doctor. And you never forget the first Doctor you watch on the screen. For a six year old, watching this guy bandy about the screen with a robotic dog was pretty much the beginning of a childhood memory that’s lasted to this day in the form of the Ninth and Tenth, to the current Eleventh Doctor. Also, for the record, I think that I watch Doctor Who more for Amy than I do the Doctor, though I still love the Doctor… but damn, dude. Have you seen Amy (Karen Gillan)? I haven’t had a crush on a companion this hard since Billie Piper’s Rose Tyler (Ninth and Tenth Doctors) and of course, Elizabeth Sladen’s Sarah Jane Smith (Third and Fourth Doctors). I need to locate a really good picture of her so I can just show you how awesome she is. Hang on a sec, Google Images has not failed me. Let’s pop that in there, and there. This post has now surpassed awesome for that picture, alone. I could stop writing right now (but I’m not going to).
One of the things that I’m grateful for with my recent resurgence of my Who fandom is the fact that I can actually share one of my fandoms with my wife. Which is something I haven’t really been able to do. She doesn’t like Star Trek or Babylon 5, The West Wing or Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, and our tastes in anime make it nigh possible to find any but a handful of series that she and I will both enjoy. Our television watching had dwindled a lot lately, and I think the last time we’d watched anything together was due to the World Series and before that, the National League Championship Series. But we’d really failed to connect lately with something non-sports, so it was really nice to be able to share that with her. When you find a bit of a rift between you and your partner on some of your deeper passions in life, it’s great to find those few things and really hang onto them as much as possible. Though, I doubt she’s has passionate as I am… and she’s more into Matt Smith and David Tennant than Karen Gillan (of course).
Of course, Doctor Who isn’t something I’m ashamed to admit that I love it. I think it’s just been kind of a well-kept secret due to the fact that I had largely ignored the recent revival from the BBC. I had caught the pilot episode with Christopher Eccelston and Billie Piper when the SciFi Channel (not Syfy) premiered it a couple of years ago. Problem was that I kind of watched it and felt like it didn’t really capture me as much as Tom Baker had. If anything, I kind of felt like Ninth Doctor was a bit too Hell’s Angels for me to really like him and so I walked away and never really went back until one day when I was at work this year. I was on instant messenger talking about old Who, and he was raving about Tenth Doctor. He sent me a YouTube link that I will gladly share with you in a moment, but when I saw it, I was more than intrigued. I wanted more. So I found out that on Netflix, they had all four series of Doctor Who, plus the specials.
I devoured the first series and I was actually sad to see the Ninth Doctor go, but after I saw the Christmas special with the Tenth, I was immediately taken with Tennant’s portrayal of my favorite Time Lord. Plus, I was happy that Rose was sticking around for another series, at least. She was a strong character, and I happen to like strong female characters. When she left the show, though, it was a pretty devastating way to go. Even my wife thought it was sad. I will admit to shedding some tears, because I thought it was sad and a little too final for such a great character. But it was far more dramatic than some of the other companions’ departures. The Doctor literally dumped Sarah Jane in the middle of nowhere, and Leela just left. And then even with the Seventh Doctor, Mel just up and decided to go with Glitz and she shoved Ace into the fray (Ace was my last favorite companion before Rose). Anyway, I will digress…
Before I go, I want to leave you with a final video that kind of defines the series for me. It’s a compilation of all the themes and the Doctors, though it’s kind of aged and doesn’t include the Eleventh. Enjoy, and I’ll talk to you more tomorrow!
Did you know that I’ve never seen all of Studio 60? This is because toward the end of the season, I wanted to hold off from experiencing the letdown of a series being canceled just as it was getting good. And this isn’t the first time that I’ve experienced this kind of entertainment pain. I endured it with Sports Night, although having to endure the abysmal middle of the second season (which I forgave Aaron Sorkin for because he was getting the West Wing off the ground at the same time), I’m dreading getting to What Kind of Day Has it Been for the same reason I dreaded getting to Quo Vadimus [Sports Night’s finale] and Tomorrow [West Wing finale]). Anyone else feel this way?
At least I got seven seasons of the West Wing… well, six and a half, not counting the crappy fifth season post-Sorkin, where John Wells tried to do a stupid-ass meld of ER and West Wing by removing pretty much all the great dramatic themes that Sorkin and Schlamme put together for the first four seasons. I was kind of hoping to find out that Sorkin would return to the show at some point, especially when they announced that it was going to be the last one…
But, I digress.
I know some don’t really like Studio 60, but there’s more to it than simply being a show-within-a-show. Sports Night was similar but it wasn’t until they found their groove in the second season that I thought Sports Night could run with a heavy like the West Wing, with the multiple episode arcs and the threat of cancellation (plot, not reality) of the show. I even liked the parting shot from the guy who buys the network, “If someone can’t make money off of Sports Night, they need to get out of the money-making business.” Great line. I miss Natalie and Natalie World.
Studio 60 didn’t really get much of a chance to show us what it could do in the long-term. I haven’t quite completed the whole season, yet, as I’m slowly making my way back through the episodes I’ve already watched… to kind of try and get back into that mood of buildup, y’know? I want to savor the very first time I see these episodes so I don’t take it for granted, given that eventually I will reach the end and look back with regret, wishing I could watch them all again for the first time.
Oh well. I hope this isn’t the last we see of Shoe Money Productions. I hope we get another opportunity to enjoy Sorkin’s wit on the small screen.
In anticipation of the premiere of Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip next Monday night, I have changed my LJ layout accordingly. Leave some sort of supportive comment, because you know you love Aaron Sorkin as much as I do!
The latest Sorkin creation, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, was released today by NBC as a DVD. I’m looking for it, and if you have Netflix, then put the DVD in your queue. It won’t disappoint you.
There shall be two Studio 60 fans in my household, I don’t care if I have to buy a cat and make it watch with me.