Friday Night Lights and Studio 60

October 4, 2006 at 8:45 pm | Posted in Friday Night Lights, TV News | Leave a comment

I’d read all the great reviews about Friday Night Lights, but I let it sit on my DVR until today. I just wasn’t that anxious to watch fake football in the middle of all the real football going on … but I’m glad I finally got around to it. This show is wonderful.

Looking back, I guess the plot was somewhat predictable, but nothing about it felt predictable. Except for a few overly dramatic lines, everything felt real. And everything was great: the tone, the pacing, the acting, the camera work. I really can’t find a fault with this episode, and I’m definitely going to keep watching.

I’m going to keep watching Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, too, but I have to say, I found the last episode to be a little disconcerting. For one thing, they’re showing us whole sketches. I thought they’d promised not to do that, and I wish they would stop. The sketches that we’ve seen so far are Not Funny, and they make it hard to take the show seriously. Especially that “Science, Schmience” one, which sort of brings me to my next point: religion.

Believe me, I am all for mocking religion; that’s why I’m a South Park fan. But when South Park does it, it’s funny. When Studio 60 does it, it’s mean. In the “Science, Schmience” skit, the point was exposing the illogical beliefs of various religions, with the punchlines being their illogical explanations. Then someone would yell “Science, Schmience,” and the fake audience would laugh. It’s not even a particularly clever way to mock a religion; it’s the most obvious and played-out way. It’s actually, literally stating people’s beliefs, and then laughing at them. I don’t happen to believe in creationism, but I still try not to laugh in people’s faces about it, because I am nice. Aaron Sorkin thinks he can get away with the continued mockery by having a sympathetic Christian character on the show who plays along with the gags, but … it’s basically tokenism. I get that he’s trying to be edgy, but there’s nothing edgy about a soapbox. Get down off the box, Aaron, and write something funny, please.


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