Tales of a Television Idealist

Why Sorkin’s Studio 60 is not only pleasing to the eye – it’s a glimmer of hope

By: Daniel Zaiontz

“IT’S NOTHING BUT REHASHED WEST WING,” says Diana Earle as she fervently types a response to me on instant messenger. Not one to regularly resort to Caps Lock when making her points, Diana is clear in terms of where she stands when it comes to matters of Sorkin.

“This is just horrible,” she writes the next Sunday of my new favourite show.
“It’s not!!!” I respond, with an impassioned plea. Three exclamation marks being the universal sign of “impassioned plea” in the instant message universe.

You see, challenging Diana in the arena of television’s “Hot or Not” game is not a task, I would ever choose lightly. As regular readers of this blog know, Earle knows her TV.

And yet, sometimes the television elitist needs to realize that the simpleton has a say too.

I am not an elitist, no. I, Daniel Zaiontz am a television idealist. And that is why I love Studio 60.

Call me naïve, call me what you will, but when American commercial television leaves its viewers with such titillating options as Two and a Half Men, and Reba, the viewing subject is forced to take a stand. And that’s what watching Studio 60 means to me. It’s a vote for something – anything – that isn’t bland, meaningless, empty crap.

This might just be the old bitter Jewish man(tvdork note: HE’S 21) in me talking but, I grew up with television like Roseanne (save for its last season), Sisters (no, I’m not gay), That 80’s Show (just kidding) – Sports Night, M.A.S.H, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Cheers, Seinfeld – television that at the very least made me feel something. Anything. Characters, with depth, and emotion. Stories about ethics, and morality. Writing with quick wit. Shows shot with live studio audiences, not laugh tracks (damn you, first few episodes of Sports Night) and writing that was not nearly as contrived as your prototypical episode of…I don’t know…The War at Home.

A vote for Studio 60 is a vote against crap. It’s television that may just be rehashed West Wing but it’s equally, better than any other filler you could be watching on your Sunday Nights (or Monday nights for you Americans).

Maybe, I’m just a simpleton. Maybe I know less about TV, than Diana, but I do know what I like. An attempt, even if it fails to provide audiences with programming of an IQ level, above that of a Neanderthal. Sorkin’s Studio 60 is at the very least – an attempt, albeit, one that appears to be failing to raise the bar above the stench of Charlie Sheen and whether he can score a date and baby-sit his nephew in the span of 22 minutes.

Studio 60 may be a colossal failure. It may even be rehashed West Wing, but it’s all I have left. And it’s worth another look.


1 Response to “Tales of a Television Idealist”

  1. 1 Cekil1
    February 18, 2007 at 2:50 am

    Thank you! I’m glad someone actually likes the show as much as I do. I guess we’re just easy to please.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Hey There!

This blog will gradually grow as I have more time to update it. I love television, movies and pretty much all things media related. So prepare for changes as this is very much still a work in progress. Questions or further comments? Email tvdork.


TV Dork (Publisher/Editor)
Soapbox26 (Guest Columnist)


%d bloggers like this: