What’s Next For TV

Don’t worry no spoilers here. All I will say about the season finale of LOST is that it lived up to the hype that it changes everything. I’m more and more impressed with the creators and writers and even ABC for trusting them to make the show the way they want to make it. There’s also the part of me that is disappointed we won’t pick back up with where we left off until February 08.
One of the great things about Tivo is that I don’t have to be bound to watching TV as it happens. While LOST is one of those shows that I feel necessity to watch while it’s airing…otherwise I’m dodging the internets, newspapers, friends, emails, etc until I get a chance to watch. No other show is like that. And although there was some significant events in the season finale of The Office, I still could have slept alright having not seen it at 7 (AKtime) on Thursday. So, when I heard that NBC canceled Studio 60, but would air the final episodes in the ER slot, I set Tivo to record it. I watched Thursday’s episode last night, and it made me feel two things. The first is that I’m disappointed that NBC didn’t give the show a shot from the start. I hear more and more positive reviews of the show, despite it’s cancellation. The second thing I felt was the loss of the West Wing. If you haven’t seen Studio 60, it’s a show about the cast and crew of a SNL type show created by Aaron Sorkin who created The West Wing. Because it revolves around a show, it can get pretty meta at times. This meta TV was no more evident than this week. On the show within the show, Allison Janney was the guest host, so she was playing herself. Allison Janney played CJ Cregg on The West Wing for 7 seasons, CJ had a relationship with Danny Concannon, played by Timothy Busfield. Timothy Busfield plays Cal, the director of the show within the show (to make things even more confusing, Busfield actually directs several episodes of the show about the show within the show). Although fellow West Winger Bradley Whitford didn’t appear in this episode, Janney made reference to him in the same way she would’ve about Whitford’s West Wing character. Confused yet? I thought Studio 60 had an interesting dynamic to it and the power of that dynamic was made clear ironically in the episode after NBC announced it was canceled. Having fictional characters interact with real life characters is something that can add a degree of depth to a show. Imagine Matt Perry’s character making reference to Friends, or Steven Weber to Wings, or Lucy Davis to the British Office, or even if Nate Torrance’s character talked about doing credit card commercials.

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