I saw the first ep on more4 last night. And ....... I thought it was excellent. I know it has had mixed reviews in the States and has been cancelled or put on hiatus or whatever. But it will be required Thursday night viewing for me.
It seems to me that a lot of the negative reviews were to do with the qualityof the comedy routines performed on the 'live show'. There wasn't much of that in the opener anyway but I can't see that bothering me even if it does feature in later episodes. The show isn't about how to make a comedy sketch show in the same way that ER isn't about how to perform a liver transplant.
I think Aaron Sorkin was always on a hiding to nothing with the critics. How do you top The West Wing? And self referential tv with in- jokes and barbed criticisms biting the hand that feeds you makes some, I think, believe that Sorkin is getting too big for his boots. More power to him I say.
He set his stall out in the first five minutes with that brilliant homage to Network. Judd Hirsch's rant was painful, passionate and true. That was Sorkin shooting from the hip.
Dialogue was smart without being smart-alec. Story was a bit predictable but had to be really. The main thing is I want to spend time with these guys. And for me that is always the true test. I was slightly surprised to read it was only the 10th in the channels all time ratings list. That is unfortunate because it gives execs ammunition for that old chestnut that the audience aren't interested in seeing movies and TV about movies and TV.
And a special mention to Heroes, which helped BBC2 wipe the floor with BBC1.
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