Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Aaron Sorkin: What a dick!

"TV has a very measurable effect on our national mood. When TV gets bitchy and pissy, you find Americans getting bitchy and pissy too."

Aaron Sorkin had one of the most anticipated and big-budgeted series of the past season with Studio 60 On The Sunset Strip, and with comic actors like DL Hughley of Cloud 9 and Matthew Perry among the ensemble cast, the West Wing creator with the druggie-hooker tabloid past seemed to have a no-brainer hit on his hands.

Until it premiered. Because with its dreary dark colors, soapbox speechifying, desperate flailing between social issues and screwball stage comedy--and a disconnect from the world it supposedly portrayed (see Rescue Me or Ugly Betty for cool fakes of backstage reality)-- the show was a dud from the start.

Even so, Studio 60 was our favorite bad show of the past year (NBC, feel free to use this for the DVD: "Our favorite bad show of the season! -- Tabloid Baby).

At one point, he even blamed bloggers for his bomb, but now that NBC gave him the honor of filming the remainder of the series after it was shitcanned, and he's got a Tom Hanks flick and three-picture script deal with Dreamworks, it's safe for Sorkin to take the blame himself.

And according to today's LA Times, Sorkin takes the blame for 'Studio 60'. At least in the headline. Because if you read the article, you'll see that he blames the tabloids-- and the audience!

According to the Times, "Sorkin sat down for the first time since Studio 60's cancellation to discuss the perils of failing in public and navigating a media universe where it's increasingly hard to tell if you are being judged by your work or simply by your celebrity persona."

Among his quotes:

"I don't know how to emphasize this enough that I'm not disappointed or upset with anyone but myself. There are only two possible reasons for Studio 60 failing-- it was either my fault or it was just one of those things. On some shows, you can make mistakes and still survive. But with this one, I made too many mistakes for it to survive."

"When all everyone does is try to draw personal connections between your characters and real people, you're not really watching a play or a TV show anymore. It becomes a tabloid experience."

"There were too many people looking at this show like it was the cover of Abbey Road. It was never an autobiographical show. I'm a lot more than a recovering cocaine addict. Jordan McDeere and (former short-term ABC programmer) Jamie Tarses had one letter of the alphabet in common. It was really a lot of silliness."

"I can flat-out guarantee that Phil (Rosenthal of Everybody Loves Raymond) was writing autobiographical stories in his show, but for some reason people just aren't caught up in the gossip of his life. It's just unhealthy. After the Fall is a better play if you don't know that Arthur Miller and Marilyn Monroe were married. It doesn't enhance the experience of seeing the play if you're being a detective, always looking for clues. You only see the writing through a filter that takes you out of the actual story."

"TV has a very measurable effect on our national mood. When TV gets bitchy and pissy, you find Americans getting bitchy and pissy too."

Hey, if the show was any good, the autobiographical stuff would only make it more appealing. We'd say that the failings of Studio 60 had little to do with autobiography or interest in Sorkin's life. Dick.


Anonymous said...

Sorkin's characters are bitchy, preachy and pissy. Studio 60 wasn't the right setting for his language. West Wing thrived on it.

Anonymous said...

I'm with the preceding "anonymous." And I'll add that the two male lead characters were self-conscously smart and ironic, like Sorkin, I guess. Annoying.