I love September.
I think it all stems back to the first day of school when you are a kid. It’s new beginnings. Fresh starts.
And the possiblity of new cute girls in school.
I loved the beginning of the school year in university as well. Reunited with friends you didn’t see all summer. All going out to socialize together.
And the reality of new cute girls all over the place.
Even more important is that September is the start of the new TV season.
Well, I’m not sure if it is more important than new cute girls. But, it’s pretty damn close.
So, last night a couple of new shows premiered. One very good. And one groin-grabbingly bad.
The good was “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip.” The bad was “The Class.”
We should start with “The Class,” because there is every chance that it will be cancelled before I finish this blog post.
To say that the characters are one-dimensional, would be rounding up by at least half a dimension. I realize that it is only a half hour pilot, but there wasn’t a single character that I cared about. Not even a little. And not one of the actors brought anything extra to their characters that would convince me to give the show a second chance.
The only one that is even close to having charisma is Andrea Anders from “Joey.” And she could do little to save that crapfest. Plus, I am reasonably sure that I only like her because she looks like she could be Lauren Graham’s blonde cousin.
We’ve seen all of these characters and scenarios a million times before. And they weren’t funny or interesting then. And when it tried to get serious at the end… Just painful.
The fact that people at CBS actually watched this pilot and still put it on the air is absolutely baffling.
The only possible explanation I can think of, is that creator David Crane parlayed his cachet from creating “Friends” into a big money deal with a guaranteed number of shows to be aired. (Apparently they hadn’t seen “Joey,” “Jesse” or “Veronica’s Closet.”)
There is another creator on “The Class,” but, to be honest, his name already escapes me and his list of credits is no more impressive than yours or mine.
An hour and a half after “The Class” aired, and while the bad taste was still in mouths, “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip” premiered. Despite the awkward title, it was an impressive debut.
As would be expected from Aaron Sorkin, we were introduced to a world that seemed… fully formed. The characters had pasts and relationships with one another. Interesting stories had already started. And we felt like we were in the middle of all of it.
The writing was great. No shock there. I liked that the dialogue wasn’t quite as rapid-fire as we had seen on “The West Wing” and “Sports Night.” I’m not sure if this is by design, or just Sorkin having fewer chemicals in his system.
It’s hard to get too invested in characters in a pilot episode, but Matthew Perry’s character and Amanda Peet’s character both seemed to leap off the screen. And Perry was awesome. At times on “Friends” his “Chandler” was just… too much. His new “Matt Albie” character already seems as if it is going to give him much more to do than just make wisecracks. The character has some depth and darkness to it. I’m predicting a “Best Actor in a Drama” Emmy nomination at some point.
You heard it here first.
I highly recommend watching “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip.” It had a very, very promising start.
Plus, uhm, I’ve read that Lauren Graham will be doing two episodes later this season. I’m just sayin’…