Friday, November 17, 2006

TV: Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip

Okay, there's a whole, giant post I could write about how Studio 60 has, since its terrific pilot episode, systematically and increasingly irritated and alienated me in every way possible with each successive episode, to the point now that, where I was once ready to call it the best new show of the season, I am now convinced it is the worst new show of the season. This isn't that post. There's also another post that should be written, examining why I still seem to be watching it. (Why, for crying in the night, why??) That's not happening today, either.

Instead, I just want to ask two quick questions about last Monday's episode, "Nevada Day Part II." These are two things which, from this vantage point, don't make a lick of goddam sense. Not one god damned bit of sense at all. But maybe I missed something. Maybe I'm just dense. Maybe these were brilliant plot points that you can help me grok. Because as they stand, they just make me want to shout angrily at my TV. (More than usual.)

1. Why did the judge played by John Goodman let Tom and Simon go, again? Tom had a bracelet on his wrist that, what, identified himself as the brother of a soldier in Afghanistan? Or was it his brother's bracelet? A military ID bracelet? Does that even exist? Is that the new thing, instead of dogtags? And does that mean Tom's brother was killed in action? And what does this have to do with why Tom was speeding at 120 MPH? And why does this mean the judge also dropped Simon's felony possession charge? (Sorry, that was like a dozen questions, not one.)

2. What in the holy fuck was Harriet talking about at the end of the show? She's responding to Matt comparing the oppression of blacks with the oppression of gays. She denies that the two can be compared. And to prove her point, she says this:
Black people have been living openly for 400 years, gay people have only been living openly for 30 years.
What the? What does that even mean?!? Black people didn't exist more than 400 years ago? Or that black people somehow disguised their color throughout history? With masks, perhaps? Or makeup? Is she suggesting that blacks "living openly" began when Europeans started enslaving them and shipping them to North America? Also, is she saying no people ever identified themselves as gay prior to 1976? Or that fear and hatred of homosexuals didn't exist more than 30 years ago? Like, say, just throwing out one example off the top of my head, when Hitler persecuted them and forced them to wear pink triangles? Please, please, someone explain this to me. Because otherwise it would appear that Aaron Sorkin -- via one of his characters, speaking with 100% earnestness, as though she were saying something truthful and meaningful -- has authored the single most idiotic statement in the history of mankind.

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