There’s a contradictory nature in my tastes in storytelling. While I despise the vast majority of romantic stories I see in television or movies, when a truly engaging romance comes along, there are few things I enjoy more. Compare how much I love movies like Annie Hall, (500) Days of Summer, Chasing Amy, and Garden State against how little I cared about the romantic subplots of Lost (except for Desmond and Penny which was well written), the various comings and goings of the Sookie/Eric/Bill love triangle of True Blood, or the plots of any given stale Hollywood romantic comedy, most likely at this point starring Katherine Heigel. I bring this up in relation to Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip because the show has decided to increase the number of romantic plots beyond the incredibly frustrating story of Matt and Harriett to throw in a story between Danny and Jordan, and at the end of the day, they all seem so pointless and unnecessary which is a shame because the actual plots related to the show and TMG have all been top notch.

After the incident in Nevada last disc where Tom got arrested, the crew at Studio 60 only acquire a new set of problems. The two head writers of the program before Matt took over decide to leave Studio 60 to develop a pilot at Fox based off of one of their characters from the show. In the process, those two writers take the entire writing staff of Studio 60 except for Darius and the British girl with them. In the next episode, Matt and the two remaining writers are forced to write several minutes of new material during the show itself when a hostage situation turns deadly and ruins their ability to perform one of their scheduled sketches. After the last show before the Christmas hiatus, the boiling sexual tensions between Harriett and Matt finally come to a head when they share a kiss back stage (mainly so Matt can make Harriett’s new boyriend jealous). TMG gets into hot water when a live report in Afghanistan goes awry after a soldier says the “F” word during the broadcast after an RPG explodes nearby. Jack and Wilson White decide to take the fight straight to the FCC who are trying to fine them $73 million for the incident. Also, Danny realizes he’s in love with Jordan who has just found out she’s pregnant. However, at the moment, she has no interest in pursuing a romantic relationship with Danny for professional reasons.

This will actually be a shorter review for Studio 60 than my normal ones. A) I finished watching the last episode for the disc Friday and I’m only just now getting a chance to review it so I’m obviously a little hazy on the details of the episodes, which I watched over a period of several days. B) I feel like I’ve really hit the various over-arching things I like about the show really well in my last posts which is its political convictions and wicked sharp dialogue. The political storyteling is still on the mark, and my distaste for the FCC is battled here. However, I’m really not happy they’ve been devoting more time to romance than to actual plotting. I would have enjoyed the opportunity to see Danny and Jordan be a couple except now the show has turned Danny into a creepy and obsessive stalker and now that Jordan is pregnant, she’s sort of become a complete twit. She’s absent minded to a mind-numbing degree and her complete inability to handle the ongoing scandals she faces makes you wonder how she ever got her job in the first place. Once again though, Stephen Weber continues to improve week in and week out as Jack and the scenes where he deals with the soldier issue are some of the highlights of the disc.

All in all, this was an entertaining disc of Studio 60. It might not have been quite as great as the first two, but it was still good. Bradley Whitford really makes me want to start watching The West Wing where he was the President’s Chief of Staff (or something like that). Also, Aaron Sorkin’s dialogue is as sharp as ever. I wish that Jordan wasn’t pregnant because she went from being a strong paragon of female empowerment but now she’s a walking stereotype of negative female in the work place cliches. I have one disc left to watch of Dexter (only two episodes actually cause I watched the other two in the interim between watching this series) and then I’ll be able to resume my time with Studio 60 as well as start David Tennant’s final season of Doctor Who. That will be a sad moment.

Final Score: B+