Friday, August 17, 2012


(This was originally going to be a bullet point post, but my first bullet got a little out of hand. So . . . the rest of the bullets will have to wait for another day.)

So, everyone knows how much I love Sports Night, right? (If you don't, just trust me . . . I do.) I was obsessed with it when it aired, back when I was in high school. And I immediately bought the series when it was released on DVD, at some point in college. However, much as I love it, it still remains the only Aaron Sorkin show that I've ever watched. I never got into The West Wing. I never watched Studio 60 (a little shocking because it's Aaron Sorkin AND Chandler Bing . . . I mean, Matthew Perry). And as I currently don't even have regular TV let alone premium channels, I'm unable to check out The Newsroom.

Anyway, I decided to get the first season of WW from my library. And I watched the first couple episodes. And . . . then I stopped. It's not that it's not good. It is good. And it's very typically Sorkin (like I'm some kind of expert, never having seen most of his work). And I'm sure that I would enjoy it. But this is not a show that I'm going to be able to just whip through. It's a little too intense for me, and not what I need right now. I'd still like to watch through the whole thing eventually, but it's going to be a slow process.

The one thing I noticed right away, though, was how familiar Allison Janney -- the woman who plays C.J., the press secretary -- looked to me. I looked her up online, knowing how Sorkin likes to work with the same actors, thinking maybe she'd guest starred on SN, or possibly was in The American President. (Quick aside: I also LOVED The American President. So you'd think that I'd love The West Wing with the same enthusiasm. But, there's a huge difference between a 2-hour movie and a seven-season television show, or even a single season of a television show.)

Anyway, what I was recognizing her from . . . she played Ms. Perky, the erotica-writing guidance counselor from 10 Things I Hate About You, another fantastic movie. Obviously in a much different way than The American President.

One of the reasons that I opted to set aside WW for now (and in all honesty I probably shouldn't have even attempted to start watching it in the first place), is that I'm slowly making my way through Stargate: Universe. Again, this is a pretty heavy show that I can't just watch one after another after another. It's not even one that I watch an episode a day. But, the past couple weeks I have started watching an occasional episode here and there, picking up from where Pat and I left off when we tried watching it after he finished introducing me to the previous two series, Stargate: SG-1 and Stargate: Atlantis.

The thing about SG:U is that it is VERY different from the other series in the franchise. There are little differences between SG-1 and SG:A, but the overall feel of the two shows are very similar. It isn't really drama or comedy. It's an adventure show, that happens to have occasional funny and serious moments.

SG:U isn't funny. It clearly isn't meant to be. It's all serious, all the time (except for the occasional moment from Eli, which is probably why he's the only character I really like . . . not that I DISlike the others, I'm just rather indifferent toward most of them). And that's fine, if it doesn't want to be funny. But with the other shows, even when they weren't funny, they were still fun. SG:U isn't really fun. And so, it doesn't really feel like Stargate. It's a fine show, but it might have done better as a stand-alone. I realize then it wouldn't have been the same show, because you'd have to take away the Stargates and the other stuff that carried over and replace it all with different but similar technology. But, because it's so different, it might have done a better job finding an audience if it wasn't attached to the Stargate name.

Anyway . . . I guess I just can't handle watching more than one drama at a time. Dramas aren't typically my thing anyway. I mean I guess you could say that Castle is a drama, but it still has its funny moments. Comic drama. Dramedy. Whatever you want to call it. From the little WW I watched, it would be a stretch to put it in the same category. It has its little Sorkinese quips, but I'd put it closer to the drama end of the spectrum.

(For the record, before I actually sat down to write, that first bullet point was originally going to be, "I just watched my first episode of The West Wing the other day, and the actress who plays C.J. was also Ms. Perky from 10 Things I Hate About You. Wasn't she a kooky character?" Not that I'm disappointed in the direction the post ended up taking. Just another fine example of my tendency to over-explain things.)

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