Despite the qualified praise I recently bestowed on "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip", I'm dropping the show from my fall lineup. The past two episodes were perhaps the most self-indulgent, patronizing, implausible 120 minutes of television I've ever forced myself to suffer through. And I've watched a lot of TV in my time, my friends.
When I say that "Studio 60" talks down to its audience, I don't mean like an impatient teacher talks down to a student who is slow to absorb an obvious lesson; nor do I mean the way Democratic nominees for president talk down to voters. This show talks down to its viewers the way a nursing home attendant talks down to a 90-year-old who thinks Ike is still president; the way some Americans talk down to foreigners who don't speak English; the way I've heard cashiers at Giant Eagle talk down to the retarded kid who's bagging groceries for them. After-school specials had more nuance and subtlety than this show.
It's a really shame, too, because there is a lot of talent, a lot of good individual performances, being wasted while Aaron Sorkin tries to teach his audience a few ham-fisted lessons about the poor quality of prime time television (Knock-knock. Who's there? Irony. Irony who?), the lack of creative freedom in this country (Hell, someone keeps letting Sorkin make TV shows) and the fact that U.S. troops in the Middle East don't have enough body armor. (Don't ask.)