Then during a heated exchange between the show's current producer Wes Mendell (Judd Hirsch) and a Standards & Practices guy, you are reminded why the first few seasons of West Wing were so good: Rapid fire dialogue that is both witty but not so overly technical that the layman gets lost. Wes Mendell, having been humiliated by Standards and Practices, hijacks the "live" show to deliver a Chayefskyian screed that accuses the network of lobotomizing television because they are afraid of nutty religious cults. This speech is also an example of excellent television writing.
The cast is phenomenal. Totally an ensemble group, Schlamme and Sorkin are playing with a deep bench! Bradley Whitford, Matthew Perry, and Amanda Peat seem to be the triumvirate that will 'run' the sketch comedy show. These three 'leads' exhibit a wonderful chemistry. Perry manages to be snarky and sweet without rehashing a previous "well-established" character. Whitford is the quiet , strong guy whose rough past and self-destructive tendencies simmer beneath the surface. Peat plays a mogul who feels that commercial success and artistic integrity are not mutually exclusive and has the talent to walk the fine line between them.
Fans of the West Wing should really pay attention to this show. Writing like this should be rewarded, and I sincerely hope that Studio 60 has a long and healthy career.
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