Idol Chatter

I honestly thought that by the seventh episode of producer/writer Aaron Sorkin’s backstage drama “Studio 60,” he might choose to start backing off the over-the-top religious rhetoric of past storylines just a wee bit. Shows you just how much I know. Last night’s episode made clear that Sorkin has no intention of letting up any time soon on dramatizing the conflict–perceived and imagined–between conservative Christians and the Hollywood community.

Yes, in the episode last night “Studio 60” head writer Matt Albie throws Jesus right into the middle of another controversy when he writes a sketch in which Jesus Christ becomes the network standards and practces guy–the person who is responsible for deciding what content makes it on the air and what is inappropriate to say on air. Of course, the network executives want the sketch pulled, but that’s the least of their problems. Harriet has gotten into a confrontation with a gay guy who is upset over her comments in the press about homosexuality. This, in turn, leads to fellow cast member Tom defending her and ultimately winding up in jail in Nevada.

Yep, at every turn in these events, Jesus was in some degree responsible for the action–and last night’s epiosde was only the first episode of a two-parter.

Unlike some of my fellow Idol Chatter bloggers, who love to wax poetic about the show, “Studio 60” for me is rapidly becoming the one show I love to hate. Yes, the show is, without question, unlike anything else on the tube these days. Yes, I still tune in every week brimming with curiousity over who Sorkin will skewer this week–with no regard to the falling TV ratings. But in spite of great acting and some occasionally brilliant moments of dialogue, I am becoming increasingly agitated with the fist-pounding, brow-beating nature of Sorkin’s efforts to dramatize his perspective of the ongoing “culture war” of our society.

Worst of all, Sorkin is beginning to fall back on simplistic answers in his presentation of such issues. In a conversation I can’t actually imagine ever happening in real life, Matt Albie tells ex-girlfriend Harriet that our culture is divided simply because “People like you think that people like me hate people like you. And people like me, well, we hate people like you.” That’s an oversimplisitc, cynical anaylsis not worthy of a Sorkin drama–even if perhaps the point was to show Albie’s great intolerance in the light of Harriet’s tolerance.

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