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Thursday February 22, 2007 1:12 am

Studio 60 Devolves into West Wing Reruns




Posted by Rob Stevens Categories: Comedy, NBC, West Wing, The, Editorial

I’m a Sorkin fan. I thought The West Wing was one of the best shows on TV while Sorkin was still running it, and a great deal of my knowledge of how our government works (or should ideally work) came from that show. One of the things I’ve liked about Studio 60 was just how much like The West Wing it was in pacing and writing style. Even some of the actors were the same, people who’ve proven to be able to handle the way Sorkin writes. Hell, the title of the episode is in the same font.

Studio 60 stopped being similar to The West Wing last night, and practically turned into a rerun.

In the first five minutes of last night’s episode, Sorkin managed to reuse at least three different lines that I clearly remember from The West Wing. First, the phrase “we’re nowhere”, which was used frequently in Sorkin’s White House to describe the state when all of your progress had just brought you right back to square one. Next, when Matt Albie tells his assistant to go home, and she says, “I go home when you go home,” it was lifted right out of an identical conversation between Josh Lyman (played by Bradley Whitford, also on Studio 60) and Donna Moss.

And in case you didn’t remember where those had come from, Sorkin reminds you right before the opening titles ... when the lawyer in a sexual harassment suit walks into the room declaring that she was from GaugeWhitney ... the same fictional law firm that Rob Lowe’s character was from on The West Wing.

I really don’t think it’s possible for someone to rip themselves off. They’re still your own original ideas, you just had them earlier. But Sorkin certainly pushed that line, and he’ll be lucky if he didn’t just push this show off the network schedule in the process.

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