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Studio 60 Lives On (at Least for a Little While)

I love Aaron Sorkin’s new show Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. But it’s not doing so great ratings-wise. That’s what led to reports like this one, calling its cancellation “imminent.” Happily for me and about 7.7 million other people, however, NBC has ordered up nine more episodes, which means that the show (which is very expensive to produce) will at least finish out its maiden season.

I think the show is interesting, clever, funny, tear-jerking, and a few other things. But almost no one I know feels the same — especially the people who work in television, who think it’s trite, bland, melodramatic, confused, and a few other things. I don’t care if they’re right; I happen to like it. I’ve liked Sorkin since I first moved to New York and saw his play A Few Good Men. I was shocked to learn it had been written by someone so young. Nice brains, his.

Anyway … What I really love about Studio 60 is its audio track. As with Sorkin’s monster hit The West Wing, this show has a dense, fast-paced, jargony audio track that actually bears repeated listenings. Since I watch the show mostly on my iPod while traveling, I sometimes will just listen to an episode a second or third time even without watching the image. It’s like listening to a really good radio play. This strikes me as a nice bonus to watching TV shows or movies on the iPod: because you’re listening with headphones, you pick up all sorts of stuff you don’t in a large-screen (and big-speaker) format. Just as Napster and the iPod (may have/sort of) saved the record industry by reminding everyone that people want to hear songs and not albums, it may be that the iPod is also paving the way for all those audioheads in film and TV to finally be properly appreciated for the great work they do.