|05:31 am - New Google Alert Concerning Cheno and Aaron|
Studio 60: Recap of “The West Coast Delay”
Aaron Sorkin must’ve gotten home late the day they aired the after-school special, “So Daddy Steals A Little.” It offered a life lesson that has caused a stir both within this week’s episode of Studio 60 and surrounding the making of the show: Don’t take what doesn’t belong to you.
Confused? You’re not alone. Even if you weren’t lucky enough to find yourself a bomb shelter in time to avoid the bombardment of such couplings as Brangelina, TomKat and Vaughniston, you probably never came across an US Weekly with “Sorkinoweth” emblazoned on the cover. Or was it “Chenorkin?”
Back when West Wing was the smartest show on television, show writer Sorkin had a 10-month relationship with actress Kristin Chenoweth. The bubbly Broadway and Tony-winning performer best known for her portrayal as the good witch in Wicked played Annabeth Schott on the White House show.
Fast-forward to today, and Kristin, who just so happens to be a born-again Christian, is pretty peeved. She didn’t get the memo that although she’s not a Studio 60 cast member, she’s in just about every episode. Apparently, arguments between her and her now-ex-bf are the -- sometimes verbatim -- inspiration for the trysts between Harriet Hayes (Chenoweth) and Matt Albie (the modest and humble Sorkin).
The lesson in all this? Behind every good Sorkin is an angry, God-fearing woman who deserves some credit. Oh, and stealing is wrong.
LESSON 1: There’s no such thing as an original idea. It’s Thursday in the writer’s room, and Ricky and Ron are responsible for a mere 90 seconds of tomorrow’s show. A fist slams. A table shakes. A British woman mumbles inaudibly. And then, it happens. Hal, who is normally not funny, provides fodder for a “News 60” segment. Oddly, the fodder -- how kids today are dyslexic or have ADD but back in the day when we walked uphill both ways to school, kids were just stupid -- isn’t all that funny. Haven’t we all, at one time or another, heard our respective Crazy Uncle Manny yell something to that effect?
Ripped from the Headlines: Sorkinoweth and the baseball bat. Harriet, in an attempt to gain closure, offers Matt an olive branch slash baseball bat. The bat, signed by a major league pitcher, has his phone number on it, and Harry pulls the whole “I had no idea this seemingly innocent bat is really a used cocktail napkin” card and stormed off. After calling him a Northeastern Jewish Liberal Atheist. Good closure.
In an attempt to counter-offer a stiletto for the bat, Matt heads around the corner to see the “Bombshell Babies.” (As clever as Sorkin is, you’d think he’d come up with a better name for the Pussycat Dolls.) He gets one of the women of the night to sign her high-heel boot with her number. Before it’s too late, he realizes -- much like we all do -- that taking someone’s shoe is lame and just not done.
LESSON 2: Never trust a reporter. Jordan introduces Danny and friends to Martha (played by guest star Christine Lahti), a reporter for Vanity Fair who’s working on a story about the SWAS (show-within-a-show) and needs full access. She gets it, partially because one of her affluent readers -- yes, you with the entire year’s subscription stacked on your coffee table… you’re cultured… we get it already! -- is worth five “average” viewers of the show. And partially because she’s gone all Boobs McGee.
The show goes on and goes well. We get a smidgen of Harriet as Juliette Lewis on Meet the Press. We don’t, however, get a host or musical guest this go-around. As it winds down, Martha does her journalistic duty and scours the internet for information. After she read up on the latest from TV Cocktail (natch), she found some real-time feedback on the night’s show including some solid proof (a Laugh Factory video from a year ago) that the 90-second sketch from the writer’s room was plagiarized. Hal, Hal, Hal.
Because the show is on a tape-delay, Danny decides to replace the stolen material with something, say, not stolen before it airs in the West Coast.
Ripped from the Headlines: Chenorkin and the suit of armor. Matt, who must have a thing for Juliette Lewis impressions, decides he’s going to take a stand with Harriet. But naturally, the baseball pitcher beats him to first base. Matt catches the two kissing in her dressing room. As Matt tries for a subtle escape, he collides with a suit of armor. Oh, the metaphor. If only he had his own suit of armor to protect himself from the pain of unrequited love. Sigh. Poor Chandler.
Lucky for everyone, that scene’s cut short as Danny plans the attack: Harriet and Simon will perform the “News 60” segment again. They’ll try to find the comedian, Lenny Gold, behind the original bit and get him to perform the segment for the West Coast audience. If Lenny doesn’t turn up, Matt will write a new 90 seconds, including an explanation and apology for all the thievery. And of course, now’s the time to be concerned that the show gets genuine laughs, so in lieu of a laugh track, all the big wigs (Danny, Jordan and even Martha) throw down some Andrew Jacksons so that the staff can go out and bribe random passersby -- who, apparently at this late hour in L.A., are gang members, prostitutes and circus members -- to join the studio audience.
LESSON 3: The only thing worse than stealing is snitching. Danny throws Ricky (or was it Ron) up against a wall and demands to know who stole the jokes. “We’re no rats,” they say in unison. They proceed to smoke cigars and fiddle with their pinky rings.
Meanwhile, Simon goes live with an apology.
Ricky and Ron approach Matt with their “what happens in the writer’s room stays in the writer’s room” alibi. Hal’s dry heaves begin to subside. Just then, word comes in that Lenny Gold stole the bit too. He got it from one Benjamin Barkley. Matt and Danny decide to break into the West Coast feed again, this time because they attributed the joke to the wrong thief. Just then again, word comes in that Benjamin Barkley actually wrote for Studio 60 for a year. He wrote the aforementioned hardly funny “kids are stupid” joke while he worked for the SWAS. Studio 60 owned it the whole time. Third time’s the charm as they break in again with, “This is not the comedy we intended to do when the week began.” Yeah, like the Bloods in the audience are going to laugh at that.
LESSON 4: Don’t steal what ain’t worth stealing. Funny that in all the time that’s passed between Ben Barkley’s tenure at Studio 60 and this new crop of comedic gems, they’re still using the same crappy material.
But at least it wasn’t stolen from their girlfriend. Ahem, Aaron.
Martha the Reporter digs deeper.
Lauren Graham hosts… or so the rumor mill would like us to believe.
The Sorkinoweth drama continues: Will two broken hearts get back together?