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Fox News - how surprising that a news network for morons by morons should publish this - have released a column by Roger Friedman which quite heavily slams Studio 60:

Lights Go Out on 'Studio 60'
By Roger Friedman
'Studio 60': Say Goodbye To A Sure Thing

"Studio 60" is over. Some news services are reporting that the sets have been struck, others are talking about the new dramas NBC has ordered to replace last May's "sure thing."
Read in full... )

I found that posted to the SunsetTalk Yahoo group, and decided to post a reply; so here it is. (You'd never guess I have fairly strong opinions about getting more intelligence and less Big Brother on TV, would you?)

: But this much is known: On Monday, NBC will formally announce the end, thank God, of "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip."

...and Mr Friedman is delighted to hear it, because he had twenty dollars on it down the bookie's.

: One of the most expensive hours in TV history, "Studio 60" was a goner even before it hit the airwaves. The ill-conceived drama about a comedy sketch show wasn't funny or tense, it was simply annoying.

The sketches weren't funny, I'll grant him that. In fact, the sketches were disastrously tedious. But the show was funny - I guess Sorkin's just better at writing funny when the scenes are supposed to be subtly funny, rather than overt "This bit is funny, you vill all now please laugh".

: Meanwhile, Sorkin and company have cost the network millions that they will never recoup, even on DVD sales that were targeted at weird "West Wing" geeks who tuned in less and less each week.

"Weird West Wing geeks"... Sour grapes, anyone? I guess he just isn't familiar with having to use what he is pleased to call his brain when watching TV - indeed, his whole tirade suggests that his is just the type of "thinking" that leads to the TV being called, in Sweden, "dumburken" - "the idiot box".

Overall, Mr Friedman exemplifies the kind of person the Rev. Spooner might refer to as a shining wit, perfectly reflecting the trend of dumbing down to appeal to the broadest possible demographic by lowering the bar so no fool gets left behind.

You know what? I don't mind leaving fools behind. Some would see intelligent TV as an insult, mocking those who don't understand; these are the fools. Others - and I count myself as one of them - sees things they don't understand as an incentive, a goal to be reached, a reason to learn more.

If I come across a word I don't understand - an unusual occurence these days for this very reason, but it does happen - I don't get angry at the writer. I don't say "Why don't you use language ordinary people can understand?" - I get one of my dictionaries out and look it up. Knowledge, education, erudition; they're not bad things, they're ideals to be aspired to. Those who sneer at education aren't doing it out of some misplaced sense of nobility or folksiness, they're doing it out of embarrassment.

But here's the point: Ignorance isn't cause for embarrassment. It's not a valid excuse for complacency. It's a challenge to become better.

Some people become reverse snobs, wallowing in their ignorance and dullness, praising those who strive toward mediocrity. Others delight in knowledge, in erudition, in the joy of curiosity, and use those qualities to entice others to join them. And they will always be resented by the self-satisfied dullards who are too frightened to try to better themselves.


And that, M'lud, is why self-satisfied dullards shouldn't be allowed to control TV programming.

The prosecution rests.


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