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Remembering Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip

Interesting column yesterday by LA Times columnist Patrick Goldstein on Aaron Sorkin and the failure of his dramatic series Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip .

Screenwriter and playwright, Aaron Sorkin

I, like Goldstein, am a huge fan of Sorkin's writing. I've seen every episode of The West Wing , many of them twice. I've also seen his new play The Farnsworth Invention , which was workshopped this year at the La Jolla Playhouse . It's now on its way to Broadway, where it deserves a long run.


Sorkin's writing, especially his dialogue, is always dense, witty, and generally builds to grand statements about politics and cultural values. I remember a line of dialogue from a West Wing episode, delivered by the character Toby Zielger , which stated how important it was to have a presidential candidate with "gravitas." I remember wishing the same from our current president, but also realizing Sorkin expected the same from his own writing. There have been times when Sorkin's pursuit of gravitas weighed down his writing, where he would verge on the didactic. But, I was always willing to go along, knowing he was a trusted guide to my imagination.

On a dramatic, one might say horrifying, turn of events, Goldstein reports that NBC evenutally replaced Studio 60 with a reality series featuring real-life wedding crashers . I guess it's safe to say that NBC doesn't care about gravitas these days.

-- Angela Carone produces arts and culture programming for These Days and Culture Lust . Please read our guidelines before posting comments.