Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip

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Miss Alli: C- | Grade It Now!
Raise Your Hand If You're Illiterate

So anyway, Jordan tells Hallie that everybody else had an illiterate programming person, and Jack wanted her to have one too, and Hallie's like "alternative programming," and now you're up to date. Jordan intentionally forces Hallie to eat dirt by saying, "What did I say?" and Hallie very patiently repeats, "Illiterate programming." Jordan non-apologizes, blaming a "Tourette's thing" with a shit-eating grin. At this point, Kevin returns with what first appears to be Jordan's breakfast order, which he only left with thirty seconds ago. But no -- he is bringing another bowl of something, which Jordan explains is what she eats while waiting for food to arrive. Utterly committed to being as dismissive as she possibly can, Jordan now turns her attention from reading to eating so that she doesn't have to appear interested in the conversation with the new VP.

I am so grateful for the sweet, sweet relief of the cut to the writers' room, where Matt is asking Lucy, Darius, and Andy -- the other parts of the show's very realistic four-person writing team -- whether they know a book called The 48 Laws Of Power. Darius says that he does. Andy wants to know what it is. Matt says that it's "a pocket guide to being a leader of a crime organization." Matt reads off a few laws. Darius claims that this book is big "in the hip-hop community," and Matt wonders whether the hip-hop community is aware that all the guy who wrote it has ever done is...well, write a book. Hey, anybody can write a self-help book. Believe me.

Simon comes in at this point and calls Darius out into the hallway. Simon wants to talk to Darius about an idea for a new character out of Fruit Of The Loom -- a militant black African fruit. Whatever, you know what I mean. That's what the character is; I'm not working around you people. Simon tells Darius to tell Matt he wants to work on it. "Okay," Darius says, a little confused. Apparently, as a comedy writer, he doesn't get to decide whether he thinks the idea is...funny? Or something he's interested in? Did Simon become a writer at some point and gain the right to tell Darius what to do? Anyway, Simon walks off, satisfied. Or, really, self-satisfied.

Back in the room, Matt is still looking in the book for the makings of a sketch, maybe about someone who takes the laws of power literally. Darius calls time-out to explain about Simon's militant underwear. Matt asks Darius if he wants to do it, and Darius deflects by asking Lucy if she likes it. She says that she does if Simon does, so Darius sends it over to her to work on. Just then, Suzanne comes in with some papers for Matt to sign. He impatiently waves her over while continuing to read the rules of power. It turns out that what Matt is signing are scripts for a charity auction. But when Matt learns that the auction is for Women United Through Faith, he demands that they be taken away immediately. "Everybody else signed it," Suzanne points out. "'Cause those guys don't ask what it's for," Matt says impatiently. We hear Harriet's impatient voice: "Just sign the damn thing!" She is, of course, standing just outside the door. Matt grabs up the scripts and goes outside to confront her. She points out that he's the one who told her to make up with this group. He tells her that doesn't mean he wants anything to do with them. He's not interested in raising money for them. She says the money is for "teen abstinence awareness -- very dangerous stuff." I suppose she means that sarcastically, although frankly, it is very dangerous stuff, depending on what it is you're telling teenagers. A lot of "pro-abstinence" programs include lots of misinformation overestimating birth control failure rates and so forth as a way to convince teenagers that sex means they'll get pregnant no matter how many condoms they use, so as much as I'm in favor of encouraging teenagers to be very, very careful about when they choose to have sex, I'm also very, very nervous about organized programs thought up by people who don't like giving them birth control information.

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Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip




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