After a busy press conference in which Danny reveals his drug test secret and a Christian whacko magazine lets the "Crazy Christians" cat out of the bag, Matt and Danny get to the business of putting their first episode together. Matt is essentially paralyzed by fear, and also by the giant clock in Wes's old office counting down to the 11:30-on-Friday armageddon. They both decide to hang the threat of firing over the writers and actors as a motivation tactic, with Danny being particularly charming in blowing off Simon's concerns. Jordan, meanwhile, has to deal with the "Crazy Christians" fallout, in the form of affiliates and advertisers pulling out, and which includes a thorough skewering of the Little Rock-Pine Bluff market. Matt's big idea to open the show is a giant, not-that-funny musical number which gives a verbal reach-around to Gilbert and Sullivan. Harriet flips out when she hears Matt has been spending time with cast member Jeannie, even though none of the three of them are dating any of the others at the present time. Danny and Simon clear the air about why Danny left four years ago and Simon didn't. And the show opens operatically and with a relative minimum of protest and boycott, considering. We still don't get to see "Crazy Christians" and maybe never will. Oh, and Aaron Sorkin would like you to stop dressing like a slob, okay? Whether you're sitting around a writers' room or blogging from underneath a mountain of your own cats, you fat loser.
After a quick flash of the show logo and a title card, we plunge into this episode like W.S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan plunged into writing The Mikado in 1884. Just to put it in terms we'll all understand. Jordan is answering questions at an NBS press conference. This would be the Monday noon press conference Jordan was talking about last week. After brushing off some questions about how she's a highly-ranked female exec, questions turn to her actual job. She says that she has three criteria for upcoming shows for the development season: "Do I like it? Would my parents like it? If I had kids, would I let them watch it?" She says if the answer to any of those questions is "yes," she'll put that show on the air, and if the answer to all three questions is "no," she won't put it on. You mean she won't air a show that alienates old people, is inappropriate for kids, and she doesn't even believe in herself? Way to handcuff yourself, lady. She brushes off some more questions about NBS and their reaction to Wes's comments -- including a jab at FOX that even Jordan's parents would think was old and creaky.
In an NBS corridor, Danny is watching Jordan speak on a monitor, while Matt paces and harangues Danny for letting him sleep the Vicodin out of his system over the weekend. "I needed to write," says Matt. "I lost a whole day." Danny, who I'm starting to suspect is taking well to being the boss of everyone, says that Matt needed to rest, and he'll be making several more judgment calls for Matt down the line. Ah, the alpha-male as cocky know-it-all. Welcome home, Bradley Whitford. Matt also wishes Danny wouldn't have sent "Jeannie" home with him, saying she spent the weekend at his house. Danny says that someone needed to take care of him, but Matt's all distraught about Harriet. "She doesn't know that I...." Have a frustrating inability to finish sentences? Matt stops himself cold and transitions from freaking out about the girl he refused to reconcile with last week and into freaking out about the show they have to put on live TV in five days and aside from "Dick and Dick" (that'd be Ricky and Ron), he doesn't even know anyone on the writing staff. Danny, who has been paying Matt maybe a third of his attention throughout this scene, says that Jordan's doing pretty good out there. Matt says Studio 60 is all over talk radio, which I can believe, because Wes brought up broadcast standards, and those are a big deal on talk radio. He says someone from Toluca Lake called them both "Barbra Streisand-loving, Michael Moore-worshiping jackasses." First of all, what kind of self-respecting liberal-hater opts for "jackass" when "faggot" is right there? Second of all, this is new to Matt? When he already wrote for the show? And made a movie? I realize they may have just gotten vaulted into a spotlight they've never occupied before, but...it's right-wing radio. You were expecting something better? That whole "change the channel" argument does cut both ways.