Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip
The Friday Night Slaughter

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Joe R: C+ | Grade It Now!
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I Am Battle

2007. Danny's up in Matt's office and says that they need to cut twenty-eight minutes' worth of sketches. Matt, still not so much conversationally active, just starts yanking sketches off the big board and telling Danny their run times. Danny's all, "Whoa there, little buckaroo," and says that maybe they should just start by cutting the Juliette Lewis sketch. Matt says that he wants to work on that, but Danny remarks that the show is already pretty "Harriet-heavy." Cal enters and also mentions that Matt "wrote Harriet enough material for an HBO special." Matt fugues into his computer monitor, and we're headed back in time...back in time...back in time...

1999. You can tell because of all the Eagle Eye Cherry on the soundtrack. And it was at this point that the constant barrage of 1999 memorabilia and tchotchkes and references stopped being ham-fisted and obvious and started being hilarious. Because, for one thing, you could not escape Eagle Eye Cherry in '98/'99. And for another, this episode has now crossed over into VH1 Special territory, to the point where I half expect Jeannie to pop up in the corner to deliver our "Hot Alt-Rock Guys of 1999." Downstairs, Matt asks some flunky (or writer or actor -- one of the seven billion people who apparently lost their job sometime between now and 2007) where Harriet's dressing room is, and she tells him and says, "She's cute. Go get 'er, Matt." See? Flunky lady's rooting for Matt and Harriet. WHY CAN'T YOU?

Matt comes upon Harriet standing outside of what I guess is supposed to be her dressing room, holding a box of her things. She apologizes if she got him in trouble earlier, and Matt just sort of smiles and shrugs and adjusts his ballcap so that his age stops showing. He suggests that maybe he could write a sketch for her, and Harriet's kind of puzzled as to why he would want to write a sketch for her instead of one of the veteran cast members who will actually get their sketches on the air. Matt gets defensive about the whole "hasn't gotten a sketch on the air" thing, and there's some light bickering back and forth. "I don't want to fight," says Harriet. Instead of taking this cue to step back and maybe reconsider the approach, Matt says, "Do you want me to write something for you or do you want to stand here with your carton and wait for someone with a better résumé to come along?" He's shooting for playful, but he lands squarely in Bittersville. Harriet pauses for a second, and then says, "It really feels like we're fighting." Matt goes on, asking if she does any voices. She says that she does Julia Roberts and Neve Campbell, and that she's working on Juliette Lewis. Matt asks to hear Julia Roberts, and so Sarah Paulson hauls out some dialogue from Pretty Woman. It's a remarkably accurate representation of Julia Roberts's voice, but I'm not entirely sure how you make it funny. I mean, sure, if you wanted to fake out your friends and pretend Julia Roberts is calling them, I'm sure it's invaluable, but the voice isn't really funny in and of itself. But Matt loses himself in Harriet's voice just the same, which is our cue to go rocketing...

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Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip

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