Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip
The Harriet Dinner, Part I

Episode Report Card
Joe R: C | 1 USERS: A+
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Up On The Roof

Suzanne hands Matt a stack of letters as he enters the cavernous and ever-darkened writers room. They're all going to wind up with migraines unless they get that place properly lit. Matt hands out the letters to Lucy, Andy, and Darius, and says that he wants each letter-writer to receive a personal note in response from someone on the staff. It's a rather sweet way to fill in what I assume must be the hours and hours of free time a writing staff of four must have when they work on a weekly sketch comedy show. Andy's letter says that Matt is a "god," while Lucy's has an enclosed snapshot, also for Matt. Darius's, however, is a racist diatribe filled with hate and wretchedness that Matt handed him because he was "just messin'" with him. It was actually addressed to Simon, and Simon requested that Darius see it. Darius and his angry face ask to be excused so that he can go see Simon. After he storms out, Matt offers, not unappreciatively, that "Simon's gonna kick his ass sloooooow." I'd enjoy this little subplot a whole lot more if it didn't have Matt lording over it like the arbiter of intra-racial tension like he is here. Also, again, you have a writing staff of four! How smart is it to start hazing the new guy?

We return from the commercials to see the NBC synergy machine running smoothly as ever, as Masi Oka of Heroes is filming a mid-week promo for this Friday's show. Harriet's by his side, dressed up in Claire Bennet's cheerleader outfit, whispering, "Save me, save the world!" Get it? Because she's the cheerleader? Save the cheerleader, save the...bah, you get it. I rolled my eyes when they kept using this scene in the real promos for Studio 60, but it actually works pretty okay the way they've set it up here. In between takes, Harriet and Masi banter back and forth about which superheroes do what, which would have been a wonderful nod to the people who watch Heroes if that audience ever stuck around to watch this show at all. Then Masi actually starts good-naturedly giving Harriet shit about the Anita Pallenberg movie, saying that she'll actually have to act and not just do her funny voices. And on that note, Harriet lets loose a Dolphin Girl squeak as they do their last pass at the promo. I have to say, I am hardcore enjoying Dolphin Girl right about now.

Cal spots someone across the floor: it's "Bevo," who is apparently the viper handler. He brought two dozen snakes to be used in the sketch, and they agree to "see how it looks." I'd imagine that it looks like the nightmares of many, many people. Cal chuckles that his boss Danny Tripp is scared of snakes: "These are harmless, right?" "No, they're vipers," deadpans Bevo. Cal: "Harmless vipers?" Bevo: "No. Regular vipers." The kind that, if they bite you, you go into anaphylactic shock: "But they'll only bite if they're provoked," Cal attempts to clarify. Bevo begs to differ: "They'll strike at any kind of movement." And then he pulls his hand away from the hissing snake crate, like something just pricked his thumb. Cute scene and all, but my inner picker of nits is just wondering why they'd even attempt this if it were so ridiculously dangerous. I know, I know. It's not supposed to be funny, it's supposed to be a rehearsal.

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Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip

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