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

Episode Report Card
Joe R: C- | 15 USERS: C
YOU GRADE IT
Breaking Up Is Hard To Do

Tom runs into Lucy in the hallway and begs for the chance to explain. Lucy seems to think the "Asian fashion model" with her hand on Tom's thigh did the explaining just fine. Tom corrects that the girl's not a model, she's a viola player, and one of the best in the world. What is she, Jack Bauer? Why does every character have to sing her praises like that? Tom says that Kim's in his dressing room with a Prairie Oyster, trying to sober up before her dad shows. Rather than try to wrap her mind around that one, Lucy's more upset that Tom thought he could lie like that and not get caught: "You didn't think there was a chance that I might also be invited to a dinner for Harriet." Tom says no, he didn't, because Lucy's too far down the pay scale; writers at Lucy's level don't usually get invited to dinners like that. He has Lucy confirm that she got invited at the last minute when someone cancelled. And while you or I may find this sort of "telling truth to women by insulting them" to be kind of gross, Tom thinks it proves just how honest he's being right now. "If I was gonna lie about anything right now, I would've lied about that." He tells her that he was doing a favor for Jack Rudolph tonight: "That's the truth." He asks her again if she'll go out with him on Saturday. She says no...she'll go out with him on Sunday! Yay! If Tom can stop talking like Matt and Danny between now and then, it'll be even better! Oh, and by the way, Lucy tells Tom that a Prairie Oyster is for hangovers: "If you drink one while you're drunk, you're just gonna get drunker." File that one under "Things that would make The Bad Girls Club a lot less fun to watch if they knew about it."

Tom books into the dressing room and tells Jack, "We've gotta stop giving her the Prairie Oyster. As it turns out, we could kill this lunatic girl dead." And, of course, Kim's parents are standing behind Tom as he says this. Jack stiffly introduces Tom to "Mr. and Mrs. Zhang Tao," and Tom stammers that "lunatic girl" is "an idiom in our language." He apologizes and says that this wasn't Jack's fault, and then he leaves to let the adults handle this one on their own.

Jack asks Mrs. Zhang (hey, if Jack's not going to tell me her name, my hands are tied) to translate for her husband, but Mrs. Zhang would much rather lay into her drunken mess of a daughter. Seriously, lady, tell her not to be such a ho-bag either. Mrs. Zhang keeps on haranguing Kim, right out the door and into the hallway. Jack calls after them that he wouldn't be too hard on Kim. "Oh, her mother will take care of that," says Zhang. In English. Oh those tricky, tricky Chinese. Jack double-takes and asks, "You speak English?" Zhang says that he speaks a few words. "How many words?" asks Jack. "All of them," he replies. He says that he pretends not to because "it's fun." Jack and I both concede that it probably would be, yes. "Considering how much you need of me, can you think of a way you could have screwed this up worse?" Zhang asks. Jack says that he can't, though I suspect it's in the spirit of taking up that challenge that he tells Zhang that his daughter isn't stupid and won't be quitting the viola, but "you might consider, for a short time, getting off her ass, you commie prick. Did you understand all those words?" Oh, Jack Rudolph. Will you ever stop speaking truth to power? Jack advises Zhang let Jim take the semester off: "She'll go back to school." Zhang pauses and then says, "All right." Jack's like, "'All right'...what's all right?" Zhang wants Jack to confirm that he'll hire the best outside counsel and PR firms. Because he's backing Jack and Ed Asner's scheme! "Did you understand all those words?" he pointedly asks. I have to tell you, I totally did not think that having Jack tell the unvarnished truth to Zhang would result in him winning Zhang's respect and loyalty. Of course, maybe I underestimated the ability of this show to repeat itself.

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Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip

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