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Studio 60 Fodder

Studio 60: 4AM Miracle

Your humble blogger is having one of those humble days. Her humble house flooded, and she was very nearly finished with her full humble review when her Internet Explorer crashed. Darn Microsoft's hubris! She tried to save her work. But it's gone. Gone, gone, gone. So, this is your humble mini-recap. The full one will come later, though hopefully before Monday this time. This week I plan not to get the flu.

This week you could barely tell that Matt has a drug problem. My theory is that this story was written by someone else (the always fabulous Mark McKinney), who perhaps didn't know exactly what would occur in "The Friday Night Slaughter." Probably he did and I'm just making excuses, but it works for me. Besides, he broght the funny, so I'm willing to forgive a lot. Also, Laura Innes directed this episode. She directed a few West Wing episodes, too. This one was a lot of fun.

The show opens with Danny talking to a lawyer, Mary Tate. A woman who used to write for Studio 60 is suing the show, Wes Mendel, NBS, NBS's parent company, former writers, and anyone else she can think of for sexual harassment. Danny is quick to point out that HE isn't one of the defendants because he didn't work for the show at the time. He does, however, state the woman was fired because she was a lousy writer.

Matt is working on the show, but he's nowhere. There's no script. At all. He's waiting for the 4 AM miracle, that magic event when sleep deprivation and other things combine to make writing Magic. He's enthusing to Suzanne the Assistant about how he loves executives in their high heels and glasses, when Mary Tate walks in, complete with heels and glasses. How convenient!

Suzanne failed to mention that Mary would be coming by. She has full permission to look wherever she needs to for her case. The permission was given by Jordan. Jordan also forgot to mention this.

Mary works for Gage-Whitney. That is, coincidentally, the firm that Sam Seaborn worked at before he joined the Bartlet for President campaign on The West Wing.

Matt takes Mary to the writers' room. He's rejecting every one of their pitches (They're all bad) and trying to prove that no sexual harassment occurs in the writers' room other than him talking about Lucy's fine, fine ass. But she knows he's kidding, so it's okay. That, or it's all balanced out by that huge smooch she gave him a few months back). All the writers, none of whom worked there two years prior, think the plaintiff was fired because she was a lousy writer. He also tells them that Samuel Taylor Coleridge wrote his most famous poem, "Kubla Khan" at 4 AM. That's the sort of miracle he's looking for.

Matt leaves Mary to watch the writers struggle valliantly. He wonders where Harriet is. Danny says she's still filming Luke's movie; the shoot is running late. Danny wants to be sure that Matt is okay.

On the movie set, Harriet is filming a scene where she challenges a 17-year-old groundskeeper to a game of Russian Roulette. According to the court case, this never actually happened. Harriet is aware of this and stops the scene to question Luke about it. She doesn't like basically saying Anita Pallenberg is guilty of manslaughter when that runs counter to public knowledge about the situation.

Danny calls Harry on the set and wants to know when she's coming back. He wants her to "fake it" with Matt. He can't write when he feels this bad, and he feels especially bad when he knows she's been shooting with Luke.

Jordan comes to pick up Danny, who can't leave because there's no script. She agrees to stay a bit. She's brought a "real care baby," a $600 baby doll that simulates a real infant for her to practice on. Danny says Jordan doesn't need the practice. She bets him $100 that he can't keep the baby alive through the end of the night. He takes her up on it. She also calls him a spaz.

Harriet actually lets the actor get to the point where he shoots himself, but her reaction is very bad. At least her scene partner doesn't mind all the takes. She argues with Luke again about the changes he's made to Anita Pallenberg's actual history. He's annoyed that she had the script for two months and they've rehearsed the scene for two and a half weeks, and she's just now, with cameras rolling and full crew present, complaining about the script. It turns out she's feeling guilty about her fight with Matt. Luke figures out that the fight was the night that she came to his house, and now he's pretty pissed.

Matt works out dialogue by himself. Mary comes by, wondering if he's going to hire more writers. Usually the writing staff is bigger than four people, isn't it? She points out that the show's ratings have slipped the last four shows. Besides, it's after midnight on Wednesday, and they don't have anything yet, which might speak in favor of having more writers. She also wants to know how he feels about Ricky and Ron (who are named as defendants). He gives her a polite answer, which she doesn't want, because it's basically lying under oath and will kill also her case. He offers her vodka. Mary points out that he has seen unprofessional behavior at the show; his relationship with Harriet was both unprofessional and against NBS policy, which prohibits sexual relationships among coworkers (Danny and Jordan apparently need to re-read their employee handbooks). Mary points out that the policy can prevent a lot of headaches; after all, it's because of his relationship with Harriet that he's having trouble writing, isn't it?

Danny's real-care baby starts crying. He takes it from the room by the head with its mouth clamped shut and quiets it in the hall, trying not to wake Jordan, who is napping on his couch. Danny's baby rocking looks more like calisthenics. Jordan is actually nice to him. She must be nesting.

Tom and Simon are working on sketch/joke ideas. Simon starts thinking about the plaintiff. It turns out he slept with her. Three times. He doesn't want to tell the lawyer because he'll lose his house and car. Danny gives the baby to Tom to take care of so it doesn't wake Jordan up. Tom is to call if the baby gets upset at all.

In between takes, Luke asks Harriet what happened. However, when she starts talking about Matt again, he decides he doesn't care anymore. He says he'll keep Harriet at the shoot as long as he feels like.

Cal brings a prop guillotine by Simon's dressing room. Neither Tom nor Simon want to stick their heads through the hole (though Cal assures them it's safe), so they use the baby doll instead. The baby is decapitated. Danny freaks out, and Cal takes the baby to props to fix. He also has to reset the computer chip so the baby doesn't show that it was neglected and headless. Simon also confesses to Danny that he slept with the plaintiff.

Matt finally reads the full text of the sexual harassment suit. Specifically, he reads that there was an extensive discussion in the writers' room about the different ways they would have sex with Harriet.

On the movie set, Luke has reworked the scene so that Anita is now in a completely different room when the trigger is pulled. Harry seems relieved, but Luke is stil pissed. He breaks up with her. Harriet points out that Matt would never have kept her three hours later than planned just to mess with a guy who used to be his friend. She leaves, saying Luke already has the shot.

Matt wants to take a baseball bat to the writers listed in the suit for their discussion about Harriet. Regardless, he says he's still Mary's witness.

Simon comes up and confesses to Mary. However, it turns out he slept with some OTHER woman three times, not the plaintiff. Whew.

Mary is leaving, but she gives Matt her card for Whatever. She'd like him to ask her out. He wants to work Harriet out of his system first.

Matt wants to know what's going on with the numbers. They've only been going down for two episodes, but he figures out that it's because Harriet doesn't come up to his office anymore. He had no idea how much he needed her. Danny suggests Matt cut back on the alcohol.

Cal returns the doll to Danny. He says the chip has been wiped clean, so nothing will show when they hook it up to the computer.

Danny gives the doll back to Jordan. It basically explodes, with its eyes popping way out of its head. Apparently those props guys are jokers. And have no respect for a $600 doll. He reveals to Jordan that the baby was involved in a minor guillotine accident. Jordan doesn't know what she'll practice with now. Danny convinces her that she doesn't need the practice. She goes home, but he's going to stick around Matt.

Harriet stops by Matt's office. She's going to try to get him unstuck. She gives him a very nice platonic cheek kiss.

She's his 4 AM miracle


Posted by on February 20, 2007 11:55 PM
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