Much has been made of the fact that NBC is airing two different shows this fall based on the ever declining Saturday Night Live. Studio 60 On The Sunset Strip, Aaron Sorkin’s bid got most of the pre-season publicity, but Tina Fey’s entry, 30 Rock (which since it’s half as long, got half the title), is a contender as well.
I figured the best way to compare these apples and oranges was to put the common elements up against each other.
|Studio 60 On The Sunset Strip|
Two new producers try to re-energize a stale sketch comedy show.
A new network executive reeks havoc on a sketch comedy show.
Neurotic Head Writer
|Amanda Peet just is not convincing as a network head or anything else for that matter.||Alex Baldwin attacks the psycho net-exec with a gusto that makes you wonder if he is Ted Baxter or Dr. Evil.|
Ditzy Blond Chick
Advantage: Studio 60 by a thread.
Funny Black Guy
Advantage: 30 Rock
Show In A Show
|Bad sketches taken way too seriously. And they tend to ridicule religion.||At least they have the excuse that they’re supposed to be bad.|
|Opened weak and started sinking like a rock. They lose about half their Heroes lead-in. It has gotten picked up for a full season, but it was a close call.||Lowered expectations probably help, but still not good. It is being moved to the Thursday Night Must See TV Lite block to catch some My Name Is Earl and The Office synergy.|
Winner: 30 Rock
Sorkin's sudser got all the buzz, but if you pay attention, 30 Rock actually sneaks in more inside jokes and takes the edgier look. 30 Rock had a "walk and talk" where they go in a complete circle around the studio and realize they haven't gotten anywhere. What a great in-joke and subtle dig at its competition. Matthew Perry successfully breaks the Friends typecasting, but Alec Baldwin has created a character that you love to hate. There's room for both on the rapidly shrinking NBC line-up, but definitely catch 30 Rock if you can.
Blatant Old Post Plugging(trademark pending): Check out my Studio 60 Drinking Game as well.
Update (11/17/06): Tom Shales of the Washington Post agrees with me for the most part.