I think by now we’ve all seen enough of Studio 60 to appreciate that it’s further ammunition, as if any were needed, for the Sorkin-is-God brigade of which I am, of course, a fully paid-up member. Sharpest show on TV since, well, The West Wing.. Great characters, great dialogue – but my favourite moment so far has been a musical one, and one that I thought at the time was about to go horribly, mawkishly wrong..
Here’s the set-up, as described in the Times-Picayune:
“…Andrews plays a displaced New Orleans trumpet player subbing for a member of the house band on the show-within-the-show. When a producer discovers that Andrews’ character is working because L.A.-based musicians have been surreptitiously calling in sick so that relocated New Orleans musicians can earn some extra cash near the holidays, he cuts a sketch and replaces it with a performance of “O Holy Night” by a band of the trumpet player’s hometown peers… The episode-concluding sequence, in which the band performs in front of projected photos of post-Katrina flooding and snapshots of recovery, struck an appropriately emotional chord…“
Sounds like your worst Disney-inspired saccharine nightmare, right? Mine too. Here’s how it turned out..
Not too damn shabby, huh?. When was the last time a musical performance as good as that actually made it onto mainstream US TV, or mainstream TV anywhere for that matter? Oh yeah, I remember now – it was Yo-Yo Ma performing the Bach G Major Cello Suite on, you guessed it, The West Wing..