Aaron Sorkin’s “Studio 60 On the Sunset Strip” may have struggled to find sure-footing in recreating the sketch comedy of “Saturday Night Live,” but when it came to the characters and drama behind the scenes of the titular faux late night sketch comedy show, it was just as good as any other Sorkin series. The pilot is one of the best you’ll ever see on television.
Matthew Perry played Matt Albie, a former writer for the “Studio 60” sketch show who is brought back as head writer and executive producer alongside “West Wing” alum Bradley Whitford as his longtime friend Danny Tripp. The dynamic and chemistry between the pair was a standout on the short-lived series, effortlessly executing Sorkin’s trademark banter. They felt like they’d really been friends for years.
But Perry also shined on his own, especially when it comes to his character’s personal reconciliation with the freshly broken but still simmering romance with “Studio 60” cast member Harriet Hayes (Sarah Paulson). On “Studio 60,” Perry got to be funny, endearing, quick-witted, and even inspiring. Despite being a comedy writer and producer, Perry’s character didn’t lean into exaggerated sarcasm for laughs. He was much more subdued than he ever was on “Friends,” but Perry still brought that irresistible charm everyone loves about him.
The single 22-episode season of “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip” is available for purchase digitally on iTunes, Amazon, and Vudu, and it’s also available on DVD. (Ethan Anderton)