Finished Sports Night the other day.........

Discussion in 'Now Playing - TV Show Talk' started by Fahtrim, Jan 29, 2007.

  1. Jonathan_S

    Jonathan_S Well-Known Member

    Oct 23, 2001


  2. tewcewl

    tewcewl New Member

    Dec 18, 2004
    Chicago, IL
    Just curious to what that line was?
  3. mtnagel

    mtnagel Well-Known Member

    Nov 15, 2003
    Cincinnati, OH
    My feelings exactly. I think I made it through 5 or 6 episodes. I just stopped. That was sometime last year. Still have the episodes sitting there. Don't know if I'll ever go back and watch them.
  4. madscientist

    madscientist Deregistered Snoozer

    Nov 12, 2003
    Lexington, MA
    I thought the laugh track was mostly abandoned as early as the third episode. Definitely by the fifth and sixth (which are more serious anyway) there's not much left. It gets increasingly rare until it's just ... gone.
  5. Ereth

    Ereth Unemployed Bum

    Jun 16, 2000


    I love Sports Night.

    My three "I can't believe they cancelled them" shows are:

    Sports Night
    Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip
  6. Steveknj

    Steveknj Lost in New Joisey TCF Club

    Mar 10, 2003
    New Jersey
    I wasn't a fan of Firefly but I did like Sports Night and Studio 60. But I think in both cases, it was TOO much of a case of an inside joke going too far. I think that's a bit of a problem Sorkin has, is that he thinks that everyone will just "get it". The problem is, unless you are interested in the inside joke, most won't. As I have a fascination with the behind the scenes stuff in the making of a TV show, I liked the shows, even if I didn't get half the inside jokes. I find the same with more recent shows like Community. Sometimes Community goes too far with the inside jokes and they lose me. But most times, there's enough other stuff that I can deal with the occasional missed jokes. The only time it bothers me is when the whole EPISODE is based on an inside joke. People might think that type of humor is whimsical and clever, but if you leave most of your audience scratching their heads, your show is doomed to failure.
  7. balboa dave

    balboa dave well rounded

    Jan 19, 2004
    You really like to run your opinions into the ground, don't you? Stop trying to drag people down to your level of ignorance. These shows are great BECAUSE they're smart, and don't condescend to the lowest common denominator, which as you continually remind us, is you.
  8. mattack

    mattack Well-Known Member

    Apr 9, 2001
    It may have been mentioned in this thread already.. but Sports Night at least gets an asterisk here. I didn't go search up the history, but I seem to remember that there *was* actual interest from other networks (maybe HBO), but that Sorkin himself said he was too busy to continue Sports Night.. I guess he was too busy on The West Wing at the time.
  9. pendragn

    pendragn Well-Known Member

    Jan 21, 2001
    Ames Iowa
    This seems a bit harsh.

    I agree about Community. They have a few episodes that all revolve around a specific reference (D&D episode, zombie episode, etc) and if you aren't "in" you don't get a lot of the jokes. There were two or three episodes of Community last season that I just didn't get because I wasn't "in." I think they overdo it. I loved Sports Night (after the fact) and Studio 60, but I can definitely see how they wouldn't be entertaining to someone that didn't get all the references. Different strokes for different folks.

    Inside jokes are awesome as long as you're on the inside.

  10. murgatroyd

    murgatroyd Don't stop believin'

    Jan 5, 2002
    Berkeley CA
    Too harsh? Too bad.

    The Studio 60 threads here were filled with boo-birds whining about how they thought Sorkin was trying to make them feel dumb, and gloating about the fact that the ratings were crap and the show was going to be canceled.

    The noise level made it difficult for those of us who liked the show to talk about the show.

    Now here we are again, trying to talk about Sports Night, and instead we have a discussion about in jokes and whether shows can be too smart and all that crap again.

    Why is it such a difficult idea for some people that when we post a thread about a show in TV Show Talk, the discussion should be about the show, and not about THEM.

    If you think the show (or the thread!) is wall-to-wall in-jokes, then move on to something else. There are plenty of other choices out there. Plenty.

    So yeah, I'm completely with balboa dave on this one.

    Now can we get back to talking about the show?
  11. Sparty99

    Sparty99 Well-Known Member

    Dec 4, 2001
    Ferndale, MI
    Not really. I haven't got a clue about the inner workings of D&D but that really wasn't the point of the episode, it was how they were trying to get an outsider to feel in. You didn't need to know a thing about D&D to get it. And the zombie episode? Seriously, what's not to get. They're freaking zombies. It's not that hard to understand. They walk slow, they bite you, you get infected, you die. You don't need to have seen every George Romero movie or have read The Walking Dead to get this.

    My problem with steveknj's post (and I think balboa dave was a bit harsh but I agree with the overall point) was that he didn't get something, so "most" people didn't get something. Studio 60 didn't really fail because it was an in joke, it failed largely because it didn't live up to one of the best pilots in history and Sorkin tried to inject his politics into the show rather than realizing it was just a show about TV. Sports Night got cancelled for no good reason. Go look at the ratings for it's final season (1999-2000). It was far from ABC's lowest rated show (in fact, ABC had a putrid year so it was up near the top). And the fact that the writers wrote the potential cancellation into their storyline was brilliant and led to one of the greatest final lines in the history of television (someone already quoted it above).
  12. Steveknj

    Steveknj Lost in New Joisey TCF Club

    Mar 10, 2003
    New Jersey
    Who am I DRAGGING DOWN TO MY LEVEL OF IGNORANCE? I'm making a point. If it hits a nerve, sorry. But fact is, these type of shows RARELY make a dent in the ratings. I happen to LOVE most Community episodes, I was a big fan of Sports Night, I loved Arrested Development. What I'm saying is that while these are smart witty shows, they are doomed to failure, because the "average American" doesn't get it. The thing is, if the shows are done well, they can mix in some inside jokes with enough more mainstream comedy that they CAN attract and audience. The Big Bang Theory does this well most of the time. Even Community, does this well enough about 3/4 of the time. But if you are a casual fan of the show, or, tuning in for the first time, and the show is one big "inside joke" you don't get, are you going to watch again? Highly unlikely.
  13. Steveknj

    Steveknj Lost in New Joisey TCF Club

    Mar 10, 2003
    New Jersey
    See, your completely wrong about me. Sports Night happens to be one of my favorite all time shows. I own the DVD. It's not that "I" didn't get it, it's that (if you believe the ratings) not enough people did. I disagree, the ratings for the show were never great, and it was another of those shows that ABC kept around an extra year, BECAUSE they had faith in the show. Same thing Fox did with AD, another of my favorite shows. It's not that "I" didn't get the inside jokes, it's that not enough OTHER people did, or they would have watched. Even Studio 60, based on the HUGE ratings decline after the first episode, probably stayed around longer that it's ratings warranted. You're right, it was a fantastic pilot, and really the whole plot line was fantastic, but it just didn't get the ratings, for whatever reason. These are the kinds of shows I LIKE. I just get upset when the show really becomes the "plaything" of the few on the inside, and it winds up killing a great show because of it.

    And Balboa Dave and whoever.....I'm entitled to talk about what I want. My discussion was relevant to what was discussed in the thread, as I was making a point ABOUT Sports Night, and why a great show like it never lasted long enough. Feel free to put me on ignore. I won't be offended.
  14. murgatroyd

    murgatroyd Don't stop believin'

    Jan 5, 2002
    Berkeley CA
    No, Steve, you aren't getting my point. You are making the same mistake that Gina Belafante did in the New York Times when she tried to pass off this piece of pretentious bilge as a review of HBO's Game of Thrones. (Note: I'm NOT saying you're as ignorant or snooty as she is!)

    Her mistake? She doesn't talk about the show. Does she mention the acting? No. The cinematography? No. The directing? No. Props? No, not that either.

    The gist of her comments are "I don't understand why HBO puts this stuff on the air", followed by a bunch of imagined reasons that it might be so, most of which are so ridiculous they aren't even funny. She isn't talking about the show -- she is talking about the industry, whom she thinks the audience is, and along the way, revealing how incredibly provincial she is.

    If I want to read crap where people pontificate about why a show succeeds or fails, I can read ignorant wankers in the New York Times. But here, on TV Show Talk, I want to talk to other people about the show.

    I want to hear that they loved (or hated) the moment where Dana danced to "Boogie Shoes" or whatever else their favorite moment was. I want them to talk about the moments that they thought were really good, so when I watch the show again, I can enjoy those moments all over again, only with 'company'.

    I don't want to hear over and over again about how not enough people liked the show and that's why it was canceled. I know that part already. I often don't like stuff that Most People Like, and I often like stuff that Most People Don't Like. I don't need you or other people to rub it in my face in every stinkin' thread on the forum about anything I like that the stuff I like is Doomed To Failure because it isn't Stupid Enough for Those Other People that don't like what I like.

    The real fact of the matter is that the TV industry is chasing a single demographic, and so all the shows are crafted to attract that one demographic, and their success or failure is judged by that one demographic alone. That metric has more to do with whether a show is Doomed to Failure than anything else like the volume and ratio of in-jokes in a show.

    Now can we please get back to talking about Sports Night?

    If you liked the show, what were your favorite parts?
  15. Steveknj

    Steveknj Lost in New Joisey TCF Club

    Mar 10, 2003
    New Jersey
    I suggest, you don't read a lot of thread where people give their opinion about stuff. If they don't agree with yours, you're going to take it personally. Not ever thread is going to go in the direction you want it to. favorite part of the show, was actually in the pilot, when they interviewed Jeremy for his job, thinking that he was a geek and knew nothing about sports and then Jeremy pontificated quite a bit of his sports knowledge :) They had me at that scene. And dang...Natalie was so cute!!!
  16. DreadPirateRob

    DreadPirateRob Seriously?

    Nov 11, 2002
    Speaking of Jeremy... a couple of years ago I was on a weekend Cub scout camping trip on Catalina island here in SoCal, and there were scouts from numerous packs in the area, including one from Malibu/Pacific Palisades. When I saw that t-shirt, I wondered if I'd see anyone famous, and sure enough, a few hours later I saw Josh Malina with his kid. I didn't do anything at first, but the next day when I found myself standing close to him, I introduced myself to him and told him that Sports Night was one of my all-time favorite shows. He was very gracious, and we chatted for a few minutes about how great it was. I got the sense that he probably gets asked about West Wing most of the time, so he was happy to talk about something else.
  17. Steveknj

    Steveknj Lost in New Joisey TCF Club

    Mar 10, 2003
    New Jersey
    And he now has a recurring role on In Plain Sight.
  18. billypritchard

    billypritchard Embiggener

    May 7, 2001
    St. Louis, MO
    Did you ask him about shooting a deer?
  19. Fahtrim

    Fahtrim Member

    Apr 12, 2004
    Well, people need to work and stuff..........
  20. Sparty99

    Sparty99 Well-Known Member

    Dec 4, 2001
    Ferndale, MI
    My favorite part of that was where he couldn't come up with a third answer about how the Knicks could improve themselves and he said, "Tell Spike Lee to sit down and shut up?" and Dana high fived him and said, "Welcome aboard!"

    What's interesting is reading the ESPN book how much of that stuff is reality (I suppose that makes sense, it's still kind of funny reading it in this supposedly first look behind the scenes when we saw it 10 years ago).

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