After last week's hopeful musings on Aaron Sorkin's upcoming TV series, a copy of the Studio 7 pilot script landed in my lap.
And it's good. Damned good. A case study of how to create a world and introduce characters in fast-paced conflict. The comedy-driven scenario is marked with dark undertones and provides a fitting showcase for Sorkin's acidic wit. Will audiences respond fervently to this insular world of TV production? It's a colder, possibly more elitist place than even the Oval Office on The West Wing (whose political machinations were always driven by a wishful and possibly unrealistic egalitarian sensibility). Personally, I find it fascinating and compelling, with real human beings playing for very high stakes ... and I hope that's not because I'm on the outside of this industry trying to work my way in.
Sorkin's trademark dialogue is in strong form here, and I found myself reading almost all of it aloud. After seeing the same script, comics savant Warren Ellis observed:
Sorkin has a few phrases he loves the sound of, that I suspect come from his family or friends: “I hate his breathing guts” is a phrase that’s turned up in WING (with a “your” in there), that always leaps out at me because I’ve never heard anyone else say it. Every writer has a few of those. It’s a nice little signature on the work, to be honest; it says there’s a single voice on the work, not a committee. (Of course, another writer friend suggests that it’s a bemushroomed Sorkin’s drug-enhanced attempt to follow a network note to the effect that “fucking” is still a no-no word.)
Apparently Steven Weber is the first major cast member to step aboard (taking a role turned down by Matthew Perry and Bradley Whitford).