Television That Teaches and Inspires

26 September 2006

The best television show of the new season won’t be decided for several more weeks—except for me. Studio 60 On the Sunset Strip has already won my loyalty. Aaron Sorkin’s writing of dialog has simply soared since he last wrote for Sports Night and The West Wing.

In something shy of two minutes last night, we caught a glimpse of the creative process required to fill ninety minutes of air time with a live television broadcast. The two minutes illustrated the breaking of a writer’s block and the sudden flood of inspiration that essentially developed the rest of the show.

The episode was called The Cold Open, and it indicated Sorkin’s respect for the intelligence of television viewers. He doesn’t waste our time and he doesn’t coddle. Listen and watch carefully and he’ll reward you with some of the finest dialog and actors that television has ever offered. Try to multitask with the TV as background noise and Sorkin’s work will be lost on you.

Teamwork, collaboration, chaos and deadlines were depicted as realistically last night as in any television show I’ve ever watched. Whether you wrestle with collaborative work among scattered people, or spend time considering the intrinsic business value of NBC as compared to Google, this show has something for you. It’s entertainment. It’s TV about TV. It’s metaphor. It’s full of lessons for anyone who feels challenged by the ways and means of today’s work place.

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