Wouldn't you know my cable went down just as I was preparing to comment on the pilot? Here are my impressions from having seen it once.
I was really impressed with Matthew Perry. I thought he was great, and I didn't know he had it in him. There is not one smidge of Chandler in Matt Albie. Yay!
I also thought Brad Whitford was good, but I wasn't surprised. And I totally agree with the people who believe Danny and Matt's friendship. I certainly bought it.
Steve Weber was wonderful in an oily, steely way, and Tim Busfield was very appealing. Count me in with those who liked Suzanne the PA. I predict she will eventually become a regular. I only hope they don't make her the Donna of the show. And I particularly don't want to see her unrequitedly in love with anyone.
I think Sarah Paulson was fine as Harriet. I saw definite hints of strength underneath the soft-spoken exterior. She strikes me as the kind of person who will quietly but firmly do things her way. And if you oppose her, she will quietly but firmly cut you off at the knees. Smiling pleasantly the whole time.
I did not see that kind of strength in Amanda Peet as Jordan. I have to say I consider her the weak link in the cast. (After only one viewing, mind.) Too doe-like, for lack of a better word. There were several times at the end of a scene when the camera lingered on her, as if she were thinking. But I didn't see her thoughts, I just saw someome standing still because they had been told to do so. It looked like a pretty good example of "smell the fart" acting to me.
To be fair, when I read the sides (which is the extent of my spoilage) for Jordan, they conjured up images of C.J. and Dana when she was being competent. That's what I expected. A take-charge kind of woman. If Amanda Peet had played it that way, I suppose we'd all be talking about how Sorkin had just written another version of C.J. Peet made some different choices. Unfortunately, they didn't work for me.
Now for a couple of quibbles. My Mom called bullshit on Matt's mobility. If he's recovering from back surgery, he wouldn't dash into buildings or sprint up a flight of stairs. I don't care what kind of meds he's on.
And I call bullshit on Harriet's line "Let me watch you smoke a cigarette". She's supposed to be a singer, and singers care a great deal about their voices. In general, singers don't smoke, and will go out of their way to avoid second-hand smoke. (It amazes me that some actors DO smoke in real life. They should care about their voices too.)
In fact, you know what I would like? First off, I would be very happy if they portray Harriet as being dedicated to her religion, but also very tolerant of of other people's religions or lack thereof. There are plenty of people of all faiths who are like that, and it would be refreshing to see on the small screen. But to spice it up, it would be interesting if she had a blind spot of intolerance when it comes to smoking. Sort of a "Worship any God you like, as long as it's not J.R. Reynolds" sort of thing.
But regardless, I cry bullshit. The putative singer should not condone smoking in her presence.
Writing a pilot must be tough, because you have to establish a lot of new characters all at once. I remember watching the pilot for TWW and thinking "Well, I'll certainly come back for more." That is exactly my reaction to this pilot. I think the show is off to a good, promising start, and I am already looking forward to episode two.ETA: Is that what Writers Guild Awards really look like? I want one!
Edited by immaf, Aug 9, 2006 @ 11:59 AM.