Here are my very long ramblings about this episode! Obviously this contains spoilers and very long ramblings...
Nine things I loved about it, and one thing I didn't.
1 Jordan's DUI - I love that this wasn't leaked by the Christian right, I love that she has a sleazy ex who will make trouble for her, and I love that there's going to be a book coming out. That's one of those season long Sorkin arcs, I betcha, and it's got me itching for next week.
2 Amanda Peet gets better each episode, I thought she was great in this. I love her interactions with Jack, I love that she is really on her own, stuck between the suits and the creatives (more on that later). And I loved the scene when Jack told her about the book - his 'Do you need a minute?' and her reaction to that really touched me.
3 Ricky and Ron - I adore these two! For some reason I feel a real empathy with them, but at the same time they are creeps who will suck up to anyone for a pay check. Danny's interactions with them in this episode were priceless. "Hell, Ron, I didn't even know you were here." LMAO. Danny can be a real SOB. As coloneljack has said, he's the inverse of Josh. Soft on the outside, but a bastard on the inside. Can't wait to see that explored some more.
4 Danny and Jordan, ship ahoy! Heh. This is probably what sealed the deal for me, in terms of my addiction to this show. I knew it would, I'm so predictable, but I really am enjoying this dynamic so much. I love the fact that they are on opposite sides of the fence - Danny's line "You look like one of them, but you talk like one of us" delineated it perfectly. For me, that's the most appealing thing about Jordan so far. She really is on her own out there, and this week we saw a couple of occasions when Danny recognised that and a hint that he might - maybe – start to look out for her. But that's a long way off. The party scene was very cute, mostly for that amused Danny smile when she breaks the pen (Josh used to smile at Donna like that!) and I loved that she apologised for her crack (heh) about his addiction. I also liked that he smacked her down about the DUI, and that she took it on the chin. And then she pulled the rug out from under his assumptions about why she stood up for 'Crazy Christians', but without telling him why - which he'll no doubt find out in due course. All in all I see heaps of potential here, and can't wait for it to develop into a nice angsty tangle. :)
5 Matt and Danny in the sand. Oh, what's not to love? I adored that scene. "After what you did for me?" *Sigh* Question is, what did Matt do for him? My initial assumption was that it was getting him into some kind of treatment programme eleven years ago, but that doesn't entirely make sense because he was saying ‘it won't be like four years ago’ and 'after what you did for me' which makes me wonder if it was something that occurred after they left the show? Of course, I could be reading too much into that but it's so fun to speculate! I loved the scene, I adore their relationship. Danny obviously feels like he owes Matt big time...and that's a dynamic that has so much dramatic potential. Squeee!
6 The guy asking Danny to autograph the newspaper article about his failed drug test. Most probably it was just to show how obnoxious some fans can be (seriously, who would do that??), but something about that got me thinking of the first season of TWW and how Sorkin drops these little clues that turn out to be the start of something BIG. I don't know what - crazy stalker fans with a grudge against coke addicts, maybe? It just got my radar twitching a little. Also, adored how classy Danny was in that scene. :)
7 Danny dancing... Holy moley! *dies*
8 Comedia dell'arte. I didn't love this right off. First time I watched the show I thought, 'I've never heard of this. Does that make me stupid?'. Second time I watched, I thought, 'They're making me feel stupid, here. I don't like that. And, come on, how pretentious is Comedia dell'arte anyway?' Third time (yes, I know!) I watched it was with Tom, to whom I'd ranted about Comedia dell'arte. After he'd seen the episode, the conversation went something like this:
Tom - I don't know what you were talking about. I thought that Comedia thing was pretty funny.
Me - Come on, you don't know what it is!
Tom - So? I don't think you were meant to. I thought they handled it pretty well.
Me - But they were calling us stupid! We're the stupid people in the audience who don't get it.
Tom - No we’re not. I didn’t get that from it.
Me - Jordan was taking the piss out of the guy in the focus group because he didn't get it. I don't get it either! That makes me stupid too.
Tom - That's because she's pretentious.
Me - That's what I said - it's pretentious.
Tom - The characters are pretentious, it's not pretentious to put it in the show.
Me - But they’re saying we're stupid if we don't get it, and most people don't get it so they're calling most of their audience stupid - and that's stupid!
Tom - I think you have a chip on your shoulder about people thinking you're stupid.
Me - Hmmmm...well, that’s true. But I still think they were calling us stupid.
Tom - Danny didn't get it, and he's not stupid.
Me - Ah! Well, I've actually done some research on Google and it turns out that Danny did get it, because in fact Moliere was influenced by comedia dell'arte and his character Harpagon, in The Miser, was modeled on Pantalon de' Bisognosi, who Jeanie was meant to be playing. Incidentally, Pantalon is meant to be an avaricious old merchant who goes around wearing a giant phallus.
Tom - (giving me a look) Okaaaaaay. Well, because I'm a normal viewer of the show I haven't done that. But if you can find out everything you need to know about comedia dell'arte on Wikipedia it obviously isn't that pretentious!
Me - Well, it wasn't in 17th century Italy, it was a bunch of actors on the back of a caravan acting out stock stories with stock characters.
Tom - It sounds like Punch and Judy.
Me - Apparently they originated from comedia dell'arte.
Tom - So how is it pretentious then? It's slapstick!
Me - It's pretentious because no one who didn't go to Yale Drama school ever heard of it! And that makes me feel stupid.
Tom - You're not stupid just because you haven't heard of some obscure detail of a field in which you are not an expert.
Me - Hmmmm...
Tom - And now you've spent ten minutes on the internet and found out what they probably only spend half an hour talking about at Yale Drama school. So it's not pretentious, and I thought it was quite clever.
Me - Hmmmm... I suppose I have learned something new that might be useful to impress people at pub quizzes.
Tom - There you go.
Me - And I do like it when TV teaches me stuff I didn't know before. I used to like that about The West Wing.
Tom - I rest my case.
Me - :)
So…yeah, I loved Comedia dell’arte. Yay for TV that makes you do research!
9 Finally, I loved that, when we’d finished watching, Tom (who is not enchanted by Brad Whitford and is, I think, a ‘normal’ viewer) said: “Wow, that was bloody excellent. I was riveted the whole time. They’ve got some really great characters there. That was the first episode where I was really hooked.” Yay!
And now for the one thing I didn’t like:
10 The bit when the screen goes black and it says ‘Written and Produced by Aaron Sorkin and Thomas Schlame”. Noooooooooooo! I want more!
Is it next week yet?