It's the time of year lots of network shows roll out the red, snow-covered carpet for Santa and air their very special, heartwarming Christmas shows, whoring themselves out in sweaters and snowflakes to match the theme of the kitschy Gap and Target ads. I, being the sentimental fool that I am, for the most part enjoy these. Taking the buche de noel this year has to be NBC's Studio 60.
They had writer Matt fighting to air a Christmas show -- not because it makes for good product placement or ratings stocking stuffers, but just because it's jolly. And it wasn't just a matter of coming up with Holiday themes, the quest included the ludicrous scampering and scrounging to come up with coconuts for snow for the set. But that's not enough. As if. They also had enough nobility, bravery, and do-goodery coming from everyone else in the cast to make Frank Capra blush. I mean. Seriously. Somewhere, Jimmy Stewart was watching this broadcast and saying, "N-now that's cockle-warming."
Of course, that's the one drawback to the Studio 60 characters -- they're so fucking wonderful it loses a bit of conflict and makes me feel small about myself. I mean, even George Bailey got pissed at the newel post, yelled at his daughter to stop playing the damn piano, and drunkenly rammed his car into a tree. But no seasonal stress can break the spirit of ye merry gentlemen and women of Studio 60. Even though Jordan had what society at large considers a sleazy past and regardless of Danny's coke addict history, there just aren't any sharp edges to these characters. They're going to do the Right Thing all the time, damn the consequences. And best -- there are no consequences! No one gets fired or gets anyone else fired. It all works out for the best and a quality sketch comedy shows airs every week!
I like it anyhow. It's not Dexter, which I love, and which you should be watching, too. It's Studio 60. And that's fine by me.
But I also give Schlamme and Sorkin extra props for their good cheer with this episode, because they did me a favor. As part of the storyline, they featured a group of New Orleans musicians organized by the Tipitina's Foundation. And during an extended musical interlude, they played an original arrangement of "O Holy Night."
The lead trumpet decked my halls, that's for sure. And though I like jazz, I'm not an aficionado of current musicians, so I didn't recognize who was pulling that beautiful tone from the horn. Behold! The glorious wonders of the web. I got the lowdown from NBC's website, and found out all about the Tipitina's musicians, and learned that the trumpeter was Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews. The song they performed on the show is currently available for free from iTunes, but, since I'm an American to the core, I was a good trick and went the extra distance and picked up a copy of Andrews's CD, The End of the Beginning.
So, good on Schlamme/Sorkin for giving the stage to the musicians that night, and also for giving me the present of some new music to investigate. They put some classy Ho Ho Hoing into the holiday Ho Ho Whoring.