Not a show about nothing, as Seinfeld was, but a show about writing.
I was attracted to the show by the following scene: Matthew Perry, much better here than as the buffoon in Friends, plays the head writer for an SNL-like variety show, and he's been blocked, until this moment, when he comes upon an idea for the season premiere. After much agonizing, he sets down to his Apple laptop to start hammering it out. In this moment I felt happy to be a writer.
I felt happy because Aaron Sorkin, the creator of Studio 60 (and of course of The West Wing), transmitted the buzz of inspiration, and that's no small feat. Writing doesn't tend to play well on screen. There's no movement to it. A recent visit to the "Moving Pictures" exhibit at NYU's underestimated Grey Art Gallery confirmed that early filmmakers gravitated toward bodies in motion--horses, weightlifters, dancers--because their kinesis shows up well on tape. Writers don't dance. And we often appear tense. Nicole Kidman did a good job, nose prosthesis be damned, in The Hours, but Jane Campion's 1990 film An Angel at My Table did an even better one. The wild bright red hair of Janet Frame, the depicted writer, compensated for a writer's typical frowsiness and incapacity to be photogenic.
I do commend, as well, Studio 60's camera-work and quick dialog. Moreover, it was a smart move to make the audience anticipate the opening number of the season premiere of the SNL-like variety show *at the same time* they were watching the highly-anticipated second episode of Aaron Sorkin's latest contribution.