In the UK we had to wait until this Thursday to see last year's Christmas Episode of "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip" on More4. I had to wait a little longer because I was away from home and Mrs. Stan had recorded it for me.
It's a wonderful piece of television drama. Funny and moving, full of smart dialogue, addressing important issues and basically gripping you for the full 42 minutes.
The highlight for me was the sub-plot that concerned a group of musicians made homeless in New Orleans by the Hurricane Katrina. They had come to Los Angeles to try to make some money for Christmas, and the musicians on a number of TV shows had phoned in sick so these guys could "sub" for them.
Many people lost a lot in those floods, but among the losses were thousands of musical instruments. I'm not anything like a musician, but I love music and I'm a bread-winner, so I can only begin to understand something of the loss involved in losing your Art and your livelihood.
The musicians in the show weren't actors playing New Orleans musicians - they really were those musicians, led by the profoundly talented Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews, who can blow a horn like few I've ever heard.
The piece they did at the end of show is available free here on the NBC website. Enjoy, then drift over to the Tipitinas Foundation website and give them what you think the music is worth.
I was cross that "Studio 60" was only given one series, and now after the best episode to date I'm spitting mad. Here is a series that's just getting into its stride, the characters are gelling and rubbing against each other, the writers have found their voice ... and now it's all over.
Stan says "Grrr !"