Required viewing: ‘Sports Night’

This year, Aaron Sorkin launched “The Newsroom,” yet another show from him that focuses on the on-air and off-air tribulations of a group that produces a TV show.  Before this, he did “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip,” which had its moments, but the granddaddy of them all, “Sports Night,” is still the best.Featuring a cast that’s gone on to do some amazing things, “Sports Night” was Sorkin’s first TV effort and had all the hallmarks now associated with him, from the fast-paced dialogue to the walk-and-talks that are a trademark of his shows. Peter Krause and Josh Charles as the two SportsCenter-like anchors are fun and believable, and Felicity Huffman as the producer and Robert Guillaume as her boss add some depth to the show.  Great support from Joshua Malina and Sabrina Lloyd are great in their roles and fill out the ensemble.

It’s a half-hour dramedy, so the pacing, compared to the hour-long “West Wing,” “Studio 60” and “The Newsroom,” is faster and, in many ways, more appropriate.  The show doesn’t feel as stretched out, and, killed at two seasons due to ratings, didn’t run out of steam before the end.

Every couple of years I dig out the show; I discovered it on reruns on Comedy Central during my late night years (they loved to air it in very, very late night slots), then found a DVD set that I handed down to my dad when Shout! Factory re-released it with a bunch of extras.  Dad and I ended up watching a few episodes again on Netflix during the holidays, and I forgot how much I missed it.  In case you’re not convinced, here are a couple of clips I rather enjoy:

Fill for 15 seconds!

“Shoe Money To-NIGHT!” and the Zone – one of my favorites.

Check it out on Netflix or YouTube.

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