This year I wrote Studio 60 fic in the shape of The Bend of Her Hair (3,000 words, Jordan/Danny, with a little Matt/Harriet, no warnings). It's bittersweet, and probably more bitter than sweet, because of all the relationships on the show, whether friendships or romantic relationships, I found theirs the least explicable.

The process of writing 'The Bend of Her Hair', and reading the other Studio 60 fic produced for the challenge, has prompted some thoughts on the show.

Studio 60 was the only Sorkin show that I've ever watched completely as it aired, and some of it was timeshifted thanks to my PVR. I watched the first few seasons of The West Wing as it aired, but the way the broadcaster shifted it about the schedule in the UK, made it more sensible to get the boxsets. Ditto for Sports Night, which I watched over the space of a few days.

There's a lot to like in Studio 60. Sorkin writes male friendships incredibly well, and I think that Danny Tripp and Matt Albie work beautifully together. There's a fantastic ensemble of characters, and the fact that Sorkin was tracing the details of his relationship with Kristin Chenoweth, doesn't detract from the glory that is Harriet Hayes, who is funny, smart, and decent. There's a pale reprise of Dan Rydell's issues with Jacob Rydell in Tom Jeter's relationship with his own father, and an episode exploring masculinity and performance. There is a fantastic double-bill called 'Nevada Day' that covers off city vs country, religious satire, international trade, business integrity, honour and war, and manages to skirt just the funny side of all-out farce. The show says some moderately interesting things about representation and patriotism, and tries to answer the question 'What is America?'.

The things I liked less )
I've been away for the holidays, and have barely scratched the surface of Yuletide, but have a few recs in the fandoms I have read that I wanted to post before the reveal:

Sports Night

Firstly, I got two gorgeous Sports Night fics that feature Dan Rydell's pain front and centre, in Holiday Spirit (1,500 words, no warnings) and Pinch Hitter (1,300 words, no warnings). I could read about sad, broken Danny all day and all night, and these are excellent examples of their type, with supportive!Casey and a fantastic Isaac. As these were both pinch-hits, it's even more astounding that they are so very pretty.

Studio 60

After the prodigious outputs for Sports Night and The West Wing (and even The Social Network), the amount of fic suggests that this is the Aaron Sorkin show that has been least taken to fandom's heart. Best Man (~6000 words, discussion of consent issues/drug addiction) is a real gem though. The relationship between Matt Albie and Danny Tripp is one of the few things that the show does well, and this explores it beautifully, without glossing over the strain that addiction can place on a friendship. This left me nodding my head, and features a lovely Harriet Hayes.

Friday Night Lights

Considering the awesomeness of this show, and all of its characters, there is surprisingly little fic out there, so it's glorious to get so much of quality this Yuletide. My favourite is All About Me (1,500 words, no warnings), in which Jess Merriweather thinks about the fact that she wanted to be QB1 for the Dallas Cowboys, and how women fit in, or don't, to the world of Dillon football.

There is a little bit of fic out there exploring the ways that being gay might intersect with life in a socially conservative small town, and with the world of football. When the World Comes In (4,100 words, no warnings) explores a relationship between Luke Cafferty and Vince Howard, and what coming out means, and might mean, for them and the people they know. It's lovely, and hopeful, without handwaving away the attitudes of the people around them.

If Friday Night Lights has a tragic hero, then it's Tim Riggins. Visitation (2,200 words, no warnings) is a gem of a story about Coach Taylor visiting Tim in prison. I haven't seen any of season five yet, and if the show's writers found a way to make this happen, then I would be very happy.

Southland, Ugly Betty, Mysterious Skin )



March 2015

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