Last night, I posted a short musing about how, while ABC is rebooting a failed series from the late 90's, what's a girl gotta do to get Sports Night, take two?
Aaron Sorkin's first show aired for two seasons from 1998-2000. Unparalleled in terms of wit and wisdom, the show never quite caught on with viewers. You know why? It was what you might call a "dramedy." Nowadays, we're completely familiar with the concept. We expect our dramas to make us laugh and our comedies to have moments of poignancy. We expect some shows to never quite explain to us which they are. But Sports Night was really groundbreaking in this capacity, and people didn't know what to do with it. (Some episodes have a laugh track, for crying out loud--woefully inappropriate for a show like this. We know that now.)
Here's a whole post about Sports Night if you want more information.
But this post is about Sports Night 2.0, which ABC seriously needs to talk to Sorkin about.
When looking at who to cast in Sports Night 2.0, there are a few qualifications, not the least of which is: they have to be able to talk fast. My mind immediately went to:
Lauren Graham. Dana Whitaker, originally played by Felicity Huffman, was kind of a mess. She was flighty and awkward, and she was always on the express train to Crazytown. Case in point: when she wanted her relationship with Casey to work, she was convinced the only way to make that happen was for him to date other women for six months. (Hint hint: it didn't work out.) In Sports Night 2.0, they should modernize Dana a little bit. Make her just as flighty and hilarious, just...a little less crazybrain.
Now, if we've got our Dana, then we need someone who's got smokin' chemistry with Lauren:
Matt Perry would be a great Casey. First of all, he'd be an easy sell: he worked with Aaron Sorkin on Studio 60--this one's a no-brainer. Casey is the stable one of the group--although not by much. Dan is known as the "cool one," but Casey makes more money and is generally considered the better writer. He's also considered "conversationally anal retentive," structuring his sentences with explicit subparts and bullet points. And he has a kid, Charlie, with his ex-wife, Lisa, who's not very nice. And, yeah, he's got a thing for Dana. Mostly because he thinks she's funny.
Rounding out the group is:
Scott Wolf as Dan. He has the same vibe as Josh Charles had: boyish good looks and a "Where do I know you from again?" face. Dan is charming, slightly younger than Casey and a little less experienced. He's silly; he says things for the sake of saying them: "You know who I'm gonna set you up with? Yoko Ono." Though it's assumed he has good luck with the ladies night-to-night, he's had few successful relationships. At the end of the day, Dan's a gentleman, and sometimes it gets him in trouble.
Not just because I'd love the Party of Five reunion, I suggest:
Scott Grimes as Jeremy. He may be a little too old to play the adorkable Jeremy, but unfortunately, John Francis Daley is otherwise employed. And anyway, he still has that youthful energy and underlying anger that Joshua Malina used to make Jeremy so funny and likable. I can definitely see him doing this monologue, from one of my favorite episodes, "Shoe Money Tonight":
Now, if we've got our Jeremy, that means we need a Natalie. I'm proposing:
I love Kristen Schaal from her hilarious segments on The Daily Show, and she'd be a quirkier version of Natalie. Natalie is a sweet girl from a small town in Ohio, but she followed her dreams of being a sports reporter to the Big Apple, and now she's a lady on the town. She's more extroverted than anyone else, enjoying nightclubs and supporting the idea of taking one's underwear off at the dinner table.
Finally, we have to cast Mr. Boss Man, Isaac Jaffe. I suggest:
Isaac came out of retirement for this job; he's doing it because he loves it. He sees Dan, Casey, and Dana as his children, and they in turn view him as a father figure. But the love only goes so far. Cross Isaac Jaffe and he will Mess. You. Up. He will go all Managing Editor on your ass and get on the air with a beautiful editorial before you can say "I'm sorry." It's similar to the role Mitch Pileggi played on The X-Files: he helped Mulder and Scully as much as he could, but he wasn't giving out any hugs.
So that's it. Do you have any suggestions for who could take these roles?
If this happened, would you jump on the Matthew/Lauren RPF train like I did today? (True story.)
Or are you appalled by the thought of anyone but the original cast starring in this show?
In any case, share below!