Monday, April 13, 2009

Sports Night 2.0: My Imaginary Cast

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!

5 Responses to “Sports Night 2.0: My Imaginary Cast”

Yes, yes, awesome, especially the Matthew/Lauren train. Except that John Francis Daley is decidedly too dorky even for Jeremy. It's impressive, I didn't think anyone could outdo Joshua Malina in that category, but then I added to my Bones addiction just a single episode of Kitchen Confidential and...bam! Talk about your typecasting.

Of course, if Nicholas Brendan ever gets another acting job, he'll probably still be playing Xander. Not that that's anything resembling a bad thing, just saying.

Unknown said...

I hope you're not disparaging JFD, Alli. I am probably going to marry Lance Sweets, FYI.

Oh, never! Just saying he out-dorks Joshua Malina. And I'm sure he's a great actor with an impressive range, but so far he just seems to play the dorks...

Breda said...

Just have to throw in that I, too, ADORE Sweets. I don't know how he did it, but he went from being "that annoying kid" to "my favorite character every time he speaks".

I'm...jogging next to the appalled train. (Yeah, that's a terrible metaphor. Shut up.) Partly because original cast ♥, and partly because Aaron Sorkin needs to come make a TV show about the radio station where I work right away. It'd be awesome. You've got a bunch of 18- to 22-year-olds splitting their time between an Ivy League education and running a commercially successful radio station/business, torn between being college kids and being professionals. Smart, hardworking kids who LOVE what they do and are good at it, talk a lot and loudly (with plenty of witty one-liners), tend to have weird epic incestuous relationships, and occasionally drink way more than is healthy. There aren't enough random hookups for us to be a good reality show, but we'd be an awesome Sorkin show. :D

So yeah. That's my plan. :P

Unknown said...

@Breda LOL my other plan for Sorkin is a series behind the scenes at a non-sports news program. I thought Studio 60's problems would have been solved if, instead of a sketch comedy show, it was set at, say, World News Tonight. You want to talk about war and politics? He had the wrong setting!

But yes, I agree, his best work has been in television and he needs to get back soon!