Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip/The Harriet Dinner (1)
The Harriet Dinner (1) is the thirteenth episode of the first season of Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, and the thirteenth episode overall. Relationships run afoul when Danny and Jordan, Matt and Harriet, and Tom and Lucy run into troubles centered around Harriet's honorary dinner. While they struggle with their personal lives, a poisonous viper is loose in the studio.
Guest Stars: Mark McKinney (Andy Mackinaw), Merritt Wever (Suzanne), Casey Sander (Beavo), Christian Camargo ("Keith Richards"), Lucy Davis (Lucy Kenwright), Columbus Short (Darius Hawthorne), Josh Stamberg (Luke Scott), Stephanie Childers (Halle Gallaway), Julia Ling (Kim Tao), Nate Torrence (Dylan Killington), Camille Chen (Samantha Li), John Mahon (George), Vernee Watson-Johnson (Zelda)
Co-Stars: Masi Oka (Himself)
In a rare move, Jack Rudolph is asking Tom for a favor. At the dinner where Harriet is receiving an award, Tom will take Kim Tao as his date and convince her that she doesn't want to drop out of school to start a career in comedy. This creates a conflict, however, because Tom needs to break his date with Lucy in order to appease Jack. He reluctantly accepts and the two go their separate ways. Jack goes across the street to the NBS building in order to sit in on a meeting about Halle Gallaway's All You Need is Love pitch and the response from sales. Jordan makes it clear that she hates the program and that she probably wants Gallaway dead, but Jack reminds the people in the meeting that it's up to her decision. But, not really, because they have a hole in the schedule from the Dracula mishap.
At Studio 60, Cal convinces Danny that they can shoot a taped video segment involving live poisonous snakes in the studio. Danny is clearly afraid of snakes, but accepts the offer anyway because it would save them several thousand dollars. He also admits to Matt that he screwed up by sending Jordan letters of recommendation and decides to leave her alone for a while. On his way to the writers room, Matt also runs into Tom who fills him in on his situation with Kim and is told that the truth isn't always the best option because Lucy will only hear "another woman." He also bids over $5000 on Harriet's dinner and is being offered an award from the polyamorous sex group which he's balancing out the scales with. After finally reaching the writers room, he hands the three packets of viewer mail to answer. Although Lucy and Andy both get mail stating that Matt is a god, Darius winds up with some of Simon's less savory mail. He demands to go see him, leaves the room and Matt explains to the others that Darius is going to get his ass kicked.
After shooting the promos with Masi Oka and Harriet, Cal meets with the snake handler for the shoot and attempts to get some reassurance that the vipers aren't dangerous. There's no assurance to give, they're all real and will strike at any movement. Meanwhile, Tom attempts to move his date with Lucy and smooth things over with lies. At this point, Darius confronts Simon but his point of view is drowned out by Simon's offense over Darius not wanting to write the "black sketches." Also, across town Harriet is filming her parts in the Rolling Stones movie, and is approached by Luke Scott about having a drink after the dinner. She rebukes him at first because of Matt, but he tells her that her relationship with Matt ended a long time ago and she should move on to better things.
Back at the studio, the snake handler says that they're missing one of the vipers. Cal attempts to keep this under wraps in order to prevent a panic, but the fact of the matter is that one of the snakes escaped through the grate on stage. Beavo says that he can release a ferret to get the snake, but it'll cost another $6,000 to replace the snake. Completely ignorant to the snake situation, Matt is alerted to the fact that the bidding on the auction closed early and both he and "LukeS5858" will be attending the dinner with Harriet.
Thursday night, the ferret is fat off of old scraps of food that found its way into the grate and the viper is still missing. Cal is still trying to keep this under wraps, but Danny is starting to suspect something is wrong. Before he can say anything, Jordan appears to accompany Harriet to the dinner and he takes her aside to apologize for acting like a stalker. In order to get privacy for this, they go onto the roof, but the door locks from the inside. Since most of the cast is gone to support Harriet, the two are stuck there.
At the dinner, Matt reveals himself as one of the two people who tied in the auction. But "LukeS5858" isn't Luke Scott, it's a 15-year-old Star Wars fan whose screen name means "Luke Skywalker" and the address for the Skywalker ranch. He's also a professional snowboarder who got the bronze medal in the X Games. Harriet, on the other hand, isn't amused by this prospect at all. She would have thought it was sweet until Matt let it slip that he only started bidding in order to thwart who he thought was Luke Scott. He also accepts an offer to introduce Harriet in front of a bunch of people he doesn't like all that much because Jordan is still stuck on the roof with Danny.
In a night full of backfires, Tom's plan to smooth things over with Lucy until he can convince Kim to not give up on music follows suit when Lucy turns up at the dinner. Harriet gave the writers tickets as well as the cast. Meanwhile, Matt's plans for Harriet backfire when she explains to him that by the end of the night, they're done for once and for all. In the studio, the snake is still loose, but Beavo offers to go back to his place, get a coyote to get the ferret and work on getting the snake after that point.
- The host for Friday's episode of Studio 60 is Masi Oka, one of the stars of the NBC superpower drama, Heroes. He stars as a Japanese man named Hiro Nakamura who has the power to travel through time and space. He appears once in the episode during the promo shoot with Harriet, who is taking on the identity of the teenage indestructible cheerleader, Claire Bennet. The musical guest, who does not appear in the episode, is John Legend. Legend is an R&B singer and songwriter who appeared on albums by Alicia Keyes and Jay-Z before recording his own solo album.
Behind the Scenes
Allusions and References
- Hammer of the Gods: Hammer of the Gods is a game made for MS-DOS in 1994 about building an empire in a mythological Norse setting. In the game, players chose a particular race like dwarf of elf and built up their military in order to conquer the land and complete an objective like "slay the dragon at Stonehenge." The "Dora's" part of the title is a reference to the children's program Dora the Explorer.
- Tom: Dora's Hammer of the Gods for Playstation 3.
- Green Lantern: Green Lantern is a comic book character owned by DC Comics. The character was created by Bill Finger and artist Martin Nodell in 1940, but has grown into one of DC's most popular characters. The most well known of the Green Lanterns (which is similar to an intergalactic police force) is Hal Jordan, created by John Broome and Gil Kane in 1959. There have been rumors of the Green Lantern movie since the resurgence in popularity of superhero films like Spider-Man, one of which involved Jack Black in a parody comedy.
- Danny: I think we'll do the Green Lantern, I can see the one-sheet now.
- Harriet: Am I the one that can travel through time?
Harriet: Which one am I?
Masi: You're indestructible.
Harriet: Who's the one who can travel through time?