Seven years ago today the last episode of Sports Night aired. I was going to do a long eloquent post about my love for the show and why you should love it too, but the 16th kind of snuck up on me, so you're getting the quick and dirty Sports Night love. I probably wouldn't have been eloquent anyway.
For those of you unfortunate enough to not know what Sports Night is, it's a show about a sports show, but it's not really about sports at all. It ran for two season on ABC. Two seasons of ups and downs, sickness and health, love and friendship, anger, angst, The Dating Plan, and That Thing Dan Does With His Mouth. And I love every minute of it. Well, maybe not The Dating Plan.
I said above that Sports Night isn't about sports, and it's not. It's about people. The wonderful, brilliant, funny, flawed people who run the show. They are all fantastic. There's Casey, who's anal and dorky and loves his son. My dear Danny. Broken, awesome, vaguely gay, needs to be cuddled Danny. And Dana. Dana who loves her job and it gives her such a rush that she doesn't come down till three in the morning. I love Dana. And Natalie and Jeremy and Kim and Elliot and Isaac. God, I love Isaac. They bicker and argue and get genuinely pissed at each other but you never doubt the love they have for each other and their show.
They're what drag you into the show. They're not perfect. Far from it. Their flaws are what makes them real. It's what makes you love them. You can love Dan and Casey because they're awesome sports dudes(technical term), but you probably don't. You love Casey because he's a dork and is horrible with women. You love Dan because of
That Thing He Does With His Mouth
his loyalty to Casey and his broken broken soul. Or maybe that last one is just me. You love Dana in spite of The Dating Plan. Natalie is kind of scary and Jeremy is a giant nerd, and these are the reasons you care about them. It's not always easy. Sometimes you want to punch Dan in the face or tell Natalie to shut up, but you always come back to them.
The show was funny, but it wasn't your typical half-hour comedy. It was fast paced and smart and dramatic. Maybe the dramatic moments were part of why it failed. The show refused to be button-holed as a comedy, and we all know that networks love shows that can be summed up simply. Every episode had moments that made me laugh but more than a few had moments that made me cry. I dare you to watch The Apology and not be moved by Dan's speech about his brother, or not laugh at the wonder that is Thespis (falling turkeys are never NOT funny).
I've watched a lot of television in my time. A lot. And Sports Night is still one of the best shows I have ever seen. I can't recommend it to you highly enough. It's out on DVD, you can probably get it Netflix. You won't regret it.
I feel like since I did this post about the wonders of Sports Night, I'd be shirking my duties if I didn't pimp out the awesomeness that is the SN fandom. The people involved are stellar writers and artists. They bring light into my otherwise dark existence. Here are some communities for you to check out should you want to experience the excellence yourself:csc_memo
- A noticeboard style community to announce your fic/icons/meta/whatever.inthetallgrass
- A general Sorkin fic community.sn_playbook
- A flashfic challenge community.sn_updates
- A weekly newsletter.snarchive
- A Sport Night specific fic community.so_stick_around
- A community that discusses a different episode of Sports Night each week.sn100
- A drabble challenge community