Parents' Guide to

Sports Night

By Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Sophisticated dramedy features some mature themes.

TV FX, Syndicated Comedy 1998
Sports Night Poster Image

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Sports Night, which was inspired by shows like ESPN SportsCenter, combines humor and drama as it deals with themes surrounding contemporary sports, and often questions the ethics of some of the choices the media make when producing television. The relationship issues that develop between the cast lead to both comical and some not-so-funny, moments, including actor Robert Guillame's highly-publicized stroke, which was worked into the storyline.

Interestingly, the show made history by being a situation comedy that moved away from the traditional TV comedy elements of the time. It slowly eliminated the pre-recorded laugh track while it was on the air, and incorporated unique techniques that are now considered Sorkin trademarks, including the use of quick sarcastic exchanges, and the "walk and talk" (characters walking and talking quickly). As a result, many critics argue that it was canceled too soon. Nonetheless, today's viewers will appreciate the show's sophistication, as well as the stories being told here.

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