I was very excited to be able to write about attending tonight's West Coast season-premiere live broadcast. I've been anticipating this for weeks, ever since I knew I was going. A good friend works on the show, so I've been to approximately 40 tapings. But I was extremely nervous, so you know I was really looking forward to this night. Due to the multiple takes, normal tapings take about four hours. The writers often rewrite the scenes to make them funnier, so the actors flub their lines and director Jimmy Burrows is a perfectionist. So knowing this was live, I wondered how they could possibly do it ,since they couldn't do scenes over and over and only had a half hour twice once for each coast. Truth is, they've been rehearsing this for four weeks to get it down pat, and the script had gone through so many changes, it had to be perfect. Well, you didn't have to be in the live studio audience to be able to enjoy it, but it certainly made it even better. I cannot remember the last time I laughed so nonstop at this show; I laughed so much that I wish they did it live every week.
I am well aware that some of my colleagues here at TVGuide.com and at the magazine have not been very kind about this show lately, but I myself am still a fan. I admit that it's not as funny as it used to be, and they really need to simma don nah on all the guest stars. But tonight was absolutely hilarious, and the cast was fabulous. Funniest parts were the few times Debra Messing and Sean Hayes broke character and laughed at each other. I thought I was watching Carol Burnett and Harvey Korman on The Carol Burnett Show (when I watched it on my TiVo when I got home tonight, I could totally hear my laugh several times, along with my roommate Jason and friend Dawn's laughs). Eric McCormack and guest-star Alec Baldwin only broke character once, but I don't remember Megan Mullally or Shelley Morrison ever breaking.