|“We first thought it would be a one-off,’’ Jimmy Fallon says of the miniseries that developed on his “Late Night’’ show. (Diane Bondareff/Associated Press)|
Fallon’s really happy with ‘7th Floor West’
NEW YORK - Since arriving in March, “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon’’ has proved itself a worthy player in the world of TV comedy-talk.
It has also given birth to an unexpected world within a world - a dandy little miniseries planted within “Late Night’’ that spoofs reality soap TV like “The Hills’’ in a bizarro backstage version of “Late Night.’’
“7th Floor West’’ was introduced during Fallon’s first week hosting “Late Night, which airs weeknights at 12:35 a.m. on NBC. But recent installments have premiered dependably on “Late Night’’ each Monday, making “7th Floor West’’ its own five minutes of micro-must-see TV. (You can catch up with past episodes on the miniseries’ own website.)
The title hints at a Central Park West brand of loftiness, while literally addressing the office space in Rockefeller Center’s G.E. Building that houses the “Late Night’’ staff. It is here that the high-drama, brashly vacuous action (not that there’s really much going on) takes place.
Jimmy Fallon plays Jimmy, the good-guy host of a late-night talk show who is constantly undermined by his sneaky head writer, Miles (real-life “Late Night’’ head writer A.D. Miles) in cahoots with Jimmy’s turncoat former assistant Lauren (his actual current assistant, Lauren Cave), with the rest of the show’s writers caught, rather unconcernedly, in between.
Bottom line: “7th Floor West’’ is very much like the real “Late Night,’’ without being anything like it.
What it mostly resembles is “The Hills’’ blended with the shallowest elements of high school. It’s letter-perfect, down to the mewling theme song and Jimmy’s voice-over recap of previous episodes (like when he threw an office pizza party that Miles sabotaged, and, before that, agonized over which color tie, red or blue, he should wear on opening night).
Fallon marvels how “7th Floor West’’ has caught on with his audience. “We didn’t think it was going to be recurring,’’ he says. “We first thought it would be a one-off.’’
Is there any danger that the audience will be confused about what’s real and what isn’t in the corridors of 7th Floor West?
Fallon chuckles, “People ask me, ‘Who’s that girl who plays your assistant?’ I say, ‘That’s my assistant!’ ’’