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Old June 25 2012, 11:54 PM   #1
Guy Gardener
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The Newsroom.

The Newsroom

Aaron Sorkin splooged.

The first episode was a perfect storm.
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Old June 25 2012, 11:59 PM   #2
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Re: The Newsroom.

it's tedious and smug.

it's like being lectured on a subject you don't care about by someone who thinks he's much cleverer than he is.
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Old June 26 2012, 12:07 AM   #3
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Re: The Newsroom.

Yes, there's that too.

But it's hardly a surprise.
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Old June 26 2012, 12:14 AM   #4
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Re: The Newsroom.

Have to wait until next month before we see it on this side of the pond.
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Old June 26 2012, 12:19 AM   #5
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Re: The Newsroom.

I enjoyed it, though it never quite lived up to the level of the (great) rant at the beginning.

Also, it's kind of easy to be critical of the state of the news today (which I and most people are too) while having the benefit of writing about newsmaking incidents with 20/20 hindsight and a helping of extremely convenient characters and events.

The blogger guy just happens to be some kind of an expert on deep ocean drilling because he built a volcano as a school project when he was a kid. The wunderkind new producer just happens to have a sister and a former roommate intimately involved with the oil spill disaster and willing to possibly jeopardize their careers by whistleblowing mere hours into the course of the disaster (although they remain confidential, it could possibly be tracked back to them). Everyone and their brother seems to be willing to come on the air and comment for the record before the full extent of the disaster is even known. Yeah, it would be great if the news can inform us in such a detailed and amazingly swift manner, but stories don't often fall in their laps the way this one did to the Newsnight staff. They put together a full reporting on the truth of the BP disaster in a manner of about a half-hour before (and during) broadcast and only a couple of hours after the incident itself happened.

I get that to make things exciting and live up to the fast-paced tempo of a Sorkin show some compromises are going to have to be made, but I hope in the future a slightly more realistic approach to attaining and confirming sources based on days, weeks, and months of rigorous research and back and forth discussions with often uncooperative sources worried about their jobs will be depicted.

That being said, it had all the biting and witty dialogue I've come to expect from Sorkin, and people getting a workout running around the set like it's a track and field competition. Every first episode has some kinks to work out before they settle into the groove of how the show is going to work, and I look forward to seeing Sorkin's and his fellow writer's commentary on the various newsmaking incidents of the past couple of years. So I'll definitely be sticking with this one and watching it with great interest.
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Old June 26 2012, 12:30 AM   #6
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Re: The Newsroom.

I'm a sucker for a Hepburn/Tracy love story, but that Hugh Grant/Meg Ryan thing that they got going on with the kids is special like a three legged dog.
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Old June 26 2012, 12:51 AM   #7
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Re: The Newsroom.

junxon wrote: View Post
it's tedious and smug.

it's like being lectured on a subject you don't care about by someone who thinks he's much cleverer than he is.
He is probably smarter than the mos of us or we would be making a lot of $$$ from Emmy winning shows. I love Sorkin because I like the feeling that am being challenged + it always help to be Liberal

I loved the pilot and the speech at the start was superb and gave me real West Wing vibes when he uttered the line "We reached for the stars"
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Old June 26 2012, 01:06 AM   #8
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Re: The Newsroom.

Jax wrote: View Post
I loved the pilot and the speech at the start was superb and gave me real West Wing vibes when he uttered the line "We reached for the stars"
Ugh, the Golden Age Fallacy at its very ugliest. And the Constitution, a "masterpiece"? It's had a very impressive history, yes, but it's become a massive national handicap.

Hope this show crashes and burns ASAP, so Sorkin can go back to doing what he does best - adapting (mostly, at least) non-fiction books to kickass movie screenplays.
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Old June 26 2012, 01:40 AM   #9
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Re: The Newsroom.

A friend once told me that Popeye is to Spinach like Aaron Sorkin is to Cocaine.

Although he's probably been clean for years.

Although, if we believe Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, Aaron only does TV when he fails some drug test to pass a physical for the insurance paperwork to work on a movie set... Or are we suppose to believe that that is just a fictional supposition?

In the Final episode of GCB, Aaron's tiny blond exgirlfriend screamed at the top of her lungs, "Why you're all just a bunch of "Crazy Christians!" which had me wonder, that if the entire run of Enterprise was just a holodeck adventure for Riker, that the entire run of GCB might have been the 7 minute skit called Crazy Christians that got Matt Albie fired years earlier which was finally proformed after the closing credits rolled to the pilot of Studio 60 on he Sunset Strip.

I can think of three times in my life I have looked up Emily Mortimor on IMDB marvelling "Who is this most beautiful woman in the world I have never seen before?" only to conclude... "OH! it's her again!" It does seem impossible that I can forget that I am desperately in love with people I have never met, but that's just the world.
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Old June 26 2012, 01:49 AM   #10
the G-man
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Re: The Newsroom.

One critic basically said the problem with this show is there's nothing left for Sorkin to say about television news that he didn't say with "Sports Night."
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Old June 26 2012, 02:02 AM   #11
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Re: The Newsroom.

True.

But how are you going to convince the twitter generation to watch a 15 year old rerun so conceited that it still wants to bitchslap the vacant youth for being less than magnificent, as idolatable edutainment?

A great deal of his new audience, is that 20 year old Jeff Daniels pulverized in the first few minutes of the show because they were busy being born or learning to processing solid food and detritus when Sports Night's ratings were sinking into the toilet.
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Old June 26 2012, 02:04 AM   #12
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Re: The Newsroom.

Locutus of Bored wrote: View Post
I get that to make things exciting and live up to the fast-paced tempo of a Sorkin show some compromises are going to have to be made, but I hope in the future a slightly more realistic approach to attaining and confirming sources based on days, weeks, and months of rigorous research and back and forth discussions with often uncooperative sources worried about their jobs will be depicted.
I'm pretty sure it will be. As Jim Parker (is that the character's name?) said it was the first time he got that lucky concerning his sources. I think they just needed something big to start off the show.

The monologue at the beginning was awesome. I found myself answering the college girl's question about what makes America the greatest nation on earth with "it isn't" and then he said all the right things. He might have a romanticised view of the past, though. But that's par for the course with Sorkin, I guess.
There is a certain unrealistic element to the show - the totally crazy but brilliant characters, the idealism - but that's true for The West Wing as well. I really liked this one and I'm looking forward to more.
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Old June 26 2012, 02:41 AM   #13
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Re: The Newsroom.

A great deal of his new audience, is that 20 year old Jeff Daniels pulverized in the first few minutes of the show ...
I'm a lot closer to 50 than I am to 20 but I don't know any 20 year olds who ask questions like that. That was more like the kind of question of 12 year old might ask and I'm not even sure about that.
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Old June 26 2012, 02:56 AM   #14
Sci
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Re: The Newsroom.

"How to Get Under Aaron Sorkin's Skin:"

Sarah Nicole Prickett wrote:
Hence, my first question starts, “I watched the pilot twice ... ” But I don't get to the question part because Sorkin looks as if he wants to say something. I invite him to do so, and he asks, “Because you liked it so much the first time, or because you didn't understand it the first time?”

So huge is the hubris in thinking anyone smart enough to write about this show for a national newspaper might not be yet smart enough to understand it (should you fret about your own Sorkin-fathoming abilities, let me say that if you read Don Quixote in the ninth grade or studied American History in the 11th, you will be fine) that I just swallow and tell my own truth.
Sorkin does not live in the age of Gawker. But The Newsroom is opportunely timed – at least for educated-liberal audiences – in part because this is an election year, and Americans are so divided that wild ambivalence seems like the only way left to feel. In larger part, it’s because a certain kind of man is now freaking out over the loss of his greatness: Esquire is e-publishing “men’s fiction”; Simon Fraser University wants to build a “men’s centre,” requiring perhaps refuge from the plague of 51-per-cent female enrolment; “misandry” is a word you hear people say and mean.

Really, all that’s happening is that feminism has achieved some of its purposes and pluralism has taken root. Systems are tenuous; forces of change are multiplying; the great-(white)-man theory will not hold.

Sorkin, though, is winningly upholding it. The colonel, the president, the genius, the baseball coach, the anchorman, and next – as he’s recently confirmed – no less than Steve Jobs: His subjects are masculine iconoclasts with traditional top-down power, who strive, in Graham Greene-type ways, to use it for good.

But on “real” TV news, these heroes are dying, and to mourn them is also to mourn a paternalistic notion of truth as something you should but cannot handle, when for the powerless vast majority it’s so gossamer it just slips through our fingers. With one look into the steel arrogance behind Sorkin’s eyes, I am sure he considers his life’s tragedy that, in 50 years, there will be no Sorkin to write about him.

“I think I would have done very well, as a writer, in the forties,” he says. “I think the last time America was a great country was then, or not long after. It was before Vietnam, before Watergate.”

It was a great country, yes, for great white men. It was a great country when you could still trust in greatness. As many of us (who watch HBO, at least) long ago stopped believing in God, a God who for all Christian and capitalistic intents and purposes was male, it could not be much longer before we also stopped believing in things as theistic as neutrality and objectivity and omnipotence in journalism. I do not want us to stop believing in heroes; only in heroes who think, as Sorkin's heroes think, they're truth-raining gods.
“Listen here, Internet girl,” he says, getting up. “It wouldn’t kill you to watch a film or pick up a newspaper once in a while.” I’m not sure how he’s forgotten that I am writing for a newspaper; looking over the publicist’s shoulder, I see that every reporter is from a print publication (do not see: Drew Magary). I remind him. I say also, factually, “I have a New York Times subscription and an HBO subscription. Any other advice?”

He looks surprised, then high-fives me. Being not a person who high-fives or generally makes physical contact with interview subjects, I look more surprised.

“I’m sick of girls who don’t know how to high-five,” he says. He makes me try to do it “properly,” six times. He also makes me laugh; I’m nervous, and it’s so absurd. He loves it. He says, “Let me manhandle you.” Then he ambles off, hoping I’ll write something nice, as though he has never known how the news works, how many stories can be true.
"You Can't Handle the Truth About Aaron Sorkin:"

David Haglund wrote:
That Sorkin’s work is indeed middlebrow—is practically the definition of it—seems not to be universally understood. A profile by Dave Itzkoff published earlier this month in the New York Times, for instance, referred to Sorkin’s “willfully highbrow approach” to TV writing. But that’s probably more a comment on the general lowering of our collective brow than anything else. Sorkin would never, Franzen-like, claim to be part of a “high-art literary tradition.” If he aspires to belong to any literary tradition at all, it would seem to be the tradition of the Broadway musical, the most middlebrow genre there is. Seriously: In his new show, The Newsroom, Sorkin goes out of his way to mention a famous musical in every episode. Over the past few months, I’ve revisited everything Aaron Sorkin ever wrote, and I can say with certainty that the writers who get name-checked more than any other over the course of Sorkin’s considerable oeuvre are W.S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan. No one else comes close.
It wasn’t until that real-world debate hit the front pages that Sorkin would finally top his work in A Few Good Men. And that isn’t entirely a coincidence: As Mark Harris recently noted in New York Magazine, the higher the stakes, the better Sorkin’s work is. Which seems counterintuitive: Given the essential superficiality of his work—Sorkin has said many times that the “sound of intelligence” is what he loves, not the substance—one might expect lighter fare to be his forte. But when Sorkin does light, it’s usually awful. Witness The American President (1995), a decidedly Clinton-era, wannabe-Capra take on a widower president who starts dating a lobbyist. The movie—which, like A Few Good Men, was directed by Rob Reiner—is mostly bad, and occasionally creepy, like erotic White House fanfic written by a presidential biographer in his off hours. (“I’m sorry,” the president tells his girlfriend, “we’re going to have to cut our evening short. The Libyans have just bombed C-STAD. I’ll try to call you tomorrow.” Yuck.)
With The West Wing, Sorkin found the perfect vessel in which to pour line upon line of rhythmic argument, with real disputes among smart people who have important goals that butt up against serious obstacles. Those few things are nearly all that Sorkin needs to make compulsively watchable television. The last thing is a perfect cast. That may sound like the sort of thing every writer and director needs, but it’s true in a particular way for Sorkin, because he doesn’t really distinguish between his characters in any but the most superficial ways. (This may be why he likes to work with the same actors so often.) Apart from a verbal tic here or there, all his characters talk the same. When an interviewer asked him once about character development, Sorkin said, “When you say ‘character development,’ I don’t know what you mean. I feel like you’re talking about, do I grow their hair longer?” “There is no inside out,” he added. “I don’t sit there and think, ‘Oh shit, C.J. wouldn’t do this.’ C.J. would do whatever I make C.J. do.”
If you want to watch Sorkin be Sorkin, TV will always be the place to do it. So one hopes that after a season or two of The Newsroom, he will finally get this backstage TV obsession out of his system and write a show about lawyers. No one can make a deposition dramatic like Aaron Sorkin. Recall that all of The Social Network, in reality, is one long deposition; even in his one thriller, Malice, a deposition provides the most riveting scene. Lawyers, not TV producers, are the perfect Sorkin subjects, since they argue for a living and often have to repeat things. The stakes in a courtroom are often high—and can be grasped instantly. (When making a TV show about lawyers, one needn’t pretend that a TV show will save America.) Such a series wouldn’t reinvent television, or anything else, but it would almost certainly divert us for an hour each week with the entertaining sound of intelligence.
And, finally:

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Old June 26 2012, 03:17 AM   #15
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Re: The Newsroom.

The G-Man seyz...
I'm a lot closer to 50 than I am to 20 but I don't know any 20 year olds who ask questions like that. That was more like the kind of question of 12 year old might ask and I'm not even sure about that.
I'm in my mid 30s, but I have a 16 year old child who talks utter bollocks because he thinks that he is immortal, and the first text capable phones came out when I was at university, so I can almost understand a 20something.

Remember Matt Damon in Good Will Hunting taking that kid down in a bar about how whatever they had just taught him at college was the most real thing in the world because he wasn't as aware of his future curriculum like he a janitor was? ...And that the next books he would be told to read would change his word view in a completely anticipated fashion and then the next books and so on, and so on?

The College experience is safe bubble where they build you up in before the real world starts knocking you down.

If I may be crass.

Only tired old limp men entirely beyond sex tell gorgeous skinny 20 year old girls that they are wrong and possibly retarded, even though they almost all usually are since sensible intelligent women usually never put themselves in such situations where they can be judged and attacked by idiots.

They Shoot Horse Don't They?

Future episodes will include Jane Fonda as the Boss of Bosses.

Purely scientifically speaking, it would be interesting to compare a nude scene now to her epic moments in Barbarella just to prove that women are real people who are important no matter their exterior issues.

It's HBO.

I don't need tits, but I did wonder if there was going to be any?
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