mordicai caeli (mordicai) wrote,
mordicai caeli
mordicai

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News Night.



I was able to win my wife & articulate my ideology because of Sports Night, so I consider myself somewhat in debt to Aaron Sorkin. He invented one of my top ten television shows! That said, I also watched all of Studio 60, so I sort of feel like he owes me one. Or maybe we're square, since I didn't go to see that movie he made about Facebook. Anyhow, I haven't even seen The West Wing, so I'm clearly an imperfect audience. On Sunday though, Jenny & I started watching The Newsroom, his new HBO show. My go-to joke about it really is the truth of my opinion: it would be a better show if it was half an hour long, & about sports. I mean, here is the thing-- it should be called "News Night." The show inside the show is called that, so there is a tip of the hat, but he's really trying to do the same thing he did with Sports Night again, which I applaud him for. Just because it is an obvious move doesn't mean it is a bad one-- like the romantic tension between John Gallagher & Alison Pill's characters. Sure, he's recapitulating Jim & Pam from The Office, but I don't mind. What I do mind is the overwhelming pompousness & self-righteousness of the show. Hey! I'm a smug jerk, & if I say it is too much? It is too much. It is hard not to crack up just watching the self-indulgent opening credits-- Jurassic Park-style music plays while black & white news anchors scurry about dramatically. "We are the dreamers of dreams, we are Prometheus who brings fire to man, we are the philosopher kings!" The show itself floats that same air of puffed up ego; the basic premise being that the show is set two years ago, in 2010, which affords them the ability to use hindsight to stuff Cassandra-esque opinions into Jeff Daniel's mouth. Small rescue mission on the Gulf? Oh, the geniuses of News Night know that they have to pay attention because it is a big deal, it is the Deepwater spill! Show debating gun rights? Segues right into the Gabby Giffords shooting! So on & so forth. The thing is...the Sorkin skill set is there as well. The snap, the patter, the sizzle. When Jeff Daniels isn't around-- sorry man, it isn't you, it is your character-- the show is pretty good! It would be better if Peter Krause, Felicity Huffman, Josh Charles, Joshua Malina & Sabrina Lloyd were there, but it is still pretty good. Hey, Olivia Munn, I want to like you, you're doing okay so far! Sam Waterston! Nice bow-tie! So, I'll keep watching. I almost feel like the whole "internet girl" piece of patronizing misogyny that Sorkin pulled was a publicity move, because the show opens with Jeff Daniels-- who plays a sort of moderate Bill O'Reilly, who votes Republican but is dismayed by the Tea Party-- yelling at a college student for no reason, including a number of "sorority girl" denigrations. Of course, in The Newsroom there are consequences for that rant, which I'm not sure there have been for Sorkin's rant. What a prick.
Tags: television
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