03 Jul 2012
Regarding the the pilot episode of The Newsroom, Mark Lisanti and Sean Fennessey for Grantland:
Based on the vitriol, I half-expected a rousing smash-cut intro featuring Jeff Daniels lighting Emily Mortimer’s hair on fire while dancing to “Call Me Maybe” as Sam Waterston and Jane Fonda ritually sacrificed a bikini-clad Olivia Munn.
If you expect the second coming of The West Wing, you will be disappointed by The Newsroom. That show was an incredibly rare occurrence as the single greatest factor in its success was timing. The Newsroom is closer to The Social Network than it is to anything else Aaron Sorkin has done, even Sports Night.1 He has clearly changed as a writer in the last few years and his award nominations prove that it has been for the better. Still, there are vintage Sorkin ideas here: the uncompromising protagonist; a team of amateurs and youngsters against the world; the moral high ground.
I do not have much in the way of complaints, but I would appreciate if Aaron Sorkin let powerful women be powerful instead of dependent on men. And, if he would be so kind, less making fun of the Internet — although if I can only have one, I will take the former.
Overall, the show works — if only because it provides an opportunity to watch Sam Waterson play an absolute drunkard of a human being. To the critics that are complaining about this being yet another Sorkin morality play, consider not watching his shows as this is what he does. Moneyball was the exception and not much of one.
Enough italics for you? ↩