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View Diary: SORKIN V. THE MEDIA - “The Newsroom” Special Report #1 (37 comments)

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  •  It's Not A Bad Show..... (6+ / 0-)

    But it definitely has problems that keeps it from being considered great or good. In the critic reviews I've read, not any of them disagree with the message in the show (i.e. the screwed up media culture). The problem is the messenger, which is the characters and the details of their interactions within this show.

    The main character comes off as a pretentious asshole most of the time, Emily Mortimer's character makes no sense in her depiction (she's supposed to be a professional with a long & highly respected resume, but Sorkin writes her as a lovesick idiot who doesn't understand e-mail), and the show is burdened with two different love triangles that are problematic at best, and distracting & don't work at all at worst.

    Among the other issues:

    • Too often, the show feels like a rehash of Aaron Sorkin's greatest hits, with him using situations, similar characters, and sometimes even the same damn dialogue over again he's used in previous movies and TV shows he's written. Those tropes either function very badly when compared to previous Sorkin shows, or feel like the tenth rehashing of the same ground by Sorkin. The first scene of "The Newsroom," where Will tells off the college coed, has a lot of similarities to the first scene of "Studio 60."
    • Most of the news scenes themselves don't seem to be thought through, in terms of setup or execution. How many times did the show have to setup a story by having it fall into Will's lap because of someone on the staff has a roommate, friend or family member connected to the issue? The "debate" episodes were ridiculous. I understand that Sorkin was trying to make the point that there's no substance in the current debate formats, but that point is squandered by Sorkin's alternative which is equally ridiculous. No official connected to any political party is ever going to agree to a format where their candidates get to be cross-examined/lectured to by Will McAvoy.
    • I don't think Sorkin did himself or his lead character any favors by having an episode where Will McAvoy goes from date to date trying to "fix" the women he meets because they like watching "The Real Housewives" on Bravo. It just came off as smug & elitist. People are capable of doing two things at the same time. It is possible to care about the issues of the world, and enjoy schlock like reality TV.
    • The big love triangle of "The Newsroom" is horrible in almost every way. The show has never given us any reason as to why Maggie is a better love interest for Jim than Lisa other than the need to have a contrived love triangle. If anything, Lisa seems like the better woman to have a relationship with. And it's not like Alison Pill's character is smarter (she once thought the Russians were invading Atlanta), more affectionate (she screams at & berates Jim in front of the staff) or particularly likable (she has feelings for a guy other than her boyfriend, but is stringing the boyfriend along while getting upset about the relationship Jim has).

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