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Newsroom

Posted on Monday, June 25th, 2012

Dave!So this is what the weather is like at End of Days.

Since Saturday we've been flipping between gorgeous blue skies one minute... followed by thunder showers just minutes later... followed by gorgeous blue skies again soon after. And while the changes are shockingly rapid, they're actually really cool to watch. Today on the way to work I watched a rain shower crash down from the mountains like a wave. As I was driving home I saw a thundershower retreat to the horizon like smoke in the wind. It's weird. It's wacky. It's wonderful in a way that only Mother Nature can deliver.

Which leads me to...

The Newsroom premiered Sunday on HBO. It's weird. It's wacky. It's wonderful in a way that only Aaron Sorkin can deliver.

Remarkably (for HBO anyways), they've just made the first episode available on YouTube in its entirety. Because of Sorkin's near-flawless run on The West Wing, his totally-flawless run on Sports Night, and his mostly-flawless run on Studio 60, I had no choice but to give it a watch... despite the rather shocking number of poor reviews it's been pulling.

Unsurprisingly, I really liked it.

Partly because it stars Emily Mortimer, whom I love more than chocolate pudding, but mostly because Sorkin's commentary on the state of "news" in this country mirrors my own to a scary degree.

Not to say there aren't problems. First of all, this first episode felt exactly like the first episodes of Studio 60 and Sports Night. Twice on the opening similarities I could forgive... but three times feels like Sorkin is fresh out of ideas on how to start a new show. Second of all, too many situations go too dramatic too fast. Not every little thing in life has to end in high drama (except if you're Aaron Sorkin, apparently). Lastly*, the show takes place not in present-day... but back in 2010. This means every show is going to be re-living news that already happened (starting with the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster this episode). I can only guess that this is due to Sorkin wanting to run the news as it really went down instead of approximating news events that are currently going on. Yawn. The West Wing handled a kind of "faux current" reality so beautifully, why is The Newsroom stuck in the past? I'm hoping this doesn't end up boring me.

Regardless, I'm just happy to have Sorkin back. Nobody writes television like he does, and anything he's involved in is bound to be worth watching. You can decide for yourself by clicking over to YouTube.

   

*Well, not lastly. "Lastly" would be that The Newsroom is so overrun with placement advertising for Dell Computer that I have to wonder if Michael Dell is secretly blowing Aaron Sorkin in addition to handing over sticky wads of cash. It's downright embarrassing, and a huge distraction.

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Comments

  1. francesfanger says:

    I *loved* it. The speech at NorthWestern was amazing and something that should be shown to every Civics class ever. I’m hoping maybe they’ll flash forward to present day in the second episode but I’m cool as long as they keep showing a slightly tipsy Sam Waterston saying the F word.

  2. the muskrat says:

    Nobody likes knowing about secret blowing going on. Especially for a Dell.

  3. I can’t to watch this as I was a _huge_ West Wing fan back in the day. I think I might have to go back and watch all those episodes again in fact.

  4. martymankins says:

    I really liked it. The opening speech by Wil McAvoy (Jeff Daniels) was great and very powerful.

    I admit to not watching much of The West Wing during it’s original run. I’ve caught reruns and it’s a great and well made show on all accounts.

    For me, Sorkin was brilliant with Sports Night. And I had high hopes that were not dashed too often on Studio 60.

    Without an HBO subscription, I will have to find episodes on iTunes or Amazon for this show as I really want to see where it goes.

    I like the retelling of the news events. It’s one of the main things that hooked me into this first episode.

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