Friday, June 29, 2012

Review: The Newsroom

The scuttlebutt in the screenwriting world is that the best writers in Hollywood are migrating to television, and now I know it's true. Aaron Sorkin's written a show called "The News Room," and I'm taking a break from watching it on HBO online to say that this is definitely one of the absolutely best hours of writing I've ever watched move across a screen.

That's not entirely accurate, though, because while I did pause for a moment to start this post, I couldn't finish it. I had to go back. Because not only is it really, really well written television, it is also the only episode of anything that I've ever thought - while watching it - that I have got to watch it again. Like, soon.

Aaron Sorkin, for those who don't know, is the hardworking genius motherfool behind A FEW GOOD MEN, THE SOCIAL NETWORK, MONEYBALL, and a bunch of episodes of THE WEST WING. Screenwriters don't get enough attention, but this guy deserves it. This show deserves it. Tight, tight, tight and bright.

There's definitely some harsh language in there, so if that's not your thing... well, grow a pair and watch it, anyways. I've never before seen a drama I cared about so deeply and instantly.

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NOTE: One of the nice things about being Aaron Sorkin is that it can't have been too hard for him to sign on an epic cast. Jeff Daniels, Emily Mortimer, and Sam Waterston are the most recognizable and are perfect in their roles, but props to everyone involved and even a shout-out to Jesse Eisenberg for the (I think) uncredited voice-cameo at 61 minutes. Boo-yah!

3 comments:

  1. IN LOVE WITH THIS SHOW. If I was teaching a journalism class this fall we'd just watch and discuss this. We've forgotten why news exists and how compelling it is. Also in love with John Gallagher, Jr. as Tom.

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  2. I agree with most of what you are saying except the speeches. I've watched the first three shows so far and they are compelling, even spellbinding. But the plenitude of soliloquies are grating and annoying; they come across as uber-clever blog posts where a subject is not so much discussed as presented.

    It's a good show, and I'm going to watch it but if the writing continues to spin out of control into mini-sermons about America or the Tea Party or the importance of informing the electorate etc... I will jump ship, but that's just me.

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    Replies
    1. I see whatcher saying, Mark. It's generally a VERY BAD IDEA in a film to soliloquize, or to just say exactly what you mean. Nonetheless, I tend to think that since it's about newscasters (who say things), and about all the things those newscasters never say, I'll give Sorkin some leeway to say it. I think he earns it by crafting a super-tight story. We'll see whether he maintains that precision. Seems likely.

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