The Newsroom May Be Coming Back


#1

Because there is no good left in the world anymore, Aaron Sorkin might be bringing back everyone’s “favorite”, terrible, unbearably smug, trashfire of a show all about the FUCKING NEWS

God help us all. I’m imagining Jeff Daniels pronouncing “Antifa” and seething.


#2

Sir, sir, have you read the Constitution of the United States, sir?

It’s gonna rule when they put in an AOC- stand in just so Sorkin can own her with logic, in the TV equivalent of repeating all the witty comebacks you didn’t think up at the time in the mirror.


#3

But just think of all the blisteringly essential “Drumpf is a Russian agent” commentary we’ve been missing out on.

Or how Hillary lost because there are too many pronouns these days.


#5

Why did we let Aaron Sorkin happen? Who decided that he was good? Why was I cursed to spend a decade howling into the wind, seemingly alone, about how he was trash before public opinion turned on him?

Hell, as recently as 2015 I was in a media literacy class at college and the instructor played one of the scenes where Jeff Daniels “totally owns” a millennial college student (a woman, obviously) with his logic about how people cry too much nowadays and how his generation was so righteous for class discussion and it absolutely led to me shouting about how this country has always been bad and that Sorkin is a terrible writer and a bigot. I got an A in that class.

ALSO: I thought Bill Maher had the market cornered on objectively terrible men who liberals love because he says mean things about the bad president?


#6

Think the West Wing is still quite liked. It is by one of my friends, he swears about, almost religious about it. I still think The Social Network is a pretty good movie, though Sorkin’s smugness is less of a thing there. His directorial debut Molly’s Game last year was not bad, though there is a part of me that is deeply aroused by the movies where Jessica Chastain owns people whilst talking in a sexy sexy coldly indifferent monotone. That might just be me though…

As for the Newsroom, I think I stopped watching after the Bin Laden episode when the journalists are stuck on a plane and are trying to phone out to people to find out what has happened and then the air stewardess is like ‘sir, could you please turn your phone off’ and after arguing and causing a ruckus the entitled journalist suddenly realises Bin Laden - increased air security in the wake of 9/11. “Guys lets switch off our phones just for a sec. For America”.

Pass me the bucket.


#7

Yeah. I thought The Social Network was really good, and that’s probably because he was adapting a book with a focused character arc instead of using it as a platform to preach to the audience about his political views. The moment his attention turns to what he finds important, everything dissolves, partly because he is unable to write stuff like that without it reading like he’s smelling his own farts all the time, which is a massive problem with subjects that massive and life affecting. His ego genuinely makes him one of the dumbest people alive, all because he made The West wing at just the right time for it to have an actual audience and become a success (the turn in the Democratic party towards Centralism with the Clintons taking power).


#8

Every time I have seen a clip or read a quote from The Newsroom it feels like a Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace style parody of bloated, self important, prestige TV. Except it’s unintentional and it only plays that way because Sorkin has become so incredibly god awful and off-putting.

Only Sorkin thing I have ever watched is The Social Network, which I think is really great for reasons that have nothing to do with Sorkin, and I’m perfectly happy never watching anything else by the man.

Haven’t seen that many West Wing clips but I think the only good thing to come out of that show was the walk and talk, but I get the feeling that was a thing in movies and television before Sorkin popularised it.


#9

I think this scene might the only good thing to come out of the Newsroom.

Global Climate scientists agree that it’s pretty accurate too, save for the blocking out the sun part. And that’s just because we don’t know yet…


#10

The tone of this thread is so weird. Sorkin has written SEVERAL great movie sceenplays. Emphasis on great. Sure, they all have flaws characteristic of his style, but generally, those flaws are present in specific moments, not systemic to the entire script. It’s totally okay to admit he’s a gifted writer. As to the success of The Social Network in spite of his contribution: adaptation doesn’t automatically inherit the quality of the source material. Look to the vast majority of novel adaptations in cinema history. The Social Network is good because he is a good writer. I even thought he did a great job directing his own script in Molly’s Game!

That said, yeah The Newsroom is bad and this is almost certainly not going to help us out.


#11

bring back studio 60 on the sunset strip instead. I would prefer aaron sorkin being a terrible sketch writer rather than aaron sorkin being a terrible political opinion writer.


#12

I think I watched one episode of this show and was too young for the West Wing, was it really that awful?


#13

And he’s only a good writer when he isn’t trying to preach about politics.

The exact minute he starts that, EVERYTHING falls apart.


#14

The west wing was a pretty witty show with (mostly) well-crafted characters (and excellent actors*, sets, direction, and editing) that tried to offer a novel perspective on a show about politics, and which had its characters go into in depth discussions about actual real existing problems in the world. As a piece of television, especially considering its’ era, it is excellent.

It’s also absolutely infested with mid-90s high-handed third-way-ass horrible centralist boomer liberal politics, so people hate it for that. I still maintain that it had moments of brilliance.

Aaron Sorkin, like many other writers, is an excellent writer when he is working with someone who is in a position to edit him, and a terrible writer when he is not. He has horrible garbage opinions and I don’t care to listen to Jeff Newsroom as Aaron Sorkin’s Mouthpiece, but I will not stand here and tell you that the man can’t write.

(*seriously, the show had Allison Janney, Bradley Whitford, Richard Schiff, Martin Sheen, Stockard Channing, John Spencer and Baby Elisabeth Moss, among others. The cast was incredible.)


#15

He had an episode where they put a Republican judge on the Supreme Court and then sniffed their own farts over how great the system is because now the Supreme Court is fighting all the time.

The cleverness and wit of the comedic writing doesn’t really work in The West Wing entirely because of its politics. It makes so light of actual, serious issues that impact millions of people. It’s the dream politics show of your average white liberal, which is a damning and accurate description because its so obsessed with how perfect and amazing the American political system is that it doesn’t even realize there are serious problems it is not able to discuss.

It’s basically a few dry laughs with no substance.


#16

That’s from Season 5, so you can’t blame it on Aaron Sorkin. If we’re going to be dunking on Aaron Sorkin, which I’m all for, let’s try to keep it factual please.


#17

look, that’s fine, I just don’t understand why people are saying “who allowed sorkin to exist” or even mentioning The Social Network (hallowed be thy name). It’s entirely possible for someone with a very respectable body of work (to put it extremely mildly) to also do weak or even bad work without that somehow undermining everything else they’ve ever done. I just do not understand that compulsion.

I didn’t watch The West Wing, which is why I’ve nothing to say on it, but I have seen enough of The Newsroom to know the world does not need more Will McAvoy stan accounts. Also The Social Network is a phenomenal film and Molly’s Game was fantastic fun and A Few Good Men is a solid courtroom classic and Sports Night was irresistible.

It sometimes seems like certain dunking opportunities are so compelling that people often get wrapped up in trying to dunk too hard, too fast, and miss the hoop entirely. Like, Sorkin is just flat-out bad? Come on people. Just take the shot, don’t get greedy! oh shit sorry, this isn’t the hot takes thread


#18

his name is Jeff Newsroom, if we’re going to be dunking on Aaron Sorkin, which I’m all for, let’s try to keep it factual please

real talk though: Aaron Sorkin once had Bradley Whitford spend most of an episode of one of the most expensive television shows in history (at that time) fighting with an online forum that was a thinly disguised version of Aaron Sorkin’s real life fight with Television Without Pity and if you don’t think that’s hilariously petty then idk


#19

I think the shit Sorkin gets is due to the outsized influence The West Wing and The Newsroom have had on the liberal worldview. He is a very talented writer, no question. But his most famous and enduring work has lionised process and institutions to the point where doing things the right way is more important than doing the right thing, and that misbegotten ideology was rife during the Obama years. Obama staffers described themselves in relation to West Wing characters during their time in the White House, for christs sake. There’s no denying the ideological rot that his work has helped instill in the Democrats in particular.


#20

This is totally fine and I do not disagree!

However, I strongly believe that trying to deny that unrelated positives exist because of the potency of one or more negatives undermines the entire critique, in service of trying to make a more powerful, larger statement.

Separately, if I were a betting person, I would also wager that the pervasiveness of comparing elements of governance to The West Wing has as much to do with the effect that The West Wing had on liberal ideology as it does with the general pervasiveness of comparing elements of governance to anything at all from pop culture. That one would be hard to prove, though, and it would be impossible for me to deny that the fact that The West Wing (presumably) depicts an ‘idealized’ vision of the presidency surely had a formative impact on many people who now operate in that exact sector.


#21

Steve Jobs was a pretty good movie too. Though I don’t think anyone saw it.