Sunday, July 29, 2012

If you're watching "The Newsroom"...

...then yes, what you saw at approximately 6:33 PM tonight Pacific time was Aaron Sorkin officially turning into a parody of himself.  My god.  Does he not know that there are people out here who know his work, and know when he's shamelessly copping from it?

It is a shame, really, because up until then, it was a pretty good episode.  As last week's was, to my fancy; in its entirety. But then, wow did it swerve into a ditch.  I mean, he was already using a trick he used on Sports Night, with a guy showing up at a therapist's office; insisting he's not there for a session; then staying for the whole episode and relating a story in flashback. 

But I was willing to write that off as a trusty storytelling device.  After all, he once used the "episode in the form of a letter or letters" trick on Sports Night and then used it again on West Wing, and the second example was the better episode.

But's not just that he's reusing character traits from The West Wing--which was kind of a popular show, which makes it even more incredible if he thinks no one will catch him at it.  It's not even only that he's giving Will McAvoy a piece of the same back story he gave President Bartlett--a physically abusive parent.

(Seriously, does he not know there are those of us out here who speak Sorkin as fluently as the "Sloan Sabbath"--I don't even know what to say about that name, except maybe that it's deranged--character speaks Japanese?)

But anyway, he presented it (the character trait) in almost exactly the same way, with a shrink (or character essentially acting as one) just firing the character exposition out, in a confrontational way, before any ground's been laid for the audience.* 

It was cheap, and I expect better from Sorkin.

(And then there was the show's usual problem of integrating the lives of its characters with the global issues they cover)

*I don't think it worked terribly well on West Wing either, but at least then, he hadn't done it before. 


Kal said...

Why do I always feel with Sorkin that the wheels are seconds from coming off the bus. I loved all that Olivia Munn stuff last night - she knocked it out of the park. I KNOW this show will wear itself out but I keep hoping I will want to keep watching.

Kelly Sedinger said...

Sigh...I really do miss the Sorkin who wasn't phoning it in all the time....