Tom staying tuned for Aaron Sorkin's NewsroomJuly 3, 2012 @ 4:47 am (Updated: 5:57 am - 7/3/12 )
He won an Oscar for writing that Facebook movie, The Social Network, and he's also responsible for A Few Good Men and Moneyball. And on TV, he wrote the award-winning series, The West Wing.
He's now back on television with a new HBO series called The Newsroom.
Aaron Sorkin is famous for writing smart, snappy dialogue for articulate, opinionated characters, whether they're Internet-savvy entrepreneurs, military investigators, or White House operatives. A newsroom is another perfect scenario for him and, based on the opening two episodes, The Newsroom is especially reminiscent of The West Wing, thanks to that intersection of contemporary events and political spin.
The show focuses on a popular network anchor, played by Jeff Daniels, who's beginning to have doubts about the value of what he does for a living. This profesional crisis comes to a head at an on-stage appearance at a college campus.
This answer precipitates all sorts of trouble for him, not the least of which is his entire staff jumps ship and he's forced to start over with a brand new staff, a staff about which his executive producer says "what they lack in experience, they make up for in inexperience." This producer, played by Emily Mortimer, decides to do a new kind of news program, one that ignores ratings and simply does what used to be considered the job of "journalism" - not to entertain, but to inform.
This is all very pie-in-the-sky and there's too much speechifying and romantic entanglements for my taste, but in general, The Newsroom works well because it really gets the manic energy that courses through a working newsroom. And the news stories covered are all real news storie from the recent past.
The first show is all about the BP oil leak in the Gulf and how this news crew tackles the story with great success. The second show, about the Arizona governor signing a new controversial immigration law, is all about what happens when a news show falls apart at the last second.
It's a ten episode run and already we've seen the highs and lows of running a newsroom. My advice is: stay tuned.
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