HBO’s The Newsroom is just the kind of show that people want to embrace mainly because it happens to be the brainchild of famed TV and film scribe Aaron Sorkin.
Sorkin has enjoyed premium relationships with both the big and small screen and the product of his investments have included A Few Good Men, The American President, The West Wing, Sports Night and the phenomenal and more recent accomplishment, The Social Network.
Now that his latest offering has hit the airwaves, it’s only natural that it be hailed and touted as his next best thing. It has all the makings of a hot show; a stellar cast, brilliant witty dialogue, and multi-dimensional characters set against the backdrop a chaotic fictional cable newsroom.
The truth is that The Newsroom is not unwatchable and its quite superior especially when compared to other notables, but that doesn’t prevent it from being grittily annoying. Simply put, The Newsroom is just too good for its own good.
Sorkin implemented familiar traits with his newest vehicle so for his loyal fans, this offering will be easy to figurate. But for the viewers who are not use to the Sorkin formula of storytelling, The Newsroom might seem a bit to weighty and demanding. Emily Mortimer is what Felicity Huffman was to Sports Night, a spirited, highly intelligent ambitious woman trying to maintain a sense of relevance in a pit of hungry vultures. While Jeff Daniels plays the male protagonist, Will McAvoy who once wooed Mortimer’s MacKenzie McHale and now has to contend with taking directions from her in a corporate environment as his career hangs in the balance. The other supporting players are strategically placed to help fuel the colorful banter that keeps the show on a constant plateau.
But perhaps in this case the tonal quality needs to be reduced so there is a harmonious balance between the characters and the environment they inhabit. There is an element of overzealousness particularly in the dialogue and that is probably due to Sorkin’s need to outwit his alter ego. But unfortunately he ends up sacrificing a critical aspect of any successful show; character development. So viewers are forced to play catch up as they wade through all the “intelligent talk” to try to get to the crux of the issue.
Aaron Sorkin is obviously confident with his ability to produce a socially conscious series that aims to capture the current cultural and political climate, but it would be nice if he could do it in way that is easier to digest.