XIXAX Film Forum

Film Discussion => The Small Screen => Topic started by: ono on May 16, 2012, 07:41:29 PM

Title: Aaron Sorkin's The Newsroom
Post by: ono on May 16, 2012, 07:41:29 PM
Aaron Sorkin is back with a drama that's hopefully a cross of The West Wing and Sports Night.  The optimist in me thinks it could be really good.  The pessimist says he's just rehashing old ground.  With Jeff Daniels on board, it's definitely gonna be worth more than a cursory glance.

Here's the teaser:

http://www.filmofilia.com/first-aaron-sorkins-the-newsroom-teaser-96508/

Some thoughts: the event is similar to that that kicked off S60, an on-air meltdown of sorts.  Sam Waterston's character, clad in bowtie, so reminds me of William H. Macy's Sam Donovan from Sports Night in demeanor, in just that one line, "get it together."  This could really be something.  I'm excited.

It premieres June 24th on HBO.
Title: Re: Aaron Sorkin's The Newsroom
Post by: Pwaybloe on May 17, 2012, 10:04:59 AM
This certainly looks like familiar territory for Sorkin and company.  However, with Network being one of my all time favorite movies, it will be interesting to see if they keep their subject matter non-satirical.  It's hard to do. 
Title: Re: Aaron Sorkin's The Newsroom
Post by: ono on June 25, 2012, 04:35:19 PM
HBO put the pilot online for free.  It's 72:52!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1U4ZhFDFYvE

I really enjoyed it, but I expected I would.  I think the most exhilarating part was seeing these green people fly into action and succeed.  Really kind of inspirational.  Jeff Daniels plays such a compelling protagonist, and you find yourself anxious to get inside his head to see what drives him and how he got to this place in his career.  Still waiting for the other characters to be fleshed out.  They don't have the immediate allure of those from S60, but maybe that's a good thing.  The length of the pilot made it play like a short movie.  I wonder how liberal HBO will be with the runtimes of the rest of the episodes.  Anyway, I'm still learning about the characters and their names and whatnot so I don't have anything much else to say.  Just through I'd throw that link up there, see if anyone else digs it.
Title: Re: Aaron Sorkin's The Newsroom
Post by: pete on June 25, 2012, 05:30:58 PM
that was pretty sanctimonious, right?
Title: Re: Aaron Sorkin's The Newsroom
Post by: malkovich on June 25, 2012, 09:02:44 PM
The whole thing reeks of Sorkin and his soapbox way of writing (especially in the beginning with the whole "Why is America the best country in the world" response, yeesh) but it starts working better halfway through onto the end of the pilot. To its credit, even when it's cringe-inducing, it is watchable in a fascinating sort of way. I think the show has potential.
Title: Re: Aaron Sorkin's The Newsroom
Post by: ©brad on June 26, 2012, 10:09:43 AM
that was pretty sanctimonious, right?
[/quote

And preachy and mawkish and so naive it's almost cynical and ultimately, pretty freakin' boring. And ugh that title sequence! This belongs on ABC, not HBO.
Title: Re: Aaron Sorkin's The Newsroom
Post by: modage on June 26, 2012, 01:09:36 PM
I haven't seen Newsroom yet but this is pretty great...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S78RzZr3IwI
Title: Re: Aaron Sorkin's The Newsroom
Post by: diggler on June 26, 2012, 01:29:34 PM
Sure it's preachy, but what Sorkin isn't? I love seeing Sam Waterston use the F word.
Title: Re: Aaron Sorkin's The Newsroom
Post by: polkablues on June 26, 2012, 01:45:35 PM
I haven't seen Newsroom yet but this is pretty great...

That was astonishing.

And The Newsroom is pretty great so far.  If anyone but Sorkin tried to get away with this shit it wouldn't fly, but there's something so unapologetically bombastic about his approach to storytelling that I just plain dig.  I'm happy to have him back on TV.
Title: Re: Aaron Sorkin's The Newsroom
Post by: ©brad on June 27, 2012, 09:30:32 PM
Yeah I know the latter half of the episode picks up speed and I won't deny Sorkin's talent. I'm not a hater nor an apologist. But recently he made what is now an infamous quote that's driving me nuts: "I think I would have done very well, as a writer, in the forties. I think the last time America was a great country was then, or not long after. It was before Vietnam, before Watergate." Gawker did a much better job (http://gawker.com/5921553/internet-girls-mad-men-and-why-the-greatest-generation-wasnt) of debunking him than I could but come on, Jeff Daniels' character is obviously a mouthpiece for Sorkin, and that opening speech proclaiming this illusion of a past America that was somehow better was complete bullshit. Who in the motherfuck besides rich white guys really thinks the 40s in America or anywhere were better in anyway than now. Anyone who thinks that has either a screw loose or some thinly veiled bigoted/homophobic/misogynistic underbelly. And his unrelenting hatred of the millennials and the internet, it's all so antiquated. And he still can't consistently write a female character who's an actual human being to save his fucking life. Every woman in Sorkinville is there merely to serve a fatally flawed but infinitely more substantial and worthy man.

Title: Re: Aaron Sorkin's The Newsroom
Post by: Brando on June 28, 2012, 03:18:23 PM
That 40s comment was stupid. There were people in the 40s saying the same thing.  Woody Allen made an entire movie about it!


I'm on the same page as everyone else seems to be saying. I thought it was the direction in the beginning that was at fault.  You had Sorkin's writing that needs to be fast paced but the direction seemed to be fighting it in order to have the momentum build as the news story hit. As the momentum of the show picked up the better it got.
Title: Re: Aaron Sorkin's The Newsroom
Post by: pete on June 28, 2012, 06:19:55 PM
he's like a david mamet who is not a douchebag.
Title: Re: Aaron Sorkin's The Newsroom
Post by: polkablues on June 28, 2012, 06:24:49 PM
They're kind of both douchebags, though.  They're sort of opposite douchebags to each other.  Like if they ever shook hands the universe would implode.
Title: Re: Aaron Sorkin's The Newsroom
Post by: pete on June 28, 2012, 08:45:04 PM
yeah but you know what I mean - a liberal douchebag vs proud new conservative douchebag.
Title: Re: Aaron Sorkin's The Newsroom
Post by: Tictacbk on July 03, 2012, 11:53:01 AM
Man did this show take a nosedive for ep 2. Hope it gets better seeing as it just got picked up for a second season.
Title: Re: Aaron Sorkin's The Newsroom
Post by: polkablues on July 03, 2012, 12:01:38 PM
Man did this show take a nosedive for ep 2. Hope it gets better seeing as it just got picked up for a second season.

I still liked it, but god how bad are the two black staffers who only bicker about how Obama's doing? All the obnoxious people who whined about race issues in "Girls" should really get on this.
Title: Re: Aaron Sorkin's The Newsroom
Post by: ©brad on July 05, 2012, 12:52:28 PM
Man did this show take a nosedive for ep 2. Hope it gets better seeing as it just got picked up for a second season.

I still liked it, but god how bad are the two black staffers who only bicker about how Obama's doing? All the obnoxious people who whined about race issues in "Girls" should really get on this.

God that scene was like swallowing glass. I was one of those annoying people bitching about race in girls and this show deserves the same criticism. It's like Sorkin is trying to go for comedic shock value with the token Indian IT guy remarks but it's just falling flat.

 

Title: Re: Aaron Sorkin's The Newsroom
Post by: wilder on July 09, 2012, 08:23:29 AM
Episode 3. Damn.
Title: Re: Aaron Sorkin's The Newsroom
Post by: ono on July 09, 2012, 09:26:49 AM
My thoughts exactly.  While I was underwhelmed by Episode 2, this one was Sorkin at his best.  I'm really loving the Maggie character and that scene on the roof where she was having a panic attack was just so real and well done, with the perfect balance of empathy and humor by whoever that guy was who helped her.  It made even more real the stresses that go along with this environment.

Only thing is, I got a minor case of whiplash considering how fast things moved.  This episode covered 6 months.  Either there's going to be some serious backtracking, slowdown, or we'll find ourselves at present day very soon.  I also find myself thinking "what's the counterargument?"  Well, this show itself is the counterargument to news "entertainment" shows that do all the things McAvoy and company are now trying to avoid.  When logic is staring someone in the face, who can ignore it?  Only the most ignorant of people, who would never see the show anyway.  Preaching to the choir?  Sure, why not.  As Sorkin once wrote, it gets them to sing.  ANYWAY, what I like most about Sorkin's efforts in the West Wing is a lot of time he was able to show both sides of the coin quite evenhandedly.  There hasn't been a lot of that here yet mostly because "other side" isn't quite found in any brand of logic readily available these days.  But I'm looking forward to more incisive dissections of the tougher arguments that face the world.

Anyway.  This, Breaking Bad (6 days!), Weeds, and even Futurama (no matter how weak these first few episodes have been thus far) will do nicely to get me through the summer.  But that's for another thread.
Title: Re: Aaron Sorkin's The Newsroom
Post by: ©brad on July 10, 2012, 11:47:50 AM
I liked this episode a lot more, but man Sorkin is really proving he cannot write dimensional female characters consistently. They're all ditsy, emotionally erratic and adolescent, can barely send an email. I mean the way Mac whines and pouts like a school girl to Wil about his girlfriends, and airs their dirty laundry in front of the entire newsroom with that "why don't you just go to Hoosters!" bit (which would never happen), all while the men remain controlled and relatively professional, it's kind of insulting. 

But, I liked the episode.
Title: Re: Aaron Sorkin's The Newsroom
Post by: ©brad on July 16, 2012, 03:26:07 PM
Jesus forget I said what I said last week. I'm not going to bitch too much about this show anymore as I don't want to spoil discussion for those who are enjoying it. This is probably one of the most frustrating things on TV right now. Frustrating because there are some brilliant lines and moments amid the overwhelmingly preachy and misogynistic shambles. The women on this show are soooo poorly written it's becoming painful to watch. This quote from AVClub sums up how I feel:

"You want to know why the Newsroom pisses me off? Because I agree with Sorkin about most issues, but he makes me hate myself a little bit for agreeing with such a pretentious hack. His dialogue has gone far downhill since the days of the West Wing. His depictions of debates are laughable--it's basically Will vs. can-you-spot-the-fallacy, while pretending that's a balanced portrayal of whatever issue's at hand. His female characters are insulting to the point of offense, as if women who have been hired to work in high pressure professions seemingly fuck up all the time because their lady-feelings are too overwhelming. At least the male characters are given the dignity of fucking up for other reasons."

I want to bitch about one more thing one more time and I swear I'm done - the title sequence irks the everlasting fuck out of me. It feels so off-brand (as does this entire show) for HBO. One thing they've always done well is awesome and often iconic opening credit sequences (my favorite being True Blood and I don't even watch that show). This one is so saccharine and self-righteous. Sounds silly but if this show was on ABC I don't think I would be as annoyed.
Title: Re: Aaron Sorkin's The Newsroom
Post by: diggler on July 16, 2012, 06:58:52 PM
My main problem is how fast they're jumping through time. They made a decision to set the show in the past, then in over 4 episodes they've covered 8 months.  We're expected to accept this passing of time as character development, yet certain characters act like the previous episode just happened.  It really took the network 8 months to try and get him off the air? 

I'll keep watching for Sam Waterston, whose temperamental indignance is starting to border on meta commentary.
Title: Re: Aaron Sorkin's The Newsroom
Post by: polkablues on August 27, 2012, 04:15:43 PM
So the first season's over, and apparently the point Aaron Sorkin was trying to make is that the utopic ideal of television journalism is essentially "Countdown with Keith Olbermann".
Title: Re: Aaron Sorkin's The Newsroom
Post by: pete on September 03, 2012, 11:37:29 AM
it's Keith Olbermann but with a female producer who is always watching him nervously.
Title: Re: Aaron Sorkin's The Newsroom
Post by: Brando on September 04, 2012, 08:49:56 PM
I did enjoy the small plot line with Sam Waterston and the deep throat whistleblower guy but it took up about 2% of the entire season. I would love to watch a show of Sam Waterston involved in some sort conspiracy theory with meetings on park benches.
Title: Re: Aaron Sorkin's The Newsroom
Post by: squints on September 04, 2012, 10:35:07 PM
I did enjoy the small plot line with Sam Waterston and the deep throat whistleblower guy but it took up about 2% of the entire season. I would love to watch a show of Sam Waterston involved in some sort conspiracy theory with meetings on park benches.

That's my exact feeling. I gave so little of a shit about the romance between Jim and Pam....wait...Jim and...what's her name?
Title: Re: Aaron Sorkin's The Newsroom
Post by: Lottery on April 05, 2013, 05:02:42 PM
Was this meant to be Network as a TV show? A bunch of my friends were going bananas over it.
Title: Re: Aaron Sorkin's The Newsroom
Post by: wilder on April 05, 2013, 05:03:39 PM
It tried.
Title: Re: Aaron Sorkin's The Newsroom
Post by: ono on July 10, 2013, 09:08:24 PM
I can't say that I loved the first season of The Newsroom.  I enjoyed even the much maligned Studio 60 more than I did this.  But still, this article (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/19/the-newsroom-season-2_n_3466912.html) gives me a bit of hope that Sorkin is at least aware of past missteps and wants to make something great.  I think at least the material this time around will be more ripe.  The show returns in just under a week.
Title: Re: Aaron Sorkin's The Newsroom
Post by: ©brad on August 29, 2013, 12:12:45 AM
I'm warming up to this show. The last episode was kind of great. The direction continues to suck though, and the camerawork is awful. It's like a bunch of first year film students tried to replicate The Office. I feel Sorkin was best served when Fincher was at the helm. He knew when the mount the camera to let the dialogue (which is why we're all here) shine and when to do cool, jerk off montage-y sequences that remind us what decade we're living in. All these snap-zooms and pointless glides and pans don't add the suspense or verite they're no doubt aiming for. Stylistically it feels like a clueless baby boomer's attempt to be hip. The show is so dorky and unintentionally kitschy, why not just embrace that.

But it's getting good. 
Title: Re: Aaron Sorkin's The Newsroom
Post by: polkablues on August 29, 2013, 12:36:49 AM
I'm warming up to this show. The last episode was kind of great. The direction continues to suck though, and the camerawork is awful. It's like a bunch of first year film students tried to replicate The Office. I feel Sorkin was best served when Fincher was at the helm. He knew when the mount the camera to let the dialogue (which is why we're all here) shine and when to do cool, jerk off montage-y sequences that remind us what decade we're living in. All these snap-zooms and pointless glides and pans don't add the suspense or verite they're no doubt aiming for. Stylistically it feels like a clueless baby boomer's attempt to be hip. The show is so dorky and unintentionally kitschy, why not just embrace that.

But it's getting good. 

I agree. Except for the awful Africa subplot, this season has been pretty great.

As for the direction, they need to get Thomas Schlamme in there. He made West Wing what it was just as much as Sorkin did.
Title: Re: Aaron Sorkin's The Newsroom
Post by: MacGuffin on January 13, 2014, 03:46:01 PM
Newsroom’ Renewed for Third and Final Season
Variety also learns Aaron Sorkin has turned in script for Sony's Steve Jobs biopic
Source: Variety

Almost four months after its season two finale, “Newsroom” has been renewed by HBO for a third and final season.

“’The Newsroom’ is classic Aaron Sorkin – smart, riveting and thought-provoking,” said HBO topper Michael Lombardo. “I’m sure this farewell season will be one to remember.”

HBO brass had been hopeful about the media drama’s return since last summer, though spent months in negotiations with series creator Aaron Sorkin discussing scheduling and his other showbiz commitments. Topliner Jeff Daniels — who won an Emmy in 2013 for his portrayal of Will McAvoy in “Newsroom” — tweeted prematurely in September that the show had been renewed, only to then have to backtrack once HBO established that an official season three order had not been made.

After that, the show had been seemingly hanging in the balance, with many outlets reminding their readers time to time that “Newsroom” had not yet been renewed.

With the season three order now official, Variety has also confirmed that Sorkin has turned in script for Sony’s Steve Jobs biopic, which Sorkin was tapped to pen in spring 2012.
Title: Re: Aaron Sorkin's The Newsroom
Post by: KJ on April 13, 2016, 06:47:53 AM
was this worth it? :ponder:
haven't seen it yet and I want to start watching something good.
Title: Re: Aaron Sorkin's The Newsroom
Post by: Drenk on April 13, 2016, 07:36:23 AM
It's definitely not.
Title: Re: Aaron Sorkin's The Newsroom
Post by: KJ on April 13, 2016, 08:34:22 AM
too bad. it looked promising.
Title: Re: Aaron Sorkin's The Newsroom
Post by: polkablues on April 13, 2016, 11:56:27 AM
It has its moments, but ultimately it's so lacking in self-awareness that it ends up feeling like a lazy spoof of an Aaron Sorkin show.
Title: Re: Aaron Sorkin's The Newsroom
Post by: ©brad on April 13, 2016, 03:35:25 PM
Watch Mr. Robot. Or Fargo. Or the Americans. Or Horace and Pete.
Title: Re: Aaron Sorkin's The Newsroom
Post by: ono on April 13, 2016, 11:00:46 PM
Season three was really redemptive of the trainwreck that was the first two seasons.  But by then it was too little too late.  That it's only six episodes really helps.