It seems like our pal Aaron Sorkin is getting no love at all for his new HBO show The Newsroom, premiering on Sunday. In fact, every review seems to go out of its way to examine just how awful the program is, and this with a cast that includes Jeff Daniels, Jane Fonda, Sam Waterston and Emily Mortimer.
See a few of the reviews below.
“The Newsroom is the inverse of Veep: it’s so naïve it’s cynical. Sorkin’s fantasy is of a cabal of proud, disdainful brainiacs, a ‘media élite’ who swallow accusations of arrogance and shoot them back as lava. But if the storytelling were more confident, it could take a breath and deliver drama, not just talking points. Instead, the deck stays stacked. Whenever McAvoy delivers a speech or slices up a right-winger, the ensemble beams at him, their eyes glowing as if they were cultists. The series turns Will McAvoy into the equivalent of the character Karen Cartwright, on Smash, the performer who the show keeps insisting is God’s gift to Broadway. Can you blame me for rooting for McAvoy’s enemies, all those flyover morons, venal bean-counters, sorority girls, and gun-toting bimbos? Like a political party, a TV show is nothing without a loyal opposition.” – The New Yorker
“Sorkin won an Oscar in 2011 for penning the The Social Network screenplay, but that is precisely when his writing began to strike me as atonal and even farcical — when a bunch of supersmart millennials creating Facebook had Sorkin-style repartee crammed into their mouths, making them all sound twice as old as they were. The Social Network was an older generation’s idea of what the younger generation should sound and act like.” – Washington Post
“You may argue that you could make many of the same arguments—about the sanctimony, the deck-stacking, the too-perfect stylized dialogue, &c.—against The West Wing. I agree, and I made them when The West Wing was on. But I also included The West Wing in my list of the 100 All-TIME TV Shows, because it also gave us rich characters, a sense of proportionality and an infectious feeling of romance with the country and the people who want to make it better. The Newsroom, after four exhausting, smug episodes, gives us none of that: just Aaron Sorkin writing one argument after another for himself to win.” – Time
“Yet oddly enough The Newsroom suffers from the same flaw that it decries on real cable shows on MSNBC or Fox News. Cable television would be a lot better if anchors pontificated less and went back to reporting. “The Newsroom” would be a lot better if the main characters preached less and went back to reporting.” – NY Times
And this one is oddly ass-kissy to Sorkin, while still dissing The Newsroom:
“If you ask a smart, talented, prolific, highly opinionated and possibly overextended writer to create a series for you whenever he gets the chance, you might get a terrific television show. Or you might get The Newsroom, which is what HBO got when they approached Aaron Sorkin with just such a request.” – LA Times