Dear Aaron Sorkin…”The Newsroom” is Boring

Hello Mr Sorkin. I’ve now watched the first four episodes of your new show The Newsroom. The short version of my opinion is….

Really? That’s the best you got?

Here’s the long version.

I have been a fan of damn near everything you do – I even loved Studio 60, much to the chagrin of friends. But The Newsroom is…..boring.

Were expectations too high? Maybe so but we’ve come to expect brilliance from you. You set the bar so high, maybe not even you can get over it. But with The Newsroom, it’s like you’re not even trying. Or more accurately, you’re not writing to the promise of the show.

Episode four is a perfect example. Of the 60 minutes of the show, it felt like 45-50 minutes of it were dedicated to “relationship issues”. Quite frankly, this early in a show’s run? WE DON’T CARE….

To be more specific, you haven’t made us care about these characters. Your lead female, supposedly a hardened journalist, turns into a shrill puddle of jello for no apparent reason. Your male lead has no redeeming features other than relentlessness. And, for some reason, he has a completely different speaking cadence when he is on air – very distracting.

Your secondary characters are simplistic and one dimensional. It’s as if it’s being written by a student of Screenwriting 101 – and not even a good student at that.

We expect too much from you. But you’ve delivered more than we expected time and time again. What we don’t expect from you is stilted, poorly written TV. We don’t expect characters to act as if they are in a bad daytime soap opera. Actors that couldn’t be stiffer and more ill at ease than if they were delivering their lines naked.

We expect more. We want more. We want you to succeed. Television needs you to succeed. We need more smart, smartly written, “Sorkinesque” TV shows. We want your show to live up to its promise. Only you can save The Newsroom. Please do.

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4 thoughts on “Dear Aaron Sorkin…”The Newsroom” is Boring

  1. These are my thoughts exactly when it comes to The Newsroom. Now, to be fair, the show hadn’t disappointment me until episode four. I felt like the preceding episodes, especially episode one and three, really packed in a plotline that went much deeper than these predictable office romances. The episodes leading up to the fourth carried societal commentary that gave my brain a little something to gnaw on. It spurred conversation and debates everywhere, from NPR to the office lunch table at Dish. It was fun and interesting! This week, no one had anything to say and rightfully so. What were we supposed to comment on? Which man will Maggie choose? No one cares that she will land up with Jim! I’m not ready to ditch The Newsroom just yet, since every episode can’t be brilliant. But, I admit, episode five remains unwatched on my DVR and, frankly, I’m not in too much of a hurry to get to it. I’m actually considering letting the show continue to record until Maggie and Jim finally just get together already and then I’ll start watching again. I’m sure the writers can’t drag out this obvious love story much longer, but I have the Hopper DVR that is known for its loads of recording space, so I am prepared to wait as long as it takes! If I was looking to watch an unimaginative love drama, I would’ve just tuned in to HBO an hour sooner and watched True Blood. LOL!

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  2. I’m going to disagree with you and agree with you in the same paragraph. But you probably know by now I do like my Sorkin.

    I’m so happy I found 1 of the other 20’odd fans of Studio 60, it really was the dogs bollcocks. Mathew Perry together with Brad Whitford with intelligent writing is a masterpiece waiting to happen.

    I have now watched 4 episodes of ‘the newsroom’. May I be blunt? I don’t give a flying fuck who is shagging, or who has, or who will shag who. I don’t know the characters, and other than the primary 3 I don’t give a crap. I really dont give a crap about the “love” / “relationship” crap that seems to be evolving. I really do wish it would end.

    The one thing I am liking, and its the only reason I am still watching, is the retrospective aspect to the show. The assumption that the show is “in real time” but is only time stamped in the last 10-15 minutes is interesting and new to tv.

    What I do find interesting is how “the newsroom” responds to ‘live’ events. In the show we have had their response to BP deep water horizon, and latterly the shooting of Congresswoman Gifford.

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    • “I don’t give a flying fuck who is shagging, or who has, or who will shag who.”

      Agreed. At least not in the beginning. We got to know the characters in The West Wing long before Sorkin started throwing in (mostly unnecessary) “personal relationships”. Make us care about the characters first, then get personal.

      But I’m not seeing where you’re disagreeing with me. 🙂

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      • Yeah, I started to bore even myself before I got to the area where I was going to disagree with you. Perhaps that is fitting commentary on how I am beginning to feel about ‘The Newsroom’ over all. Episode 5 really was, in my opinion, a waste of time.

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