Monday, 25 June 2012

The Newsroom: ten initial thoughts

1. Bradley Whitford would have made a great Will McAvoy. The initial scene seemed to have been written for him. Sigh.

2. Aaron Sorkin has the courage to tell the truth about America. And about the fact that it's not the only country with freedom, thereby elliciting whoops from those of us who nod furiously when played the clip where Obama says he believes in American exceptionalism the way, for example, Brits believe in British exceptionalism. It's the kind of thing that may have riled some Americans, but won hearts in other countries. Because it's true! and refreshing to hear!

3. Aaron Sorkin has a thing about Belgium. I've always suspected this, but to get a mention within five minutes of the pilot episode is quite something. Well done him.

4. Also, he called the UK the UK, and not England. This is unusual for an American, and to be applauded.

5. MacKenzie did not need to be British. But if she was going to be British, she should have been called Fleur, or Sophie, or Fiona. British parents do not name their little girls Mackenzie, especially posh diplomat types. This unnecessary plot complication and unnecessary accent and ridiculously chosen name is likely to irritate me throughout.

5. Until the last scene, I worried that Mackenzie/Will had as much chemistry as Josh/Mandy. Which isn't a problem, except we are clearly meant to be shipping them. Oh well - maybe another meant-to-be-minor character will steal one of their hearts. The best ships are organic anyway. But then, oddly, I found myself welling up at the end. So who knows?

6. But Aaron Sorkin is clearly a romantic. More than that, he believes romantic love to be the motivation behind excellence, the thing that causes us to rise higher than we thought possible. Viz Studio 60 and the Social Network, though not the West Wing in quite the same way.

7. He's chosen to set this show not in a parallel universe, but in our real world - maybe the real world of a couple of years ago, complete with Barack Obama and BP oil spills. Interesting concept. And one which I think I Iike - it should make for some interesting social commentary, and means his creative energy will be devoted to characters and internal plot, rather than coming up with external plot.

8. That episode was really long. Are they all going to be this long?

9. Recognisable Sorkin characters all over the place - most notably Maggie (whose name Mackenzie pronounces with an American accent for no discernible reason). She reminded me of Matt's assistant in Studio 60. In fact, she's basically the same character. Or am I wrong?

10. Aesthetically speaking (and in many other ways), it's no West Wing. And it is certainly no Studio 60. (I doubt the Bradley Whitford/Matt Perry combination can be equalled or surpassed by anything other than Bradley Whitford/Rob Lowe). But John Gallagher, Jr, has grown into a hottie since he was last seen dropping Josh, Donna and Toby off at a station so they could get a train going the wrong way. Maybe it's time I crushed on someone more age-appropriate. Think I can charm him with my British accent (and my genuine British name)?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think it seemed long because it was a full 1 hour & 15 minutes as opposed to 1 hour with 20 minutes of commercials, lol. It seemed like it would never stop, but when we looked at the clock, we couldn't believe it was over already. That is the joy of a Sorkin show.

I agree about being irked by the name MacKensey McHale, or whatever the alliteration is. Really annoying. I think he came up with the name before they chose Emily Mortimer and just rewrote her backstory to fit her. Should have rethought the name.

I enjoyed the entire experience. Not crazy about the actress who plays Maggie, but I'm willing to give her and all of the characters time to develope. First episodes are hard to gauge.

Enjoyed your blog!

Pam Purtle