Aaron Sorkin's 'The Newsroom' gets off to a shaky start
Aaron Sorkin's new series has the expected great dialogue, but needs more than that.
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Even so, for fans of Aaron Sorkin, there’s much to be excited about. While many will certainly focus on the political aspect of the series, HBO’s The Newsroom is as much about politics as FX’s The League is about football. Instead, this series much more about one man’s attempt at being true to himself.Skip to next paragraph
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McAvoy’s comments about America no longer being the greatest country in the world certainly caught the attention of everyone watching, but it was his further explorations (some forced), where the real story lies. Dropping references to New York Times media reporter Bill Carter and NBC’s famed late night staple Jay Leno, Sorkin is highlighting viewer’s trends toward more honest media – perhaps not always the highest-rated, but certainly more honest. For McAvoy, the struggle about coming to terms with his unconscious need (and want) to be more than just “the guy that doesn’t bother anyone” is one of The Newsroom’s few narrative anchors, though one that was only briefly touched upon. Fortunately, it’s an extremely hefty anchor. Certainly mirroring conversations that many longtime personalities must have had internally, McAvoy’s transition brings up some interesting questions.
As the familiar Sorkin storylines from the past begin to bleed their way into The Newsroom, audiences will be able to continue along an enjoyable journey that was started on Sports Night. However, for those looking for a truly more evolved series, one must look within those familiarities to find growth. At this point, it’s difficult to say how challenging that may be for audiences, but hopefully it becomes easier in subsequent episodes.
For all intents and purposes, HBO’s The Newsroom is anything and everything that one would expect to see from Sorkin’s return to television – though perhaps not what many had hoped. While there’s more than enough beautifully-written dialogue for fans to sit back and enjoy, it’s hard not to acknowledge a certain disconnect from the series and its characters that can be felt throughout the premiere.
Even though, at times, much heart can be felt onscreen, there’s not much more than Sorkin’s name currently driving curiosity and intrigue for subsequent episodes. Fortunately, for now, Sorkin’s name alone is enough.
Giving The Newsroom a few weeks to find itself, as well as to introduce the rest of the cast (Jane Fonda & Olivia Munn), isn’t much to ask from a series, writer, or network of this caliber. However, unlike in previous series, where Sorkin was able to tweak storylines to reflect the current status of the actual show, the first season of The Newsroom is already completed.
Like a train following an already set course, there’s no chance of correcting its path, even if it’s on the wrong one. At this point, the only thing you can do is to hope that you still end up at your destination. Thankfully, Aaron Sorkin is one of the few people to trust when it comes to navigating the world of television.
As if taking a note from The Newsrooms’ original title, we hope for more as this series develops.
Anthony Ocasio blogs at Screen Rant.