Aaron Sorkin (creator of The West Wing and Sports Night) launches his new highly-anticipated series The Newsroom on Sunday night (HBO, June 24, 10 pm)—but according to many critics, maybe you should stop anticipating it so much.
It is crammed with incessant gibber-jabber. Characters never stop speechifying to one another, replacing believable dialogue with that unmistakably Sorkinesque logorrhea of righteous self-importance. It’s a puppet show with Sorkin as the only hand, expressing his displeasure with the tenor of public discourse.
All this hearkening back to a male-dominated golden age can occasionally make The Newsroom feel like fevered Ron Burgundy fan fic. (“I love reading the news!” McAvoy brays over post-election whiskeys. His jazz flute stays mercifully sheathed.) There’s a deep strain of misogyny to the show that makes even Sorkin’s trademark banter run sour.
The result is a dramatically inert, infuriating mess, one that wastes a fine cast to no demonstrable purpose, unless you consider giving Sorkin yet another platform in which to Set the People Straight is a worthwhile purpose.
In the best-case scenario, The Newsroom better integrates the passions of love and work; in the worst, it stands to be a lumpy mix of self-righteous blather and cutesy bullshit. The pilot mostly suggests the latter.
Wm.™ Steven Humphrey:
The Newsroom is a laugh-a-minute feel good romp, that will have you holding your sides from laughter—when you're not dabbing your eyes to hold back the tears. It's a brilliant tour de force of acting, directing and writing that will make you scream, "Thank fucking god there's TV, and thank fucking god I can watch it." It's a blow-you-out-of-your-seat, mind bending assault on the senses that will... okay fine. I haven't seen it. And now I'm really dreading it.
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