Sunday, July 1, 2012

The Music of Sorkin - Newsroom

The circling vultures seem to have found what they have been hoping for.  One episode in, most critics are calling out Aaron Sorkin for his new HBO series Newsroom.  I will not highlight those issues and instead let you decide for yourself.  Granted some of these critics have the luxury of screening 5 complete episodes and perhaps the series falls off the rails somewhere down the line, but from my early vantage point I am just delighted to once again hear the music and cadence of his dialogue writing.  Since West Wing went off the air I have been longing for this kind of writing.  It feeds a different part of my entertainment needs.  I have comedies to make me laugh, horror and suspense to make me jump and dramas to insight various other emotions. Sorkin on the other hand make me think.  There is no such thing as a lazy Sorkin fan.  If you don't keep up with the dialogue's quick pace and listen attentively for the various political references, you will soon find yourself left behind like a majority of the Nielsen audience grasping for the remote to watch a more mainstream form of mind-numbing entertainment.  Let's not forget folks, that last week behind the NBA finals, America's Got Talent pulled the highest ratings.

Typically characters come first, then story and finally dialogue.  With Sorkin, dialogue comes first.  Well researched content with historical validity.  And as you continue to tune in, the character development follows.  And from time to time real drama is born when its necessary catalyst 'crisis' is injected into the storyline.  For example, in West Wing we had a shooting, a kidnapping, heath scares etc.

Newsroom shows us that anchormen are not just faces with pleasant voices.  Anchormen or anchor-persons are real people and unlike in the old days, modern news is dictated by corporations and political agendas.  Perhaps the outcry from critics, who are for the most part paid journalists, stems from the same anti free press agenda.  With previous Sorkin series and screenplays the political content might have been easier to accept or wallpaper over as the jabs and accusations were less overt.  Newsroom stories are  instead based on true life past headlines that are unearthed and exposed to the light of truth or at the very least educated and plausible conspiracy theories.  As a result, the north american public may feel like they are being called out for being spoon fed lies.  This of course is based on the premise that people will actually watch this show.

So I truly hope that the upcoming episodes keep pace with the first.  I will keep in mind the criticisms identified by the critics and if I agree with them I will be the first to admit it.  Hey I once truly respected M. Night Shyamalan and if he can fall from grace anyone can. 

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