Since his original television series “Sports Night,” Aaron Sorkin has become known as one of television and film’s most intelligent writers. Sorkin’s last foray into television writing was for the critically acclaimed politician drama, “The West Wing.” Needless to say, I was excited to see Sorkin make his way back to television. With “The Newsroom,” he is back in a very big way.
“The Newsroom” follows news anchor Will McAvoy, who, through playing it safe, has come to find some of the largest ratings on television with his cable show, “News Night.” After a controversial outburst during a debate on a college campus and staff change-ups within the network, he is forced to decide if he wants to continue his harmless but successful career or attempt to take up the once great mantle of true journalism. It is an extremely high concept and one that is extremely risky, especially considering that the show takes place in 2010 and many of the show’s pivotal moments focus on past real-world events such as the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
While it may be creating an unrealistically intelligent landscape enhanced by the 20/20 vision of real life hindsight, it is a landscape that I wanted to live in for as long as I could. The show’s cast of characters, from the primary characters Will McAvoy and his executive producer Mackenzie MacHale, to the minor staffers filling the background, all seem well developed and much more complex than they may first appear. Sorkin’s writing glorifies passion, intelligence and hard work, and as someone who aspires to embrace all three, I find “The Newsroom” absolutely enthralling.
“The Newsroom” airs Sunday evenings at 10 p.m. on HBO. The show’s first episode was made officially available for free on Youtube.