Anthony De Rosa is generally one of my favorite people but with his humor and media savvy and ability to twumblook all his thoughts simultaneously comes great responsibility, like not telling people “The Newsroom” is an ok thing to watch. He should, for example, not say things like this: “The Newsroom is way deeper and more honest than the Brant brothers” or “The Newsroom is not so desperately self-satisfied as to rely on jokes that Saturday Night Live would’ve rejected in that era after Adam Sandler but before Tina Fey” or “It is not a show so spine-chillingly trite as to make a Prince Street art stall painting of a black hand shaking a white hand look like Guernica.”
I’m not going to go over faults critics have covered other than to say Aaron Sorkin doesn’t seem to understand that Keith Olbermann and Saturday Night Live are not on par with the presidency of the United States. But what I will say is last Sunday’s episode was the single worst piece of television I had ever seen and I once saw and episode of “Everybody Loves Raymond” on a plane.
It was the episode in which Osama bin Laden dies and Aaron Sorkin, being the liberal that he is, loves him some patriotism where he thinks its warranted so he went all in and like Noah on his Ark collected two of every kind of person involved in 9/11 and found insultingly ridiculous reasons for them to circle round and have Uncky Aaron make it all better.
The Keith Olbermann guy was high (THAT IS SO FUNNY AND NO ONE HAS EVER THOUGHT OF THAT AS A PLOT DEVICE BEFORE EVER) and ran away from his body guard who was immediately stopped by two white cops for being black and being loud. While this is feasible, the idea of making this their entry point into this ill-conceived pimple on the butt of the “West Wing” so they could then represent the NYPD and all they sacrificed on 9/11 makes me dizzy (vomit dizzy not tilt-a-whirl dizzy). “It’s ok that you were setup to be racists because that Arab is dead and he killed your friends. And by the way the guy you were chasing, he was in the army, so now we’re on the same side when five minutes ago we were at an Al Sharpton rally.”
Meanwhile, there were three reporters stuck on a plane (ugh, planes, am I right?) and this intensely bitchy crazy woman (is there any other kind?) who happens to be the stewardess is causing all kinds of problems because she won’t let them switch seats or yell to everyone about terrorists or whatever, so the captain comes back and the douchiest of the reporters sees that his name tag has a United Airlines logo on it (because that would definitely be the only way to know that you were on a United flight) and realizes that they too had people die on 9/11 and gets all weepy and tells them that actual heroes not involved in this show killed Osama bin Laden and then for some reason feels good about himself and the pilots start crying and hugging the bitchy stewardess and then the douchey guy says “we reported the news.” (Change.org lets you set up mass petitions but I don’t know whether we should petition Aaron Sorkin or Anthony.)
Meanwhile in the control room, someone puts on an FDNY cap: SO NO COMPLAINING FIREMEN.
Also, the girl with the drugs who made Keith Olbermann high (oh, by the way, funny story: he can’t tell the difference between Obama and Osama anymore) had a dad who worked at Cantor Fitzgerald and he died as most of the people did at that firm and she got three seconds of airtime to feel sad and not happy like she thought she would when Osama bin laden died, before we have to move on to the bulk of the story which is about a love quadrangle in which four people on varying degrees of antipsychotics decide which one of each other is the cutest and then pull that one’s hair and kiss the other one or whatever people in their twenties do in Aaron Sorkin’s head while clothed.
And there you go: The true meaning of 9/11.
Aww, I adore you too Alex!
I can’t disagree with any of this, yet I can’t stop watching.
Yes, it is terribly flawed, preachy, and has the luxury of knowing better two years after the fact. The problem I have with the people who don’t like the show is that they want it to be a “serious” depiction of what a newsroom is like, rather than the kind of dopey, idealistic drama that it is.
I especially wish they were more honest with their media criticism. If they’re going to mock Fox News, they should be mocking the rest of cable news like MSNBC which is just as bad in the other direction. In that sense it’s too much of a liberal fantasy world for my taste.
Part of why I enjoy the show is because I really hate how poor broadcast news has become, although Sorkin and his “Hey, Internet girl” bullshit just isn’t really the best guy to be leading the charge.
I can’t possibly hold it up as some Emmy worthy masterpiece, it’s not. Let he/she who hasn’t watch a minute of “The Bachelor/ette” cast the first stone.
It’s a guilty pleasure, we all have them. Can’t I have mine?
;lkajsflakjsdflsadkfj;lsakdfj TEAM ALEX but Rach and I will keep watching because we can pull nuggets of excellent dialog out of this otherwise abominable fucking parody of Sorkin’s once-great talent.
What kills me is how much of the awful female character shit is just due to sloppy-ass writing. To make a certain quip, first he needs someone to be bogglingly ignorant, and he tends to stick all the ignorance into the same characters, instead of parceling it out more sanely as he did in The West Wing. (Donna was smart but didn’t know how government works, which is OK; Bartlett was a genius but often socially inept; Josh got things wrong because he got cocky and tried to do and know everything at once; C.J. was damn quick on her feet, but she came from entertainment, so it was OK that she knew fuck-all about the census, because so did the viewers.)
I’m amazed that after the stupid “Moliere was Italian” plot of Studio 60, Sorkin didn’t go “gee, I should work harder this time to not make one of my characters an asshole just to embarrass another” but instead went “know what was wrong with that? I used a fact that some viewers might not know already, thus leaving some credibility to the characters and making the viewer feel someone smart if they did know it, whereas no one will get a jolt of pride for knowing that Spain’s most famous fictional character of all time was Spanish.”
Incidentally, when Will tells Mackenzie that no, you idiot, Don Quixote rode a donkey not a horse, you complete ass… he’s wrong. Don Quixote rode a horse named Rocinante, Sancho Panza rode a donkey.
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