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(Uproxx)   The case for HBO's The Newsroom has been made. At the very least you should hate read it   (uproxx.com) divider line 134
    More: Interesting, HBO, newsrooms, Sam Waterston, Aaron Sorkin, Bill Paxton, Bill Pullman, James McAvoy, Jim Carrey  
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4649 clicks; posted to Entertainment » on 09 Jul 2013 at 3:03 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-07-09 12:42:07 PM  
Drunk Waterston - Critics and fans of Newsroom can both at least agree on one thing: Sam Waterston's Charlie Skinner is OUTSTANDING. He's drunk. He's belligerent. And he curses like a motherf*****, and he chews scenery like the goddamn class act he is. Show some respect, son.

Looking past everything else.This is the only reason you really need to watch the show.
 
2013-07-09 12:52:08 PM  
I've been a big fan of it since the first episode, and next week's season 2 premier is the TV show I've been looking forward to more than any other this year.

Also, while the critics seem hell-bent on hating it, actual viewers seem to like it.  Usually the Metacritic scores for critics and viewers are fairly similar, for The Newsroom there's a huge difference between how the critics rate it and the viewers rate it.
 
2013-07-09 01:11:36 PM  
A page full of animated GIFs make the baby Jeebus cry.
 
2013-07-09 01:55:44 PM  

BizarreMan: Drunk Waterston - Critics and fans of Newsroom can both at least agree on one thing: Sam Waterston's Charlie Skinner is OUTSTANDING. He's drunk. He's belligerent. And he curses like a motherf*****, and he chews scenery like the goddamn class act he is. Show some respect, son.

Looking past everything else.This is the only reason you really need to watch the show.


He should have a curse-off with that chick from Dexter.
 
2013-07-09 02:08:14 PM  
It could be a great show, but it has a few flaws.

1) Sorkin thinks women are for decoration. I have NO IDEA how he created CJ Cregg, because every other woman in the Sorkinverse is a whiny caricature of the worst possible ideas of professional women.

2) The GOP are complete and total evil, without even a tiny bit of nuance. While MANY members of the GOP ARE evil, it doesn't make for interesting storytelling.

He could have re-made the West Wing, but these flaws need to be fixed.
 
2013-07-09 02:21:54 PM  

what_now: It could be a great show, but it has a few flaws.

1) Sorkin thinks women are for decoration. I have NO IDEA how he created CJ Cregg, because every other woman in the Sorkinverse is a whiny caricature of the worst possible ideas of professional women.

2) The GOP are complete and total evil, without even a tiny bit of nuance. While MANY members of the GOP ARE evil, it doesn't make for interesting storytelling.

He could have re-made the West Wing, but these flaws need to be fixed.


For the first point, the way Mackenzie McHale was handled was certainly problematic.  For a supposedly superstar producer that's been living and handling herself in a war zone for years, she came off as more than a bit incompetent.  On the other hand, I like the way the Maggie Jordan character is being developed, other than the weird love triangle with jerk-ass Don and buttmonkey Jim.  Leona Lansing is certainly a strong character, and Sloan may be, but of course she's been a bit diminished by the unnecessary romantic subplots.

Sorkin just doesn't write romance particularly well, and the show doesn't need it to be a major part of the plot.  The way he handled the Josh/Donna will-they-or-won't-they drama and the President/First-Lady mature romance worked in The West Wing, heck, even the CJ Craig and Reporter-due thing worked with all of the verbal sparring.  The common theme amongst those is that they were all somewhat adversarial (even if it was in a friendly way) relationships.  When he tries to write someone as vulnerable and mushy, it just gets messy.

As to the second point, it's not so much the GOP that he's calling evil, but the direction that it's taking.  McAvoy represents what the Republican Party could be if it really stood for what it supposedly believes in.  It's the Tea-Party and corporate interest takeover of the party that he's calling out.
 
2013-07-09 02:34:51 PM  
The fact that Olivia "LOOK AT ME LOOK AT ME I'M AN ATTENTION WHORE LOVE ME GEEK FANBOY" Munn is in the show is one very major reason NOT to watch.
 
2013-07-09 03:05:44 PM  
I tried watching it. I never got past the first season. The plot is contrived, the characters are boring, and the themes are dogmatic.
 
2013-07-09 03:10:36 PM  

FirstNationalBastard: The fact that Olivia "LOOK AT ME LOOK AT ME I'M AN ATTENTION WHORE LOVE ME GEEK FANBOY" Munn is in the show is one very major reason NOT to watch.


She is actually really good in the show.
 
2013-07-09 03:14:56 PM  

perilsensitive: FirstNationalBastard: The fact that Olivia "LOOK AT ME LOOK AT ME I'M AN ATTENTION WHORE LOVE ME GEEK FANBOY" Munn is in the show is one very major reason NOT to watch.

She is actually really good in the show.


She's actually the most normal and likable character they got.

/seconded for Jack McCoy being a old timer smartass
 
2013-07-09 03:16:45 PM  

Because People in power are Stupid: I tried watching it. I never got past the first season. The plot is contrived, the characters are boring, and the themes are dogmatic.


No one has, season 2 starts next week.
 
2013-07-09 03:19:21 PM  

Because People in power are Stupid: I tried watching it. I never got past the first season. The plot is contrived, the characters are boring, and the themes are dogmatic.


notsureifpotato.jpg
 
kab
2013-07-09 03:20:56 PM  
Watched the first episode, laughed about how unbelievably absurd the dialog was, and never gave it a second thought.
 
2013-07-09 03:21:53 PM  
The first episode was ok but it took a nose dive after that. What a stinker.

I do not believe that everyone in a cable news network is as smart as the President's inner circle.  If so, explain Wolf Blitzer and Chris Matthews.
 
2013-07-09 03:24:00 PM  
Is it just me, or does every character in a Sorkin show use the exact same cadence, inflections, vocabulary and general style?  It's like it doesn't matter who's saying a line, they're all interchangeable, even across shows.

Still like it, don't get me wrong, but people just don't talk like that.  They have some variations between them!.
 
2013-07-09 03:24:49 PM  
The only thing that bothers me about the show is the writing from hindsight. We know of events and how the media reacted to them, and Will McAvoy is always poignant, spot on and has the perfect statement for everything that has happened. The behind the scenes stuff is great, but the fact McAvoy is allowed to lambast people and they humbly shut up for him to deliver his tirade is pretty lame. In real life, people start shouting over each other and throwing straw men all over the battle field.
 
2013-07-09 03:35:47 PM  
i would be much happier if he wrote out the appallingly screechy and incompetent executive producer woman. i'm sure she's a fine actress, but with his scripts, she's nothing but a bumbling harpy who does no favors for her gender.
 
2013-07-09 03:36:53 PM  

HST's Dead Carcass: The only thing that bothers me about the show is the writing from hindsight. We know of events and how the media reacted to them, and Will McAvoy is always poignant, spot on and has the perfect statement for everything that has happened. The behind the scenes stuff is great, but the fact McAvoy is allowed to lambast people and they humbly shut up for him to deliver his tirade is pretty lame. In real life, people start shouting over each other and throwing straw men all over the battle field.


I dunno, it sounds like what you're looking for is a reality show about Wolf Blitzer's life.  I'm fine with the idealized approach.
 
2013-07-09 03:39:49 PM  

gopher321: BizarreMan: Drunk Waterston - Critics and fans of Newsroom can both at least agree on one thing: Sam Waterston's Charlie Skinner is OUTSTANDING. He's drunk. He's belligerent. And he curses like a motherf*****, and he chews scenery like the goddamn class act he is. Show some respect, son.

Looking past everything else.This is the only reason you really need to watch the show.

He should have a curse-off with that chick from Dexter.


The entire cast of Deadwood would take that challenge.
 
2013-07-09 03:41:02 PM  
I've not watched this show at all, though I like Jeff Daniels and Sam Waterston. The whole premise, or at least the promos, make it look like the most pompous, pretentious show ever.

Am I correct?
 
2013-07-09 03:44:30 PM  

Nemo's Brother: The first episode was ok but it took a nose dive after that. What a stinker.

I do not believe that everyone in a cable news network is as smart as the President's inner circle.  If so, explain Wolf Blitzer and Chris Matthews.


The second episode was pretty brutal to watch because McAvoy was willingly trying to sink his own show in a horribly painful manner in order to prove a point, which in turn proved to be horribly painful television to watch.  It was a story that probably needed to be done to further the conflict between Will and MacKenzie, but it did let the air out of the tires from the first episode.  It's by far the worst episode in the first season.  The show improved heavily following that.
 
2013-07-09 03:45:24 PM  

Mateorocks: I've not watched this show at all, though I like Jeff Daniels and Sam Waterston. The whole premise, or at least the promos, make it look like the most pompous, pretentious show ever.

Am I correct?


It has moments like that, but the message it spot on, so it doesn't come off as much as pompous as it does critical of the way the industry actually operates, and rousing to do things the right way.
 
2013-07-09 03:46:09 PM  
LOVE this show, except for the love triangle bullshiat.

Yes, no one talks like that in real life, but God Damn it, it is compelling and funny.

Olivia Munn is FARKING BRILLIANT in it.  They took a great looking woman and made her the smartest person in the room, no matter what room she is in.  And she easily holds her own as an actor.

On THIS show, she is not just eye candy.

Jeff Daniels is a pimp.  The guy simply brings it to every episode.
 
2013-07-09 03:47:31 PM  

Mateorocks: I've not watched this show at all, though I like Jeff Daniels and Sam Waterston. The whole premise, or at least the promos, make it look like the most pompous, pretentious show ever.

Am I correct?


No.

Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip was slightly worse.
 
2013-07-09 03:50:25 PM  

tallguywithglasseson: Mateorocks: I've not watched this show at all, though I like Jeff Daniels and Sam Waterston. The whole premise, or at least the promos, make it look like the most pompous, pretentious show ever.

Am I correct?

No.

Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip was slightly worse.


I loved Studio 60.  It was brilliant, and it's a damn shame it was canceled.
 
2013-07-09 03:52:15 PM  
It's better than anything else on basic cable but there are a lot better cable and premium channel dramas and comedies. It will still end up being worth DVR'ing as I am a political junkie but it's a far far cry from Sorkin's West Wing or better shows like Breaking Bad.
 
2013-07-09 03:54:02 PM  

TuteTibiImperes: tallguywithglasseson: Mateorocks: I've not watched this show at all, though I like Jeff Daniels and Sam Waterston. The whole premise, or at least the promos, make it look like the most pompous, pretentious show ever.

Am I correct?

No.

Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip was slightly worse.

I loved Studio 60.  It was brilliant, and it's a damn shame it was canceled.


I'm an atheist and even I  thought the "Crazy Christians" skit that was hinted at the entire season was rather heavy handed.  Also, if one more character rattles off about "Gather Ye Rosebuds While Ye May"---

Newsroom got fairly good in its first season.  That said, there's still room to improve.
 
2013-07-09 04:01:56 PM  

what_now: 1) Sorkin thinks women are for decoration. I have NO IDEA how he created CJ Cregg, because every other woman in the Sorkinverse is a whiny caricature of the worst possible ideas of professional women.


This isn't true at all, but okay.

There's also plenty of people who think CJ Cregg was weak character.

The only difference is that you hate one less character than they do.

A short list of non-characture women in just The West Wing that I can think off the top of my head:
CJ Cregg
Ainsley Hayes
Zoe Barlet
Ellie Barlet
Liz Barlet
Abbey Barlet
Nancy McNally
Carol (CJ's assistant)
Donna Moss
Elise Snuffins
Kate Harper
Amy Gardner

I'm missing a lot but I have nachos.
 
2013-07-09 04:02:11 PM  

TuteTibiImperes: Also, while the critics seem hell-bent on hating it, actual viewers seem to like it.  Usually the Metacritic scores for critics and viewers are fairly similar, for The Newsroom there's a huge difference between how the critics rate it and the viewers rate it.


So it's like the  Twilight movies then?

/we all know how smart, rational, and tasteful the Twihards are
 
2013-07-09 04:05:29 PM  
The Newsroom is awful.  It's written as every liberal's wet dream, but even most libs can't stand it because it's such syrupy, over the top, extremist nonsense.  I gave up about 20 minutes into the third episode, along with most of America.  I can't believe this show made it to Season #2; it's just complete and utter drivel.
 
2013-07-09 04:08:10 PM  
Olivia Munn is smoking, but I have this weird crush on Alison Pill. especially since she was in Goon, a better hockey movie than Slapshot.
 
2013-07-09 04:10:00 PM  

what_now: It could be a great show, but it has a few flaws.

1) Sorkin thinks women are for decoration. I have NO IDEA how he created CJ Cregg, because every other woman in the Sorkinverse is a whiny caricature of the worst possible ideas of professional women.

2) The GOP are complete and total evil, without even a tiny bit of nuance. While MANY members of the GOP ARE evil, it doesn't make for interesting storytelling.

He could have re-made the West Wing, but these flaws need to be fixed.


3) The hindsight problem HST's Dead Carcass brought up. I could have lived with the dialogue and the poorly written female characters if only Sorkin wasn't so hell bent on using the show as a soapbox for What Should Have Been. McAvoy is always right because Sorkin has the benefit of six months distance from whatever news event he wants to cannibalize for his message of the episode. It might be slightly more tolerable if McAvoy was more fallible and made a bad call from time to time, because mistakes do happen when you're trying to process breaking news. Instead, we get episodes where the valiant, noble McAvoy refuses to call Giffords' death because he has ~integrity~ (unlike those other guys who sold out to the Man).

/It's too bad the show is such a stinker, because Waterston IS fantastic.
//I do admit I am sort of morbidly curious how they'll spin the inevitable Sandy Hook episode, just because the Giffords one was so incredibly crass.
 
2013-07-09 04:18:16 PM  
i.imgur.com
 
2013-07-09 04:21:23 PM  

Sairobi: what_now: It could be a great show, but it has a few flaws.

1) Sorkin thinks women are for decoration. I have NO IDEA how he created CJ Cregg, because every other woman in the Sorkinverse is a whiny caricature of the worst possible ideas of professional women.

2) The GOP are complete and total evil, without even a tiny bit of nuance. While MANY members of the GOP ARE evil, it doesn't make for interesting storytelling.

He could have re-made the West Wing, but these flaws need to be fixed.

3) The hindsight problem HST's Dead Carcass brought up. I could have lived with the dialogue and the poorly written female characters if only Sorkin wasn't so hell bent on using the show as a soapbox for What Should Have Been. McAvoy is always right because Sorkin has the benefit of six months distance from whatever news event he wants to cannibalize for his message of the episode. It might be slightly more tolerable if McAvoy was more fallible and made a bad call from time to time, because mistakes do happen when you're trying to process breaking news. Instead, we get episodes where the valiant, noble McAvoy refuses to call Giffords' death because he has ~integrity~ (unlike those other guys who sold out to the Man).

/It's too bad the show is such a stinker, because Waterston IS fantastic.
//I do admit I am sort of morbidly curious how they'll spin the inevitable Sandy Hook episode, just because the Giffords one was so incredibly crass.


From what I understand season 2 is going to have a fairly big change in terms of format - more of a season long behind-the-scenes arc instead of focusing as much on individual past news stories like season 1 did.
 
2013-07-09 04:22:59 PM  

aedude01: I'm an atheist and even I thought the "Crazy Christians" skit that was hinted at the entire season was rather heavy handed. Also, if one more character rattles off about "Gather Ye Rosebuds While Ye May"---


Studio 60 seemed to have so much potential. West Wing showed Sorkin could tackle current issues in a weighty (sometimes preachy) tone, while still making the show's character drama compelling. Sports Night showed Sorkin could really balance comedy and drama, and the fake sports show rang true.
On Studio 60, he could use the fake comedy show to get some laughs, and get the character drama from the making-of-the-show. Since it's a fake sketch show, it's a natural for satirizing current events... but it could also show the same events in a more serious light with the character drama.

I never for one second believed any of Studio 60's characters, especially the lead, ever worked in comedy a day in their life. The "so talented" Super Christian female lead was cute, but about as talented as her real-life equivalent of Victoria Jackson. The show took itself more seriously than the West Wing. None of the fake sketches were remotely comedic, nor were any of the people making them funny, even in the fake-sketch-creation process.
Still, I think Sorkin's main mistake was creating a lead character loosely based on himself -- because you generally want your main character to be somewhat likeable (the same might be true, to a lesser extent, of Newsroom).

Studio 60 was a farking chore to watch. I was glad it got cancelled, figured better for Sorkin to start over than to try to fix something that badly broken. But...

The Newsroom plays like a photo negative of a right-wing e-mail forward.

"So I was talking with my liberal friends about [issue], and they said [stereotypical uninformed argument with obvious flaw]. So I said, [oh-so-clever and witty conservative counterpoint to obvious flaw]. They just got mad and said [dumb thing]".

Except with way more mansplaining and sexism.
 
2013-07-09 04:39:52 PM  

TheBeastOfYuccaFlats: what_now: 1) Sorkin thinks women are for decoration. I have NO IDEA how he created CJ Cregg, because every other woman in the Sorkinverse is a whiny caricature of the worst possible ideas of professional women.

This isn't true at all, but okay.

There's also plenty of people who think CJ Cregg was weak character.

The only difference is that you hate one less character than they do.

A short list of non-characture women in just The West Wing that I can think off the top of my head:
CJ Cregg
Ainsley Hayes
Zoe Barlet
Ellie Barlet
Liz Barlet
Abbey Barlet
Nancy McNally
Carol (CJ's assistant)
Donna Moss
Elise Snuffins
Kate Harper
Amy Gardner

I'm missing a lot but I have nachos.


I like how you left off one female character that just disappeared without a mention (that I recall) Mandy Hampton (played by Moira Kelly, 1st season), but she really didn't serve much purpose in the show.

CJ's character was very masculine, which maybe why she worked/sorkin wrote her well.  If you turned her character into a male, it wouldn't change much.  But all the Bartlett women I couldn't stand.  Not saying they weren't caricatures or not, they just annoyed me.

Zoe - somehow could not accept that she couldn't do everything else like a normal teen due to being a first daughter.
Ellie - got pregnant and it came across that she felt she had to marry the father.  She really didn't bother me that much.
Liz - the oldest one who got upset her daddy wouldn't approve of her husband (unless I am mis-remembering)
Abbey - her character annoyed me the most.  Always felt she was without reproach...couldn't accept the punishment given for breaking law/ethics by treating her husband.  "when did people stop calling me doctor."
 
2013-07-09 04:40:02 PM  

Sairobi: 3) The hindsight problem HST's Dead Carcass brought up. I could have lived with the dialogue and the poorly written female characters if only Sorkin wasn't so hell bent on using the show as a soapbox for What Should Have Been. McAvoy is always right because Sorkin has the benefit of six months distance from whatever news event he wants to cannibalize for his message of the episode. It might be slightly more tolerable if McAvoy was more fallible and made a bad call from time to time, because mistakes do happen when you're trying to process breaking news. Instead, we get episodes where the valiant, noble McAvoy refuses to call Giffords' death because he has ~integrity~ (unlike those other guys who sold out to the Man).


You nailed what I was trying to pass on between reports, thanks for explaining it further.
 
2013-07-09 04:42:28 PM  

FirstNationalBastard: The fact that Olivia "LOOK AT ME LOOK AT ME I'M AN ATTENTION WHORE LOVE ME GEEK FANBOY" Munn is in the show is one very major reason NOT to watch.


I started the show completely ready to hate her, mostly because of how terribly wooden she was on The Daily Show. She very quickly changed my opinion; she's great in The Newsroom.
 
2013-07-09 04:47:59 PM  
Knowing that the cast is playing the parts of general Libtard Highbrow Newsie Types, I am curious to see how they deal with all the scandals (Benghazi, IRS, NSA Wiretapping). I am willing to bet that just like the real (so called) news people, they will never ever, EVER bring up Fast & Furious, because that is so like, yesterdays news.
 
2013-07-09 04:50:37 PM  
That said, if Sorkin had written characters resembling Stephen A. Smith and Skip Bayless into Sports Night, and written scenes composed of actual dialog they've used on air, I would have been incredulous.

"That's not what sports journalism is really like!" I might have said, "That's a below-the-belt insult!".

//at that time, that was mostly true
 
2013-07-09 04:50:39 PM  
Awesome show.
 
2013-07-09 04:50:57 PM  

Via Infinito: Because People in power are Stupid: I tried watching it. I never got past the first season. The plot is contrived, the characters are boring, and the themes are dogmatic.

notsureifpotato.jpg


If you like a string of poorly resolved  MacGuffins, then you are welcome to it. The worst episode I watched was when that main character apologized on the air for being bad at news broadcast journalism. Not only is this so unlikely as to be unbelievable, there is no sympathy for these idiotic and boring characters.
 
2013-07-09 04:53:27 PM  

Brick-House: I am curious to see how they deal with all the scandals (Benghazi


Oh, I'm guessing they'll touch on that "scandal".

Probably not in a way that you would enjoy. The lead character isn't modeled after Steve Doocy, you know.
 
2013-07-09 04:56:04 PM  

coinspinner: FirstNationalBastard: The fact that Olivia "LOOK AT ME LOOK AT ME I'M AN ATTENTION WHORE LOVE ME GEEK FANBOY" Munn is in the show is one very major reason NOT to watch.

I started the show completely ready to hate her, mostly because of how terribly wooden she was on The Daily Show. She very quickly changed my opinion; she's great in The Newsroom.


I must have missed her on The Daily Show, but she did a great job co-hosting on Attack of the Show.  She always seemed natural there.

Brick-House: Knowing that the cast is playing the parts of general Libtard Highbrow Newsie Types, I am curious to see how they deal with all the scandals (Benghazi, IRS, NSA Wiretapping). I am willing to bet that just like the real (so called) news people, they will never ever, EVER bring up Fast & Furious, because that is so like, yesterdays news.


Well, it's not supposed to be an all libby newsroom.  The character that Jeff Daniels plays, Will McAvoy, is a conservative and GOP member.  One of the big points in the first season is that the truth is what matters, and that no every issue has two sides, so that if he came off as liberal it was only because he wouldn't stoop down to the level of Fox News and just make stuff up for ratings.  He's fighting against the changes in the GOP, such as the rise of the Tea Party, that he feels are destroying his party.
 
2013-07-09 04:56:50 PM  

coinspinner: FirstNationalBastard: The fact that Olivia "LOOK AT ME LOOK AT ME I'M AN ATTENTION WHORE LOVE ME GEEK FANBOY" Munn is in the show is one very major reason NOT to watch.

I started the show completely ready to hate her, mostly because of how terribly wooden she was on The Daily Show. She very quickly changed my opinion; she's great in The Newsroom.


She wad actually pretty good in Magic Mike as well, although it was a very similar role, the sexy woman who is also the smartest person in the room. It was a much lower bar in Magic Mike, though.

/I had to see it out of respect for Soderbergh
//Also, Matthew McConaughey is awesome in it as well.
 
2013-07-09 05:09:40 PM  

TuteTibiImperes: Well, it's not supposed to be an all libby newsroom. The character that Jeff Daniels plays, Will McAvoy, is a conservative and GOP member. One of the big points in the first season is that the truth is what matters, and that no every issue has two sides, so that if he came off as liberal it was only because he wouldn't stoop down to the level of Fox News and just make stuff up for ratings. He's fighting against the changes in the GOP, such as the rise of the Tea Party, that he feels are destroying his party.


Exactly.  Sometimes there isn't an intelligent/reasonable opposing viewpoint so why give the nut jobs airtime?
 
2013-07-09 05:11:35 PM  

TuteTibiImperes: I've been a big fan of it since the first episode, and next week's season 2 premier is the TV show I've been looking forward to more than any other this year.

Also, while the critics seem hell-bent on hating it, actual viewers seem to like it.  Usually the Metacritic scores for critics and viewers are fairly similar, for The Newsroom there's a huge difference between how the critics rate it and the viewers rate it.


I love watching the show.  I hate thinking about it.  Sorkin's a hell of a writer and the directing is usually top-notch.  The sweeping camera shots they have in the newsroom as people are putting things together are usually awesome.  "I'll Fix You" was a dreadful episode for 50 minutes, but when Maggie's eyes get huge and the Coldplay kicks in, damn if I don't get choked up.  I love watching the show.

But then I start thinking about the show and realize how every big story is broken because somebody on the staff has a personal relationship with a major source.  Or you have characters making hypocritical decisions because it's the right thing to do in one situation and the wrong thing to do in another (compare the arguments surrounding declaring Gabrielle Gifford's dead with those surrounding the bin Laden story).

If you're able to turn off your critical engine for an hour, it's a great show.  If not, then it's pretty bad.  It's the best bad show on television and easily the show I'm most looking forward to this summer (other than Breaking Bad).
 
2013-07-09 05:16:19 PM  

HST's Dead Carcass: The only thing that bothers me about the show is the writing from hindsight. We know of events and how the media reacted to them, and Will McAvoy is always poignant, spot on and has the perfect statement for everything that has happened. The behind the scenes stuff is great, but the fact McAvoy is allowed to lambast people and they humbly shut up for him to deliver his tirade is pretty lame. In real life, people start shouting over each other and throwing straw men all over the battle field.


That's one of my problems, too.  It's also why I loved the "Bullies" episode.  It's the only time McAvoy gets his smugness thrown back in his face.  He tries so hard to tear down the black, gay Santorum supporter and the guy ultimately wins by pointing out that McAvoy doesn't get to decide why people vote any more than he gets to decide how they vote and that categorizing a person's vote based on his skin color or sexuality makes McAvoy no better than the people he's fighting.  I'd like to see more of that.  Perfect characters are boring.  Let McAvoy be wrong every once in a while.
 
2013-07-09 05:16:34 PM  

Deucednuisance: Is it just me, or does every character in a Sorkin show use the exact same cadence, inflections, vocabulary and general style?  It's like it doesn't matter who's saying a line, they're all interchangeable, even across shows.

Still like it, don't get me wrong, but people just don't talk like that.  They have some variations between them!.


It's very much not you.  Sorkin writes how he would talk in these situations given hours to consider what he would say and then say it as fast as possible.

Sorkinisms Supercut.

Still he's a pretty smart guy and writes some decent dramatically framed philosophical conversations.
 
2013-07-09 05:16:38 PM  

Hyjamon: TheBeastOfYuccaFlats: what_now: 1) Sorkin thinks women are for decoration. I have NO IDEA how he created CJ Cregg, because every other woman in the Sorkinverse is a whiny caricature of the worst possible ideas of professional women.

This isn't true at all, but okay.

There's also plenty of people who think CJ Cregg was weak character.

The only difference is that you hate one less character than they do.

A short list of non-characture women in just The West Wing that I can think off the top of my head:
CJ Cregg
Ainsley Hayes
Zoe Barlet
Ellie Barlet
Liz Barlet
Abbey Barlet
Nancy McNally
Carol (CJ's assistant)
Donna Moss
Elise Snuffins
Kate Harper
Amy Gardner

I'm missing a lot but I have nachos.

I like how you left off one female character that just disappeared without a mention (that I recall) Mandy Hampton (played by Moira Kelly, 1st season), but she really didn't serve much purpose in the show.


She simply didn't have a "place" in the early cast.  Her job was mostly about PR and elections and they weren't running for election at the time.

CJ's character was very masculine, which maybe why she worked/sorkin wrote her well.  If you turned her character into a male, it wouldn't change much.

I'm sorry, I guess I don't understand why exactly you think that a strong woman in a powerful role wouldn't have stereotypically masculine personality aspects.What exactly would you have done to make her a character that couldn't "be a man" with a different actor?

But all the Bartlett women I couldn't stand.  Not saying they weren't caricatures or not, they just annoyed me.

Zoe - somehow could not accept that she couldn't do everything else like a normal teen due to being a first daughter.

A teenager acting like a teenager?  How bizarre.

Ellie - got pregnant and it came across that she felt she had to marry the father.  She really didn't bother me that much.
Well, she had more of a problem in that she was afraid her parents wouldn't approve of her bf.  But feeling like she would obviously marrying the father seeing as she came from a Catholic upbringing?  How unexpected!

Liz - the oldest one who got upset her daddy wouldn't approve of her husband (unless I am mis-remembering)
She was also upset because she didn't want the life that her mother and father had in politics.  And it wasn't so much that her father (saying "her daddy" is amusingly diminutive on your part) didn't like her husband, it's that 1) her husband was a smarmy jackass that very few people liked and 2) the White House wouldn't support his run for Congress because they didn't think he had a chance in hell.

Abbey - her character annoyed me the most.  Always felt she was without reproach...couldn't accept the punishment given for breaking law/ethics by treating her husband.  "when did people stop calling me doctor."
She had a strong personality, I loved that about her.  Sure, she wasn't always in the right, but no one is.

I guess I really don't understand your objections.  I thought all these characters were well fleshed out, but they were also all flawed.  They had their strong points and weak points as characters, as all people do.

Remember, just because a character isn't fully self-actualized, doesn't mean they're a bad character.  People do irrational things all the time, and we shouldn't expect our fictional characters, male or female, to be perfectly rational, either.  Sometimes they seem annoying because they *are* annoying.  When Abbey got all angry at the President because of Sharif, instead of being actually mad at those who took Zoe, she was being irrational and I was annoyed with her for all of that time, but she was also being perfectly human at the same time.
 
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