Did you watch The Newsroom last night, TV fans? And did you love it, or did you agree with most critics, who were put off by Aaron Sorkin’s condescending sermonizing, too-similar characters, and questionable representation of how the TV journalism world works? For our part, we were even more disappointed than we expected to be. Not only were the reviewers right, but the show was a bit too “rich, middle-aged white guy saves the world” for our taste — and, in accordance with that, the “kids these days” hand-wringing that was also Sorkin’s fixation in The Social Network (which, for the record, we enjoyed) felt like a bit much.
Although we had originally intended to give The Newsroom at least three episodes to win us over, we found last night’s premiere — which critics seem to agree is the best episode they’ve seen — so off-putting that we might have to give up now. Thankfully, for those of us who were particularly looking forward to a TV show about the making of a TV show, there are plenty of great series out there to take its place. From The Mary Tyler Moore Show to 30 Rock, we’ve rounded up the ten best TV shows about TV shows below.
The Newsroom isn’t Aaron Sorkin’s first foray into TV about TV — it’s his third. In 2006, he took on Saturday Night Live-style sketch shows with the short-lived NBC drama Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. But his most successful effort was Sports Night, which ran on ABC for two seasons beginning in 1998 and was Sorkin’s first small-screen project. Canceled far too soon, the unconventional comedy-drama followed the production of the titular sports news show; featured a great cast including Felicity Huffman, Robert Guillaume, and Peter Krause; and boasted some of the sharpest dialogue in TV history.