Aaron Sorkin

‘The Newsroom’ Season 2 Rage-cap: “Election Night, Part I”

Here’s the problem with having Jane Fonda end an episode with a self-righteous monologue: she’ll sell the hell out of it, but that same self-righteousness is going to look twice as grating on everyone else. Which is how an otherwise fun election-night episode gets bogged down by endless self-flagellation on the part of the News Night higher-ups, who seem to be competing with each other for the title of Most Willing to Throw Self Under Bus. The Genoa fallout had to be taken care of eventually, but knowing that this is a Sorkin show and all of our protagonists are going to walk out of this more vindicated than ever sucks the suspense out of the situation. … Read More

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‘The Newsroom’ Season 2 Rage-cap: “One Step Too Many”

It’s rare for an episode of television that isn’t a premiere, a finale, or a pilot to represent its show as perfectly as “One Step Too Many” does The Newsroom. Among the Sorkin-verse tropes that came out to play were three of the most basic, and the most representative of the show’s strengths and weaknesses: strictly professional story lines good; personal life subplots bad; subplots involving women especially bad. Luckily, most of “One Step Too Many” was good ol’ fashioned story-chasing, proving that The Newsroom has a shot at being a solid piece of entertainment as long as it steers clear of love triangles and tossed drinks. … Read More

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‘The Newsroom’ Season 2 Rage-cap: “News Night With Will McAvoy”

The Newsroom is a lot of things. Preachy? Yeah. Smug? Sure. Infuriating? Obviously, that’s the entire premise of this recap. But boring? That’s the one thing I wasn’t expecting from TV’s most reliable hate-watch. Yet despite its gimmicky real-time pacing and a game changer for Will’s personal life, “News Night with Will McAvoy” felt oddly uneventful. Then again, almost anything would after spending half an episode in Africa. … Read More

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‘The Newsroom’ Season 2 Rage-cap: “Unintended Consequences”

The entire plot of “Unintended Consequences” can basically be boiled down to its HBO Go preview image, which shows Maggie having a Bonding Moment with a small Ugandan child. It looks like a post from that White Girls in Africa Tumblr from a few years ago, and it’s as irritating and predictable as this entire subplot. But I digress: there are flashbacks to recap! … Read More

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‘The Newsroom’ Season 2 Rage-cap: “Willie Pete”

Lord help us all: Will McAvoy’s “mission to civilize” is back. Like Neal’s quest to cover Occupy Wall Street or Jim’s oh-so-courageous resolution to do some real reporting on the campaign trail, it just won’t die. Never mind the fact that it’s never a good idea to have a middle-aged white dude utter the words “mission to civilize” outside of Fox News: Nina Howard has been Saved, and a full-blown Nina-Will-Mac love triangle is off and running! … Read More

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‘The Newsroom’ Season 2 Rage-cap: “Genoa Tip”

Before this recap’s fully under way, can we take a moment to appreciate how much better this season’s title sequence is? No doe-eyed nostalgia, music that sounds less like a D-list take on Chariots of Fire and more like an actual theme song. I’ve never gone into an episode of this show less irritated. Which might explain why “Genoa Tip” felt like a solid episode, albeit one with Sorkin’s signature smugness and hero worship all over it. Then again, The Newsroom has those flaws built into its DNA, so I’ll take a rare moment of Will McAvoy doubting himself when I can get it. … Read More

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‘The Newsroom’ Season 2 Premiere Rage-cap: “The First Thing We Do, Let’s Kill All the Lawyers”

Welcome back to The Newsroom! The second season premiere of everyone’s favorite hate-watch brought us a little bit of new and a whole lot of old. In the “new” column, we’ve got a slightly less heinous opening sequence, Marcia Gay Harden, and the show’s very first Season-long Arc. As for the “old,” we’ve got self-righteous but fun office banter, awful romantic subplots, and less than three minutes in, the first of several instances of casual misogyny. Missed you, Sorkin! … Read More

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15 Inexplicable Omissions from the WGA’s “101 Best Written TV Series of All Time”

The Writers Guild of America announced its list of the “101 Best Written TV Series of All Time” Sunday, culled from online voting by members of the writers’ union from both coasts. The list pretty much included the shows you’d expect (the top ten, in descending order: The Sopranos, Seinfeld, The Twilight Zone, All in the Family, M*A*S*H, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Mad Men, Cheers, The Wire, The West Wing) — with a few notable exceptions. Yes, even in a list of 101 comedies, dramas, variety shows, and (weirdly) mini-series, they’re bound to make a few mistakes. … Read More

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The 10 Best Sitcom Finales in TV History

Last night, NBC brought down the curtain on The Office in rather a lovely fashion, with a series finale that was warm, nostalgic, and plenty funny. Bringing a long-running sitcom to a close is a tricky bit of business (how ya doin’, Roseanne), but The Office joins a handful of shows that have done it very, very well. Here are some other examples. … Read More

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Should ‘Community’ Stay In Session — Or Is It Time to Graduate?

For the past 12 weeks, in this space, Flavorwire has recapped the abbreviated, delayed, and frequently problematic fourth season of NBC’s Community. As you certainly all know by now, the third year of the often brilliant series concluded with the abrupt sacking of creator/showrunner Dan Harmon, whose distinctive, idiosyncratic sensibility gave the show much of its voice, and whose comic genius was reportedly matched only by his inability to suffer suits gladly. The transition to new showrunners Moses Port and David Guarascio was certain to be bumpy, and it was. But now that Community‘s senior year has come to a close, it’s worth asking: should the show carry on, or is it time to send the Greendale crew (and the gifted actors who play them) out into the Real World? … Read More

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