Aaron Sorkin on The Newsroom Criticism: That Much Talk About a Show Is 'Good for Television'

Prior to The Newsroom‘s showing at Wednesday’s Television Critics Association’s summer press tour in Beverly Hills, HBO exec Michael Lombardo countered recent criticism surrounding the freshman drama by starting that they are “very proud” of the series.

“There are 7 million people a week who are coming back to that show in a very competitive landscape — and they love it,” he shared.

And those sentiments only continued when The Newsroom creator Aaron Sorkin, alongside executive producer Alan Poul and star Jeff Daniels, took the stage to face the music questions.

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ON EARLY UNFAVORABLE REVIEWS | Sorkin is well aware that there are “critics who did not enjoy watching the first four episodes” of Newsroom, but believes that “Anytime people are talking that much about a television show, it’s good for television.” What’s more, the EP shared, “One of the nice consequences of working for HBO is that the entire season is written, shot and locked in the can before the first episode airs. So, even if you’re tempted to try to write a little bit differently to please the people or change someone’s mind, you can’t do it. The season is done.”

ON THE NEGATIVE PERCEPTION OF NEWS NIGHT‘S WOMEN | While Sorkin “completely respects” some opinions that women are portrayed as dumb on the series, he “100 percent disagrees with it. I think the female characters on the show are every bit the equals to the men. They’re not just talked about being good at their job; we plainly see them being good at their job — beginning with the first episode.” The showrunner went on to note that once these characters were established as “thoughtful, curious [and] plainly smart” — which he believes happened early in the season — “You can have them slip on as many banana peels as you want.” Sorkin also disagrees with the idea that Newsroom‘s women are judged more harshly than their male counterparts. “Hubris is something on this show that is always punished,” he argued. “We present Will’s mission to civilize as something people first of all roll their eyes at and secondly always blows up in his face.”

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ON WRITERS’ ROOM SHAKE-UP RUMORS | It seems those rumors of a complete staff overhaul on The Newsroom were exaggerated… a lot. “A couple of weeks ago, an unsourced and untrue story appeared on the Internet,” Sorkin explained. “The writing staff was not fired. I love the writing staff. I thought we did great this year, and it’s a fantastic group of men and women to come to work with. But at the end of each season, you get together with the producers and the department heads and you talk about ways that you can get better. So, a couple of staffing changes were made — including promoting two of our writers’ assistants.”

ON A SEASON 2 TWEAK | Newsroom‘s second season will include a vast range of behind-the-scenes “paid consultants” who will contribute to the series, as opposed to the handful of sources Sorkin utilized during the series’ freshman run. Said the showrunner: “I think it can only add to the show. Their job is going to be anything they want it to be.”

ON REAL-LIFE NEWS ON NEWSROOM | Sorkin revealed that the series will “always be about 9-12 months behind” real-life current events addressed on the show-within-a-show.

How are you feeling about The Newsroom? Hit the comments!

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70 Comments
  1. sue says:

    I’m really enjoying it. Not totally, totally sold on Jeff Daniels, but getting there. Specially after the last ep. Note: Sorkin must really love shrinks ’cause they are always the smartest, insightful and level minded people ever!

  2. TV Gord says:

    I gave up halfway through the third episode. I might catch up on DVD, but it’s just too much for me. Too preachy, too self-important. I’ve been re-watching The West Wing since the early spring, and I think I’ll just stick with that for now. For me, on a scale of 1 (Studio 60) to 10 (The West Wing), The Newsroom is about a 3. (Sports Night was a 7 or 8.)

  3. Claudia says:

    Love this show. Luckily the audience was able to silence the malicious criticism with its large acceptance to the show. Go Sorkin, go!

    • Criticism in this country should never be silenced. People who think like that just don’t get it.

      • Claudia says:

        I was talking of criticism and public, do not make a moral drama of my simple words. I don’ t understand that someone analyze a show based on whether it is “favorable” to his political ideas. It’s art! not conservative vs liberals.
        Regards.

        • If you think shows like this don’t have a political overtone you are crazy. This is a medium that can certainly influence people’s opinions and has been used for just that purpose since it was invented. This show makes journalists look bad or like idiots on many occasions. You can’t expect such a vocal group to sit by and not criticize it can you?

  4. I would find the show more believable if they stopped trying to pass off the lead as a Republican. I would also be more likely to watch if they spent more time criticizing the Democratic agenda and the problems it has instead of constantly focusing on what liberals don’t like about Republicans each week. He is trying to throw a character out there that is interested in changing the Republican party into something it is not. I guess he must think that if he rails on Republicans enough that they will just suddenly change their party philosophy to mirror the Democrats. It will never happen. In fact, Republicans that have done that are losing their jobs in record numbers these days. I know he had an episode dedicated to that and it is a shame long standing politicians lost their jobs. I guess they shouldn’t have sold out their party. He would be better served as an Independent or just becoming a Democrat on the show than pretending the character is an actual Republican.

    • Patrick says:

      I agree with this completely. Will goes on a mission to call out liars in politics and they all happen to be Right-Wing Replublicans. As if we’re meant to believe there aren’t just as many examples of Liberal Democrats misrepresenting the facts? I would find Will’s character more believable and credible if he were criticizing the bad points of politics on BOTH sides like he claims to be instead of claiming to be criticizing both sides and pretending only one has faults.

      • Sarah says:

        You guys are misunderstanding the importance of him being a Republican in the show. He IS a Republican, or what Republicans used to be, used to stand for. The point is for him to show how far the Republican party has strayed in the past decade and how radical they have become. Parties, party members shouldn’t be so radical, Repubs and Dems alike. It gives us what we have now.

        • justsomeguy5 says:

          @Sarah I’m glad to see someone understands the point being made. It’s something I’m faced with everyday, because I’m exactly like Will. That’s the contrast in the show, that makes it interesting. Here’s someone who is a Republican, but the party has left him behind by becoming more radicalized, and now everyone looks at him and they’re confused.

        • No, you are misunderstanding. The show is about Sorkin attacking Republicans over every issue possible. How do you do that? You make the lead character a Republican that magically is unhappy with the party for the same reasons liberals are and have him go off on a different issue each week. The fact that you are buying into it like it makes sense just means you are easily manipulated. He has hit on one major Democratic campaign point after another so far. If you don’t understand what he is doing, that isn’t my fault. Other people see it as clearly as I do.

        • Not to mention he has somehow convinced you the Republicans are the radicals. I’m sorry, but are you just naive or what? These “radicals” are about the last thing left between you having freedom of choice and people like Obama micromanaging your life for you through massive government. The radicals in this country are the Democrats doing things like banning Chick-Fil-A from their towns over the CEO’s opinion on gay marriage. I doubt you will ever see that on this show.

        • Britta Unfiltered says:

          Sarah, that is a really good point. At first I found it laughable that Sorkin was under the impression he wrote this great character like Will as a Republican. I live in the most conservative state in the country and never met a Republican who talks like he does. But I never thought about what you just said before, and I think you are totally right. I used to be a Republican too until the last presidential election when I realized they had all gone crazy and then I jumped sides. So this all makes sense to me now. You’ve got a great theory on the character there.

    • kate says:

      It’s easier to call out Republicans because they’ve become ridiculous and only talk in hyperbole. Look at yesterday. Some part of the health care law kicked in and they’re putting it on par with Pearl Harbor and 9/11. One of them said Obama is the biggest threat we’ve faced since World War II (uh, what?). We have to “take our country back!” (From who?) We’re “fighting for our freedoms and we’re turning socialist!” One health care policy that mandates you buy health insurance (in theory, so that everyone else doesn’t have to entirely pay for your ER visits) doesn’t mean we’re about to become Russia under Stalin. Michele Bachmann’s totally unwarranted attack on Hilary Clinton’s top aide that’s right out of the Joe McCarthy playbook. That’s what Republicans are up to now. And that’s just in the past month. It’s mind boggling to anyone who isn’t extremely right wing.

  5. Cathy fleming says:

    I agree with Chuck F. The show is well acted but Jeff daniels can t possibly be considered a republican. Trying to say that their news is the only one that speaks the so-called “truth” while bashing the tea party, Palin, and conservatives is a joke. But having seen the west wing, I would expect no less from Aaron Sorkin.

    • malcom1985 says:

      I’m really trying to avoid this becoming a political standoff, but why is it so hard to believe that someone that believes they’re a republican but looks at the party with confusion because of how radical it has become? More importantly, no one has to agree with everything coming out of the right just because that’s where it came from. He can still form his own opinion and act accordingly.

      • Name one radical thing the Republican Party has done. They nominated a woman for Vice-President. How radical. The Democrats certainly had no shame in relentlessly attacking her and even her kids. No one attacked Obama’s kids if I remember right. Are Republicans trying to ban businesses from opening over opinions on gay marriage? Nope. The Democrats are though. They are also attacking Christians non-stop any chance they get. Democrats are always running their mouths about Republicans and attacking them with hate and vitriol and then standing back trying to act innocent. When the Republicans get fed up enough with their bully tactics and fight back people like you call them radicals. The radicals are the Democrats trying to squash the first and second amendments while you stand around looking stupid trying to blame the Republicans. The only thing I have seen the Republicans do is try to take back their country from a bunch of politicians that are under the impressions they are dictators.

        • Ryan says:

          Nominating a less than one term governor from a state with no people is extremely radical. Sarah Palins daughters being scrutinized would be troubling if it wasn’t for them having almost as many reality shows as the Kardashians. Trashing Palins is more a statement about celebrity in America than it is an attack on republicans, and not allowing chic fil a to open because of a view on gay marriage is the same as the republicans not wanting an Islamic community center at ground zero. That view was pushed by the tea party by the way, which may not be racist, but making a generalization that all Islamic peoples are sympathetic to terrorists and unsympathetic to its victims. Finally, any person believing you can’t be a party of a party and disagree with its views is radical, it’s the very definition of radical. Anyone not willing to question their own party would rather be ignorant in their beliefs than informed on the facts.

        • Ryan says:

          Look, you’ve obviously never watched the show. Yes, he talks about some Tea party candidates, he states that one candidate said that she supports the 2nd amendment as a way to arm citizens in case they want to revolt, asks an aide if he believes private restaurant should have the right to refuse service to black people, and states that another candidate says that gay people shouldn’t be married because it would increase the spread of the AIDS virus, all of which sound radical and racist. There’s no attacking republicans on the show, he addresses radical opinions, and points out that Tea Party candidates are taking seats from sitting senators and congressman by going further right than the republican party has always been. If your going to make judgments on a show and leave comments saying everyone else’s opinions are wrong, at least watch an episode first.

        • Lauren says:

          Are you comparing Obama’s little girls to Palin’s unmarried, knocked up teen daughter who has made the rounds all over reality TV? I know that was after McCain lost the election, but even before, how could you not expect people to attack Palin’s family after her teenaged daughter ended up pregnant – especially since Palin pushes conservative family values.

  6. Cathy fleming says:

    I agree with Chuck F. Jeff Daniels can t possibly be considered a republican on the show. Also, trying to say that their news cast is the so-called “truth” and they’re only reporting the facts while constantly bashing the tea party, Palin and conservatives is a joke. But having seen the west wing, I would expect no less from the very liberal Aaron Sorkin.

  7. RalphE says:

    Love this show! And for those critics. You want the truth? You can’t handle the truth! This show is making beautiful comments on the things that our real news doesn’t have the courage to call correctly.

  8. Lue says:

    Can’t stand to even miss an episode. I’m totally obsessed. Never heard of Sorkin (only 16 :/ ) but I really am liking his style. It’s even inspired me to look into journalism. as silly as that sounds.

  9. Robin says:

    This is a well written, well acted hour of TV that I hope will not be sunk by this weird culture of criticism that presently exists. There seems to be an “anti-Sorkin” lobby in the critics world, almost a cult. I don’t get it. As a well educated citizen I appreciate not being talked down to, as happens with so much broadcast fare.

  10. Reinna says:

    For the people mentioning that Jeff Daniel’s persona on the show can’t possibly be a Republican because he only criticizes Right Wing Republicans: that’s the whole point.

    If you rewatch the third episode (I think) Will McAvoy clearly says that he plans to take his party back from the people who are destroying what it stands for: the Tea Party fringe. If you rewatch the episodes, you will notice that he never attacks the “regular” Republicans but those who are known Teabaggers or whatever you call them in the US (I don’t live here), such as: Michelle Bachman, Sarah Palin, Rick Santorum, that guy that unseated that other guy because he agreed with a Democrat (the same one who said he would never even consider raising the debt ceiling).

    Anyway, just my two cents.

    • I have no interest in the Tea Party myself. They are better described as Libertarians if you ask me. But they could never win elections with only Libertarian support so you get what we have now. I would hardly call them a fringe element though. They have won a lot of Republican elections. They won a very big one in Texas today. You can expect a lot more to continue to lose their jobs now that some are coming out for gun control. People vote for you to represent their beliefs, not for you to run your own agenda against their will. The price is getting voted out of office if you do it.

      • Reinna says:

        Thank you for this insight. Like I said, I’m not from the US myself so I don’t really know much about how big the Tea Party is.
        Being from a country (Holland) that some would call a socialist paradise, I just assumed that something as right wing (and some may even say borderline racist) as the Tea Party had to be a fringe element. A party like that wouldn’t be taken seriously here.

        • That’s not true, many of the socialist countries in Europe have race based parties. Something you won’t find in any major party in the US. Yet in many European countries they are elected to Government positions. There is nothing racist about the Tea Party. You couldn’t show me any evidence of that being true if you tried. I may not care for them, but I am not going to pretend like you didn’t just make up a huge lie either. Show me were they have done something racist. They are Constitutionalists. The guy who won the election in Texas today from the Tea Party is Mexican. Yep, very racist group. Even he wants to close our border to illegals.

    • I completely agree with you. Recently I’ve had a hard time feeling complete support for any political party, but I still identify myself as a Democrat. I was once so involved with the party that I was almost blinded to other sides of the argument, but I feel like the messages I believed in and the reasons I aligned myself with that party were completely forgotten. I think that Will is going through the same thing. He is a Republican and he loves the Republican party so much that he can’t stand watching it turn into something he doesn’t recognize. If Will was a real person, I doubt we’d see eye to eye on many political issues, but I love his character so much because of how passionately he cares about and fights for what he believes in. I relate to him completely in that sense and I think a lot of other people do too – no matter their political affiliation. In fact, most of my friends from Young Dems say he’s one of the best political characters of the last decade.

  11. BBussey says:

    Excellent show so far, and one bound to irritate some on the ideological right who feel the show majors in Republican-bashing. They did address the president’s laxing of gun control laws, so it hasn’t been a one-sided affair. But one would be extremely hard-pressed to site any of the political assessments made by any of the characters on the show as incorrect. Given that prominent Republicans of the 1970s and 1980s would be out of place in today’s Republican party, it’s not a stretch that an old-school Republican would feel his party has been hijacked by the extreme right, as it is portrayed here. The show keeps getting better, as evidenced by the last two episodes. Looking forward to a long series run.

  12. nick1372 says:

    This is my favorite new show of the summer and I like it a lot.
    I rarely saw the whole women/men thing in episode six with Sloan, but it was made up for by her awesome shouting match with Charlie.
    I think Aaron Sorkin is a terrific writer. It’s very understandable that he writes men better than women (CAUSE HE IS ONE IDIOTS!!!!).

  13. Adam says:

    Love the show beyond words. I’ve missed Sorkin’s dialog rhythm.

  14. chris says:

    This is by far the best new show in the last 10 years if not longer. It is perfectly cast, written, and produced. The only shame is that we live in a country full of so many ignorant people that they would rather protest an honest show that speaks the truth about our country and our society rather than accept the truth. We are not the greatest country in the world and those that are to childish to open their eyes and see that shouldn’t be watching this in the first place.

  15. dude says:

    I understand the criticism but don’t understand how critics aren’t LOVING this show the way I am. I mean the episodes are just consistently amazing with the exception of episode three.

  16. Brittany says:

    I was immediately drawn to this show because of Will’s opening monologue in the pilot. He voiced many of my own frustrations with America’s political system – something I was so largely involved in during college, but can barely stomach now. I’m not as convinced that the message has held up for me through episode 3 (the last I watched), but I think I’m going to keep watching. Many of the criticisms of this show have been valid, however, it doesn’t undermind what – to me, at least – is the most important aspect of this show. Whether you agree or disagree with the messages of each episode, it’s inarguable that the questions about the state of American politics raised as a result of this show are invaluable during this time of political unrest. It’s like he said in his original speech, “The first step in solving any problem is recognizing there is one.”

  17. I absolutely love this show, but I do disagree with his disagreement on the women. At times, they are dumb and do dumb things, like Mackenzie sending out that mass e-mail and Maggie not knowing Georgia and Georgia, as well as the LOL thing. So him saying that we see them do competent things isn’t entirely true. I feel like Sloan is the smartest women on the show and I feel like Maggie is as dumb as rocks (but as least they acknolwedge it) and Mackenzie has her moments (the whole gum stuck in hair…continously). However, despite this. I still love the show.

    • Misogyny coming from a liberal is never a surprise to me. I only need to look as far as Bill Maher and the things he said about Sarah Palin and her daughters to know how vile they are and what they really think of women.

      • Claire says:

        Bill Maher is a mysogynist for sure but he doesn’t make policy that affects real women’s lives like radical Republicans have done in many states this year. Not thinking women can handle their own reproductive choices is misogyny.

      • cirob says:

        I have to disagree with your use of “they” in your statement. How vile “he” is, etc., may be entirely accurate – Maher can definitely be a pig – but it doesn’t represent a “liberal” viewpoint any more than Rush Limbaugh or (God forbid) Glenn Beck represents true conservatism.

        • Britta Unfiltered says:

          You read my mind, cirob. I absolutely would compare Bill Maher to Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck. They are all extremists who for some strange reason get to have a voice on a national stage, and I don’t understand that. I am a liberal, but I would never waste a single minute caring what Bill Maher has to say. He does not speak for me and I do not share his opinions. The man believes people who believe in God are schizophrenic, which is kind of a bigoted behavior IMO. A true liberal would accept that people have the freedom to practice religion or not practice it and would never judge a person for whatever they choose to believe or whatever religion they wish to practice. And to Chuck’s comment…umm, I do not get where you are getting that liberals are misogynists. That is….an interesting way to think.

        • kate says:

          I don’t think Bill Maher is quite on par with Glenn Beck, but yes. The only real difference between them is that liberals haven’t decided Bill Maher is the be-all and end-all voice in liberal politics. Conservative politicians are afraid to anger Limbaugh.

  18. Jim says:

    I think it’s been improving week to week quite a bit. And pretty much every episode has had at least one extraordinary moment. The on air debate last week was an astonishing bit of writing and acting. This is not Studio 60 part 2. I’m here to stay.

  19. bobbie says:

    The show is what it is. Should it change to appeal to more viewers? Like the “news” shows? Fluff and flaff. Or should it stand on its own two feet and be strong?
    I’m completely hooked on this show, from the first rant to the end. If t’were to change into a mediocre, but more generally appealing, show, I would be very disappointed. I felt that Studio 60 sort of went down hill when it started focusing on a romantic relationship instead of the workplace.
    The Newsroom has the cast, it has the writing, it has the wit.

  20. The Squatch says:

    I have to admit that the person I am most impressed with on this show is probably Olivia Munn. To be blunt, I never really thought of her as talented so much. I thought she was just some relatively pretty girl they put on a video game show and told her what to say to make nerds all over the world fall in love with her. hehe I have to say though that I find her to be a pretty good actress and the Sloan character is one of my favorites on the entire show. Plus, not being overly familiar with her in general, I had no idea she was actually fluent in Japanese and was quite impressed by that. I have been trying to learn Japanese for over a year now and still probably couldn’t carry on a 30 second conversation with someone who was actually fluent.

  21. lily says:

    i like the show too. i understand the whole woman complaint thing, but at least olivia munn is seen as smart and competent. i honestly think the bigger problem with the women might be that emily mortimer and alison pill aren’t very good actresses. pill in particular is horrible, and not likeable at all. i’m starting to like everybody else but not her. and i like the recent news aspect of it, it makes me try to remember what the next news event is going to be for the next episode, lol. it’s ten times better than Studio 60 imo. the problem with that show was that it devolved into political speechifying in a setting that didn’t necessarily call for it. at least these people are SUPPOSED to be political, it’s cable news. i’m betting that the women are portrayed better next season, despite his defensiveness. the rest of the show’s good. and i honestly don’t mind the “partisan” aspect either. aaron sorkin is a liberal, The West Wing was a fantasy for liberals. a political show from him is GOING to be left-leaning, if you’re not you’re not going to like it, period. people should have known this since The American President. he makes no apologies for his beliefs and that’s what i love about his writing. the left needs more of that, if you’re conservative watch Fox News. geez.

  22. Sg.Grant says:

    Listen, this show is great. Debate it all you want, but if you have the inability to be able to properly respond to a commend on tvline.com, then you fail at being the education market that this show caters to. Have a good day, or at least the best day your mediocre life is capable of leading. Thanks.

    • The “education market”? The “best day your mediocre life is capable of leading”? I think your slam against people that don’t like the show as much as you would come off better if it made sense in English. How can you criticize people for their education level when you can’t write a paragraph that makes sense yourself? What a sad world we live in when the people that try to claim the intellectual high ground can’t write a complete sentence in English. Maybe Sorkin was right with that opening monologue. Please go ahead though, I have a pretty substantial education and I would love to hear more of your thoughts about what it is that those of us who find the show sub-par aren’t getting.

  23. Lauren says:

    I don’t get people’s problem with this show. I watch it, I enjoy it. That’s what tv is for.

  24. Nichole says:

    Have to agree with the critics on this show to a certain extent. I find both the characters of Maggie and Sloan very weak, can’t tell if it’s bad acting or the way they are supposed to be, but I can not imagine Maggie lasting in an actual newsroom and find Sloan’s dramatics to be over the top.

    I love Sorkin’s previous work, have watched West Wing full series about 7 times and Studio 60 is favourite TV show ever!! But the only thing I enjoy about Newsroom is Jeff Daniels as Will, the rest of the show focuses too much on the weird relationships stuff, enough with the Maggie/Dan/Jim poop!!!! Sorkin’s previous two shows have had fantastic actors playing strong characters, Newsroom falls well short of them in my opinion.

    I am not “hating” on the show, just giving another opinion in contrast to what others on here are saying :) Had been looking forward to Newsroom since it was announced and have just found it to be disappointing.

    Ps – for those thinkings it’s about politics, I’m Australian and couldn’t care less :P

  25. Monica says:

    I believe that the last episode was a major improvement over the previous ones but I still can’t help but comparing it to The West Wing and find it severely lacking. In general, I believe there are three main weak points:
    1) I agree with the criticism of the women in the show. Maggie is unfathomable as a character and extremely annoying. No idea how two men seem to be in love with her and her voice seems to be always shrill. Plus, honestly I don’t see where they are going to take that character. I somehow believe that she was supposed to be the Donna of the show and if that is the case Sorkin failed miserably. Moreover I can believe that McKenzie is clumsy but not THAT clumsy. And it is not that Sorkin cannot write excellent female characters because CJ and Donna are examples of his qualities.
    2) I also agree with those who said that I can’t picture Will as a Republican. In hearing this revelation at the end of episode 1 I said that this was a great mistake and it seems to me that my idea was confirmed. Not because I don’t believe in the possibility of a Republican disagreeing with the Tea Party and the other fringes but because it seems that the show perpetually makes fun (or shows the truth, in their words) of Republican fringe candidates and Republican media. I don’t disagree with that, but it seems unbelievable that a Republican would use his own show just to bash his party and never ever touching Democrats (Obama being lenient of gun control was shown as Republican media misrepresenting him). I just don’t sense it as realistic. Will might be a Republican but as for now, practically all the things he said could have been said by a Josh, a Toby or even Jed Bartlet in The West Wing and they were all Democrats. So, either Democrats and “true” Republicans are the same people or Will does not come off as a Republican.
    3) Sorkin’s characters live on a high horse. It seemed natural in the contest of the White House. It seems at times silly in a newsroom.

    • kate says:

      I completely get where Will is coming from. A lot of my family used to be Republican, and I used to think of myself as conservative because I wanted the government to be limited and careful with money. Now, the Republican Party wants the government to be limited except in your bedroom and your doctor’s office, and they’re not any more careful with money than Democrats are. The “Tea Party” has been corrupted by billionaires who are only looking to secede from the social contract. It’s terrible. I want limited government, not NO government. So I get what Will’s feeling. And I think the point of them being on the high horse is that they get to be pushed off it for our entertainment ;)

  26. As evidenced by the quality of all comments, this is great TV. I happen to love the show and have watched most episodes multiple times (the last few minutes of the Gabriel Gifford’s shooting coverage was brilliant). I don’t expect to like all the characters. I expect to disagree with their reasoning but I also expect their struggles to enlighten my own. Sorkin and his team have created a menagerie of flawed, passionate heroes who often get it wrong but they consistently deliver thought- provoking, conversation worthy entertainment.

  27. Laney says:

    I don’t understand why people are dissing this show. It’s pretty much The West Wing, only with different (and already equally compelling, in my opinion) characters and a different setting. Same type of dynamics and ideology and melodramatic, impassioned speeches of hope and idealism. Which, you know what? Is a great freakin’ formula; a formula that made TWW one of the greatest shows, ever, not to mention a critic and audience favorite. So why the hate now? Is idealism and political passion no longer ‘cool’? Too quixotic, as Mac would say? I don’t know. Maybe because the current political atmosphere is way more prickly and divided than it was during TWW. As someone else noted, there seems to be a trend of anti-Sorkin sentiments among the media, and way too many critics are drinking the kool-aid. People who don’t like listening to the inconvenient truths of this country every week were never going to like this show in the first place. Too bad. Some say it’s preach and too literal-minded. Maybe they’re right, but honestly? Our country doesn’t have time for ‘subtle’ right now. We’ve done that before and it hasn’t really done the trick. I know the Americans who would benefit the most from watching series like The Newsroom are the ones who would never even think about watching in the first place, but on the off chance that they ever stumble upon an episode, the ideology served straight-forward and persistently is probably the only way they’re going to understand. But anyways, people who don’t like it shouldn’t act surprised or disappointed; this is everything I expected and hoped for (and more) upon hearing that Sorkin was developing a new series for TV. Why deviate from his familiar recipe when said recipe happens to be wonderfully smart and emotionally effective? He’s got the best frickin’ batter in the business —- and truly if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

  28. Marie says:

    Dang, I have to admit, I (immaturely) hate reading any criticism of this show because I can’t help but take it personally. I just love it so much, that any time I see more negative reviews come out, it’s almost heartbreaking. I do wish more critics were on board, but what can you do? Sorkin’s style is not for everyone. I do have to say, though, that the sexism argument is quite ridiculous. It’s as if “strong” women on TV can only be collected, mentally tough, and quick to use the same ruthless tactics that men supposedly do in order to get to the top. So what, if a woman is emotional and quirky and sometimes spacey, that she’s a threat to feminism? As someone who is technically book-smart but a little ditzy (okay, a lot), I take offense to this. Why can’t women who are sometimes silly and spazzy also be great characters? Are these types of women weak and unimportant? I mean, that’s just a cruel assessment. And further more, if you really watch the show without prior judgments, you’d notice that ALL of the characters on The Newsroom often act like goofy idiots. Sorkin is theatrical by nature! He’s a modern day screwball writer, which means that the characters are bound to act endearingly (well, in my opinion) over-the-top. Like Neil with the “Bigfoot is real!” shtick. If it had been Mac or Maggie saying that, can you imagine the outcry (from mostly men writers) claiming that their behavior is an insult to strong females? Jesus. If you don’t like the show, fine. But Sorkin is anything but sexist. He’s just a lover of screwball.

  29. Andy says:

    The show had a very low chance of being good. The speech of the 1st episode was promising, but afterwards it became really bad. I really wanted to hear how the United States has fallen from being the country that valued human rights, to a state that:
    1) Allows torture
    2) Allows to spy on you without warrants
    3) Has people that accept their president (Obama) signing a law that permits him, basically, to put anyone in prison without a trial (NDAA). I know that this law was deemed unconstitutional, but Obama still signed it
    4) Polices the world, pretending to care about others. Syria, Lybia… there was recently a civil war in Uganda – nobody cared. In Bahrain, Yemen the government forces also kill the people, but the US is silent.

    I could go on and on. I was naive to think that Newsroom would address the IMPORTANT issues, and not show some Republican morons who shouldn’t be in the office in the first place.

  30. Britta Unfiltered says:

    Well, I can sort of see where they’re coming from on the comments about how women are portrayed. But I’m on the fence on that issue. Sometimes they are great and have great lines, and sometimes I think…is he serious with this? Like the Georgia thing. I find it impossible to believe any woman working in journalism (or anyone working in journalism) would ever have that kind of a mix-up. Though I admit, I have gotten gum in my hair more than once during my adult life, so I can’t say anything on that issue. I was bemused that Mackenzie had the same problem as me. My biggest complaint is a lot of the material feels recycled from other shows. Sorkin definitely has some favorite plot devices to use. Like the whole recounting the story of the episode to a therapist plot device. He loves that one. And I have even noticed some recycled lines from his other shows which take me out of the story whenever I notice that happen. But I like The Newsroom. I love Aaron Sorkin. This isn’t on par with Studio 60 for me, but I’ll definitely keep watching and probably keep enjoying most of it.

  31. TV Gord says:

    One of my Facebook friends just pointed PERFECTLY to my problem with the show! Every character can be pointed to a character he has done on his previous shows. It’s just a rehash, better AND worse, of his past shows. There’s nothing new here. I think that’s why I’m favoring my West Wing DVDs to watching this show (which already seems dated, since it’s set a few years ago).

  32. Terry says:

    Any so called “political agenda” aside, I think this is one of the best TV shows to come along in a decade. The acting and writing is great, with Jeff Daniels, Sam Waterston, and as a pleasant surprise, Oliva Munn, rising to the occasion week after week. The only show in recent years I have wanted on DVD before they finished the season.

  33. kate says:

    I love that this show is getting such sophisticated comments. That in itself shows that it’s on another level. I like the show. I understand Will’s political rock & hard place. I love that it’s funny without relying completely on sex and fart jokes. That alone makes it invaluable. I love how everyone’s so good at their jobs and so bad at their personal lives. I love that Olivia Munn is playing a smart character and not just a pretty girl! I love Sam Waterston in it. It’s a fun show in spite of serious subject matter. Good stuff.

  34. anonymous says:

    I find Newsroom utterly brilliant and yet terribly flawed in almost every episode. And often there are false notes with the dialogue and/or the delivery of the dialogue–very staged. And yet, despite that, there is something special about the show. I can’t stop watching…

  35. Violet says:

    On the smart but ditzy women, I am a female trial lawyer with a successful practice. But I’m a total clutz and my personal life is often disastrous. So those things aren’t mutually exclusive.

    I agree with those who say having Will be a Republican is a sell-out by the show. I don’t know a single person in real life who has his moderate views and would still describe themselves as a Republican. Maybe in 1990, but knowing the current party platform, he would not be in the party today. What about the party’s actions could be possibly still identify with?

  36. mark says:

    Alot of people dont like the newsroom. Alot of people also think the president is not an American and that global warming is a myth. Everybody has the right to their own opinions. My personal opinion is that the newsroom is a great show. I was hooked from the girst episode. The writing is strong, the subject matter is interesting and the actors prrformances are fantastic. Especially Jeff Daniels. I hope the show continues and that anyone offended by it or anyone who just doesnt like it can get over it.

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