25 June 2012

So, I cried while watching HBO's The Newsroom

This is hardly a review, or a recap...or even a coherent blog entry about The Newsroom, this new HBO series that premiered hours ago.

But if someone were to ask me what I thought about the pilot after I've seen it, my reply would have to be this:

I may have been the only one who watched the first episode with tears. (Please tell me you were in tears, too?! Just me??)

And I cried not because the scenes were sappy and heartbreaking, but because I was just so moved by the moment.

Having seen every bit of Aaron Sorkin's TV shows --- and there were not many, there were only three before this one: Sports NightStudio 60 on the Sunset Strip, The West Wing --- I'm pretty much familiar with the writing style and formula. It's actually almost similar. There's a common vibe to his TV shows, in that every bit of it commanded arrogance. Like Aaron Sorkin knows he's written the best shows in the world and you don't have to tell him that. He knows.

Which, in truth? It's what I actually love about all of his TV work. It IS arrogant. It is intelligent TV laughing at you for liking stupid product-placement heavy shows, steered by network suits. And it may sound sick of me to say this but....I don't really mind when someone's being a dick. Only, they've got to have the balls to back up all that smugness.

Like all of Sorkin's work, The Newsroom may probably feel preachy and righteous.  Like of all Sorkin's work, viewers could get all worked up and forget for a moment that this is just make-believe world, and what's really happening is partly for dramatic impact. Sorkin has earned haters this way because he's always accused of pushing his own beliefs and agenda into his shows. (And yes, he's smug enough to ignore all the hate!)

But I got worked up watching today's show for a different reason: the vibe. And it's probably why I cried over some of the pilot's poignant moments. The guy CAN freakin' write a good story. He's smug and he owns it.

I think I may have also been moved because at one point, I was set to map a career in TV journalism 20-something years ago.

Well, that didn't happen.

But stepping into the make-believe world of The Newsroom made me realize I still love being in it.

Only now, I love being in it more as I watch the on-goings and behind the scenes of broadcast television from my corner in the bedroom, with brilliant stars like Jeff Daniels and Sam Waterson spewing lines written by Aaron Sorkin.

Take a look:

Are you planning on following The Newsroom?