Sunday, April 19, 2015

10 Years After: 2013 -- Aaron Sorkin Screws the Pooch

The 10th blogiversary fundraiser continues with the Snowden Year of 2013.  

In 2013 Aaron Sorkin's The Newsroom crawled under the porch and died.


The Entire Season Finale of "The Newsroom" In Six Seconds

(Original Video No Longer Available)

As Breaking Bad aficionados know, Vince Gilligan's epic tale of Walter Hartwell White's long, murderous fall from grace is now in it's final act, with its outstanding plot and character conflicts being mercilessly resolved with hammerblow payoffs that are now coming a mile a minute thanks to the ferocious dramatic engine the writers and actors of "Breaking Bad" have meticulously constructed since the first season.  

The Newsroom, on the other hand, has chosen an entirely different approach to the dramaturgical task:  namely methodically smothering every bit of tension that Aaron Sorkin's shambling mess of a show still had knocking around inside of it with with big, sugary ACN throw-pillows of ludicrous coincidence and love-love-love.  What remains behind is as flaccid and soporific as David Gregory interviewing David Brooks about David Broder. On Valium. While in a hot tub. Recorded at 45 RPMs and played back at 16.

However what really snuffed it for me was how clearly premeditated it all was. What a studied exercise in audience contempt this show turned out to be.  It really felt as if, at any moment, Sorkin might just end the season by swinging the camera around and focusing on two cartoon mice for 40 minutes or so. Cartoon mice whose back-story would now be revealed to us in endless, nails-on-slate detail by the aforementioned mice flinging great, wooden slabs of narration at each other like Hell's own caber toss.  Cartoon mice who, say, have been living in the ACN cafeteria for years and bickering about whatever inanely trivial shit cartoon mice might bicker about, only to realize in the last moments of the season that They Really Love Each Other.

No. Really, really love each other.

Because why the fuck not?

And y'know what?

 Everyone but them knew it all along.

 And y'know what else?

 ll their friends are really happy for the two, cartoon mice.

 No. Really, really happy for them.

And then, y'know what else?

Old Man Potter comes by the Bailey Building and Loan on Christmas Eve to give George Bailey all his money back, plus even more money, plus that vacation he's been hoping to take with his wife but could never afford.

And then, y'know what else?

That simple act of kindness not only spontaneously cures Old Man Potter, but also cures Tiny Tim, who, along with Wikipedia pages and mistakenly autographed books and a clanking legion of deus ex machinae all CALLING ATTENTION TO THEMSELVES, has now also been shoehorned into this story for some fucking reason.

And then Tiny Tim, and Old Man Potter and the cartoon mice and The Future Mac McMacky Mackingotn O'Mackly all sing Auld Lang Syne.

Because, damnit, it's Christmas!

And Christmas is the season of miracles.

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