Monday, June 25, 2012

We Just Decided To

It's Aaron Sorkin's newest show, so obviously people were talking about it and expectations were high. It could be another The West Wing, or it could be another Studio 60 (which I still enjoy, but if I'm honest, it wasn't a great show). I tried avoiding critics/reviews as best as I could before watching the episode, but I did see that the reviews were mostly on the mixed to negative spectrum.

Since I haven't watched Sports Night –– Sorkin's other behind-the-scenes show –– I drew more parallels to Studio 60. When I read a tweet saying that the "opening monologue was the best [he's] seen," I immediately thought of Wes Mendell's rant on Studio 60. It was both good and bad, as in I thought Studio 60 had a very strong pilot episode, but a few episodes in and it fell short of the expectations.

And, I have to say, I wasn't wrong in thinking that it was similar to Mendell's rant. News anchor Will McAvoy (Jeff Daniels) was basically doing what Mendell did: saying what the problem was. It's what people are thinking about but afraid to say. The episode started quite strong, as did Studio 60's pilot, but it slowed down a bit in the middle, when they focused on trying to introduce the characters and their back stories. However, when they actually got to the news, the pace picked back up.

Yes, it was may be slightly over-written as Sorkin's writings tend to be, but I would never complain about that. I find it interesting that they decided to use actual events from the recent past (BP oil spill from 2010), and I'm excited to see how it develops.

I thought it was a solid pilot episode, and it looks promising, so I'm definitely going to watch it. I'm basically just happy to have Sorkin back on TV.

Side note: Jesse Eisenberg made a tiny 'appearance' in the episode.