Is Aaron Sorkin’s The Newsroom Just Sports Night?


So the teaser for Aaron Sorkin's new drama The Newsroom is here, and everyone's all jazzed. It looks pretty good! — if you like stories about righteous white dudes on the rough side of 50 who are too noble for their own good. We've been a little wary of the Sorkin self-plagiarizing machine since we first read the pilot script, and this trailer doesn't do much to assuage those fears. At what point do Sorkin calling cards become Sorkin reruns?

"America's not the greatest country in the world" is a ballsy statement for an anchor to make, but it was even ballsier when Michael Douglas said it in The American President. (Recall President Andrew Shepherd saying that "Americans can no longer afford to pretend that they live in a great society.") The rest of this clip is straight out of Sports Night: Emily Mortimer channels Felicity Huffman with the earpiece whispering, and Jeff Daniels is neatly ripping a page out of Peter Krause's grouchy-anchor book. Frustrated executive? Sports Night. Sam Waterson's office? That's Isaac's office from Sports Night, and the stern admonishments to "get it together" were heard more than once in the hallowed halls of CSC, too. But the most egregious recycled Sorkinese is the almost-rhetorical "how's that going?" Will uses it on Sports Night (regarding the war on drugs), CJ uses it more than once on West Wing, and even Eduardo says it in The Social Network.

How long before Alison Pill wears her male love interest's dress shirt?