The Familiar Sorkin Plots The Newsroom Should Reuse

Photo: Brigitte Lacombe /HBO

It’s no secret that Aaron Sorkin likes to go to the same wells over and over and over again. The Newsroom has been guilty of recycling relationships, lines, and often whole exchanges from previous Sorkin works. But there are still three episodes to go this season! This list of Sorkin go-tos is a combination of predictions and wishes. It’s purely speculative and doesn’t even factor in HBO’s vague synopses of the rest of the season. Here are the familiar scenarios we’re expecting — and kind of hoping – to see in the next few Newsrooms and where you might have seen them before.

A character finds out that his father has been having an affair for many years. (Sports Night, West Wing)
It happened to Jeremy, and it happened to Sam, so our money’s on Jim, because he’s the ostensible sweetheart.

Something goes wrong with someone’s placenta. (Sports Night, Studio 60)
None of the characters are pregnant — as far as we know — but then, no onscreen characters were pregnant on Sports Night, either, and Isaac’s daughter’s delivery was still fraught. Jordan McDeere’s didn’t go much better on Studio 60, but at least we’d, you know, met her. We predict Don’s sister has some kind of complication, and Neal will swoop in and explain how placentas work.

A noble sex worker teaches everyone a valuable lesson about self-respect and hypocrisy. (Sports Night, West Wing)
Is it even possible for the News Night staffers to have more self-respect? The beacon of righteousness Jeremy Goodwin still got his ass handed to him by a porn star (or should we say choreoanimator?), and Sam and Josh got scolded by — knock knock, who’s there — Sam’s prostitute friend. Our money’s on Maggie trying to get information from a source who turns out to be some kind of high-end sex worker who has to teach our naive pumpkin that not everything is for sale.

A lawyer makes someone be extremely particular with his or her word choices. (A Few Good Men, West Wing, Studio 60, The Social Network)
Lawyers: They are so smart, but they are also so pedantic! It’s wonderful to be clever.

CHRISTMAS!!! (The American President, Sports Night, West Wing, Studio 60)
The Newsroom already had its Christmas episode, but it’s being pretty inconsistent with how much time passes between each week, so conceivably we could have two holiday episodes this season. Cue a brass band, hang some bunting, and think about American exceptionalism, why don’t you.

What is all this poultry and livestock doing here, at a workplace? (Sports Night, West Wing, The Social Network)
Dana deals with a frozen turkey on Sports Night; CJ gets the president to pardon two live ones on The West Wing; Eduardo finds himself the unhappy caretaker to a live chicken in The Social Network; a goat makes itself comfortable in Will’s office on WW; and as a not-quite-a-fit bonus, the president gives Sydney a ham instead of flowers in The American President.

A character explains to all of us, in haunting poetic detail, how addictions work. (Sports Night, West Wing, Studio 60)
Having Leo McGarry sagely explain something is a great way to give it eternal gravitas. Newsroom has already shown Charlie to be a boozehound, and we’ve seen most of the characters drink Champagne or toast at the bar — except for Jane Fonda’s character. Betty Ford died on July 8, 2011, which is about as perfect a narrative vehicle as Aaron Sorkin will ever find.

Something about Steve Jobs.
This actually isn’t a Sorkin go-to, but Jobs died in October of 2011, which is within a reasonable time frame for Newsroom to cover it and Sorkin’s working on a Jobs biopic.

The Familiar Sorkin Plots Newsroom Should Reuse