With last night’s launch of Season 2 of Game of Thrones, HBO is now starting to advertising what’s coming from them this summer. One of their most exciting new shows is Aaron Sorkin‘s The Newsroom, which has Jeff Daniels leading an ensemble that includes Emily Mortimer, Dev Patel, Sam Waterston, Olivia Munn, and Alison Pill. The show doesn’t premiere until June 24, but until then here’s a trailer.
What’s interesting about the trailer is that it suggests the show starts in a way that’s very similar to the first episode of Sorkin’s Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. Both feature mild-mannered, respectable fellows pushed to the edge, which leads to them speaking their mind – telling it like it is – and then the consequences of such truth-telling. Here that’s Jeff Daniels, who is portrayed as being milquetoast until he snaps and talks about what’s wrong with America.
Sorkin knows his way around television, having been behind such greats as Sports Night and The West Wing. He also knows his way around movies, having won an Oscar for his script for The Social Network, and was just nominated for his Moneyball screenplay. It also feels like he knows we know him well by defining Daniels as a conservative (but one who at least acknowledges science). It’s like he’s telling us “the main character won’t just be my mouthpiece!”
The big question this trailer asks is: did Sorkin learn anything from Studio 60? The good news is that on HBO the seasons are constructed as a whole and then shot, which is for the best. It was hard watching Studio 60 spin out of control as the show struggled to figure out what it was about – it felt like Sorkin had a great idea to start with, and then didn’t know how to make a show out of it. Most disappointingly Studio 60 decided it wasn’t really about Saturday Night Live (which seemed to be the target) until it settled into a show about show-runners and drug addiction. Hopefully that won’t be the case here.
What’s your favorite Aaron Sorkin project? (Mine might be Malice)