Reviews for HBO’s “The Newsroom” have been mixed so far with both critics and viewers spread across a polarized spectrum. Four episodes into the first season, it seems people are still trying hard to place Aaron Sorkin‘s latest project within the ranks of his previous works, which include the Oscar-winning film “The Social Network,” and Emmy-winning show “The West Wing.”
In his latest interview with NPR host, Terry Gross
, Sorkin discusses
the reasoning behind some of his “Newsroom” decisions, while giving insight into his own particular writing process.
“I like writing idealistically and romantically, and if you can do that in a place that’s usually looked at cynically, the way journalism is now, you can get something fun out of it,” says Sorkin. His characters, as a result, are “aspirational.”
On why he chose to embed real news events within the show he says, “It’s sort of a gift that kept giving because you have the fun of the audience knowing more than the characters do.”
Many have voiced their “Newsroom” frustrations, stating its preachy, almost cliche political idealism as its downfall. In response to these more negative criticisms about the television show’s success, Sorkin says, “I think that the critics in the audience who are reacting as hostilely to the show as they are, part of the reason is they think that I’m showing off an intellect and an erudition that I don’t have. And just to be very clear, I’m not pretending to have it. I know that I don’t have it.”
Famed for his skill in writing rhythmic dialogue with story serving as his “Achilles’ heel,” he continues, “I phonetically create the sound of smart people talking to each other. I’m not one of them. The characters I create would have no use for me.”
Listen to the entire interview here
on NPR’s “Fresh Air” for more on “The West Wing’s” visual walk-and-talk style, Sorkin’s background, and cocaine-fueled writing binges.