Sorkin's Newsroom Feels a Little Preachy

HBO show has some critics carping
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 22, 2012 3:24 PM CDT

For those who believed Aaron Sorkin could do no wrong, The Newsroom is a disappointment. Chronicling the life of a cable news station as it grapples with events from years back—the BP oil spill, for insance—it's preachy and perhaps overly optimistic, critics say.

  • In the Daily Beast, Howard Kurtz says the characters sometimes come off as a little "cartoonish." And "even the debate over journalism, when Sorkin gets around to that, has a simplified, black-and-white, heroes-vs.-heathens quality—and it’s hard to root for either self-obsessed side."

  • It's "a wishful-thinking fantasy that out-wishes even that most wishy of series, The West Wing," writes Richard Lawson at the Atlantic Wire. "Sorkin has essentially made a roman à clef out of the past two years' worth of his dinner party conversations and set it in a newsroom."
  • Writing in the New York Times, Alessandra Stanley goes a little easier on the show. "At its best," The Newsroom "has a wit, sophistication and manic energy that recalls James L. Brooks’s classic movie Broadcast News. But at its worst, the show chokes on its own sanctimony."
  • At Vulture, Matt Zoller Seitz offers a different take: "Mostly I like Sorkin's optimism, the very quality that many of my colleagues are hanging him with," he writes. "He seems convinced that no matter how bad things get, they can always be made better, provided we're willing to do our homework, engage in civil debate, put common sense ahead of ego, and work together."
(Read more Aaron Sorkin stories.)

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