I didn’t know it at the time, but he first had me at that moment … A Few Good Men, the Rob Reiner film. That’s when my love affair with Aaron Sorkin began.
Then came The West Wing and I was his.
Until The Wire came along and complicated my life, The West Wing was inked in at number one on my personal list. Indeed, it was really kinda tough to ink in a 1+ for David Simon but yes, for the record, The Wire is just that good.
But back to the magical Mr. Sorkin.
West Wing was simply stunning. A new type of TV, writing with extra sparkle and an uncompromising intellect. I back tracked to Sportsnight, and found the early play book for what would become The West Wing and much more. Humour, humanity and characters I grew to love and still miss to this day.
I also loved Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, just loved it. It was accused of navel gazing, and frankly, so what? It was accused of being too clever for it’s own good. And, again I say, meh! There’s no such thing as too clever, even when you are one of the cleverest writers working in TV, and Aaron is certainly that.
Let’s just say ‘All good things should flow to the boulevard’ and leave it at that, shall we?
Now I’m watching season two of The Newsroom. And, well … Gush …
I’m also watching House of Cards, the amazing Netflix series and the two series offer up a wonderful comparison. Both are brilliantly written, both are astonishingly well performed. But the big difference is this …
In House of Cards the characters don’t care about the issues, they don’t care about the thing, they don’t care about morality. They simply care about themselves and their personal power and advancement.
In The Newsroom, as in every single one of Sorkin’s scripts, the characters care about the thing, they care about the issue, they care about what they do and why. They care. He cares – he’s all about stuff that is all about who and what we are as people, as a society, as a civilization. He cares and he wears his heart on his impeccably tailored sleeve.
And he still manages to do all that and be funny. Which is far more than I ever managed.
And that’s why I love him.
Aaron Sorkin, he’s my number one. In ink.