Thursday, September 14, 2000

Sorkin Series

Peter at I Shoot With My Mind makes a good point about the chief flaw with Sports Night being the relationship trap. Still, they were working around that towards the end with the new source of tension being the impending sale of CSN. If Sorkin did realize the mating dances weren't what the show needed, that could have been easily fixed. They did a great job with episodes about hunting/guns, the after-effects of their boss's stroke, debating whether or not to sell-out their journalistic principles in order to interview Jordan, etc. They had a great knack for pointing out how sports can be used to frame discussions about more important topics. That show should have lived long enough to get through it's early missteps. There's just something about The West Wing that I don't like as much, an off-key vibe that I didn't get from SN. Part of the problem is certainly Rob Lowe. The guy gives me the creeps. There's something smug and disingenuous about his acting style that makes me think he's still videotaping sexcapades with high school girls, but is taking more precautions these days. It worked for him in Tommy Boy, where he did a nice job hosing off a mud-covered, flashdancing Chris Farley, but I can't take him as a "good guy" in TWW's neo-Camelot. My take on TWW is based on only two viewings, so I don't have a lot to go on, but I got a sense the creators were looking to tap into something Kennedy-esque to make a point about where politics should be vs. where it is. That strikes me as either naive or cynical. We don't need more Kennedys, we need more Naders. I did like the writing and the interplay between the characters, it was like a slightly watered-down version of the more stylized dialogue in SN. I'm sure that with the new season starting soon, I'll start watching it. I just hope isn't slotted against the new Oliver Platt series or Gideon's Crossing, which both look promising.
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