Aaron Sorkin

Almost Maine and Being American - "The sentimental person thinks things will last - the romantic person has a desperate confidence they won't." - F. Scott Fitzgerald

I've been thinking a lot about what it is to be an American lately. On one hand, yikes. On the other hand, maybe I've just watched too much Aaron Sorkin, but I so deeply believe in what America can be.

(I know, I made a post like this at the beginning of July. Bear with me. It ends up differently, I promise!)

Beyond ridiculous, it would be foolish, ignorant, and pointless to ignore the atrocities that the United States has committed. We are definitely the country of modern day mass incarceration and an incredibly racist "war on drugs." The Japanese internment camps. Sandy Hook. The genocide of the Native Americans. The fact that we're built on the back of slavery. The whitewashing of Asian narratives like Ghost in the Shell and Death Note. And how I literally just got the NY Times notification that the Republicans changed Senate rules to block a filibuster of a Supreme Court nominee, despite having blocked President Obama's nomination of Merrick Garland.

We're just also a country that's full of people who are trying to do better. For all that we're a country of civil rights abuses, we're also a country of people protesting them and really believing they can change. We're the country of Alexander Hamilton and Lin-Manuel Miranda. We're the country of the American Dream, which never quite seems to die since we all do keep feeling hope for the future; eight and a half years ago, Barack Obama won the presidency because he tapped into that. We're the first responders who ran into the Twin Towers as they were burning to save as many people as they could.

It might be more accurate to say that I believe in the idea of America more than the reality of America. Because, like I said before, yikes. I don't even want to go into the current administration and how terrible everything surrounding it is.

I just think that the idea of America is something beautiful and worth striving towards, and I see that we do on a regular basis.

In that vein is why I'm producing a staged reading of Almost, Maine by John Cariani this Monday!

(See? I told you this would be different from my annual post around the Fourth of July!)

Almost, Maine is a play about everyday people in this average small town dealing with love and the human condition. What my brilliant director, Charlotte Grady, and I have done is assemble as diverse a cast with people of as many different skin colors, nationalities, and religions as we could. Because, despite our backgrounds and how we look, we're all Americans, and we're far more alike than we are different.

Which is, I think, the whole point.

Also, all the money we raise is going to go to the ACLU. Because they are just such a huge part of the solution.

If you're interested in seeing it, you should get your tickets now! They're on sale at almostmainetbg.brownpapertickets.com. (I'm also acting in it, if that helps!)

There's also an option there if you can't make it but just want to donate to the ACLU through us.

Because we're not in a great place right now. But I genuinely do believe that we can do better.

Drink-y Oscars Nominations! (You know, the Golden Globes.)

UPDATE: It is about 6pm EST on Golden Globes night, and I want to revise some of my predictions based on the campaigning season so far. Edits are incorporated through the rest of the post!

It's the most wonderful time of the year!

By which I mean it's awards season!! This is when the best films of the year come out! And there are swanky awards nominations and everything everywhere! Including the noms for the Golden Globes!

So I'm freaking out over those and making my pics way too early in the season. These will probably change. But also, screw it, I want to do them anyway.

Ordinarily I pick only a few categories for which I really make predictions. But I don't think there's a single category of the Golden Globes that means less to me than any other. So if my analysis is short... I'm trying to do picks for twenty five categories in a single blog post. Give a girl a break!

As always, the category title is in bold, my pick is in italics, and everything else will probably be marked off with some kind of *asterisk.

Best Motion Picture - Drama
Carol
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Revenant
Room
*Spotlight

1/10/16: Whoops, just kidding! I definitely think it's Spotlight now.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama
*Cate Blanchett - Carol
*Brie Larson - Room
*Rooney Mara - Carol
*Saoirse Ronan - Brooklyn
*Alicia Vikander - The Danish Girl

God, what an insanely strong category this year. I couldn't possibly pick just one. I'm not even rooting for any one of them over the others from pure, personal, emotional preference. They are all extraordinary, and they all deserve it.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Drama
Bryan Cranston - Trumbo
Leonardo DiCaprio - The Revenant
Michael Fassbender - Steve Jobs
Eddie Redmayne - The Danish Girl
Will Smith - Concussion

Yes, I know I picked two people. But, between the two of them, it was impossible to decide. The performances in both Steve Jobs and The Danish Girl were so extraordinary I couldn't so much as have one pick and then one as my second choice. Which is probably cheating for my count after the awards themselves happen, but I don't care.
I can tell you who isn't going to win. I'm sure he's fantastic, but Leonardo DiCaprio isn't going to win, and he is going to flip his shit.

Best Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy
*The Big Short
Joy
*The Martian
Spy
Trainwreck

1/10/16: I'm not saying Trainwreck isn't great, but I definitely am saying The Big Short is gonna win.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy
Jennifer Lawrence - Joy
Melissa McCarthy - Spy
Amy Schumer - Trainwreck
Maggie Smith - The Lady in the Van
*Lily Tomlin - Grandma

I think Grandma was too small an indie film to have the funds to campaign and win awards season categories. I just wanted to point out Lily Tomlin in this movie because she was wonderful.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy
Christian Bale - The Big Short
Steve Carell - The Big Short
Matt Damon - The Martian
Al Pacino - Danny Collins
Mark Ruffalo - Infinitely Polar Bear

Best Motion Picture - Animated
Anomalisa
The Good Dinosaur
Inside Out
The Peanuts Movie
Shaun the Sheep Movie

If Inside Out doesn't win, it'll be an upset on the level of The Lego Movie not winning at the Oscars.

Best Motion Picture - Foreign Language
The Brand New Testament
The Club
The Fencer
Mustang
Son of Saul

Number of films I've seen in this category: 0. Amount to which I am certain of my choice anyway: 100%.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in Any Motion Picture
Jane Fonda - Youth
Jennifer Jason Leigh - The Hateful Eight
Helen Mirren - Trumbo
*Alicia Vikander - Ex Machina
Kate Winslet - Steve Jobs

1/10/16: Ohhh man. I might be reversing Alicia Vikander and Kate Winslet? Because I just haven't seen Steve Jobs campaign for much beyond screenplay and Best Actor, and Alicia Vikander has been everywhere! So I think this is going to Alicia Vikander after all, and it'll really be more of a combo win for both this and The Danish Girl.

I don't think Alicia Vikander is going to necessarily win for Ex Machina, especially not over Kate Winslet in Steve Jobs. I just wanted to draw attention to her because I really want her to get all of the things.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in Any Motion Picture
Paul Dano - Love & Mercy
*Idris Elba - Beasts of No Nation
Mark Rylance - Bridge of Spies
Michael Shannon - 99 Homes
Sylvester Stallone - Creed

Best Director - Motion Picture
Todd Haynes - Carol
Alejandro G. Inarritu - The Revenant
Tom McCarthy - Spotlight
George Miller - Mad Max: Fury Road
Ridley Scott - The Martian

Best Screenplay - Motion Picture
Emma Donoghue - Room
*Tom McCarthy, Josh Singer - Spotlight
Charles Randolph, Adam McKay - The Big Short
Aaron Sorkin - Steve Jobs
Quentin Tarantino - The Hateful Eight

Steve Jobs may have bombed at the box office, but Aaron Sorkin is amazing and I don't think I could be capable of not picking him for any screenplay category ever.

Best Original Score - Motion Picture
Carter Burwell - Carol
Alexandre Desplat - The Danish Girl
Ennio Morricone - The Hateful Eight
*Daniel Pemberton - Steve Jobs
Ryuichi Sakamoto, Alva Noto - The Revenant

...I'm literally listening to the score from The Danish Girl now, so it's very possible that I'm highly biased.

Best Original Song - Motion Picture
"Love Me Like You Do" - Fifty Shades of Grey
"One Kind of Love" - Love & Mercy
"See You Again" - Fast and Furious 7
"Simple Song #3" - Youth
"Writing's on the Wall" - Spectre

Best Television Series - Drama
Empire
Game of Thrones
Mr. Robot
Narcos
Outlander

Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series - Drama
Caitriona Balfe - Outlander
Viola Davis - How to Get Away with Murder
Eva Green - Penny Dreadful
Taraji P. Henson - Empire
Robin Wright - House of Cards

Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series - Drama
Jon Hamm - Mad Men
Rami Malek - Mr. Robot
Wagner Moura - Narcos
Bob Odenkirk - Better Call Saul
Liev Schreiber - Ray Donovan

Best Television Series - Musical or Comedy
Casual
Mozart in the Jungle
Orange is the New Black
Silicon Valley
Transparent
Veep

Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series - Musical or Comedy
Rachel Bloom - Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
Jamie Lee Curtis - Scream Queens
Julia Louis-Dreyfus - Veep
*Gina Rodriguez - Jane the Virgin
Lily Tomlin - Grace and Frankie

Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series - Musical or Comedy
Aziz Ansari - Master of None
Gael Garcia Bernal - Mozart in the Jungle
Rob Lowe - The Grinder
Patrick Stewart - Blunt Talk
Jeffrey Tambor - Transparent

Best Television Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
American Crime
American Horror Story: Hotel
*Fargo
Flesh & Bone
Wolf Hall

Best Performance by an Actress in a Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
Kirsten Dunst - Fargo
Lady Gaga - American Horror Story: Hotel
Sarah Hay - Flesh & Bone
Felicity Huffman - American Crime
Queen Latifah - Bessie

Best Performance by an Actor in a Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
Idris Elba - Luther
Oscar Isaac - Show Me a Hero
David Oyelowo - Nightengale
Mark Rylance - Wolf Hall
*Patrick Wilson - Fargo

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Limited Series, or Motion Picture Made for Television
Uzo Aduba - Orange is the New Black
Joanne Froggatt - Downton Abbey
Regina King - American Crime
Judith Light - Transparent
Maura Tierney - The Affair

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Limited Series, or Motion Picture Made for Television
Alan Cumming - The Good Wife
Damien Lewis - Wolf Hall
Ben Mendelsohn - Bloodline
Tobias Menzies - Outlander
Christian Slater - Mr. Robot

Full disclosure: I know very little about this year's limited series television shows. I'm mostly basing this off of what I've seen online and what the Emmys did!

This is a really weird year for the awards because, while there are plenty of excellent films and TV shows out there, there isn't any one absolute standout! Or even a few! Which makes this so much harder.

And, you know, of all of the problems out there in the world, having to think a bit more about who my picks are for the Golden Globes is definitely up there. Probably.

The moral of the story: Yay awards season!!

West Wing Binge Watch 2k15 is complete! - "What's next?" - Every episode of The West Wing

So I just finished The West Wing. I will tell you right now that there are going to be spoilers all throughout this post, so if you haven't seen the series yet and don't want to be spoiled for it, you should probably just stop here and come back to this later! And then question yourself and all of your life choices to figure out why you haven't watched this incredible show yet.

...Do they really count as spoilers if the show has been finished for ten years? I dunno. But I'd hate to ruin it for someone who is in the same position I was in just a few months ago.

I'd be lying if I said I wasn't still a little bit of a mess from that finale. So much of it was primarily manipulative and I loved it. I mean, Donna getting her own massive office? CJ, Will, Kate, and Charlie having to move out of their own? All of the talks between Presidents Bartlet and Santos? Bartlet for America??? It utterly wrecked me. It was great.

As for the show overall... I think it can really be split up into three separate shows. There's Aaron Sorkin's The West Wing. There's post-Sorkin West Wing. And then there's the season in between, season 5, where it all just kind of really sucked. God, season 5 was rough. But aside from that, the two others both have their merits and their negatives and everything, but I think it's also very difficult to discuss them as if they're the same show.

Sorkin's West Wing is sexy. It's fast paced, it's the walk-and-talk, it's multiple storylines going on at once, it's the slow development of relationships that build on each other, it's being utterly unable to watch just one episode. I mean that both in a good way (I've spent literal days watching as much of Sorkin's West Wing as I had hours awake in my Saturday) and also in a bad way (if you don't start at the beginning, you'll be pretty lost). But I really don't think that this series could've gotten off the ground with anyone other than Aaron Sorkin. And I think that he is the master of the emotional arcs of the characters he really cares about. "Noel" is, to date, one of my favorite television episodes of anything ever. ("Noel" is the one where we find out that Josh has PTSD. The scene where we see that he actually put his hand through a window? At the end when he and Donna come across the carolers outside the White House? Bradley Whitford's acting??? It's the episode where I realized just how much I love this show. Like, I already knew that I loved it. But this episode is a turning point. It's extraordinary television.)

Post-Sorkin West Wing can be really interesting too, though. For starters, can we discuss how much better women are treated post-Sorkin? Like, women aren't treated horribly in the first few seasons - I have a deep love for Ainsley Hayes, for instance, and no one can ever tell me that CJ Cregg isn't a wonderful character straight from the start, not to even start on Donna Moss - but they're just treated so much better post-Sorkin. I particularly loved the decision to make CJ chief of staff, especially when we expected the position to go to either Josh or Toby. And I love how Josh and Donna didn't really come together until they were equals. I really kinda doubt that Sorkin would've done that, but I loved it.

(Incidentally, everything about Josh and Donna makes me so happy. That is the way you have will-they-or-won't-they characters come together. That was perfect.)

I also think that post-Sorkin West Wing was better at long plotlines than Sorkin's West Wing is. Sorkin's West Wing is great in that it has smaller multi-episode arcs come up and they overlap so it feels natural but season-long arcs are slow and small and subtle, which is nice. But, especially when it came to the end, that's a very different style from the Santos vs. Vinick campaign. And that presidential campaign was so intense! I was genuinely nearly as nervous and stressed about the outcome of it as I get about real life campaigns!

I'm not going to discuss season 5. It's just not worth it. That's not the show that I love.

And finally... the finale. The thing that made it particularly special was how much it focused on the transfer of power. That transfer of power - the "peaceful revolution" as it was called when it first happened from Washington's presidency to Adams's - is one of the greatest things the US has and continues to accomplish every four or eight years. The idea that someone who is literally the most powerful person in the world just gives up his power? That transfer is one of the most difficult things a person can do, and it's very much the most dramatic thing happening every inauguration day. Especially considering how it's a series that focused on Bartlet, even if it just came to the end of a season that focused on Santos, that transfer of power that then brings to light the emotional journey of the both of them was the right choice.

And you guys, it made me cry so, so much. Tears everywhere. I am so glad I knew not to wear makeup today.

I have many more thoughts about many more aspects of the show - Vinick as Secretary of State, for instance, and what they're doing about VP, and what's coming up for Margaret and everyone whose futures we haven't explicitly been given - but this is already a hella long post. So if you're interested, please feel free to ask me! I'm clearly dying to talk about it! But I definitely need to cut myself off here for now.

So I guess, to take the utterly cheesy route, the only thing left to ask now is...

what's next?

Writing and Editing Screenplays - "The first draft is just you telling yourself the story." - Terry Pratchett

Well, I had a whole long blog post written. It was one of my regular Thursday/Friday essay-style blog posts about how one knows that they have finished writing when they don't have a hard deadline that forces them to be done.

And then, somehow, it got deleted. I don't know what kind of combination of buttons I accidentally pressed. I was going to add a tag, and then... nope. It vanished. It was rough, I'd admit. Even for these blog posts that are mostly about showing my personality to anyone who is looking at this website and trying to decide if they like me and my work. I was upset to see it go.

But I was inspired to write such a post because I'm working on a short screenplay now! And you guys, I'm not gonna lie, I like it. It's called "Just the Tip," and it's about millenials as we're beginning to come into adulthood, sexism in the workplace and dating, and what romance is evolving into in modern society. It's about what journalism is and should be, how people treat each other, and the life of a workaholic. And you know what else? It's good. It's not perfect - it still has a few drafts to go before I'm willing to give it to my director absolutely for shooting - but it is good.

The thing that's concerning me, though, is that right now I'm not only the screenwriter, but also the producer. Which means that any deadlines I may have are being set by me. I'm used to projects where someone else gives me a hard deadline for which a piece absolutely has to be finished, and I work on it as much as I can before it, but once that deadline comes it's out of my hands and that's how I know that it's done. But now, I could edit "Just the Tip" indefinitely, and there's really no one to stop me from pushing the deadline back again and again.

Ira Glass once said in an interview that young creatives have a problem where we start creating because we have excellent taste, but we are so inexperienced that our own work doesn't measure up to our excellent taste, and the trick is to keep working past that until we are capable of creating work that does measure up to our taste. (For the full quote, you can read it over here.) I certainly wouldn't disagree with anything he said there. I know that I'm not doing work on the level of writers I especially admire (in writing I'm talking Nora Ephron and Aaron Sorkin, in acting I'm thinking about Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks, and Anne Hathaway, just to name a few) and it certainly irks at me when I'm trying!

But the thing is... I know that "Just the Tip" is good. Not great. Not revolutionary. But it's not bad, either.

That is a statement I'm 100% certain I'll be embarrassed of later on in my life and career, when I'm really doing good work and I look back at this time with nostalgia and condescension. But it is also what I'm thinking now, and it would be pointless to deny it.

So my question is... how do I stop when I don't have anyone to command me to do so? Having good taste as I like to believe I do, I know my screenplay isn't ready. And I do know a few specific things that have to be changed about it to make it better, and I'll do those. But at what point do I stop and say that it's done enough and ought to be produced? At what point do I decide for myself that it's done, even if I know it's not perfect, and allow myself to move on to the next project?

That's a question I'm genuinely asking, by the way. If you have any tips or ways of thinking about it, I'd love to discuss them with you!

In the meantime, I'm going to try to decide for myself what I think the... tipping point is.

Puns. You're welcome.

Recipe of the Week: Okay, so it's technically not a recipe so much as an idea, but it's SPACE APPLES.

Funny Vine of the Week: I literally cried with laughter from this. Nbd.

West Wing Binge Watch 2k15 - "No. No 'however.' Just be wrong. Just stand there in your wrongness and be wrong and get used to it." - President Josiah Bartlett, The West Wing S1E17

You know, there were a lot of things I wanted to write about in this blog post. I wanted to write about the Critics' Choice Awards, the SAG Awards, what it means to be a member of the actors union. I wanted to write about this acting class I've been taking at The Barrow Group, how good it is, and the importance of training and, more importantly, training correctly. I wanted to write about British TV and British actors and how they're taking over in the US; as anyone who knows me is aware, I absolutely love talking about British stuff. There is a whole myriad of things I could've discussed here today.

But I can't do any of it. Why? Because I started watching The West Wing on Netflix, and it's all I can think about.

You guys it's so good. The Netflix blurb about it claims that it was ranked the 7th best drama of all time. Now, I don't know when those rankings came out, and as I firmly believe we are living in a golden age of television, I think there are some series that could give it some serious competition. I'm looking at you, Breaking Bad. But the idea that it is at least very highly ranked and well regarded is something that I am absolutely on board with.

The thing that's particularly interesting in watching it is seeing not just the differences between the late 90's-early 00's and now, but the similarities! Our dealings with China. How ravaged African nations are by AIDS, and the extent to which Americans lump all of them together into just "Africa." Education. Gay rights. Healthcare. It's almost depressing that these issues don't go away... but it's handy because it means the series isn't too dated! The risk with watching anything more than five or so years old is that sometimes the issues just aren't a problem anymore, or something that was normal then seems strange to someone watching now. But I'm not experiencing that at all with The West Wing! Maybe I'm older than I feel I am, and I remember these things being issues so well that it just seems current to me... but I'd much rather think of it as the series just holding up well and not being dated.

Of course, don't get me wrong, the differences are worth looking at, too! There's one in particular that I'd like to point out: An episode I was watching last night had Josh Lyman arguing with a congressman about a bill that placed another ban on gay marriage. One of the points that the congressman brought up was that the majority of the population was against gay marriage. Only fifteen years ago, polls said that the majority of Americans thought that LGBTQ+ people shouldn't be allowed to get married. Now 36 states have legal same-sex marriage, and later this year the Supreme Court is going to decide whether or not it's constitutional on a federal level. It's just amazing to me how far we've come in such a relatively short period of time.

Beyond any of that, though, it's good television. It's dramatic, it made me yell at my television/computer screen, it's funny, the characters are complex, and, naturally, the writing feels effortless. Characters speak in incomplete sentences, they cut each other off, they say stupid things, sometimes they don't, and storylines are woven together, in and around each other, to keep episodes flowing together while not having to bother with a massive, overarching season or series plot. It's Aaron Sorkin at his best.

I suppose that's just it for me. The West Wing is everything The Newsroom could have been. It's a little bit sad when put that way, but it's true. And it just makes me love The West Wing that much more.

And I have more than five and a half seasons left of it!

Before I finish this post, I'd like to throw in just a few more observations that I've made about the series from the less-than-a-season-and-a-half I've seen so far that are far less intellectual and analytical but, I think, still deserve to be said:

  • The level to which I identify with Donna Moss is extraordinary. I would say that I want to be her when I grow up but... aside from what happened to make her join up with Bartlet and, more specifically, Josh, I pretty much already am her. And I love her. I'm not even jealous of Janel Moloney for getting to play her because she's just perfect.
  • I think Josh Lyman/Bradley Whitford is really attractive? Like...?? I did not expect this. My type is usually tall, blonde, and British, with sharp, prominent cheekbones. And occasionally that type can be broken - my attraction to Sam Seaborn/Rob Lowe is not really a surprise because have you seen Rob Lowe - but...??? Granted, his personality is right up my alley. Someone who is a massive jerk but still a good guy when it comes to the stuff that matters will get me every time. But man, I did not expect this. I didn't even realize it until more than halfway through the first season. And now I want to give him the biggest hug, like, all the time. It's weird. But very, very present.
  • Toby when he's doing the right thing and being a good guy is the most awkwardly adorable thing. Also, I love having a Jewish guy there, especially since his Judaism is a significant part of who he is. Not all of who he is. Not even most of who he is. But a significant part.
  • I so deeply appreciate how Sorkin allows Republican characters to make excellent points. He really never did that in Newsroom (and, no matter what he said, Will McAvoy was not a Republican) and I do like how the major characters reflect the views that I personally hold. But it's so rare now, even in real life, to see a Republican articulately arguing his/her point of view that it's not only refreshing to see it here but has occasionally genuinely made me think about my own political beliefs and why I believe them.
  • All of the actors on this show are very much actors' actors. And the writer is a writers' writer. And I can feel myself getting better both as an actress as well as a writer just from watching this show. It's wonderful.

"I have a blog?" - The Newsroom, "We Just Decided To" (S1E1)

Or: Why I Love The Newsroom and You Should Too

Guys, The Newsroom is back for it's third and final season, and I need to tell you all why, despite how unrealistic it is, and how it treats its women, I love it so much.

And don't get me wrong. It's incredibly unrealistic. It's all about a team of newsmen and women who decide to do a nightly newscast that's the news the way it should be done, as opposed to a newscast that's sensational and driven by ratings. Even when their ratings go down (which they do - the show doesn't shy away from the fact that people don't want to watch the news) they decide to hold fast, and in the end, that's what makes them strong.

And it does treat its women pretty badly. They are all, of course, very intelligent and beyond competent professionally, but leave the professional world and each and every one of them is a ditz who can't handle her personal life. This is pretty standard for showrunner Aaron Sorkin, and it irritates me beyond belief.

But. You guys. Like I said, this show is created and written by Aaron Sorkin, and it has all the good, and the bad, that comes with that. (For those of you to whom the name sounds familar but you can't quite place it: Aaron Sorkin was also the person behind Sports Night, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, The West Wing, and The Social Network, among others!) The bad: I mentioned how Sorkin deals with women. Also, it's incredibly liberal, trying to masquerade as moderate (although whether that's because it's actually liberal or because conservatives refuse to compromise leading anything that isn't conservative to seem super liberal is up for debate), and it puts forth all of it's arguments about politics and the way the country should be run in such a way that it insists that you must be an ignoramus if you don't agree.

That being said, sometimes it is pretty hard to disagree with the scenes in this show. Sorkin has a gift for cutting right through the bullshit to the heart of whichever problem he chooses to deal with, and then taking that heart out and presenting it for all to see. The opening scene of The Newsroom has been passed around, so you may have seen it before, but it's still incredibly, incredibly effective.

But, despite that, he also has created a beautifully idealistic show. As Mackenzie McHale, one of our leading ladies, is fond of saying, it insists that "we can do better!" And I love that mindset. The idea that no, we're not perfect. But if we work at it, we can be not just what we want to be, but what we should be. We can be the kind of people who do what's right because it's the right thing to do. The kind of people who choose to be informed. The kind of people who can make a difference in the world.

And watching the characters of The Newsroom either be or become that makes it difficult for viewers to not want to be or become that themselves. And anything that makes people care more is pretty amazing to me!

In the spirit of fairness and full disclosure, I usually watch this show with my mother, and she doesn't love it quite as much as I do. She says that I'm somewhat blinded by how attractive John Gallagher Jr. and Thomas Sadoski are. I say that she's ignoring just how pretty Dev Patel, Alison Pill, and Olivia Munn are as well when she says that. But I would be lying if I said I didn't have a crush on any of them/their characters. (For the record, if you know their characters, that one is Don Keefer, as played by Thomas Sadoski. Something about guys who are moral jerks and aren't unwilling to challenge you but also support you at the same time just gets me, man.) But I sure hope that doesn't completely nullify everything I have to say about the show as well! The fact that they're all very, very attractive doesn't change the way Sorkin writes women. But I thought I'd throw it out there. This show has a beautiful cast.

I suppose this was necessarily a pretty vague blog post, mainly because I wanted to keep it spoiler free. But if any of you would like to discuss anything about The Newsroom, from the series overall to the most recent episode (having to relive the Boston Bombings was awful, but I so appreciate how they always handle news events, especially ones like that, in the classiest possible way), please go ahead and comment! And I'm just going to issue a blanket *spoiler alert* for the entire comments section, in case anyone has anything they'd like to say!

I'm Will McAvoy. Good night.