erinptah: (daily show)
Where the towels are oh so fluffy ([personal profile] erinptah) wrote2012-06-24 11:14 pm

Watching and pre-watching: The Newsroom + Legend of Korra + Life After People + X-Files

The Newsroom, the new Sorkin show with Olivia Munn in it, premieres today.

On the one hand, critique of the news + Sorkin-style dialogue (+ Olivia Munn, obviously) = sounds like a recipe for a lot of win. On the other, early reviews suggest a whole lot of skeeviness upcoming, particularly around women. And there's a lot in Studio 60 that suggests caution. (I enjoyed The West Wing, was engaged by the non-sport parts of Sports Night, and held on through Studio 60 waiting for it to live up to expectations.)

At least a newsroom setting should play more to Sorkin's strengths and interests than a comedy show. And the actual writing could still rise above the bad omens in the publicity. Doesn't seem like they're opening any legal streaming options, but I'll go looking for others.

(You know what this show should have done? Set itself in the same universe as The West Wing. It would get to deal with made-up news and politics rather than having to convince us it has all the answers about how to manage the real ones.)

***

The Legend of Korra season finale is still not streaming yet.

Can't wait until it shows up. I already have half a dozen tabs open with spoilery reaction posts, and that's a lot of temptation. Plus I really want to write up my thoughts on the rest of the series, but it doesn't make sense to do that before I've seen how it ends.

***

I've been watching Life After People, a documentary about what would happen (to our pets, to our cities, to our monuments, to our satellites, to our trash, and so on) if every human on Earth suddenly disappeared.

Lots of lovingly rendered CGI of familiar buildings as rotting skeletons in their final collapse, or filled with masses of vegetation, or sinking underwater in great chunks. Plus exploration of real-world sites like Hashima Island, once densely populated, its buildings and streets now abandoned for 35 years. It's fascinating -- not even morbidly fascinating, since it's not like there are corpses lying around. Abstractly fascinating? It's like the setting for a ghost story, only without any ghosts. The draw is similar, somehow.

***

Finished my curated tour of The X-Files: guided through the good episodes by Katy ([personal profile] stellar_dust), reminded which plot points I was supposed to keep track of, informed which interesting plot hooks not to worry about as they would never be referenced again. There were a lot of fun, well-written stories in there, and a few absolutely brilliant ones, and I enjoyed it very much.

Anyway, we finished all seven seasons, and now we're moving on to this new series which is fairly similar, but has some fundamental differences and is not, I have been assured, nearly as good. We may not finish this one, since [personal profile] stellar_dust is moving out in like a week, but it's not like it was that high a priority anyway.
kshandra: Animated text: Closing paragraph from the 01/08/11 Special Comment - icon made with http://wigflip.com/minifesto (Keith - We All Are Americans)

[personal profile] kshandra 2012-06-25 02:57 pm (UTC)(link)
(You know what this show should have done? Set itself in the same universe as The West Wing. It would get to deal with made-up news and politics rather than having to convince us it has all the answers about how to manage the real ones.)

Good lord, yes. File the serial numbers off things like Deepwater Horizon, etc., if you want the verisimilitude, but put it in the Santos Administration (which, since Matt Santos and Arnold Vinick were based on Obama and McCain anyway, doesn't carry all that much net difference). And it opens the door for stunt casting if/when things start floundering badly and the ratings need a kick in the ass.
sarcasticsra: (text: tww: josh wants to mock people)

[personal profile] sarcasticsra 2012-06-25 08:25 pm (UTC)(link)
Sorkin certainly has issues writing women, so I am not remotely surprised. I haven't seen it yet--about to go do so--but I'm going to cross my fingers that it's not another Studio 60 repeat. The West Wing and Sports Night gave me some of my favorite TV characters ever, so there's hope.

I'm also, ngl, really amused about the idea of Mr. Doesn't Get The Internet writing a show that's going to have to incorporate it a hell of a lot to be remotely realistic.

(You know what this show should have done? Set itself in the same universe as The West Wing. It would get to deal with made-up news and politics rather than having to convince us it has all the answers about how to manage the real ones.)

OMG, that would've been so perfect. Why is this not what happened?! Though can you imagine if, say, C.J. took some kind of news media job after everything. People you would not want grilling you if you were in any way political: her.

Tl;dr: This is either gonna be awesome or a train wreck. That's always the way it is with Sorkin.
sarcasticsra: A picture of a rat snuggling a teeny teddy bear. (Default)

[personal profile] sarcasticsra 2012-06-25 09:39 pm (UTC)(link)
And bullshit nostalgic "we used to be great!" rhetoric. My favorite!

Ugh.
sarcasticsra: A picture of a rat snuggling a teeny teddy bear. (Default)

[personal profile] sarcasticsra 2012-06-25 09:43 pm (UTC)(link)
DID HE ACTUALLY JUST SAY "WE DIDN'T SCARE SO EASY"

UM EXCUSE ME

MCCARTHYISM

JAPANESE INTERNMENT CAMPS

THE COLD WAR

WHAT ARE YOU EVEN TALKING ABOUT DUDE
sarcasticsra: A picture of a rat snuggling a teeny teddy bear. (Default)

[personal profile] sarcasticsra 2012-06-25 11:58 pm (UTC)(link)
After that beginning bit of RAGE, I actually do like a lot of the other characters--I think Maggie's development could be really interesting, Mackenzie is likable and actually able of giving him a kick in the ass, and I like the way Jim casually tore into Don. (Who I keep wanting to punch in the face, but at least there I'm supposed to.) Though I would really like to learn Dev Patel's character's name (from the show, anyway, not from IMDb).

Not to the end yet. Is Olivia in this ep? Interested in what her character's going to be like as well.
sarcasticsra: A picture of a rat snuggling a teeny teddy bear. (Default)

[personal profile] sarcasticsra 2012-06-26 12:19 am (UTC)(link)
Just finished. If Aaron Sorkin can get over his paternalism and New Media Are Evil feelings for just a little while, I think this show could be really good.

Guess we'll see!