Friday, December 21, 2007

You had to be a big shot

So I've gotten some books to read, following some nicely offered recommendations, but I also (re)discovered that my local library checks out DVDs in addition to books (go figure!) so I also took out the first disk of the first (only) season of Sports Night, which I never really was able to watch religiously when it was actually on (in 1998, a year in which I was very busy with grad school). And I have to say, again, for the record, that while I love Aaron Sorkin (and I really do love his witty banter and sly asides and all), sometimes he is just a little too cute for his own good.

For example, in one episode, Donna appears (okay, the actress who played Donna on The West Wing but I am too lazy to go look up her real name) playing an assistant costume director who chastises one of the main characters for implying that he picked out his own wardrobe (when he appeared on The View, cross-pollination alert) when in fact it was Donna's boss, a woman named Maureen, who was responsible for all his wardrobe choices. And then, lo and behold, when the credits roll, the costume director for Sports Night...wait for named Maureen! Oh Aaron, you are so clever...and so aware of your cleverness...and so willing to negate your cleverness with this awareness.

Does this mean I won't go see Charlie Wilson's War, the Tom Hanks/Julia Roberts vehicle also penned by Sorkin (which I have heard reviewed as "a really long episode of The West Wing"? No, I most likely will because, as I said, I really do like the banter and the wit and will forgive the occasional far-too-precious moment on Aaron's behalf.

And finally, just once again for the record, MAN does Sorkin like to reuse actors! I mean, there is Donna, of course, and loads of others, not least of which are Felicity Huffman and Teri Polo. AND he seems to be obsessed with the name "Danny," giving it to main character after main character in each and every show he writes. It's uncanny. Or just odd. Take your pick.


fronesis said...

I won't get into a lengthy defence of Sorkin, but I would say that his post Sports Nights failures can easily be used to reflect back on Sports Night - which isn't totally fair. In 1998 there simply was no comparison to what Sorkin was doing. So the cuteness there shouldn't be judged too harshly because the cuteness got old after a while.

But much more important: there are TWO seasons of Sports Night!!!

Lilita said...

Valid point taken. But with 20/20 hindsight, you simply can't shake the feeling (or I can't) that if he had just toned it down a little in the beginning, Sports Night might have lasted longer, and we would all have been spared the more annoying aspects of Studio 60.

I THOUGHT there were two seasons, but the DVDs are apparently mislabeled at my library, so hooray for double the pleasure, fun, etc! I'm off to finish season one right this moment.