Having watched a few more episodes (I always give things I’m not keen on at least a few episodes), I think that it’s a better show once it’s bedded in a bit. The aforementioned “swash-buckling romantic comedy” angle is played up a bit more and, having dropped my expectations a little, have started enjoying it a lot more. My annoyance at his stubborn re-use of character arcs from his relatively unsuccessful Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip have subsided a little too.
I forget that The Newsroom is set up to work as standalone episodes in a way Breaking Bad does not. That can’t be blamed on the network – I can’t believe HBO would restrict The Mighty Aaron Sorkin too much – but I think it’s the structure that Sorkin’s most comfortable with.
TV has certainly moved on from that first respectable re-definition that Sorkin helped to usher in during the late 90s/early 2000s, and he certainly had an influential hand in giving us the Golden Age we’ve got so far. He’s not on any sort of cutting edge, but he can still write watchable fare. As a budding writer, that alone is worth a hat tip.