Tuesday, June 2, 2009

In Search of...some more Aaron Sorkin

As I anxiously awaited the arrival of my final disc of Sports Night from Netflix yesterday, it occurred to me that most people's idea of the perfect setting they visualize themselves in when they need escape probably involves white sandy beaches and ocean waves lapping at their feet. There might be breathtaking sunsets and cool breezes, and while I truly love all those things, I tend to have a different setting in mind altogether.

Anyone who knows me for five minutes (or less) knows that I refer to The West Wing, seasons 1-4 as my "happy place." And indeed for the eight years of the Bush administration it was my only happy place, the alternate universe created by Aaron Sorkin to which I retreated where the people in charge of running the country were all highly intelligent...and funny, and fought tirelessly for the same things I believe in. There were no unnecessary wars being waged, and all in all I could rest easy at night knowing that Jed Bartlet, a Nobel Prize winning economist and good hearted soul, was at the helm.

When West Wing ended, it wasn't long before Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip began, and I had another chance to fall in love with a group of talented people - this time making a Saturday Night Live type TV show. It was a short lived romance that lasted only one season because, well, because people were more interested in "reality" shows like The Bachelor, or The Bachelorette - two prime examples that evolution is reversing and heading straight for Neanderthal.

So there I was, with only my DVD collection to grant me any solace. There I could immerse myself in dialogue that sings like a symphony, with exact rhythms and melodies that must be executed perfectly in order to work. There I could always learn something new, like you should never toast with a glass of water, and I could come away inspired to be my best and smartest self. The juxtaposition of the words themselves read like sheer poetry. Those are the worlds I wanted to live in - the fictitious ones created by Aaron Sorkin.

And lest we forget Mr. Sorkin's big screen contributions, there's A Few Good Men, The American President, and Charlie Wilson's War.

But somehow I never saw Sports Night, the Emmy Winning TV series about a nightly ESPN type show that lasted two seasons. I can tell you why I never saw it when it initially aired - it had "sports" in the title. Generally things with "sports" in the title elicit a big "Who cares?" from me...unless there's figure skating or winter sports like lugeing involved, but I digress...and I'm not kidding about lugeing either. So I ordered the show on Netflix, not really knowing what to expect from Aaron Sorkin's first foray into TV. Needless to say, I found another happy place to which I can retreat.

So I'm off to start my day with a dose of "happy." And I'm hoping that wherever he is, Aaron Sorkin's working feverishly on his next project. I can't wait.

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