As soon as my friend posted the trailer of the show on my Facebook wall, I was hooked. Initially, the appeal was that television auteur, Aaron Sorkin, was the creator. Next, I took notice of the casting choice and was immediately in awe. And finally, the trailer featured The Black Key‘s “Howlin For You” and although that means remotely nothing to the show, it struck a cord with me (Note* The Social Network also featured a great song choice for the trailer- Radiohead‘s “Creep” cover). That was basically my thought process. So clearly, I had high hopes going in.
After watching about a good eight minutes of the show, I found myself cheering as Jeff Daniels‘ character, Will McAvoy, finally admitted what he really thinks about America during a panel discussion at Northwestern. He removed the bipartisan mask he had been hiding behind and I found myself applauding as he did. Granted he had to be threatened to speak his mind, but let’s be honest most have to these days. If you say anything too extreme, they call you a socialist-naturally.
Some thought that the big rant was a tad abrupt, mind you it was about 5 minutes into the pilot. But personally, that didn’t bother me at all. The purpose of a pilot is to set the tone of the show and introduce characters, so why not do so immediately? That is what was definitely happening here. Who is Will McAvoy? Well after that tirade, I have an idea.
Sorkin’s stays true to his fast pace, witty dialogue and underlying cultural statements, as far as I can tell from solely viewing the pilot. The fast pace dialogue reflects the hustle and bustle of a live news show. Most notably this occurs when the show’s characters are finally on air and have to communicate with one another from the set to the control room. The culture criticisms are also evident, rather blatantly, with the constant desire from the characters to obtain honest journalism.
When the show makes a stab at my generation, as McAvoy ever so sweetly framed it, “the. worst. generation. ever”, I found myself in the midst of debate… with myself . I acknowledged that the sorority girl’s question wasn’t too far from what a naive millennium baby might have said. Yet, it’s not like baby boomers haven’t claimed the exact same statement. The show inevitably formulated this debate in my head, which instantaneously brought forth chills. That is what the show did, it staged a conversation that needed to be brought forward. It raised societal issues, it gathered a discussion. It’s not like this has never been done on television, but nevertheless I praise it because it raises these issues well.
Despite being a mere character in an HBO series, the statement, brought forward this conversation online the night after the pilot aired with millennium baby’s both defending themselves and agreeing with McAvoy’s claim. A show that dares to make bold claims such as these, thus formulating conversations, setting forth debates worth discussing is a show worth viewing.
I admit that the time setting is a tad ironic seeing as it’s a show about news but outdated news at that. I much rather preferred if the time setting was more up to date. Despite minor flaws-the show isn’t entirely perfect but what show is- I thoroughly enjoyed it.
For those of you who haven’t seen it, I suggest you watch it ASAP and for those of you who have, feel free to comment with your own opinion. Do you agree with the critics? Or do you have a slightly different opinion?