Thursday, October 05, 2006
Since I am known to be a fan of Aaron Sorkin’s writing, I suppose I should comment on the “controversy” in his latest show, Studio 60 On the Sunset Strip. Let me limit my comments to answering a few questions:
Does Aaron Sorkin’s show have an agenda against certain Christians? And does that interfere with the quality of the writing?
The answer to both questions is: yes. Mr. Sorkin is passionate about many things, including aspects of the faith community. But this passion is a good thing – a writer needs to have a little fire in their belly to drive their craft.
However, there are times when Mr. Sorkin gets lazy or simply allows his opinions to interfere in his craft. For example, episode three of Studio 60 includes a rehearsal of a sketch showing various faiths ignoring scientific evidence that contradicts their beliefs.
The glaring thing about the sketch isn’t the point that it is trying to make; no, the standout is the fact that the sketch doesn’t even try to be funny. There is no attempt in the writing for wit, or surprise, or irony – it is simply a recitation of belief and counter evidence.
Later in the show, when the actual performance is done in a montage, there is a funny joke from this sketch, so we know that it could have been funny if the writers wanted it to be.
But instead they tried to get us to believe that shows like Saturday Night Live are content having a sketch without humor.
Is it good or bad for the kingdom for the show to have a practicing Christian character?
Good. Is the character flawed? Sure. Incomplete? Yep. Ring hollow at times? Yeah.
And yet, there is a character on prime time television that is a believing and practicing Christian who – and this in the critical part – is admired and respected by her peers. She is not merely tolerated, or simply endured, she is respected.
Her cast mates care for her, protect her, and value her opinion.
A Christian who is respected as a person? For me, that is a step in the right direction.
Mr. Sorkin has problems with Christians in general; but he is willing to show respect to a Christian in particular.
A step in the right direction.
And by the way, this isn’t the first time a practicing Christian has been given a position of great respect by Aaron Sorkin – let’s not forget the leader of the free world, President Bartlett.
Will you be watching this show?
Warts and all, yes. I will tolerate the sections of poor and pointless writing to get to the sections of solid and inspiring writing. Sorkin is a great writer when he wants to be, and I have much I can learn from him.
Just my thoughts,
ps For a smart take on Studio 60, hop on over to Quote the Maven