Oh boy, the reports from The Newsroom's TCA presser was this evening and Aaron Sorkin spent the whole time defending himself and being combative with reporters, while Jeff Daniels fell asleep (maybe) waiting to charm the room when he was finally called to speak.
More than one person noticed that Sorkin seemed nervous, and it ended up showing as the press conference went on. The 30 minute session started with Sorkin establishing, in case anyone was wondering, that he is not Will McAvoy, and Will McAvoy is not him. "I want to make a clear distinction between me and characters on the show," he said. He adressed some of the show's negative reviews, basically acknowledging that they exist, and then moving on. He did explain that they finished the first season before the show debuted so there was nothing they could do. He said those reports about the writing staff being fired were completely false, and denied ever dating Corinne Kingsbury. They did promote two assistants, and they're hiring consultants from print, radio, and television for next season that won't skew left or right, apparently.
Sorkin spent most of his time accounting for the weak females on the show, especially Emily Mortimer's MacKenzie. Someone asked him about writing weak female characters, to which he responded, "I 100% disagree." Sorkin apparently gave a heartfelt defense of Emily Mortimer's MacKenzie that was too long for Twitter, but apparently he really loves the character. We want to love her, too! Just fix her, except not the way Will fixes people. Fix her with writing. Sorkin said characters could "slip on as many banana peels as you want. That's just comedy," because if Studio 60 wasn't proof positive he doesn't have a funny bone in his body, there you go. He also defended that awful scene where MacKenzie emailed the entire ACN staff because he's done it before, too. If you take anything away from this it's that Aaron Sorkin doesn't know how to email. He spent a long time
apologizing for defending MacKenzie's apologizing.
Unfortunately, they were only booked for 30 minutes so it couldn't get too out of hand. And Jeff Daniels was there! When a reporter finally asked him a question he paired it with, "I know you fell asleep." He also spoke on his relationship with critics, which is non existant. "I completely understand what you do. I really do. But you don't do it for me. It took me a long time to stop reading you," he said. "There is nothing you can tell me, I'm sorry to say, that will help me." Daniels realized what he said, and that TCA stands for Television Critics Association, and asked, ""Did I just offend ALL of them? I did, I did..." Everyone laughed. Jeff Daniels can win a room by being self-deprecating, a lesson no one ever taught Aaron Sorkin.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.