Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Who are you thankful for?

The L.A.M.Blog-a-Thon this month is celebrating the people in entertainment that we are thankful exist and practice their craft. "The catch is, it can't be a director or actor. Those cats just get too much love already, don't you think? With these posts you can focus on anyone working in the film industry from any time period from any country that isn't a director or actor. It is okay, though, if the person has done both directing and acting, so long as your post acknowledges their exceptional work in another part of the filmmaking process." While my choice already gets a lot of love, I am yet again thankful for his work. Aaron Sorkin. Writer.

I like nearly everything Aaron Sorkin has had come to the screen. And by nearly everything I'm including everything I've seen, and the nearly encompasses the stuff I haven't seen. I loved "The West Wing", which continued to be good even after he left thanks to the genius that was the set of characters he created. Even more relevent to the past week was the final season of "The West Wing" when a minority Democrat candidate wins the White House. The NYTimes had a terrific article describing how prescient it was (though Sorkin didn't write it, he did get a cameo in the final episode). "Sports Night" was fun, sassy, and just never found its audience. There are elements of both of these shows in "Studio 60", which never found its footing, but has achieved some of the same brilliant moments of its predecessors. I like the fact that Sorkin picks all kinds of small elements of society and brings them into prominence on his shows. He gave President Bartlett M.S. and educated a whole viewership about it, if only on a superficial level. He always seems to present situations where people matter more than the politics of the action - e.g. it's significant that Tom Jeter was speeding because he wanted to see his brother before he deployed to the Mid-East and not just that he's a celebrity getting out of a ticket, or Toby saving the astronauts by exposing a military asset. Sorkin makes it clear what matters and that things are rarely as simple as they seem at first. He makes us think about why we believe what we believe, and I admire that about his writing.

The feature films he wrote include A Few Good Men, The American President, and Charlie Wilson's War. Here's my favorite speech The American President:

Anyway, I am Thankful for Aaron Sorkin and everything he's brought to television and film.

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