It might have been a mistake at the time, I’m not sure, but I regret nothing. I saw again the first episode of The Newsroom by Aaron Sorkin because I was remembering that amazing opening monologue during the pilot and I felt that this was an episode that I wanted to show my class.
So I watched it again just to be able to review it so I can break down why it’s a good pilot. I could talk about writing and craft and the elements of a good television show when I show it to my class.
I’ve been watching the whole series again afterwards. I was crying every other episode and I was getting overwhelmed by the optimism, the idealism, and the struggles the characters had in being moral and ethical and dedicated in their quest to do their job, which was to inform the public of the facts, no matter how difficult these facts maybe to take.
Despite having been produced and written almost six years ago, every moral debate the show tackled whether it was about politics, the role of media in society, decency, and respect rings so true until now.
I knew I had to show it in class.
But I kept on watching, every episode, of every season and I just finished. And I’m crying as I write this but I am so happy to have seen it.
I don’t know if it has “cured” me of my writer’s block or if it has affected me at all with all the posts that came before this about how pessimistic I’ve been about the world’s future. I don’t know if I’ve managed to find the fight in me again but I am feeling much, much more encouraged to not lose myself.
It made me proud to be a writer and a filmmaker and a teacher. Watching the show made me proud about being articulate and unsatisfied with the easy answers. Going through three seasons of The Newsroom made me believe that the fight is still worth fighting for and that we all have our part to play.
And maybe I’m not yet ready to get back in the game and fight but I know for a fact that, because I watched this show again, that I will get back in that ring and fight. I’m not yet down and I’m far from being out.
Six years later and, you know what, of the approximately forty students I showed it too, only two knew of the show and only one of them had seen it. But they all thought it was good and that it was important and several of them asked me about the show because they planned on watching it too.
Six years since airing and it still carries a punch and it is still so good and it is still so important and relevant. More so, now, more than ever.
And I still aspire to that. I still want that for myself, to be able to write something that can inspire someone else like this show just inspired me again.
I’m writing again and I’m happy with my work again and I haven’t been in a long time. I’m not yet back to where I was in 2012 but I’m much farther than I’ve been since 2016 and all of late last year.
And that’s better than nothing.