Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Newsroom: Cast to Sorkin Archetype Translation

Will McAvoy (Anchor) = Casey McCall (SN) + Matt Albie (S60) + Toby Ziegler (WW)

Mackenzie MacHale (EP) = Dana Whitaker (SN) + C.J. Cregg (WW) + Jordan McDeere (S60)

Jim Harper (assistant producer) = Jeremy Goodwin (SN) + Tom Jeter (S60)

Maggie Jordan (assistant producer / Will's Assistant) = Suzanne (S60) + Natalie Hurley (SN)

Charlie Skinner (President of ACN) = Isaac Jaffee (SN) + Leo McGarry (WW)

Let's discuss this before I photoshop something together.


_J_ said...

Strangest thing so far?

No Bradley Whitford character.

_J_ said...

Other strange thing: It's more like Sports Night than any other show, both in terms of its structure and in terms of the character achetypes.

_J_ said...

One vote for Maggie Jordan as Charlie Young.

Mike Lewis said...

Maggie had not said a word and sarah said "She is this show's Dule Hill.

Also: The show is pretty great.

MA17 said...

In case it's new and relevant: Sorkinisms Supercut

Roscoe said...

I am highly prepared to argue with all of this. But I need to go find food.

Roscoe said...

Maggie as Charlie? Not at all.

As Dule? Maybe. But Big Eyes alone do not Dule make.

Roscoe said...

I kinda love that supercut. It's like crack concentrate. And hearing it rapid-fire repeated, I don't even need a person to throw quotes back and forth with!

Roscoe said...


_J_ said...

8th time watching this episode.

It's definately better than Studio 60.

I'm trying to figure out how to explain it in terms of West Wing and Sports Night.

I'm worried that we won't have as many strong characters as West Wing. The first episode relies heavily upon the Anchor and the President of the network. The new EP is good, but in a CJ / brunette from Studio 60 kind of way.

Here's a way to say it: I don't see any characters who could do a 20 Hours in America thing. I think the Senior Producer guy is a good mid-level character, but I don't see any Josh/Toby relationships that can sustain episodes on their own.

Granted, this is the pilot and it focuses heavily upon the main cast (Anchor, President, EP). And we haven't seen Olivia yet.

I'm curious as to what they'll do with Slumdog. I could see him and the Senior Producer being buddies. Not in a Josh/Toby relationship, but more in a Will/Charlie relationship. Imagine this dialog:

Senior Producer: "So why are you giving me relationship help?"

Slumdog: "'Cause I'm the only one in this conversation who didn't get a 'Dear John" email from his ex-girlfriend's boyfriend."

Totally that relationship.

_J_ said...

"Maggie as Charlie? Not at all."

Thank you for restoring sanity to this conversation.

Note: This is one of the three times in our lives that Roscoe will be the one to introduce sanity into a conversation.

Let's start with an explanation of the role of Charlie Young. He's the President's bodyman, which makes him a mundane window through which we get access to power. He manifests the father/son relationship that gives us conversations such as, "They're trying to take our map, Charlie!" Charlie lets us see a side of the president we wouldn't otherwise see. He's a modification character, in that he shifts our view of the president.

Second, we get Charlie as he interacts with the senior staff and other characters. Since he spends most of his time with the president, his interactions with senior staff are familiar, yet somewhat aloof. He can appear in a conversation just to deliver a joke, or act as a momentary straight man, and then he's off to be with the president again. He's not entrenched in the same world as Toby / Josh / Sam / CJ, and yet understands it. When Sam is writing a draft of a speech, he seeks out Charlie to proofread it. That action portrays one character, Sam, leaving his familiar context to interact with Charlie. It's not exactly escapism, so much as it's a bridge between different power dynamic cliques within the show.

Third, Charlie has the relationship with Zoey. That's a way to add depth to the father/son relationship, without the incest tones, of course. Conversations such as the "I want to kill him, too" exchange between Charlie and Bartlett allow us access to another side of the President.

Charlie isn't a stand-alone character. He modifies the president, and provides a sort of externality to some of the Toby / Josh / Sam / CJ conversations.

Pretty sure Maggie isn't that. I think Maggie is the Suzanne character, insofar as she is there to provide momentary back-and-forth joke dialogs with a main character. She also has a bit of the Natalie character, which is displayed in the conversation she has with Mackenzie about lying to her dad and her relationship. She's the young woman who stumbles into a position of power and has to navigate her way through a man's world. It's not an accident that the character is:
1) Female
2) Promoted twice in the first episode. (Accidental promotion to assistant, then promoted to assistant producer)

Moreover, she's one of the first characters we meet in the Newsroom. That makes her the character with which the audience sympathizes. She's us, stumbling into the situation and swept away with the established relationships that already exist between Charlie Skinner, Will, and Mackenzie.

You also see that in the "I gave too much information" exchange. She doesn't know the rules of the Newsroom, just like the audience.

_J_ said...

Yeah, the "I hate lying to my father" conversation between Maggie and Mackenzie.

That's not a Charlie Young conversation. That's a way for the audience to get to know Mackenzie.

Add to that Maggie's, "you put that all together really fast" reaction of disbelief to Mackenzie's ability to observe a situation?

Maggie is the audience, getting to know the main characters.

_J_ said...

Also, in my earlier post, the juxtaposition of '20 Hours in America' with the mention of the Senior Producer guy, Jim Harper, was a hint.

_J_ said...

Also Also Also on that "Maggie is Dule Hill" bullshit?

Dule Hill would never yell, "WE ARE SEX BOB-OMB!!!"



Roscoe said...

Oh holy shit.. wait.. She's KIM PINE?!

Oh, oh, yes. Yes. My drifting continuities just got that much more fun.

Gus might TOTALLY yell that. But Charlie wouldn't. Dule's a wild card.

.... Oddly? All three own the "You know that right" line.

_J_ said...

"Oh holy shit.. wait.. She's KIM PINE?!"

It took me a while to recognize her.

But, yeah, she are SEX BOB-OMB!

Roscoe said...

Shades of a damnable gum commercial, but.. I wish I are SEX BOB-OMB!.

...and If I had access to font sizing controls, that would totally be in something like 8 pt. font. to be all quiet and sad.