Okay, I gave it one more try last night. I disliked it even more. I know there are readers who like the show, so I will try not to be overly dismissive, merely appropriately dismissive. I don’t have much to add (to this or particularly this) but I really don’t understand how fair-minded people can’t see this is all just Sorkin’s gripe against the world. The relationships are based on his relationships. The drug history stuff is his drug history. His contempt for the tabloid media is about him (are we really supposed to believe that an 8 year old DUI for a network president would become a media-scandal sensation?). And all the little riffs about how drunk driving is worse than coke, the stupidity of photo captions, the meanness and lowbrowness of the viewing public; these are all his attempts to get even by showing how smart he is and how he doesn’t care what people think even as he dedicates an entire show to how much he does.
This would all be forgivable if the show was funny. But it isn’t. Because the characters are written for the most part to represent his personality, some 90% of the cast and crew members of a supposedly hilarious comedy show aren’t funny. The headwriter is almost never funny. The executive producer is almost never funny. The skits are in general are putrid political polemics which do not in the slightest feel “edgy.” No one on the staff seems to be having a good time. Everyone’s freaking out about weighty issues and balance and patriotism and the religious right, blah, blah, blah. Are these people producing a skit comedy show or a Bill Moyers special?
Like I said about Air America and Commander-in-Chief: The show is doomed.