That's how I felt when The Newsroom began, with the classical rolling notes of the theme song and the authoritative tone of the cast; I was taken straight back to the familiar peace that used to descend when I watched an episode of The West Wing. It was like suddenly I didn't have to be the one in charge, I could stop pretending I knew what I was doing, how I'm supposed to live my life, what it means to be a grown up, because there were people on the screen that could handle it all for me. All I had to do was sit back, relax and pick up some extra intelligence through osmosis.
I came late to the party with The West Wing, so late in fact I went straight to the complete box set; but I loved it. It didn't matter that I couldn't understand half of the storylines, that I realised how poor my knowledge of world politics was and that sometimes I felt like I only understood every fourth word. I had the sense that just by watching the show I was getting smarter, learning more about the world we live in and wishing that President Bartlet would come to the UK and sort the country out, because the world was safe when it was in his hands.
I love the fact that the characters speak at a million miles an hour - really who speaks that fast? Well maybe me when I'm hyped up during a radio interview; but I hope I'm not that bad normally. Or maybe it's just that they have to fit in such a lot of great dialogue, that they're pushed to say it all in 42 minutes (anyone that's fast-forwarded advert breaks knows how long a show really takes to watch!)
I loved the use of real world events, the insight into what goes on behind the scenes of a newsroom and it did its job well because I even thought it looked cool and maybe when I grow up I'd like to work on the news!
I can't wait to fall in love with a whole new set of characters - I may already have a mini crush on Jim Harper, cape or no cape! It's so good to see a return of smart, sassy TV that makes you think. Welcome back Aaron Sorkin!
Claire Wade is the winner of the Good Housekeeping Novel Competition and author of The Choice. She was bed bound for six years with severe ME, trapped in a body that wouldn't do what she wanted. She now writes about people who want to break free from the constraints of their lives, a subject she's deeply familiar with.
I'm an author, disability activist, winner of the Good Housekeeping First Novel Competition and The EABA for Fiction 2020 and founder of Authors with Disabilities and Chronic Illnesses (ADCI).
The Choice is available from:
Title: The Choice
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