ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Weston Ochse is a former intelligence officer and special operations soldier who has engaged enemy combatants, terrorists, narco smugglers, and human traffickers. His personal war stories include performing humanitarian operations over Bangladesh, being deployed to Afghanistan, and a near miss being cannibalized in Papua New Guinea. His fiction and non-fiction has been praised by USA Today, The Atlantic, The New York Post, The Financial Times of London, and Publishers Weekly. The American Library Association labeled him one of the Major Horror Authors of the 21st Century. His work has also won the Bram Stoker Award, been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, and won multiple New Mexico-Arizona Book Awards. A writer of more than 26 books in multiple genres, his military supernatural series SEAL Team 666 has been optioned to be a movie starring Dwayne Johnson. His military sci fi series, which starts with Grunt Life, has been praised for its PTSD-positive depiction of soldiers at peace and at war. Weston likes to be called a chaotic good paladin and challenges anyone to disagree. After all, no one can really stand a goody two-shoes lawful good character. They can be so annoying. It's so much more fun to be chaotic, even when you're striving to save the world. You can argue with him about this and other things online at Living Dangerously or on Facebook at Badasswriter. All content of this blog is copywrited by Weston Ochse.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Vote Aaron Sorkin for Class President

Aaron Sorkin has returned to television.

Thank the gods of verticle hold!

From An American President to A Few Good Men, his screenplays have been brilliant. But I think television is where h's best. I was enraptured with Studio 60 when it came out. Although short lived, the dialogue was what every writer strives to attain, at once humanistic, relevant, quick, and real. Just damn amazing. Of course a lot of the magic is made possible because of casting and with Matthew Perry, Amanda Peet, Bradley Whitford, Steven Weber, D.L. Hughley and Timothy Busfield, we had a group of actors with the chops to deliver Sorkin's words.

But Studio 60 was short lived. 22 episodes and out the door. And Damn it was good. I for one missed it terribly.

Sports Night which premiered in 1998 was also short-lived. Although the writing was just as terrific, the casting wasn't as good, nor was the decision of the network to use laugh tracks instead of a studio audience. I've always heard there's a special dynamic with an actual audience, and this was lost here.

Then there was West Wing. WW was terrificly casted and presented. At times it got a little bit too far into the political jungle, but when you have actors like Martin Sheen with his strident beliefs that's bound to happen.

But let's talk about now.

Let's talk about HBOs new series The Newsroom.

Just. Fucking. Wow.

Casting. Check.

Script. Check.

Filming. Check.

It features 'ensemble cast including Jeff Daniels as anchor Will McAvoy, who, together with his staff set out to put on a news show "in the face of corporate and commercial obstacles and their own personal entanglements."[1] Other cast members include Emily MortimerJohn Gallagher, Jr.Alison PillThomas SadoskiDev PatelOlivia Munn, and Sam Waterston.' (Wiki).

The wittiness of the dialogue keeps me smiling throughout the entire show, with the serious news articles interspersed at regular intervals. There's good drama here with not only the main players, but the new cast members as well.

Jeff Daniels, whom I've never really thought of as a leading man, is a badass anchor with more problems than the American economy.

I have to admit, the show got me with the opening of the first episode. Three people (Daniels is one of them) are answering softball questions. Daniels doesn't want to participate, then is forced to, then shocks everyone by saying America is not the greatest country in the world. In fact, don't listen to me, see it here, which btw, are all words we should take to heart and try and live by:

Episode Three began with a newscaster making a mistake.  When does that ever happen? Look at this short making of episode 3:

One thing about the series that is great is that it's not fake politics. It's not fake history. The events of The Newsroom takes place about two years in the past. In episode 4, which ended with perhaps the most powerful ten minutes of television, especially for this Arizona resident, the assassination attempt on Gabby Giffords.

Played to the tune of I Will Fix You, those minutes had me so riveted, I watched it three times.

In the epsiode 4 clip, Sorkin explains that he took the MASH template. He lets the characters do their hijinx, but when the helicopters with the wounded are inbound, everyone comes together in all seriousness.

There are people who won't like this because Daniels' character attacks the Tea Party and other things. But instead of feelings and emotions, he uses logic and fact. It's sometimes hard to disagree with what he says. I know that some of you reading this who are y friends and fans probably hate the show. And I'm sorry for that. At the very least, as a writer, I am in awe of Sorkin's ability. He's really a genius.

And I'd definitely vote him as class president.


  1. I think you mean Aaron Sorkin. Now I'd vote Alan *Alda* for Class Prez, or even Alan Arkin.

    Sorkin is a writing genius. I caught the first ep of Newsroom and dug it. One of the best episodes of television from the past ten years was a script Sorkin wrote for The West Wing, "Two Cathedrals," the season two finale. Bartlett's solilquy in the National Cathedral is so good it makes me break out in goosebumps when I watch it.

    1. btw, I remember that. Wow. Great moment.

  2. Lol! I did. I originally wrote this on my iPhone and the damned autocorrect was killing me. Lol. How I missed that though...too funny.