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A Sorkin-related question, mostly for the ladies

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by HejiraHenry, Feb 7, 2007.

  1. HejiraHenry

    HejiraHenry Well-Known Member

    I was thinking about West Wing and Studio 60 today and I was a little troubled by something.

    Near the end of the WW's run, C.J. is torn about what to do – return to the White House or go to work for the billionaire.

    In the end, it took nudging from her reporter manfriend (Danny, was it?) to help her decide what to do.

    In Studio 60, the female head of the network really isn't projecting a very professional image, topped off by getting pregnant in a one-night stand and then, against all logic, getting romantically involved with one of her employees. The recovering drug addict, no less.

    I'm not even going near Harriet. The real-life lesbian playing the gay-conflicted Christian makes my brain hurt.

    Maybe there's a third example of something along this same line from SportsNight. I forget, and I never really watched it that carefully.

    Anybody wonder if Aaron Sorkin can really write the strong, self-sufficient female character?
  2. Duane Postum

    Duane Postum Member

    I don't wonder. He can't.
  3. Just_An_SID

    Just_An_SID Active Member

    All of Sorkin's characters -- male and female -- have the illusion of being self-sufficient but all desperately need something or have a major flaw. Jed Bartlett may be the strongest character that Sorkin had in any show yet he had M.S.
  4. Freelance Hack

    Freelance Hack Active Member

    All of the SportsNight characters had flaws or vulnerabilities. Even Isaac, who I'd argue was a stronger character than Bartlet, suffered a stroke.
  5. Cadet

    Cadet Guest

    SportsNight had Dana kicking ass 80% of the time, and completely losing her mind over Casey the other 20%. It was kind of pathetic to watch.

    But all the guys did have vulnerabilities... theirs just weren't completely hinged on the opposite sex.
  6. Lugnuts

    Lugnuts Well-Known Member

    CJ was a strong female character.

    When I'm making a career decision, the first person whose opinion I ask is Mr. Lugs.

    When you make a major life decision, who's the first person you turn to?

    It doesn't make you weak or insufficient.
  7. zeke12

    zeke12 Guest

    Henry --

    Sorkin doesn't write any strong, self-sufficient characters.

    Which is OK, since his drama generally comes from human frailty rather than deus ex machina.
  8. RedCanuck

    RedCanuck Active Member

    In Sports Night, I thought Dana's sidekick Natalie was a fairly strong female character. Am I missing something there?
  9. alleyallen

    alleyallen Guest

    This is an interesting question you pose...

    I never really saw Sports Night so I can't speak to that, but it seems all characters of Sorkin tend to be needy and even a bit vulnerable, despite how strong and self-sufficient they might otherwise bit. However, among the females, Abby on West Wing was one of the strongest female characters I've known. Strong in spirit, conviction and determination.
  10. zeke12

    zeke12 Guest

    She had her weak moments, too.

    After she lost her medical license, and right after the daughter got kidnapped are two that spring immediately to mind.

    As I said, Sorkin revels in people's insecurities and strengths. It's a way to humanize characters.

    Nothing more, IMHO.
  11. Double Down

    Double Down Well-Known Member

    In search of smart, confident, Sorkin-penned females, I would offer up Amy Gardner (Mary Louise Parker) as exhibit A. She always knew what she wanted, professionally and personally, and went after it. Personally, I always felt like Amy should have ended up with Josh, not Donna. I never once bought into the whole Josh-Donna thing.

    However, the lovely, smart and confident Lugnuts pointed out something to me in a previous WW thread that poked a few holes in my Amy Gardner balloon. Donna, with all her insecurities, was the far more realistic character. Lugs said something to the effect of, I like Donna because I see some of myself in her. For all my confidence, ambition and conviction, I still have moments of self doubt. That's reality.

    Amy Gardner was a fantasy. She always looked hot, always knew it, and she spoke with sass and boldness and never once backed down anyone, especially a man. She didn't need Josh to fulfill her as a person, and was as whip-smart as any of the boys, if not smarter.

    But in the end -- maybe because Billy Crudup got Mary Louise Parker preggers in real life, then left her for Claire Danes, forcing Parker to be mostly written out of the show -- Josh ended up with Donna, not Amy. I don't know if that says anything about Sorkin, Thomas Schalame or John Wells, but Amy definitely fits the bill of your original question of whether he can write a strong, self-sufficient character with two X chromosomes.
  12. Killick

    Killick Well-Known Member

    So where does Demi Moore's character in 'A Few Good Men' fall into this spectrum? That's a Sorkin product, too. Outranks Danny, seems self-sufficient, but spends the latter half of the film demuring to Tom Cruise's character. Sydney (Annette Benning) in 'The American President' seems to fit the self-sufficient mold. Strong, smart. Interesting conversation. Kudos, HH.
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