Say what you will about Sorkin, but he knows how to manipulate people’s feelings. Wait, that’s probably one of the things you’ll say about him, isn’t it?
No matter. Despite a slow start and cop-out ending, The Newsroom did exactly what a Sorkin show always does to me: makes my heart long for the type of relationships his characters have. You know, the unconditional love (even after years, even after doing horrible things to each other, even after not being compatible in any way, really, except for that it’s written into the script that you’re supposed to be together) type.
But as I was contemplating these relationships after watching the last episode yesterday, I realized I already do have that type of relationship.
I don’t have a ton of friends; I never have and I’m willing to bet I never will. But the ones I do have are the ones I know I can count on, forever, in the true sense of the word–way past the series finale. And that’s in addition to my family, which, though I definitely take them for granted often (possibly always), is something I understand I’m pretty lucky to have. Not everyone gets biologically connected to people who will never abandon them.
So what if I may not have the romantic variety of unconditional love at the moment? I might never have it. If Sorkin’s shows are at all based on reality–an idea that’s questionable at best–I would have already had to have met the guy I’m supposed to be with years ago, and these years right now would be the ones I spend pointlessly with other people when clearly I’m supposed to be with that guy. But even if that’s the case, then I suppose there are worse fates. Being stuck in a script loving a whiny, pompous jerk (in the case of Maggie) or a self-centered, righteous ditz (in the case of Jim) would definitely be worse.
And anyway, the other thing Sorkin has taught me–despite my best effort to not be swayed by his obvious plot devices–is that it’s never too late. Until you die, of course. But by then, according to The Newsroom, you’ve built up enough of a network of people who love you unconditionally that even your funeral isn’t so sad.