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Is No 'Newsroom' Good News?

Superstar writer Aaron Sorkin's new HBO series is backfiring with critics and this viewer.

Sometimes, it's the small pleasures in life that stimulate our sinew, our senses, and our sense of anticipation. Take me (or leave me, an acquired taste). When HBO's Boardwalk Empire was being tantalizingly touted in promos by the pay-TV channel, and having been, like so many others, enamored of The Sopranos, I persuaded my in-house controller to spring for re-subscribing to the channel.

Used to be I also liked having HBO for its marquee boxing matchups, but the sweet science has long since faded into a lost artifice of fisticuffs between obscure pugilists about whom nobody cares. With Ali and Tyson gone from the squared circle, today's contenders are known more for mistakes than mystiques.

Another small pleasure, when I'm at the gym is, like so many others, distracting myself from the "No pain, no gain" workout ethic by plugging buds in my ears. Every so often, I'll tire of listening to my collection on iTunes and tune in to podcasts. This morning, I listened to an NPR Fresh Air interview by Terry Gross with Jeff Daniels, star of Aaron Sorkin's new HBO series Newsroom. Daniels not only is a very fine actor, but also a good interview. He even dispensed some nuggets about emoting that rank amateurs like me can hang onto for dear life to not thoroughly embarrass ourselves on community theater stages.

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