An Oral History of Sports Night

sports night

Speaking of great Aaron Sorkin TV shows, Entertainment Weekly has a great article about Sorkin’s first show, a 30 minute short-live comedy entitled Sports Night.

Set in the high-stakes world of a live sports news program, the Aaron Sorkin-scribed dramedy followed the behind-the-scenes exploits of fictional “Sports Night” coanchors Casey (Peter Krause) and Dan (Josh Charles), their brilliant producer Dana (Felicity Huffman), harried associate producer Natalie (Sabrina Lloyd), gruff executive Isaac (Robert Guillaume), and whip-smart researcher Jeremy (Josh Malina).

The series was less about sports and more about the interactions of the characters who hosted and ran the fictional Sports Center-like show. It featured Sorkin’s trademark quick and witty dialogue, with a ton of Capra-esque optimism about the world. While it only lasted two seasons (one with a horrible laugh track), it is, in my opinion, one of the best comedies ever made. I watch both seasons at least once a year. Read the entire article. It’s great.

Serial Podcast

serial podcastI love podcasts. I listen to hours upon hours of podcasts per week. I listen to everything from The Talk Show and ATP to Nerdist and You Made it Weird. It seems I can’t get enough of them. The problem is, I’m running out of time to listen to them all. One podcast that I’ve made sure is at the top of my list is Serial.

Serial is from the same people behind This American Life. Serial tells a new non-fiction story each season. Each episode of the podcast tells the next part of the story. It is absolutely addicting.

The first season, which has spanned 5 episodes thus far, tells the story of a young man convicted of killing his ex-girlfriend. Each episode of the podcast takes you deeper and deeper into this world, introducing you to all the key players, investigations and trial testimony. As you listen to the story (and evidence, or lack thereof) unfold, you can’t help but wonder if the person convicted is the person who actually committed the crime. With each episode, your uncertainty grows. It plays like a slick serialized television drama, but the fact that this story is real makes it all the more appealing. I have no idea how this story will end. I have no idea if it has a real ending or if it will leave you hanging questioning if he really did it without any certainty. The podcast could end with the guy still in prison and no new information regarding the murder. You have to wait and see and that is what makes this podcast brilliant.

Make sure you listen. It is journalism and storytelling at its finest.

The Definitive History of The West Wing

history of the west wing

The West Wing is one of my all time favorite shows. Every 1-2 years, usually between Thanksgiving and New Years, I will re-watch the entire series. With the exception of a few episodes (OK, maybe an entire season) it is one of the most consistently good dramas in recent history. Empire Magazine put together a complete history of the show, from creation (cleverly entitled The Campaign) it its end (Leaving Office). If you are a fan of The West Wing, you really need to check it out.

Ohio State Marching Band’s Awesome TV-Themed Halftime Show

This performance was from a couple of weeks ago. If you haven’t seen it yet, watch it. It’s pretty awesome (as are all their performances). They cover everything from The Simpsons, to Dragnet to Game of Thrones. I wonder how long it takes to choreograph something like this.