With the final episode of The Newsroom last night, Aaron Sorkin’s high-and-mighty take on cable news has come to a merciful conclusion. What now for the Sports Night, West Wing and Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip scribe, the last man in America who can say "prestige" and "network television" in the same sentence without getting laughed at? Maxim proposes four potential projects that would allow Sorkin to keep it current while doing what he does best, bemoaning the end of decency while telling pedestrian (literally, not figuratively) morality tales.
"Rootin’ for Rudin"
Sorkin travels back to the world of show business, following recent Vassar graduate Mary-Anne Kilpatrick as she attempts to make a career for herself in Hollywood while serving as personal assistant to the mercurial producer Scott Rudin (played by Paul Giamatti). After the outgoing assistant explains that Rudin dismissed her by throwing her out of a moving car (this part is actually true), Mary-Anne begins to melt the heart of the megalomaniac while also learning that you can't make a critically panned omelet without cracking some eggs. At the end of the first episode, Mary-Anne fires her would-be replacement and, while clinging to a speeding Escalade, tells Rudin that she’s here to stay.
With Uber causing taxi medallion prices to crash in New York City, The Medallion follows a plucky group of cab drivers stuck between the old world and the new one, where not adapting means losing your cab. Set in western Queens, The Medallion focuses on night-shift worker Brett, a young driver addicted to his smartphone, and Sanjay, the medallion owner who would really like Brett to keep his eyes on the road and stop hitting people. Featuring a headline-making Pilot episode cameo from Bradley Cooper as a thinly veiled caricature of Uber CEO Travis Kalanick.
What happens to a magazine when your demographic grows up and finds out about the Internet? In his ode to the print era, Sorkin breaks down the world of men’s magazines as a title that dominated the nineties struggles to forge a new identity without stooping to the level of the Internet gossip outlets Sorkin so despises. Will the magazine be able to pivot in time to save itself and remind the world of the importance of finer things or will it find itself in the dustbin of history, along with National Geographic Adventure, Giant, Vibe, Best Life, Vibe, Men's Vogue, Spy, Sporting News, Trump, Arena, and Stuff?
"Stay These Couriers"
A lonely post office in Billings, Montana might not seem to be the scene of any considerable amount of drama, but in Sorkin’s daring vision the very fate of the union rests on the fair and speedy delivery of parcels. Starring Sam Shepherd as a postmaster resistant to change and Justin Long as the pencil-pusher sent by Washington to cut costs, this odd-couple story presents a classic Sorkin-style twist: The postmaster, a dyed in the wool Republican, opposes the end of the postal service while Long, a knee-jerk liberal, is eliminating government spending one employee at a time. Long-winded pontification ensues.
Hopefully Sorkin finds something soon. If he doesn't have a show on television, comedians will have to find something new to mock (Amy Schumer’s take being the absolute best).
Photos by HBO