West Wing oral history

The Hollywood Reporter has an oral history of the West Wing. It is long. Long long.

AARON SORKIN: I didn’t really know anything about television beyond watching a lot of it, and my plan was to come up with an idea for a new play or movie, but my agent wanted me to meet with John Wells, and I said, “Sure.” The night before the meeting, there were some friends over at my house, and at some point [Akiva Goldsman and I] slipped downstairs to sneak a cigarette. Kivi knew about the meeting and said, “Hey, you know what would make a good series? That.” He was pointing at the poster for The American President. “But this time you’d focus on the staffers.” I told him I wasn’t going to be doing a series and that I was meeting with John to meet John — I wanted to hear stories about China Beach and ER, and I especially wanted to hear about his years as stage manager for A Chorus Line. The next day I showed up for the lunch, and John was flanked by executives from Warner Bros. and agents from CAA. John got down to business and said, “What do you want to do?” And instead of saying, “I’m sorry, there’s been a misunderstanding. I don’t have anything to pitch,” I said, “I’d like to do a series about staffers at the White House.” And John said, “We’ve got a deal.”

And here’s a long profile of Sports Night, West Wing, and a fake oral history of Studio 60.

West Wing oral history

Ben Mezrich’s Facebook Book

Boston Magazine skewers Ben Mezrich’s Facebook book, which is supposed to come out in a few weeks. The book, which was optioned as a movie that is being written by Aaron Sorkin, apparently makes a lot of things up, which makes it just like all of Mezrich’s other books. (I still haven’t figured out what the difference between Bustin Vegas and Bringing Down the House is.)

What I wish someone would write is a book about whether Mark Zuckerberg is the worst CEO ever using many of Facebook’s shortsighted and herkyjerky decisions of the last 18 months as evidence. In 10 years, it will be surprising if people don’t think about Facebook the way people think about AOL now.

Ben Mezrich’s Facebook Book

Aaron Sorkin’s Facebook Movie

By now, you’ve heard Aaron Sorkin is writing a movie about Facebook. In my mind, what happened is this: Aaron Sorkin signs up for Facebook and enters that euphoric phase where he’s connecting with all his old Sports Night friends and writing funny status messages, etc. And his reaction to this euphoric phase of Facebooking is, “Hey, I’ll write a movie.” Soon, he’ll be like, “Wait, I can’t really do anything with this, huh? And people keep comparing movie tastes with me. What’s up with that?” This probably won’t end so well. (Clearly, I said probably so that in case it does end well, I have an out.)

Aaron Sorkin’s Facebook Movie

It will shock you how much it never happened.

This never happened. It will shock you how much it never happened.

So Mad Men is pretty great, and this was my favorite quote from last week’s episode. I wanted to memorialize it on my corner of the web for Googlesterity (Google + Posterity = Googlesterity, get it?). I read somewhere about how Aaron Sorkin probably watches Mad Men every week and kicks himself. The best thing about Mad Men is that AT LEAST once an episode I’m blown away by a scene. Just like when West Wing was excellent.

It will shock you how much it never happened.