"The Next Truthful Moment"
Rose asks Sorkin what he's trying to do, other than entertain people and achieve record viewership. Sorkin says, "If they tune in at nine o'clock, at ten o'clock, we want them to be happy that they did." He approaches the show with the idea that the people who watch television shows are at least as smart as the people who make television shows, adding, "Nobody out there is dumber than we are." Personally, I wouldn't go quite that far, but whatever. He thinks that people like to make the effort to keep up with what they're watching onscreen and feel excited about it. Whitford interjects to say, "Hollywood is full of really bright people who are writing something they think they can sell. And that's like me telling you a joke that I personally don't think is funny. It's a cynical exercise." He states this with just the right mixture of authority and contempt. He continues, "What you have with Aaron and what you have with David Chase on The Sopranos, is really bright, interesting writers who are clearly trying to amuse themselves." Brad has a little more to say in this vein, but Charlie Rose is ready to interrupt and Sheen, who's seated next to Whitford, has a bit of a coughing fit, all of which kind of takes a bit of the steam away from Whitford. Which is too bad, because I would have been interested to hear what more he had to say about it. He obviously has very strong opinions about the quality of television writing and is not afraid to express them.
Personally, I'm not too happy that I'm already on page four here and have yet to hear a peep from Janney.
There's a bit of everybody trying to talk at once, with Schiff losing out to Sorkin. Sorkin apologizes but continues as Schiff laughs in exactly that way we've seen Toby laugh a couple of times; the laughter strikes me as a blend of indulgence and annoyance. Sorkin says, "If I write what I like and what I think my friends will like and what I think...to an extent, what I think my family will like; in other words, because if it's just writing what I like, then I'm very scared...but if I write something...frankly, these days it's these people [gesturing to cast]...if I write something that I like and I think that Richard would like this, too, and Allison would like this, too, then I just cross my fingers and hope enough other people will like it, too, that I can earn a living doing it." Rose remarks that he assumes the writing must be easier now that the actors have fleshed out the characters so well. Sorkin agrees: "It's much easier knowing that I'm writing for Allison playing C.J. You want to be careful when you're doing that, though, not to think you know what it is that Allison Janney can do, that you've explored her entire range of acting. You constantly want to be..."