All week I've been wringing my hands with anxiety over the Coachella Valley Arts and Music Festival, which I will be attending for the first time in my little Californian life this weekend, and all week people have been telling me to calm down: You'll have to wait in line to get in for only one hour; it's actually really freeing to not have a cell phone connection for three days; most types of skin cancer are not malignant; and so on. I was starting to relax a little, enough to actually start thinking about what bands I wanted to see instead of how best to ward off the armies of caftan-clad looky-loos devouring fistfuls of molly out of their Navajo backsatchels. My secret dream was that post-hologram Coachella would be deemed too tech-oriented for scenesters, and everyone would observe strict midnight bedtimes so they could wake up bright and early for their morning jogs before the sun started melting the BPA-free water bottles right out of people's hands. It would basically be like TED with swamp coolers.
When Aaron Sorkin won his Golden Globe last year for writing The Social Network, a few eyebrows were raised by the cause to which he tipped his hat. Acknowledging the female nominees around the ballroom, he thanked them for showing his daughters that “elite is not a bad word, it’s an aspirational one.”
Sorkin’s love affair with America’s elite continues this summer with the debut of his new show, The Newsroom. The show chronicles the veritable revolt of the elites that occurs when a brilliant but deeply troubled TV anchorman (played by Jeff Daniels) and his brilliant but deeply troubled staff decide one afternoon to stop mouthing patriotic bromides to the bovine masses and begin educating them in the real, hard, statistic-heavy truth.
Wednesday night in Hollywood, the showbiz elites who created this tribute to American elites gathered for an elite red-carpet premiere at the historic Cinerama Dome, followed by an elite gala after-party and buffet, and this reporter was on hand to watch in awe.
If Zooey Deschanel, and by extension, the Fox sitcom New Girl on which she stars, is the epitome of “Adorkable,” then the polar opposite would probably be a room of 20 moth-eaten TV reporters, turned loose in an elite club for an evening of schmoozing and chasing down all the free hors d'oeuvre they can find.
But last Thursday night worlds collided, as the show that brought the A-word to the masses invited a cadre of scribes to the Soho House in West Hollywood for a cocktail reception following a screening of the first-season finale. As Emmy season revs up, the streets and billboards of Los Angeles are filled with reminders of the wonders this year's crop of shows have bestowed. The event was a timely chance to jog the reporters' memory and appreciation of one of the most successful sitcom launches of the year.