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'Sorkinisms' reveals Aaron Sorkin's penchant for recycled dialogue

June 26, 2012|By Patrick Kevin Day

If you haven't seen Aaron Sorkin repeating himself, then you haven't seen Shakespeare the way it was meant to be done.

Sorkin's new series, "The Newsroom,"premiered on HBO on Sunday to good ratings and rotten reviews. And though he's been on a career high for a year now (he finally won an Oscar to go alongside his Emmys last year), even longtime fans may be cooling on the prolific writer's way with words.

Best example? The current viral hit "Sorkinisms," which has been working its away around the Internet since Monday. Sorkin fan Kevin T. Porter claims the "supercut" isn't intended as a critique but as a "playful excursion through Sorkin's wonderful world of words." But video evidence is pretty damning: It's painfully apparent that Sorkin has been cribbing from his own work (and bizarrely, Tom Hanks' 1993 Oscar acceptance speech) for some time.

While certain themes and characters and dialogue patterns have long been noted and accepted as part of the Sorkin style, it seems he also likes to repeat favorite quotes, anecdotes and phrases from project to project.

"I hate your breathing guts," "look at my face" and "I'm really quite something" are just a few of the phrases that have popped up again and again through "Sports Night," "The West Wing," "A Few Good Men," "The Social Network" and "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip," to name just a few Sorkin works.

A link to the video, which Porter says he's been working on for two years off and on, was retweeted by "Sports Night" star Josh Charles on Monday, who said it was "creepy."

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