Farnsworth is 'Clumsy,' 'Shallow'

Critics are unimpressed by Sorkin's historical play
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 4, 2007 1:10 PM CST
Aaron Sorkin, creator of "The West Wing" and writer of "The Farnsworth Invention"   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – “West Wing” creator Aaron Sorkin’s play The Farnsworth Invention, starring "Simpsons" stalwart Hank Azaria and Jimmi Simpson as rival television pioneers, opened last night to mixed reviews. The New York Post’s Clive Barnes finds it better suited to the screen and criticizes the business of the play, which “often has the air of a clumsy stage adaption of Citizen Kane.”

Ben Brantley of the New York Times says the fact-laden play has the feel of “an animated Wikipedia entry” filled with “information- and emotion-bites” that lack dramatic depth. Chris Jones of the Chicago Tribune agrees, saying, “It feels like the writer is worried the audience might change the channel.”