The Sports Night Seder


Aaron Sorkin has, arguably, defined the cadence and tone of television and film more than any other screenwriter working today. From The West Wing to 2010’s Oscar-magnet The Social Network, Sorkin writes stories that are smart, funny, and often, unapologetically Jewish— perhaps none more so than in the second season of Sports Night.

Officially titled “April Is The Cruelest Month,” Season 2 Episode 19 is much more likely to be known to Sorkin-philes as “The Seder One.” Introducing the final story-arc before Sports Night was taken off the air, the episode uses character Jeremy’s efforts to pull together a workplace seder as a framework to resolve a number of office feuds.

Jeremy’s seder is not exactly traditional. It features Pharaoh, Pharaoh’s assistant Maggie, and Pharaoh’s executioners (even though Pharaoh wasn’t executed). But somehow it works, ultimately inspiring the characters on Sports Night to tell a story about freedom even as they worry about the future of their jobs. It’s not quite  The Ten Commandments but it’s a beautiful demonstration of the unique flavor of Judaism that Sorkin brings to the screen.


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