The first was that Sorkin adopts the 'flashlight' approach to writing - that is, he doesn't know what's going to be in an episode until he starts writing, and he doesn't know what will be in the next episode, or the one after that. By all accounts that's how he wrote TWW and that lead to some 'issues' with the network, but it also lead to some bloody awesome scripts.
Second, I read that he had five episodes of the show written before they went into production.
Now, because I also adopt the 'flashlight' approach to writing (and there the comparison with Sorkin ends!), I know that when I'm forced to write differently - like, for example, writing an outline first - it is death. For me, those sort of restrictions are totally suffocating. Now, I wonder if the fact that Sorkin was effectively forced to write all these episodes up front, which doesn't seem to be his natural style, has affected his writing? For example, the whole J/D thing came out of the actors' interaction in the pilot, which Sorkin picked up and ran with in subsequent episodes. He won't have been able to do this with S60 yet and I wonder if it's possible that his style has been cramped and that this has lead to some of the perceived problems in the show?
I haven't seen the preview for ep 6 yet, but several people have commented that it looked different. I wonder if this is the first episode he wrote after the show went into production, and if it is I wonder if we'll see a shift in style and content as a result?
I'm looking forward to it, either way. Whatever the 'problems' this is still the best show on TV.