Fairly meh episode this week.
Also--and this line of thinking eventually cost me several friends last May--I was sort of put off by the endless minutes of "He's dead hurrah hurrah murder is best solution!" masturbation that went on and on and on this episode.
As I think I've said before in this thread, I'm pretty damn okay with shameless liberal pandering because I am a pinko-commie nutjob who hates conservatism more than fat kids hate diets, but Jesus was that laying it on thick. Reminds me of the gleeful Facebook posts and ear-to-ear shit-eating grins of people celebrating death and war all around me. It was not a pleasant day for me.
My personal politics aside, I loved the ep other than that. Good to see Jim acting like a legitimate-ass man for a second or two here and there, everything Don did on the plane was hilarious and awesome, and I am utterly convinced I would make love to Sam Waterston playing Charlie regardless of circumstance.
Fairly meh episode this week.
To my eye, Sam Waterston seemed more spry this week than previously. Less quavery.
Though Charlie is kind of an idiot for not looking for a black guy based on the voice he heard on the phone last week.
I saw the pilot for this. Here are my reactions, in order for your convenience.
Cold Open: Hmm. Hmmmmm. Oooh! Smart, very smart! Glad someone's saying that. Inspiring.
10-is minutes in: Snappy dialogue, a little too hectically paced, but enjoyable.
20 minutes in: Magical news people with contrived reasons for claervoyance. I'm liking this less.
40 minutes in: People don't talk like this god damn it just chill the hell out I'm really annoyed! Can we get back to planet reality?
Afterwords: Okay, not horrible. Corny ending. Too self-consciously clever for its own good, but has enough good observations to be fun to watch here and there.
Does this get any better post pilot? I know we're in the home stretch for it now and I'd like to see some oppinions. Might be persuaded to buy it on DVD down the line if that's the case. I'm not an HBO subscriber so watching it week-to-week isn't an option.
The characters and the dialogue and surprisingly good acting from Olivia Munn, and (not surprisingly) sam waterson and Jeff Daniels. Keep me interested, things are a bit heavy handed but any show that tears up the Tea Party and some of the more recent terrible conservative movements makes me smile.
There's a ton of interpersonal drama and shouting that follows that, and it's all interspersed with quick-talking quick-witted dialogue and lots of hallway-walking. Sometimes the actors reach a little far (Allison Pill as Maggie) and sometimes they are absolutely perfect (Thomas Sadoski as Don, Sam Waterston as Charlie). The scene-setting, lighting, and music are all oftentimes spot-on, though some will have a bit of distaste for Sorkin's use of episode-closing modern tunes from time to time.
The show's unabashedly liberal and seems to enjoy a sort of "Daily Show and DailyKos greatest hits" list-making or joke-making from time to time; if you're a hardlining [social] conservative, you might find the endless pandering pretty obnoxious. It also expects a lot out of its viewership in terms of familiarity with current events, politics, and name-recognition, at least if you want to catch all the clever jokes and references.
Interestingly enough, Mr. Paul Ryan even managed to drop into this week's ep, although it was not a direct reference to his nomination (episode was in the can ages ago).
That is because he has been a twat for 2 years.
I am by no means any sort of conservative. But I have a hard time with smug. I guess what I'm asking is if the tone remains so fucking arch through the whole show or not. It's a fine line to walk, I know, and I should probably just shut up and watch it, but I'm curious.
Everyone on the show is powerfully liberal except the villains. Even the "conservative." Various characters range from smug to hostile to passionately idealistic. The show rarely goes out of its way to show any of them as being unreasonable.
Whoa, I just found out my friend Josh Marston directed the Bin Laden episode! I'm hoping to hook up with him for dinner or a movie soon so I can get loads of hot insider gossip from inside the Newsroom. Did Jeff Daniels ACTUALLY get stoned during the shoot? Does Olivia Munn walk around pantsless between takes? Inquiring minds!
So three nights ago I dreamt I was living in the Newsroom world. And in fact, I was apparently a stand in for Jim as I kept interacting with Maggie all throughout the dream. And I never actually saw Jim.
And then a giant monster attacked and kicked New York in the nuts. Things got a little weird after that.
"Sloan Sabbith! Do you want to be a star?"
"Me? Fuck you."
*Hugin fans himself a little*
(It's still a ridiculous sexist smug show, and man I'd never want to be in a relationship with Sorkin if he thinks this is how men and women interact. But here and there are bits I can enjoy.)
Last edited by Hugin; 08-20-2012 at 11:00 AM.
Decent episode, better than last weeks. Having Jeff Daniels hopping around the newsroom trying to get his pants on was the height of absurdity, however.
This is one of the things that to me highlights how Newsroom is ultimately not very satisfying. Sorkin has done this sort of thing before, and well (see: West Wing episode where Josh is standing with his back straight against a wall to relieve tension or something, but the only good place to do that in his office is near where a door opens to, and so he gets hit like 3 times). But here it didn't work.Originally Posted by Balasarius
There should be a drinking game for the show: every time a line gets recycled from another Sorkin show, everyone takes a shot. (Variant: the first person who can recite the quote, show and character gets to skip the shot. Or do a double. Your call.)
Overall, I give the season a B. It was wildly inconsistent, struggled with being too preachy, and it was tiring watching these women be total goofs in their personal lives, but there's still something uniquely enjoyable about watching people deliver Sorkin dialogue, and the places he's willing to go makes the show far more interesting than most TV. I'll be looking forward to next season.
I love it when a plan comes together. The blackmail was a bit cliche, but it felt good for those characters to get the redemption they deserved.
Also, Will's reaction to Mac's reveal was just perfect, and so Will.
High hopes for next season, the show kept getting better as the season went on. Here is hoping for Newsroom 2.0
Apparently the show went over well viewership wise.
HBO had already decided back in July to order a second season of “Newsroom,” before TV critics, who seem nearly unanimous in their dislike of the show, descended upon Summer TV Press Tour 2012 to tell Sorkin “how he should flesh out his characters,” as one put it.
Returning the favor, show star Jeff Daniels told the couple hundred critics in the room, “I gotta be honest with you, I completely get why you do what you do — God bless you — but you don’t do it for me, and you never have. It took me a long time as an actor to stop reading you,” adding, “there’s nothing you can tell me, I’m sorry to say, that will help me.”
Damn this show (and Sorkin) for being so intelligent and mind numbingly stupid at the same time. Every time Mackenzie or Maggie goes into a tantrum I want to kill myself.
Well, I'm not sure how intelligent I'd rate it (it's nowhere near West Wing, Sports Night, or early on Studio 60 in terms of wit/cleverness IMO), but it can certainly be mind numbingly stupid. It's like they borrowed Smallville (et al) writers to come in and do the relationship stuff. The Jim-Maggie quadrilateral couldn't have been done any worse honestly.
The scene with Sorority Girl perfectly encapsulates everything that is wrong with this show:
-"You are." What a schmaltzy, obvious, cliched way to close that arc. Was there a single person who didn't see that line coming? Also, what the shit does it mean? Good thing we have a quick faux-reportage zoom in on Daniels' face to underline the emotional impact of that completely mindless line. I understand why they made the choice to shoot Newsroom mostly handheld, but all it does is highlight the artificiality of everything. The director is constantly trying to put you right there, in the moment, but I don't really want to be in the moment with some sad self-aggrandizing smug old man who says things that make no sense.
-Jeff Daniels. The way he says that line. He actually does it pretty often on the show - he sits back, looking serene, and then leans forward and carefully enunciates some bullshit platitude with this "yes, I know I just blew your mind" look on his face. Fuck off. I understand why he doesn't like critics, they tend to point out that he is bad at acting. Serious Jeff Daniels was fun to watch in The Squid and the Whale as a novelty, but he isn't actually effective at all.
-The idea that a year ago this girl was a naive vapid bimbo but now that she wants to get on the team and be a part of the Grand Reinvention of News (which seems to consist of turning into Keith Olbermann) she is the reason that America is the greatest country in the world. Way to raise the level of debate, guys. American exceptionalism is fine with Will McAvoy as long as you frame it in a liberal way.
So, uh, I was pretty happy with that scene. "Ask me again!" I loved that, because everyone wants to have that moment, but you never get it.
Yeah, walked away from this season eminently pleased. It is schmaltzy and almost certainly evinces an extremely deep and disturbing level of innate sexism in Sorkin's mindset (in short: every person in the show is deeply flawed, but all of the women's flaws stem from stereotypical female traits leading to them dissolving into tear-ridden messes at the drop of a hat), and yeah, it's preachy as all shit, but it's damned good television and I'm pretty pleased to see it on the air and getting a renewal.
Fun thought experiment: the new season realistically doesn't need to start filming till after the November election. If the show will continue to purport to be filmed in essentially the real world, then you have to think that the next season's arc might well depend on who comes out ahead--not so much in the presidency, but far more in the Congress--in the next American election. Basically, can Sorkin have his cast crow their success over madness and bigotry in the world, or do they have to come to terms with their own abject failure (as Sloan had to in the finale)?
I'd shoot for the latter because it's better television, but that means that the Tea Party are still in office, so I'm not sure it's exactly a reasonable trade :D