Admit it, you shouted with Sam Waterson. Probably a "Fuck Yeah!"
Yeah, this wasn't just the best episode so far, it was one of the best episodes of TV I've seen this year. There was so much great stuff going on, I wouldn't even know where to begin.
Admit it, you shouted with Sam Waterson. Probably a "Fuck Yeah!"
No it wasn't one of the best episodes of TV this year. Sorkin never used to ruin the end of episodes with godawful Coldplay songs.
You know, I went the whole episode hoping they wouldn't end the episode with that song, because it seemed too obvious. But by the end, I thought it worked.
I was totally off this thing last episode, but you guys seem to be dragging me back in.
How was any of that shit good? Yet again, supposed adults acting completely insane and unable to handle any kind of personal business in a professional way. Unable to hold anything resembling normal conversations as if...yes, actually this is the thing, as if all of them suffered from some kind of highly erudite form of Tourette's syndrome.
Wossiface, who up till now had seemed like one of the sane ones, unable to stop talking about fucking Bigfoot?
Then, everyone in the entire newsroom acting like Gabrielle Giffords was their favorite grade school teacher, eyes all quivery and liquid filled as the sheer strength of their defiance of the news of her death kept her alive, all with that horrible thuddingly heavyhanded Coldplay overlay?
- Natalie Morales as Dev Patel's girlfriend. Wait, no, "girlfriend is a strong word," which set up a nice gag. Hope to see more of her.
- The advancement of the Don/Maggie/Jim triangle, expanding it to a square of sorts, and Lisa saying too much. And the Rod Stewart ringtone.
- I know Sorkin has done the "we're getting outlawyered" story before, and even referenced it to an extent, but I liked it.
- Will rebuffing the gossip columnist. He doesn't care how awesome her legs are, she's an awful person and he's not fucking her. Thumbs up.
Will: I'm not putting you down, I'm saying what you do is a form of pollution that makes us dumber and meaner and is ruining civilization. I'm saying, with all possible respect, that I would have more respect for you if you were a heroin dealer.Any scene with Will and Charlie is awesome.Neal: Do you for a second?
Will: I have... all the time in the world.
Neal: Bigfoot is real.
Will: Get the hell away from me.
Will: There are a couple of factual errors in that story.
Charlie: Please let there be more than a couple.
Will: First of all, I'm a registered Republican. I only seem liberal because I believe hurricanes are caused by high barometric pressure and not gay marriage.- I thought the whole segment on how Obama was arguably the most pro-gun president in forever, mixed with actual news clips of several people claiming the opposite, was a good one. I also liked the way they portrayed Maggie feeling like she'd contributed something important.Will: I was the victim of an unwanted sexual advance! But more importantly, I was fighting the good fight.
Charlie: Why were you fighting any fight?
Will: I was trying to get her to not write the takedown piece.
Will: Why? I'll tell you why. ...Because I'm on a mission to civilize.
Charlie: How's it going so far?
Will: Progress is slow, but I'm in it for the long haul.
The scene with Kathryn Hahn was awesome.
And as someone who just doesn't get the fascination some people have with reality TV, I wanted to stand up and cheer at this:Will: I didn't take a position on guns. I took a position on lying. I came out against it.
Carrie: Well, If I'm walking the streets of Manhattan at night and a guy your size tries to rape me, this is what's going to happen. (aims unloaded gun at Will)
Will: Actually, statistics say this is what's going to happen. (pops gun out of Carrie's hand, catches it, aims it back at her)
Carrie: Is it wrong that I'm turned on by that?
- The reveal with Maggie's roommate later on, laying all sorts of groundwork for future episodes.Will: I'm not concerned about Brittany. She signed up for this. I'm concerned about the rest of us who are being turned into a bunch of old ladies with hair dryers on our heads, gorging ourselves on the staged misadventures ... it's just, god, so plainly bad.
Monica: It's called a guilty pleasure.
Will: The chocolate souffle on this menu is a guilty pleasure. The Archies singing "Sugar, Sugar" is a guilty pleasure. Human cockfighting makes us mean.
- I absolutely love that they're not making Don a complete, outright villain. "You're a fucking newsman, Don! I ever tell you different, you punch me in the face!" If you didn't love that line, this show isn't for you.
I'm not going to say there aren't things I have issue with (Sorkin still has trouble writing female characters, for starters), but this barely covers half the episode. (Like I said, I didn't even know where to start.) A lot of shows are lucky to have this many good quotes and scenes in an entire season. Absolutely ate it up.
Sluggo, who says that, to someone they just met, at a New Year Eve party? I can see saying it at like, a Media Blah Blah Symposium or on Crossfire or whatever type of show, but in this context? Will comes off like such a towering asshole, it's amazing he merely gets a drink thrown in his face and not a kick in the balls. Will wants civility? How about managing to get through a dinner date while not actively aggressively insulting a topic he's clearly aware his date is interested in (of course, to stack the deck, Sorkin has to have the date blather on endlessly about a topic it's obvious Will has no interest and disdain for). Why does does Will give a flying fuck if his date has a gun in her purse? It's lazy, Sorkin setting up straw men and then knocking them down and people reward him by calling it clever."Will: I'm not putting you down, I'm saying what you do is a form of pollution that makes us dumber and meaner and is ruining civilization. I'm saying, with all possible respect, that I would have more respect for you if you were a heroin dealer."
Sorkin's shows always have amazing casts and guest stars. And they always get various witty lines. But it's....it's just such bullshit. Not just "well, we'll heighten things to give it a sheen for TV" or "Well, it's our idealized vision of how we'd like to see things". Sorkin has people talking face to face the way internet tough guys post in web forums, and it's condescending and hypocritical and I hate good actors being wasted on characters that make no fucking sense because they don't think or react or behave like recognizable human beings (unless, again, all human beings are sociopath 8 year olds with tourettes' syndrome). I mean, what in the holy hell was Maggie doing in that Bigfoot meeting with all the sniping at Jim? Or earlier when she practically put a gun in her mouth to prevent Jim being set up with her roommate? Just completely unhinged.
I don't believe these people, even by TV standards, even by Sorkin standards. They're conveniently insultingly stupid when it suits the plot, super geniuses when it suits the plot, and emotional cripples at all times. Add the galling manipulation of the Gabby Giffords shit on top of that, after the show chastized the audience for liking sensationalistic, emotionally manipulative human pain based TV? *hands to head*
I don't disagree with most of that.
Little of what these characters say is realistic. Sorkin's totally guilty of writing stylized dialogue that has little connection with the way people talk in real life. And yep, a lot of the things the characters say and do is often ridiculous.
I don't care.
To me, it's entertainment. Why people think it has to be realistic, I don't understand. I can accept meek Walter White becoming a criminal kingpin, being a complete idiot one minute and a super genius the next, doing the craziest shit you've ever seen, because it makes for great drama. I can accept the characters in The Office or Seinfeld or Louie acting like borderline sociopaths, because it makes for great humor. And similarly, I can accept Will acting like a dope at times, because it's usually an excuse for him to deliver dialogue that funny or interesting.
I don't want to come across as a Sorkin apologist, because I could write pages on things he's done with characters in various shows that's left me scratching my head. But for me, this week's episode was loaded with great stuff.
If that was intentional, then the message of the show from Sorkin (and company) is "I'm an asshole. You're an asshole too for watching and believing anything we claim we're saying."
Why do I want to watch that?
Last edited by Hugin; 07-18-2012 at 08:18 AM.
I didn't think the show meant for the reality show criticism to be part of the Giffords scenes. I thought they were going more for a payoff to the gun control stuff they covered on the air. I assumed the Giffords/Coldplay scene was supposed to make the audience go "Yeah! That's why we need gun control! You tell'em Sorkin!"
I'm not saying that's any better, by the way.
Best episode so far, still terrible.
To me, the Giffords ending was all about one thing: the way modern news treats being first as more important than being right. They misreport presidential election results, they prematurely pronounce people dead, they fucked up the Supreme Court decision a few weeks ago, all because...OMG BEING FIRST MEANS RATINGS. It's disgusting.
So I didn't have an issue with them co-opting the Giffords shooting to get on a soapbox on that issue. An ongoing theme in the show is not letting ratings dictate how they report the news; it's hard for me to think of a better situation than the Giffords shooting to stage a showdown with upper brass on that topic.
From a broader view, I find it interesting the way the show started in early 2010 but seems to be catching up quickly. In just a few episodes, nine months has already elapsed in the show's universe. (I'm not sure that much time has elapsed yet in 4+ seasons of Breaking Bad.) I don't know if I like it or not -- I could see it being problematic -- but it's at least interesting for the time being.
I already saw this show. It was called Sports Night. He's literally setting up the same situations here that he did then, especially in making the women great at their jobs and idiots about everything else.
It's a train wreck. But since no one gets hurt in this train wreck, I don't feel bad about watching it.
I am astounded by the amount of hate this show gets, especially the last episode. Artifice does not automatically make something bad, as anyone who has ever seen a stage play would know.
Also, as someone who works in TV, a lot of the people in this show are more realistic than you would like to believe.
I liked the ringtone thing, but other than that, this episode was kinda meh. The show just isn't grabbing me, and most of the characters and cast aren't that interesting. I get the message of the show, but I don't feel that motivated to see it all play out over past events, and I will probably reach political news fatigue soon enough in the next 3.5 months.
I also haven't seen the entire run of The West Wing, so I feel like I should spend the time watching that rather than this if I want to get my Sorkin on.
I like Newsroom just fine. It has its share of flaws, loud thundering flaws in the vein of Sorkin incapable on not infantilizing the women on this show, or the showy nature of setting Will as big time hero with that cheque scene, but I still like the show.
I like the optimistic nature of the characters.
I like the dialog. Sorkin's dialog cannot be matched.
I like a idealistic approach to journalism, fantasy or otherwise.
I like Sam Waterson and that Don is not a total asshole.
I enjoyed that Jeff Daniels giving the check to rescue their stringer was not done out of the blue. He had earlier paid for the illegal alien to take a cab back and forth to work.
I love this show.
I can't believe that anybody likes this show. It's so awful that for once True Blood isn't the worst drama HBO is airing in the summer.
It gets numerous facts wrong (what Citizens United did, when the Kochs were known to be behind it, etc.), is completely sexist, features way too much awful slapstick humor, and ultimately is just boring to almost anybody who has paid even the slightest bit of attention to the news over the past few years. Who wants to watch shoddy behind-the-scenes dramatizations of events that literally just occurred, especially when they never show anybody doing any actual work? It's always "Luckily I know somebody who can hand us this story on a silver platter." Who wants to watch Sloan explain Glass-Steagall? Thanks Sorkin, I didn't pick up on that from the hundreds of articles and Frontline episodes that covered the topic in great detail.
Most tone deaf of all was ending this last episode by having a bunch of peons line up to give money to their smug multimillionaire boss. That Sorkin thinks that is moving shows just how far up his ass his head is.