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The Newsroom

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 

For discussion of the Sorkin drama, which is now almost done with its second season. a4_sad.gif

 

Charlie: "We've lost the trust of the public."

Leona: "Get it back!"

 

I'm not exactly a big Jane Fonda fan but she's been brilliant in this episode, and in the one or two episodes from season 1.

post #2 of 27
Overall, I've liked season two more than season one, and I agree that Jane Fonda scene was awesome.

I don't like any of the Operation Genoa storyline. It's tough to make the scapegoat for the biggest story arc of season two someone that we just met a few episodes ago in that Dantana guy. Kill off one of the interns if they have to, but hanging all of this on someone who has only been on the show for a few hours (and whose character was entirely one-dimensional) makes it seem rather inconsequential.

The way they brought that to an end was disappointing as well. We knew only that Dantana edited the raw footage and that (because of the lawyers) the story was ultimately going to end up being false. The thing with Mac's messed-up interview was just sprung on us (they could have at least mentioned that she was a bit skittish about it at some point), as were the thing with Charlie's source who had the fired intern son and the soldier with the TBI.

It remains weird that they very seldom criticize the Democrats. I get it the fact that they wanted to establish McAvoy as someone who tends to lean progressive on social issues and right on economic ones (as well as someone who skates above partisan bickering), but they haven't taken a single opportunity to establish the fact that he is actually a Republican. The Supreme Court decision on the Affordable Care Act was mentioned in passing during a montage last week, which would have been a perfect time to bring that up. It's certainly not hard to poke holes in the Affordable Care Act. I get that Sorkin leans liberal, but c'mon, the Democrats mess up plenty.

Some of the early-season stuff with Jim on the road was fun, but it's weird that they'll go an entire episode or two without addressing that at all. Ditto for the Maggie situation. I liked that episode where she and Gary Cooper go to Africa, but they haven't addressed that much since aside from the haircut and her general sense of unease during her interview with the lawyers.

I've liked the character stuff more in season two, but there's been less of it. Still though, they don't seem to have any grasp for technology. The bit with Maggie begging that girl to take her Sex and the City video off YouTube (or FourSquare?) completely overlooks the fact that a video with any significant fanfare would have been downloaded and re-uploaded by at least one other person.They also had Jim using FaceTime on a PC at one point. a2_wink.gif

I vote for more Dev Patel, more Olivia Munn, more Don (who has been 1000 times better in season two than season one), more Jack McCoy.

The fact that I've stuck with it this far means ... I watch too much TV?
post #3 of 27
Thread Starter 

The Jane Fonda scene was one of the first West Wing-like scenes this show has had.

 

I think that if Sorkin fans (I'm among them) step back, your assessment is closer to spot on than they'd like to say. I think us Sorkin fans tend to give him the benefit of the doubt. The things he does well are fast-paced commentary - there's always a TON of rapid, back-and-forth dialogue - and lots of sarcasm and sarcastic humor.

 

The things he doesn't do well: relationships (though he keeps bloody trying, and he needs to stop), and sometimes he decides on story arcs that span an entire season but shouldn't. Even West Wing had Josh dealing with PTSD or whatever for so long, and it robbed us of what we'd come to like about Josh (of course, we won't talk about the shittiness of West Wing after he left, because duh, he'd left).

 

I think it's fine that we have a scapegoat for this thing, so I'll disagree with you there. But what I'm missing is the real sense of betrayal, I'm missing how much it has shaken these people. The guy's fired in an elevator (that was a decent scene), but nobody else gets to react to the guy himself.

 

And really, how did NOBODY notice the shot clock? After watching it a hundred times you're not going to be staring at the general the entire time.

 

The Africa bit seems like a throw-away - as if the only point of that (and we spent an entire episode on it, and parts of others) was to show how stressed both Maggie and Jim were over their "relationship." Give me a break? Are these two people the two biggest pussies in the world? People break up all the time and still have to find a way to work together. And they weren't even dating. Are they 12, emotionally?

 

Sorkin loves to create "sticky situations" with romances - even Mackenzie and Will, Donna and Josh, etc. - but they never actually resolve. When forced to reach some sort of resolution, it's usually crap.

 

The stuff with Elliott was good but there's no way he should have pulled out of that interview. Don should be fired for that alone. It was awkward, smelled entirely of "cover your ass," and yes, Don's been much, much better this year (cue up another awkward relationship: Don and Sloane), I agree, but in no real world situation does he keep his job for pulling Elliott out. At the very least he should have realized his mistake in commercial break and gone back to the interview.

 

The Newsroom is disappointing in that sense. It may be a heavy dose of the increased fondness with which we treat memories, but Studio 60 was probably a better show. I continue to watch because I like sarcasm and fast talking. It's still television that requires a certain level of intelligence. But it's falling well short of what it should or could be.

 

P.S. I couldn't care less about the politics. They're just a means to an end. A backdrop.

 

P.P.S. That means to an end should be "character development" and we're not seeing any of it this year. We have the fake "Maggie is messed up" thing, but that's it, and it's contrived as hell.

post #4 of 27

Agree. Fonda was brilliant and breathed life into the show. It was something completely different.

 

I think they've tried to develop Sloane a bit more this year, but it's slow.


Don is better, but still, agree on the pull Elliott thing.

 

The Maggie triangle was uncomfortable again, and she seems uncomfortable.

 

On the politics, yes, the show has a Dem bias - it's Sorkin. As to ACA, I look at the gist of the Act. Y'all are too young to remember, but when they passed a Tax Reform Bill - the last big one was in the 80's - they always had a Corrections Bill to take care of all the mistakes. Now it's weird - the Pubs lets the Tax Code get more complicated, and the Dems don't try to correct the ACA (probably because it won't pass). As I said, "weird." Ya think someone has an Agenda? As in let's make it look as bad as possible and not try to correct everything we know is wrong with it. But Tax Reform? Correct It. This is an era of politicians - since the late 90's - where it's us against them, damn the truth. It was bad enough before, but now, it's unbelievably worse. I've followed politics since 1967 when I was 12.

 

Back to the show.

 

I like Newsroom - the Dantana guy smelled from the start. Anyone could catch it that this guy was sanctimonious. They should have gone to the original interview a lot sooner to discover what he did - probably before it aired. In that sense, it loses a little credibility.

post #5 of 27
Thread Starter 
One favor to ask - let's stick to the show and not politics itself, please.
post #6 of 27

To me, Will plays it a bit too close to the vest off camera.

 

As a newsman, I expect more openness from him. He has a big personality, but he keeps it close. I would have expected more from him during the Red Team interviews - something more hands on...

post #7 of 27
This is one of my favorite shows. Season 2 > Season 1 in my humble opinion. To me the Genoa story line had potential but it was a bit of a let down during that garage scene. I can normally find an irritating female character in a show that I cant stand but not this one.............yet.
post #8 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by RonTheSavage View Post

I can normally find an irritating female character in a show that I cant stand but not this one.............yet.

Maggie.
post #9 of 27

Season 2 has been miles better than Season 1, which for me it saying a lot.  The last 2 episodes have been gripping, for me.  The Jane Fonda scene was great, but felt like a huge change in tone for the show.  The entire Operation Genoa storyline has been epic for me.  

 

Last season I was much more into the characters themselves and their relationships with each other.  This season the story has me glued to the set more so than the characters.  

post #10 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post


Maggie.

 

Yeah she's walking that line, but havent crossed it just yet. She's damn close
post #11 of 27

I really like Maggie :)

post #12 of 27
I'm going to be watching season 3 of this darn show, but...:






...I'm supposed to believe that not only do Jim and Allie have exactly the same applications open in and pinned to their docks, but they both use QuickTime 7??? Also, the application they are using is clearly Skype (per the menu bar), but it's not open in the dock?

Sigh.
post #13 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jamo View Post

I'm going to be watching season 3 of this darn show, but...:

...I'm supposed to believe that not only do Jim and Allie have exactly the same applications open in and pinned to their docks, but they both use QuickTime 7??? Also, the application they are using is clearly Skype (per the menu bar), but it's not open in the dock?

Sigh.

 

DUMBASSES! :-D

post #14 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post

DUMBASSES! a3_biggrin.gif


a3_biggrin.gif
post #15 of 27

You might not know it after watching the season finale of Newsroom but HBO has renewed it for a 3rd season.  Ratings have actually increased for the show this summer.

post #16 of 27
enjoy the show, and maybe I've just been spoiled by other HBO shows, but I don't think its very well done.  For example, the interviews with the lawyers were just a cheap way to tell a story. Sorkin did this well with the facebook movie--which was interesting because it showed how different a story can be when told from the perspectives of each participant.  Those divergent versions of the truth were essential to the story, but in Newsroom its a crutch.  I also think Maggie's whole Africa experience was confusing and poorly told.  Mystery and suspense should be developed by the story, not by hiding the story from the viewers.  They alluded to the the Africa thing for weeks before actually showing it.  When we finally saw what happened, as sad as it was, it was sort of disappointing.  Then they sort of ignored Maggie and her butchered hair for a while, before finally coming back to it this week.  I think its just a cheap way to tell a story.  I won't even get into bringing a guy onto the show just to fire him--a guy you have no attachment to and who costs nothing to eliminate--rather than using one of the main characters

 

I did read that they made a concerted effort to have the characters speak in sentences rather than paragraphs this season, and its gotten better.  Its still unrealistically quippy, but that's sort of the charm of Sorkin, I think.  

 

I think the best thing the show has going for it is its theme and relevance.  Last night's debates between the republican strategist and Will over the media's bias vs. false equivalency is the most interesting message the show has.  

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by jamo View Post







 

 

What's with all the skype in the middle of a workday?  I'm relatively tech savvy, and I use skype regularly to show off my babies to out-of town family, but I don't use it when I'm at work and want to talk to my wife.  They're both in the middle of a super-hectic and important day, yet they keep finding time to skype?  And with all the apple product placement, why not just facetime on their phones?  And why does he keep sitting on the stairs? 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jamo View Post

I vote for more Dev Patel, more Olivia Munn, more Don (who has been 1000 times better in season two than season one), more Jack McCoy.
 
Agree 100%.  Sometime's Munn's character is a bit much, but her looks save her.  Don has improved dramatically and Jack is always fun.
 
 
post #17 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mvmac View Post
 

You might not know it after watching the season finale of Newsroom but HBO has renewed it for a 3rd season.  Ratings have actually increased for the show this summer.

 

I thought it was going to be at least ten episodes. Just nine the second time around? That's stupid.

 

But, that being said, I agree with everything dsc said as well. This show isn't very good. The characters - and by that I mean the actors themselves are doing all they can to save it - but Sorkin's either lost his touch or should avoid politics again or something.

 

I've said I'll take bad Sorkin over "good" anyone else most of the time, but I'm starting to re-think that. It might still be true, but it's not Sorkin's usual standard, and that's very disappointing.

post #18 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post

I thought it was going to be at least ten episodes. Just nine the second time around? That's stupid.

Apparently Sorkin asked for some pretty costly re-shoots for the beginning of the season, so HBO cut it from 10 to 9 episodes: http://www.hitfix.com/whats-alan-watching/review-the-newsroom-red-team-iii-shot-clock-violation
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