The Newsroom – Season Review

Posted: August 27, 2012 in Television



Alright, still here?  Good.

Why does the one aspect of Aaron Sorkin’s The Newsroom that drives me crazy also get the most well written dialogue that we’ve seen on the show to date?  Of course I’m talking about Jim and Maggie’s conversation’s, oh yea – I’m also talking about Don and Sloan’s convo’s.  Oh and then there’s Will and MacKenzie’s little bits of wordsmithing to add on top too.  The one area of this brilliant show that also makes it its weakest is that Sorkin doesn’t know when to wrap relationship drama up.  We’ve been through an entire 10 episode season where we’ve made minimal progress in the personal lives of all the aforementioned characters.  Frankly, it’s quite depressing and I can see why Will was hospitalized taking all those anti-depressants.  Shit is depressing.  Why couldn’t have Sorkin allowed Maggie to get with Jim, Sloan with Don, and Mac with Will?  If he’s saving their relationship rebounds for the second season I’ll groan and watch with gritted teeth.  Why couldn’t we have learned who Will’s online-stalker is?  I want to see more of Terry Crews, give him more lines!  More of the psych doctor and his convo’s with Will.  I know the show is called The Newsroom – and Sorkin does a tremendous job with making the viewer care again about past events – we’ve gotten enough of that.  For season 2 let’s move on and make the newscast scenes a bit of background noise.  I want to see more investigative journalism that goes on.  You really can’t convince me that all of these ACN News Night employees get these great scoops by talking on phones at their desks 30 minutes before show time.  Give me more human!

HOWEVER!  Sorkin does a masterful job with blending the personal moments and the newsroom moments in a way that makes you care about what is going on in these people’s lives outside of the office.  Even though you don’t really want to care and you think Don is a jerk and that Maggie is a flake…Sorkin makes you care that Maggie is a flake.  It’s just what he does.  Get over it.  I have.  I’ve struggled mightily at times with how good this show actually is and how good it can be.  You see, I grew up with The West Wing but at the time I didn’t give two shits.  It was political garbage to me and my parents loved it, so naturally I hated it.  I’ll admit that I have not watched one minute of The West Wing but I hear it’s rather good, I’ve also heard that the show’s weakest moments were some of the same tribulations Sorkin is running into with The Newsroom – how to blend personal and professional while also conveying a message (no matter how far left…way left…that message may be).

The season finale that aired last night did a wonderful job of wrapping up some loose ends and creating all new dilemma’s for Sorkin to introduce in season 2.  Will’s crusade to be King Arthur in the newsroom’s Camelot came to a head last night as he was finally able to confront his demons and move past his past.  Cliche as that might sound that’s exactly what it is.  While I would have liked to have seen more human conversations between MacKenzie and Will, I’ll settle for their brief moment of clarity in Will’s office where you think they’re going to kiss but Will yells “FUCK” instead.

All in all, HBO gives Sorkin more of a platform he can use to get his political agenda across while creating some of the best television we’ve seen since his West Wing days.  He can only go up for season 2 and that’s just fine by me.


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