HBO’s ‘The Newsroom’ Review. Some Food For Thought. [PHOTOS]

June 26th, 2012 // 5 Comments

I’m puzzled as to why I am excited about watching next week’s episode of Aaron Sorkin‘s The Newsroom after seeing the pilot but critics I respect are less than impressed.

As soon as my friend posted the trailer of the show on my Facebook wall, I was hooked. Initially, the appeal was that television auteur, Aaron Sorkin, was the creator. Next, I took notice of the casting choice and was immediately in awe. And finally, the trailer featured The Black Key‘s “Howlin For You” and although that means remotely nothing to the show, it struck a cord with me (Note* The Social Network also featured a great song choice for the trailer- Radiohead‘s “Creep” cover). That was basically my thought process. So clearly, I had high hopes going in.

After watching about a good eight minutes of the show, I found myself cheering as Jeff Daniels character, Will McAvoy, finally admitted what he really thinks about America during a panel discussion at Northwestern. He removed the bipartisan mask he had been hiding behind and I found myself applauding as he did. Granted he had to be threatened to speak his mind, but let’s be honest most have to these days. If you say anything too extreme, they call you a socialist-naturally.

Some thought that the big rant was a tad abrupt, mind you it was about 5 minutes into the pilot. But personally, that didn’t bother me at all. The purpose of a pilot is to set the tone of the show and introduce characters, so why not do so immediately? That is what was definitely happening here. Who is Will McAvoy? Well after that tirade, I have an idea.

Sorkin’s stays true to his fast pace, witty dialogue and underlying cultural statements, as far as I can tell from solely viewing the pilot. The fast pace dialogue reflects the hustle and bustle of a live news show. Most notably this occurs when the show’s characters are finally on air and have to communicate with one another from the set to the control room. The culture criticisms are also evident, rather blatantly, with the constant desire from the characters to obtain honest journalism.

When the show makes a stab at my generation, as McAvoy ever so sweetly framed it, “the. worst. generation. ever”, I found myself in the midst of debate… with myself . I acknowledged that the sorority girl’s question wasn’t too far from what a naive millennium baby might have said. Yet, it’s not like baby boomers haven’t claimed the exact same statement. The show inevitably formulated this debate in my head, which instantaneously brought forth chills. That is what the show did, it staged a conversation that needed to be brought forward. It raised societal issues, it gathered a discussion. It’s not like this has never been done on television, but nevertheless I praise it because it raises these issues well.

Despite being a mere character in an HBO series, the statement, brought forward this conversation online the night after the pilot aired with millennium baby’s both defending themselves and agreeing with McAvoy’s claim. A show that dares to make bold claims such as these, thus formulating conversations, setting forth debates worth discussing is a show worth viewing.

I admit that the time setting is a tad ironic seeing as it’s a show about news but outdated news at that. I much rather preferred if the time setting was more up to date. Despite minor flaws-the show isn’t entirely perfect but what show is- I thoroughly enjoyed it.

For those of you who haven’t seen it, I suggest you watch it ASAP and for those of you who have, feel free to comment with your own opinion. Do you agree with the critics? Or do you have a slightly different opinion?

By Amanda Gomez

  1. Awesome show in the best traditions of Murrow, Cronkite, and Rather. Only Republicans could hate it, as it seems they decided to “do it” That’s how real news used to be before the networks were bought up by the multinational Corps. who think anything the Kardashians do is newsworthy. They distract us from the fact that we are in a depression and the American dream is in the toilet for most of us. Daniels’ portrayal was magnificent, especially when goaded nto replying why he thought the USA was the best country in the world. We’ve become the Neighborhood bully and we are far down the list on everything except Military might, corruption in Government and self-esteem. The only industrialized ountry that doesn’t provide healthcare for their people. THATS what your government really thinks of you. We are all waiting for an economy to come back that’s gone forever, unless we do a 180 and return to making things, instead of picking each other’s pockets. Just like “good night and good luck”, only in color!!!

    • JD

      Isn’t “only Republicans could hate it…” exactly the point of anything Sorkin does? Its yet another far left temper tantrum he churns out every so often. BTW, who gets to decide what “real news” is? If not the evil corporations, is it the government.? If you’re OK with that, then we’re in real trouble. Cronkite has long been outed (actually he outed himself during TET) as extremely biased to the left (of course), along with everybody except Fox and talk radio. It seems unless you agree with the far left view of anything , Hollywood/Sorkin cry wolf. That’s what makes Daniels performance insufferable and phony. If you want an even better explanation, please read ‘Tyranny of Cliches’ by Jonah Goldberg. You just might learn something.

    • CaseyMarion

      LOL, JD…. too funny, “Cronkite outdated?” How about timeless? Faux News is a complete joke, not even remotely newsworthy blather…. talk radio?!? Now THERE’S a hysterical option, but of course, not one, if you’re actually the least bit interested in real NEWS! Truly, as one who can clearly recall Cronkite…. please, do attempt to “learn something,” yourself. Clue up, dude!
      Yeah, TET…. remember it well.

  2. Cpm

    The reason it is about outdated news is that with the benefit of 20/20 hindsight Sorkin can spew all the smart things that should have been said at the time but weren’t, frame the debate, and come out smelling like a rose. There is no “bi-partisan mask” here but the same lofty bloviating by Sorkin that tainted his previous efforts. He longs for the days when America had 3 news shows and we were forcefed whatever the government and media elites said was the story. Many of these media elites long ago abdicated their responsibility and integrity. This show attempts to polish a turd.

  3. David S. Bunin

    Without debating any message(s) that Sorkin may or may not be conveying through “The Newsroom”, I will say simply that I enjoyed the show thoroughly. The clear signatures of Alan Sorkin’s writing were unmistakable. The dialog was smart, fast paced, serious and humorous. Mr. Sorkin knows how to entertain while he delivers his message. And in the end, isn’t being entertained what we hope for and desire from this kind of television? I know it is for me, and “The Newsroom” delivered beautifully.

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