Tuesday, July 16, 2013

The Newsroom makes me wish I lived in New York City and was a part of something so much bigger than the banality of my very common life

Jeff Daniels as Will McAvoy. He's basically the "Brian Williams" of this
show. One of my friends said she can't watch this show because she
associates Jeff with his role in "Dumb and Dumber." I wish she could get
past that because the two characters could not be more different, and it
shows Jeff's strength as a high-caliber actor.
I enjoyed the first season of The Newsroom even though critics seemed to distance themselves choosing to be either 1) offended 2) confused or 3) disinterested. The "offense" was intentional as Will McAvoy at the center of this show believed in an America that was still great, but in his eye had lost its luster because politics had become both extreme and corrupt. He branded himself as a Republican, but there's no question that a lot of what he said in the show came out as "anti-conservative" especially when he compared the T.E.A. Party to the "American Taliban." That kind of analogy sounds as awful as it is, and I'm pleased that the waves from his statement (just like there would be in real life) are making things difficult for the little news network that could (meaning that they want to return the U.S. to a time where journalists were respected and not reviled by the public at large).

They changed the opening credits. Do you think it signifies a change in the writing?
I honestly love the music to the opening credits. It's one of my favorites. If you 
haven't seen it, you should watch it.

I think the reason I like Aaron Sorkin's take on the news is because he cleverly sets up the season within the first episode. Last season, it was Will McAvoy's rant that set up everything he said and who he was as a person for the viewers that tuned in faithfully every Sunday night.

This time Aaron is playing with the events that unfolded in the wake of the Arab Spring in our country: the idea that Americans wanted a revolution and staged Occupy Wall Street to draw attention to income equality. Whether or not Occupy Wall Street actually accomplished anything I suppose is not the point. But talking about why bankers who made hundreds of millions of dollars while tax payers lost billions of dollars is worth looking at, and I think this is going to be one of several themes for this season. Or maybe to make this even simpler, the show is going to talk about inequality and how (as Americans) we actually encourage it...perhaps (dare I say) even revel in it?

In the premiere episode of season two called "First thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers" we have repercussions from the insult uttered by Will McAvoy when we see ACN ostracized during congressional hearings on SOPA (remember this one?). ACN wasn't even allowed to enter the building.

We see Jim (in the role of reporter) turned away from a ride on the Romney press bus, so he has to spend his own gas to cover the early stages of the presidential campaign.

And we see the whispers of a story that (according to previews) will blow up in the face of The Newsroom and provide the kind of drama we'd associate with these very real characters.

Yes, I find these points interesting because despite our culture's readiness to push for change, what usually ends up happening is change means that someone is going to come up with the short end of the stick. However, I have to say that what continues to draw me back to The Newsroom is how every single character can stand alone. They are very human. And just like I can relate to the single picture of the eyeball in the opening credits (as the person owning that eyeball contemplates the day's events), I can relate to the human struggles that these fictional characters undertake with admiration, bringing us the news with the same vigor as firefighters putting out flames and saving lives.

It's fascinating, heroic, and even tragic at times. There's a part of me that hopes I can breathe this kind of life into characters via whip smart dialogue (which is a trademark of Sorkin) and real life issues that transcend the material things to which we all cling. And there's a part of me that wishes I could live in New York City and be a part of something so much bigger than the banalities of my very common life.

Are you watching The Newsroom? If so, what did you think of Sunday night's premiere?


  1. I haven't seen any of this show, but it sounds like it'd be a great one! I must hunt it down :)

  2. I enjoyed the first series although it was a bit preachy at times. Looking forward to seeing the new series.


  3. Damn it again! I keep missing these shows. I haven't see it and do want to. I guess I need to check schedules, no? And Michael, you are anything but common. LOve your mind.

  4. I haven't even heard of it yet. :(

  5. Sounds like an interesting story, but unfortunately, I don't think it shows in my country. :-/

  6. The problem with New York is everything is so damned expensive. For what I pay in rent now I might be able to afford a closet to live in. Of course TV characters never have to worry about that since even the poorest ones live in relative luxury.

  7. no satellite at my house so very little tv unless it's free. I do think it's sad that the press isn't as respected as it once was.

  8. I haven't watched Newsroom, and I don't have any plans to at the moment.

  9. Mark me down for disinterested. I was thinking about not watching this season but gave it one more chance. Boring!

  10. Yet another show I'm not watching. I need to expand my viewing. Hope all ls good with you.

  11. I've enjoyed what I have watched of this show. Jeff Daniels in one of my favorites. And if there was a news station that actually handled things like they do in this show, I'd likely watch that too. :)

  12. although I do have commercial TV now, I haven't gotten sucked into any regular shows. I do like Jeff Daniels and am sorry to hear that someone can't get over his dumb role - everybody makes mistakes.

  13. I haven't been keeping up on it. I watched the first episode and I wasn't sure I was going to like where it was going so I didn't follow up. Maybe I'll catch up on it a little later. Sometimes it's easier to watch a show when you don't have to wait so long in between seasons. Sometimes I envy people who are just catching on to Madmen (for instance)...

  14. I love this show. I wish I had HBO full time, but can't afford it. However, they give me free weekends every once in a while so hopefully I'll catch up.

    Love Jeff Daniels. Luckily, I never saw Dumb and Dumber. He is sooo Brian Williams. But better.

  15. I haven't seen last nights episode yet but looking forward to it.

    I got addicted during the first season and I still think fondly of Will's rant. It was all so true.