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I'm no authority in politics, but I believe this to be one of the most
informative, funny and entertaining series ever for the kind of people
who like to learn and have fun at the same time.
The fast pace dialogs and the witty comebacks are one of the things from The O.C., Gilmore Girls, Gossip Girls and House that I like, but in a political context.
The first episode with the emotional tirade, the second with the funny conversations and the other ones with the misunderstandings, complex multi-tasking exchanges and lovable remarks are one of my favorites.
Now that I'm hearing about the third season - even though it's going to be the last one. - I'm very excited, waiting anxiously for it.
I waited with expectation for Season 2 because I had enjoyed the first season so much. I have been a fan of Mr Sorkin's since the West Wing, despite his bad habit of using his programs to project 'The World views of Sorkin'. Another bad habit is dangling a storyline in front of us (The abduction of the Presidents daughter, 'Genoa' etc) only to toss it in the trash before the next episode is twenty minutes old. A great idea for a story is 1000 words, however, the realisation of that story is perhaps 100,000 words beyond Mr Sorkin's ability or attention span. Either way, I missed the last episode of Season 2 and I really could not care less.
I have realized the sad truth. I cannot honestly give a perfect 10 to
any shows I have ever watched. Be that SOPRANOS, GAME OF THRONES, THE
WIRE. The reason is that I am very picky. I am very picky and I always
find something wrong with every show or movies that I watch.
So this is a new exercise for me. I am going to give 10's to all of those shows that can get as close to perfect 10 as they can possibly get in my book.
1-The show is smart. It asks (forces you) to learn about things you should already know about i.e. the elections, Osama Bin Laden, Obama, Lebanon, Tea Party. ETC.
2- Emily Mortimer is wonderful. I know people like Jeff Daniels but I personally like Mortimer the best.
3- Exceptional writing. If you like shows that are well written and well developed.
4- Well produced. It never feels like it cuts corners. Duh it's HBO.
5- Olivia Munn
1- The dialog is fast paced. The dialog comes out as snobby and pretentious. Sometimes it feels as if the show is saying "yeah, only smart people allowed" Thing is...although a lot of people talk this way. Having too many characters talk this way all the time hurts the show.
2- Dramatic outburst for no reason. There are too many instances where the characters act like high school emo kids for no good reason.
3- The show lacks a good counterargument from the right wing. Although the show clearly states that Will McAvoy is Republican. He is clearly liberal.
4- The show lacks a smart republican that can put Will in his place.
5- Will is too almighty.
At the end though. It is one of the best shows TV has to offer at the moment.
I really don't understand why reviews from the big sources (nytimes etc
etc) have been "mixed" towards this show.
What do they want? another "apolitical", "balanced", IQ-draining TV show?
The beauty of "The Newsroom" is that it so successfully mixes real news events with fiction. It injects valuable intellectual content to the passive spectator. It spells out the meaning of things like "the Glass Steagall act" and it honestly criticizes (bordering on valid ridiculous) the disastrous quality of presidential debates. The show makes a great and successful attempt to EDUCATE the spectator just as well as it entertains her/him.
What's wrong with that? If real cable news can't and wont inform the public for fear of "having an informed, educated and valid opinion", then at least this show teaches us how news should be presented! It teaches us how to separate gossip from fact, how to identify real news reporting from speculative news.
Regardless of our positions/opinions on whats presented in the show, Sorkin does a great job of always backing up opinions and criticism with CONSTRUCTIVE content; that alone deserves great credit and I hope they keep up the good work.
This show was never even on my radar, but i got HBO on promotion from my TV provider, and found this show randomly browsing the ondemand. I am a television news and politics junkie, and this show offers a brilliantly acted, albeit dramatized, look at the world of TV news. The cast is dynamic and each one brings their character to life in a believable manner. The fact that the story line is frequently rooted in real world news and politics adds to its appeal, and the show does a good job of portraying the emotions of those that bring us the news, or at least one interpretation of that. Overall this show will not only appeal to those people who are regular consumers of cable news and politics, but those that just enjoy a good and well acted drama.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Jeff Daniels keeps this from being dreadful. He's sublime as a powerful
and sadistic, unfeeling news anchor. His screen time (and there's
plenty of it) is great telly. The cast is talented and obviously there
is much investment into production values. The stories that pertain to
the news (although liberal in a loud and pompous way) are something to
sail along with while Daniels is at the helm.
But that's where it ends.
The absolutely dreadful melodramatic dross that underscores this series makes it close to un-watchable. Feeble minded workers with feeble minded love lives and dreadful characters (that I hoped would get shot) ultimately wreck this ship.
There are so many examples of the stupidity of this show but here's the one I found the most repellent... one chap likes a girl but is sleepwalked into dating her room-mate. The room mate likes 'Sex In The City' so the chap who doesn't really like her decides to gen up on SITC by taking an open top tour bus which travels around New York telling all the insipid fans of the show how great having sex in New York is when you are getting old. The girl of his dreams gets emotional and just happens to come across this bus and unleashes a loud and annoying diatribe at all the CITC fans and wouldn't you know it... our hero hears it all and pops up to save the day.
Anyway - it's over now and hopefully there won't be any more!
So sad to see this show undermined by pithy romantic B-stories. The
strength lies in the show's editorial charge to produce news that is
factual and relevant, and not driven by ratings. Was Aaron Sorkin
dumbed down by execs to ensure a romantic office subplot appear as
relevant as the show's main thematic power points?
Casting is also questionable with a lead female who does not project what it takes to be EP on a cable news show.
Such a shame to see the show dabbling in almost teen melodrama, when soliloquy's like the opening monologue in Ep 3 are so powerful.
Such I shame I can't say 'More'.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I have always liked Jeff Daniel's acting and it is top notch here as
usual, however, the script is over the top much of the time.
But more importantly, as good as all the acting is, and as seemingly concerned as the characters are portrayed to be by the scripts, this show is blatantly biased everywhere you turn. Here is an anchor who is portrayed to be right leaning when in reality he is very liberal as is nearly every other reporters personal views. It almost seems like a bunch of liberals held a meeting in Hollywood last year and hatched a plan to pretend to create a newsroom show while working hard to convince the viewing audience that they really were determined to be fair and unbiased in their reporting while actually attacking every single aspect of conservative viewpoints. Targets by this 'phoney news organization' include Big Business, Republican candidates, Arizona's attempt to stop illegal immigration, Oil companies, the sad news for them that so many conservatives were elected in the houses of congress, and more. They even promoted their views on illegal immigrants in their conversation and broadcast sympathetically while failing to mention any points from the other side like the fact that it is illegal, that they are jumping ahead of legal applicants who are waiting to immigrate to the US. They also conveniently ignore all the criminal stats related to illegals and fail to mention the federal government's failure to enforce our laws. They belittle opposing views in interviews while claiming to be fair. As usual, the Dimocrats on the left are counting on the uninformed public to view this and not realize the way they are being manipulated to form anti-conservative views. The real clincher is when they trot out Hanoi Jane as the big business owner who just wants ratings at all costs. Casting one of the biggest bleeding heart liberals in that spot is suppose to make us think producers are being as fair as possible...... I didn't like the promos I saw because of the apparent bias, but I sat and watched the first three episodes in full in the hopes I was wrong about this. The show does has moments that are really good. Too bad it is just another Hollywood trick by liberals to slam conservatives. Just another Dimocrat bag of dirty tricks as far as I am concerned.
Sorkin seems to have two modes of writing; insightful, intelligent,
witty or Didactic, condescending, overwrought. Unfortunately The
Newsroom is an example of the second of these Sorkins. I have a love
affair with The West Wing and rewatch the entire series every couple
years to remind me how good writing for TV can be. I think he can be
one of the smartest, most intelligent writers alive today. But his
tendency to fall off a cliff of self-righteousness has brought more
than one of his shows to a sudden stop.
Newsroom seems to want to be very sincere in it's attempt to make the American public less dumb by quoting facts and figures while pontificating, at great length, about what's wrong with the way that you think. They set up straw-men that are 2 dimensional caricatures of wrong thinking, then set about knocking them down self-righteously. It tends to make the main characters on the show look not like high-minded journalists, but intellectual bullies. I mean really, a beauty queen to defend some conservative legislation? That's a real hard-won victory.
It actually has the opposite effect that they seem to so earnestly desire, to speak truth to power and edify our fellow citizens. The journalists seem so intent on speaking truth that they appear uninterested in anything that someone else might have to say. They speak AT each other rather than engage in discourse.
I won't even go into the broad acting that seems better suited to stage than screen, or the thinly written characters that populate the show. If they can just fix the breast beating and condescension the show would be, barely, watchable. Without making some serious changes to the basic premise of the show I don't see how it can't be another Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip.
Any resemblance between this show and real journalism is purely coincidental.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Quite possibly one of the amazingly best shows on television, right
from the 1st episode, when Will McAvoy, played by a curmudgeonly Jeff
Daniels, launches into a justifiably righteous tirade, that arguably
takes his character, and those around him into a vicious tailspin of
sorts, this series, written powerfully, and executed even with more
vigor than I'd have thought possible, never rests, and takes us from
one powerful sequence to the next with breakneck pace, and those among
us starved for quality storytelling and in for the ride from start to
While Season 1 deals with how the main characters have an arc of sorts, having known 1 another before, and relating to each other differently now they know the other in completely altered circumstances, it, like the subsequent seasons, intersperses live footage of true political events in the world's pop culture, with fictitious amounts of what each of the main leads does, to deal with those revenue in a way befitting an almost legitimate news channel, while skirting an on- the-nose preachy tone about the responsibilities of doing something like News night, every night.
Like its subsequent seasons, it also provides a fantastic/fascinating insight into what goes behind how the news is delivered to us on TV, and, if that weren't enough, it gleefully puts our lead characters through the blender more often than not, and we cannot flinch away after.
Make no mistake though, it's not all perfect. When dealing with the open threads of relationships that the leads find themselves in, it takes so many missteps and falters so many times that it even becomes intended comedy, and a self parody of sorts, even venturing, surprisingly into vaudeville territory, that thankfully never detracts from the main tale in play.
All the technical departments, including the production design, Thomas Newman's score, the camera-work, the cinematography, all fall over each other in the telling of this tale, but make no mistake, this is one of the finest examples where the written content lords over everything else.
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