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The Newsroom greatness is held up by Jeff Daniels

Author: Bleke01 from Norway
18 June 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The show starts with news anchor Will Macavoy ranting in a debate, where he analyze the current state of the United States, and whether it is the best country in the world. He seems to go away from his personalty on TV, being labeled as a Jay Leno of news anchors, he quickly changes to a more aggressive and hostile anchor, representing facts in a context to demonstrate that USA might not be the greatest country in the world.

Blaming it on vertigo medicine he comes back from holiday to find out that his old flame Mackenzie Mchale is producing his show, with him as anchor, similar to what he showed in the debate. A disastrous environmental news story breaks and they go on the air almost abusing their guest to tell the truth, and the show gets critical acclaimed. They decide that they want to continue with that format.

I like the premise of the show, a news show that want to focus on what truly matters in the public eye. The personal scandals of celebrities and alike are diminished and "how it effect people in the voting booth", is the stories only concern.

How ever the show also tend to be preachy, and the motive seems a bit too idealistic, even if they in some ways make fun of themselves. As well as whenever a story breaks they believe it to be huge, in a way it effect them personally.

I would guess that news organisations would work hard to get out a story that would get a lot of attention, but the way it is done is way too emotional, and they often pitch news stories with emotion. Rather than rational or argumentative thought, which the very show is based upon.

The producers who are trying to find the stories always react with emotion to everything, and everything is broken down to "this matters to me". It gets repetitive, and maybe they try to show that inexperienced news producers act upon emotion, instead of cool rational behavior, but Mackenzie and Charlie also react emotionally to stories.

A huge bright spot with the show, is Jeff Daniels. He seems to be born to play this role. Arrogant, smart, and with a great sarcastic tone, he perfectly capture the humorous and the dramatic side of the character. And he is just a pure pleasure. He seems genuine, and realistic. He doesn't take the news to seriously, but he wants to get all of the facts and yet struggle with not being popular.

The other characters seems to blend in with each other, and is quite bland, and doesn't give anything to the plot. In the second season we got more time with the smaller parts, we see more of Jim, Maggie, Sloane, and Don. Well, this was for my taste not a great move, and the first season was about changing your past into a present you could be proud of. In the second season its more about the relationships and the personal drama of the characters. And the new characters that were brought into to show, just didn't do it for me.

The show is okay, uplifted by a great Jeff Daniels, but I hold back on any raving review. The show is somewhat preachy and the central characters are just in the way of showing the great Jeff Daniels.

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Not so sure...

Author: lcassady from United States
12 June 2014

I am just finishing up Season 1 and I'm thinking that for one thing Aaron Sorkin must be under 30, am I right? Because I am finding it hard, really hard, to engage with any of the drivel that is trying to pass for a) romance; b) clever repartee; and c) political incisiveness. I'm pretty sure Rachel Maddow was broadcasting when this show appeared, and that alone made most of the content jet-lagged and redundant. I don't know if I will survive episode 7, which I am about to attempt. The last 6 episodes have offered up a few laughs, but more cringes from densely packed cleverness in lieu of character development. I find Emily Mortimer's character SO annoying and unsympathetic. I start reaching for my fly swatter when she appears.

The self-congratulatory tone of Jeff Daniel's character (if you want to call this pile of characteristics a character) is irksome and literally teeth-clenching at times, like fingernails on a blackboard. I'm surprised it is as bad as it is, considering that I guess it goes on for 2 more seasons. Daniel's talent is wasted here.

Dev Patel is awkward, like a child trying to impress his parents' friends. The whole matter of Big Foot was downright embarrassing writing, and some director or producer should have been called up for letting it pass beyond the brainstorming session.

I'll sample the 2nd season, but expect I'll move on to a better series before episode 2.

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Good portrayal of a media house, with praise-worthy performances

Author: fuz_12 from India
12 May 2014

Will and Mackenzie share a solid chemistry on screen which you can feel growing on you from the first episode itself. The Newsroom shows a somewhat exact portrayal of how media houses function today, with razor sharp journalists who need to be on their game all the time. This show has been compared to the counter part of Suits, but some can say that The Newsroom is even better than it. Olivia Munn and Jeff Daniels captivate us with their amazing performances, and they fit in the role just so well. If you were to find an issue with the show, it's only that some of the scenes can get really long and tedious and they can go off track sometimes with the story leading nowhere. However it's not a big deal, as this show is a must watch, especially for those people who are politically aware.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Blistering dialogue, compelling drama, believable storyline.

Author: A. newbroom from United States
3 August 2015

I've only had access to the first two seasons. I'm binge watching them now...this is some of the most compelling and entertaining television I've ever seen. I am old enough to have Medicare, and remember when. Drama, topical subjects, social commentary, eye opening and exhilarating. From the opening scene, which has become a viral clip on you tube until the end of each new program I've been at the edge of my seat and have experienced emotions ranging from sadness, to joy, to anger and have had tears of laughter as well as tears of almost despair. I've not seen the other series that has been so successful and written by this same author and developer Aaron Sorkin, The West Wing, but I know that it was well received. Based upon current news events with which we should all be familiar, this series has the ring of truth and a sense of realism providing a rich and complex mixture of characters and their interactions. 10 lines?

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Sorkin & all the actors in "The Newsroom" deserve EMMYS!

Author: esalkaln from NEW YORK
16 December 2014


IMportant ! This  "Newsroom"  review in the New Yorker, has been written by an ego-centric, nit-picking, jealous striver, who is only looking for the hem that is down,& looking smart,herself, as opposed to  fully seeing the brilliance of the writing, the visual perfection of the  filming, and the superb acting of the show___ which peels away the dangerous turn that all news reporting has taken__  what I call, "press- release Journalism", the emphasis on the sensationalism  of yellow journalism, the need to make everything a Disneyland circus experience,  and the priority to have all choice of content ( and not only in just Journalism but in all the arts) to be led by number-crunching and be DATA DRIVEN. As a journalist, myself, I have LOVED and admired this wonderful drama and wish it could continue. The media is in dire need of this kind of artistic self-scrutiny, and this production has been the absolute best.

Sorkin & all the actors in "The Newsroom" deserve EMMYS!

See also, the recent article in the Wall Street Journal on how the priority, now, in curating in the Art  museum field, is also being Driven  by Data, and not by seeking the best and the brightest in Art :

When The Art Is Watching You" by Ellen Gamerman, Dec 12, 2014.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Season 3 Returns with a Bang in the Boston Bombings

Author: D.A. Zapata from United States
11 November 2014

The Newsroom returned this past Sunday with relentless suspense and a fantastic reintroduction to our favorite news crew. However, before we begin, let's recap where we left off and what this means for the characters now. Will McAvoy, still as enraged and outspoken as ever, has recovered from his OD, the voicemail incident with Mac, and the two begin discussing their wedding plans in the season premiere. Jim is still as vivacious as ever yet remains tormented by his relationship with Maggie. Their love lives are as tumultuous as ever, particularly after the "Sex and the City" bus tour fiasco, Jim's decision to date Lisa (the girl he's clearly not in love with), and Maggie's decision to move in with Don—who's still deeply in love with Sloan. Sloan remains to be the voice of reason and wit in The Newsroom, although her love life isn't thriving as well as her career, specifically after admitting to Don she had a crush on him, despite the fact that their relationship could never work out. Could anyone but Will, who is ironically the most bitter of the ensemble, ever find love in this series? And last but not least, we have Neal, who has become well-known in the internet hacking community and is now experiencing the consequences of his actions in season three. Now let's get to it!

The Newsroom's season premiere greets us with entirely new opening credits that are gorgeously cinematic and pay odes to the old credits. The episode begins and we are instantly presented with the brilliant yet ever-unhappy Will in a discussion with Mac as they candidly discuss their wedding plans. We are then flung into the frenzied horror of the Boston Marathon bombings. Every character flocks to the journalistic approach they pursue best, such as contacting the Boston police, hospitals, investigators, journalists, and even reading Twitter feeds for newly breaking information. It feels exactly like what an intense day in The Newsroom should feel like, and the episode progresses with immersive suspense as they depict the horrors of that day with precision and emotional vitality.

The room buzzes with a mass of calls and shouts that creates an air of claustrophobia and sharpness as we are slowly reintroduced us to all our favorite characters—from Mac to Jim to Maggie to Sloan to, okay, everyone—as they work in congruence with ferventness and poignancy. Of course, the banter and humor of character interaction on the show is always present, still as witty as ever. The newsroom—or rather, Will shouting demands—focus on getting the facts about the Boston bombing straight to present them in an ideal and factual manner. Mac leads the breaking of the news and incoming facts as presented on ACN, with Will declaring it a clear terrorist attack as the newscast progresses from live interviews with eyewitnesses to discussions with FBI experts as to how the bombings were executed.

The Newsroom presents the idea that social media has the promising possibility of solving crime first, in addition to being the outlet that releases factual information the fastest. The juxtaposition of social media both clashing with and aiding the newsroom is something the series has always had a keen eye for—not to mention being controversially embarrassing for Sloan. And speaking of Sloan, her discontent grows as she learns that financially and ratings- wise, not all is well for the newsroom. Still, her storyline continues with humor and dexterity, partially due to her relationship with Don and partially due to her loyalty decision to stay at ACN and present unbiased news. Other characters, such as Neal, present highly intriguing possibilities for ACN—in this case, it is Neal's acquisition of secret government documents.

In its entirety, the first episode of The Newsroom's final season has a feel of change and finality, not only due to facts presented in the season premiere, but also due to how much we've seen these characters develop from the first season to the present. This will, undoubtedly, be an intellectually gripping and highly emotional season for The Newsroom, and this episode was a clear indication of that. The grisly horrors of the Boston Marathon bombings are an unrelenting reminder that history can be as dark as any fiction, in addition to being a statement on what humanity is capable of doing in the name of extremist beliefs.

Best of all, The Newsroom has reintroduced us to the enigma that is Will McAvoy, who can (and will) fervently scowl at the trivialities of Greek yogurt yet can also eloquently present despairing, profound speeches on the horrors of terrorist bombings. As Mac has quoted in the series before, "We don't do good TV. We do the news." The season premiere of The Newsroom has proved that both can be accomplished.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Oh my God...

Author: PetranStath
11 November 2014

Simply fantastic! I honestly can't remember the last time I was left speechless, let alone by a television show?!? The signature trait of the show is its pace, which is absolutely electric! Is it a possibly unrealistic presentation of the news scene? Probably. A bit too romanticized and idealistic? Sure, but why not! It really makes you wish you had a news network with no hidden agendas which you could really trust. The story lines are very well thought out and performed brilliantly by the cast. Jeff Daniels is perfect for the role of cynical anchor and the rest of the cast has this great, albeit quirky, chemistry which is impossible not to love. It has almost made me want to become a journalist and apply for a job at ACN!! I simply cannot fathom why this wonderful show is coming to an end so early.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

An ode to righteousness

Author: devilskinn from Cluj-Napoca, Romania
3 January 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Maybe I should first concentrate on other things revolving the series than the characters and their relationships, but I cannot. I am always drawn to character-driven narratives; to stories which inspire me to think about myself and the world, which make me want to believe that there is something good in people. This great series is an ode to righteousness. It is exactly as impressive, daunting and patronizing as it sounds. And I really like it!

From the very moment I read Aaron Sorkin's name on the screen during the opening scene I knew that is going to be an entrancing experience. The lines often reach perfection (they are extremely intelligent, humorous, bold, unapologetic - to quote Thomas Sadoki in an interview) and I am transfixed while watching them delivered by such good actors (in fact, I first heard about the series upon reading that Jeff Daniels received an Emmy this year for his role as James McAvoy - very much earned). I thoroughly enjoy the quick pace of the dialogues, the great characters (even the minor ones are outstanding, with special mention to Marcia Gay Harden as a cunning and surprisingly entertaining lawyer) and the way news is a dominant part of their interaction (informative and also creative).

There are, however, a two important predicaments with this high standard of writing: the difficulty of making them sound authentic to all characters, every time; and the struggle of keeping the viewers' focus (this is not to say that I do not appreciate being intellectually stimulated, on the contrary, I partially watch this show for exactly this, but it can become strenuous to follow an hour of pedantic, albeit brilliant, rants). Moreover, there is also the risk of the discussion themes growing dull if constantly revisited (this is why I liked the end of season 2: even if it is a bit melodramatic or too crammed, it at least arrived to another level concerning the relationships in the office).

But for some shortcomings this is a virtuous show, and I will definitely keep following.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

a moment of brilliance buried deep in partisanship

Author: anymouse2 from United States
11 December 2013

HBO makes no effort to hide their political beliefs, something most the reviewers here don't mention because they happen to share the same views.

Pity, that, because the few seconds of brilliance in each episode come from when Daniel's character has an epiphany about how idiotic both sides have become, and how big the lies from both have gotten.

But you have to sit through 60 minutes of HBO insulting republicans, conservatives, and everything else they hate, and presenting all the hype, lies, opinions and pure bulls#!t of their side as "fact", for that brief few seconds of truth.

Up to you if its worth it or not.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Haters gunna hate: The Newsroom is highly recommended for an open-minded audience

Author: Caley Lunan from Ontario Canada
16 November 2013

I've read some of the negative reviews and I have to wonder what people are smoking, I'd ask them to share it but if it leaves that bad of a taste in their mouth's, I'd rather pass the pipe to Mayor Ford... (See what I did there? Making a satirical comment on a news story on a review about a news room ;o)

I highly suspect that the people who gave this show a rank of 1 will somehow find insult in my joke. You have a problem and it isn't me.

The main character (will) plays a self absorbed know it all news anchor who rediscovers his honor. With the help of his quirky and eccentric EP (executive producer)and the rest of his motley crew (staffers) who apparently also have a smidgen of self respect. They are able to do what we so desperately need in our world. Report the news with integrity. Yes

Will is deeply flawed and a bit self righteous, so I think he plays the character well. His smug attitude towards the tea party (rinos) is what makes him real. I see a lot of the negative reviews from Repubs and Dems who just don't get that their party has become a side show. Holding candidates to the true flame has been passed over for advertising revenue. I believe those reviewers who gave this show a 1 are mimicking the "mob" in the show who can't think past the surface (aka symptoms) of the problems our world faces.

If you are one of these people, I strongly urge you to challenge yourself and dig deep. There is some really important messages you are missing if you rate this show a 1. I could see it getting a 6-7 if you don't like the content but def not a 1. This is good quality writing, directing and acting.

It gets a 9 because the characters, the message and the idealism are inspiring and entertaining to watch. Looking forward to the next season.

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