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Monday, July 2, 2012

The Newsroom Chitty-Chat Club!

Posted by Wm.™ Steven Humphrey on Mon, Jul 2, 2012 at 10:45 AM

Did you watch last night's second episode of Aaron Sorkin's The Newsroom? I've got a brief recap after the jump, as well as a very smarty pants theory (from someone else, of course) about why critics hate this show and some of you love it, that you may or may not disagree with! LET'S GET TO CHITTY-CHATTIN'!

UPDATE: Like it or don't, The Newsroom has been picked up for a second season on HBO.

This just in: Im Olivia Munn, and Im TERRIBLE. We now return you to regularly scheduled programming.
  • Courtesy HBO
  • "This just in: I'm Olivia Munn, and I'm TERRIBLE. We now return you to regularly scheduled programming."

•••
Okay, here's my recap of last night's "NewsNight 2.0" episode:

"BOW WOW WOW!! Bark! Bark! BOW WOW WOW WOW WOW! Yip! Yip! RUFF!!! (Whimper!) BOW WOW WOW! Woof! Woof! Yipe! Yipe! Yipe! Man. Olivia Munn is really terrible. BOW WOW WOW WOW WOW! (Whimper! Whimper!) ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ.

– Fin. –

Did anyone else have a different view of what happened? Let me know in the comments.

Now, here's what Scott Meslow from The Atlantic has to say about the continuing debate on whether The Newsroom stinks or not.

Why have viewers responded so defensively to critical attacks on The Newsroom? Because Sorkin's work is the equivalent of an overzealous grade-school teacher: It makes viewers feel special. Sorkin has built a career on TV comfort food, setting up straw men and letting his jaded-but-noble protagonists knock them down. There's nothing wrong with comfort food; The West Wing thrived for years on noble, hyper-articulate speeches by Martin Sheen's Jed Bartlet, a "president we can all agree on."

And he also makes this very good point:

The Newsroom shares a key problem with Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip: It treats the television show at the heart of its narrative with life-or-death importance at a time when millions of Americans are switching off their TVs and turning to the Internet. The Newsroom's opening credits juxtapose pictures of Edward R. Murrow and Walter Cronkite with clips of its leading characters in a desperate (and unconvincing) attempt to suggest some kind of historical continuity. Who replaced the Sorkin who wrote The Social Network just a few years ago with the Sorkin who scoffs at the very idea of Internet news? When he goes out of his way to call out liberals, conservatives, millennials, and the rest of the world in The Newsroom's opening scene, it doesn't feel brave—it feels tired, and crass, and defeatist, in a way that Sports Night, The West Wing, and the rest never did.

In addition I'm already getting really sick of Aaron Sorkin talking AT me, and not TO me. If I want to hear how the younger generation is full of beans, and women don't know how to do their jobs, I'll take my misogynist, cranky grandpa out for Dutch Apple pancakes at the Village Inn.

The one plus from last night's show? The sweeping orchestration was toned down—at least during the episode. (UGH! That interminable opening and closing theme song has got to go!!)

SOOOOOOO... How much longer are you gonna give this show to right the ship?

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