[Ed. Note: Carmen Petaccio does not like The Newsroom. In fact, he “sincerely believe[s] that it is the most mesmerically awful TV show on not-TV (HBO).” Naturally, we’ve asked him to recap the remainder of the second season.]
Since we’re about midway through second season of The Newsroom, I’ve compiled a list of the top ten current story lines so everyone can either catch up or refresh. Not only is this blog post guaranteed to save you considerable time/heartache/$$$-for-therapy, but afterwards we can experience the calamity of the rest of the season together, emerging stronger and more unified than ever, a la Band of Brothers. I look forward to it.
1. Will McAvoy = Aaron Sorkin = Absolute Epistemic Truth = America
The United States of America is (are?) complex. Even subject-verb agreement issues concerning it (them?) is (are?) complex. It would take nothing less than an artistic genius with a red, white, and blue heart and a gold, gold, and gold brain to synthesize the infinite complexities of this country. Thankfully, Aaron Sorkin is one such absolute artistic genius. Proof of Genius: Aaron Sorkin is the creator of Will McAvoy, the zing-slinging capital-T Truth factory at the center of The Newsroom. But McAvoy
totally is isn’t simply a mouthpiece for Sorkin’s redundant and trite perceptive and incisive fake coverage of news from 18 months ago, he is America personified. Like America, he has an IQ of 1776. Like America, he is obnoxious and sort of misogynistic and backhandedly racist. And, like America, he is incapable of being wrong. Every character, event, and word on the show reinforces these facts over the course of every single second of every single episode. Look ye upon Sorkin’s works and despair.
2. Alison Pill Has David Bowie Hair
3. The Genoa Incident Is (Pearl Harbor x Monica Lewinsky x 911 Googolplexes)
The main framing device of season 2 of The Newsroom is “The Genoa Incident,” which is code for the one time Will McAvoy ate too much gelato while on vacation in Italy and got the worst bellyache ever. JK, it’s not that, but it’s essentially as narratively rich as that. “The Genoa Incident” refers to a purported fake-real war crime that the real-fake news team on The Newsroom reported as fake-real, but it turned out to be fake-fake. Now they’re being sued by, I think, Obama? It’s hard to tell. But the entire season revolves around flashing forward to them getting sued and flashing back to how they ended up getting sued. Plus every character treats “The Genoa Incident” with an urgency so dire you would think a nuclear bomb had been strapped to the chest of every person on the planet, even li’l babies. So you should, too.
4. Olivia Munn Is Chill
Either she’s glamouring me through the HBO GO, or Olivia Munn can actually act. In the infinite, scorched desert of this show, she is the lone glass of ice water. And BOY is she one tall drink of water (sorry)!
5. Aaron Sorkin Knows What Twitter Is And He’s Read Your Whole Twitter And Processed All Of Your Critiques Of The Newsroom And Fixed Everything
The first season of The Newsroom gave rise to a fair share of criticism. “The premise is moronic.” -Me “None of the female characters have agency.” -Me “There is no reason for this show to exist.” -Me All of these critiques were smart and utterly true and remain utterly true, but, gosh, is Aaron Sorkin doing his darnedest to pretend he’s fixing them. The new title sequence song, “Coffee, Clocks, and Paperwork,” sounds Skrillexian in comparison to its predecessor. Emily Mortimer tied her shoes and defused a bomb in single scene, so she has agency now. And no one can accuse Aaron Sorkin of not knowing the difference between a tumbl and a sub-tweet after he had a character read a transcript of someone live-tweeting a nerve gas attack in rural Pakistan. As in, someone was standing in rural Pakistan (famous for its 3G reception), in a cloud of nerve gas (famous for not killing people), tweeting. Repeat: No one can accuse Aaron Sorkin of not knowing the difference between a tumbl and a sub-tweet. No one.
6. The Newsroom Appears To Have The Ability To Bend Space Time
Example: Earlier today I watched The Newsroom S2E4, “Unintended Consequences.” When the episode was over, I stepped out of my room to discover that 1000 years had passed and all of my friends and family were dead and civilization had collapsed and we had entered a new Ice Age, so I spent the next fifty years of my life with the Singularity monsters from the end of A.I. and then I died. It was weird!
7. Mitt Romney Might Suck/Occupy Wall Street Might Be A Thing/Other Stuff Did Happen ~18 Months Ago
According to my math, 265135% of every Newsroom episode is dedicated to lovelorn producer Jim exposing the hypocrisies of the Romney campaign, and IT’S ABOUT TIME. The remaining 98201% of every Newsroom episode is dedicated to the entire cast of characters giving Dev Patel dramatically ironic wedgies because Occupy Wall Street will NEVER be a thing. What time remains is dedicated to reminding you that other stuff did happen ~18 months ago, like Rick Santorum. This is why you watch television. Not to be entertained. Not to be challenged intellectually. Not to escape the endless mundanity of the pointless toil of your empty life. You watch television to be reminded that Rick Santorum exists.
8. The Newsroom Love Pentagon Is Perfect And Devastating In Its Geometry
The five corners of The Newsroom Love Pentagon are: Jim, Alison Pill, Alison Pill’s roommate, Don, and Olivia Munn. From what I gather, Jim is dating Alison Pill’s roommate while he’s in love with Alison Pill who isn’t in love Don but is dating Don who is in love with but not dating Olivia Munn. All of these relationships offer on-screen chemistry on par with the on-screen chemistry that exists between a chair and a different chair.
9. Will McAvoy’s “Mission To Civilize”
10. Will My Roommate Grumpy Georgie Cancel The HBO In My Apartment?
Though I’ve listed this story line last to account for bias, nothing about The Newsroom captivates me more than the possibility that my roommate, Grumpy Georgie, could, at any moment, cancel the HBO in my apartment. For whatever reason, he doesn’t understand why we pay $20 a month so I can watch a fake news show that I hate. Now I have my reason, and next time Grumpy Georgie asks why we just don’t cancel the HBO, I will tell him, proudly, “It’s because I need to watch the fake news show that I hate, so I can recap it on a blog that I love.”
We are all Will McAvoy. Good night.