Well? Guys? Did you watch The Newsroom last night? It wasn’t so bad! Obviously, my expectations had been laid very very low by all of the negative chit chat prior to the actual premiere, so it’s hard to say whether or not I would have felt the same way if I’d just gotten to watch it cold. But Jeff Daniels did a pretty good Bill O’Reilly impersonation. And Emily Mortimer is pretty. (The Time magazine review pointed out that “In Sorkinworld, the men are men and the women are sorry,” which is actually a pretty scathing critique. Also it really seems like all the bad reviews are the specific result of the first four episodes in the cumulative and that everyone roundly agrees that the pilot is mostly fine. So: UH OH!)
There was maybe one too many impassioned speeches about the democratic power of knowledge, or whatever, and the music would swell up sometimes as if we all agree that this is what it’s all about when the truth is that no one gives a shit. When Aaron Sorkin created the West Wing it was a pretty clear wistful alternate reality in direct response to the Bush Administration. “Oh if only it were like this!” And The Newsroom does that to an even more absurd degree. Because at the end of the day, the impassioned news broadcaster filled with integrity who changes the hearts and minds of all Americans and thereby sets our country back on the right track straight up doesn’t exist and no one cares about the news. Sorry! The closest we have is Brian Williams, and I feel like he’s mostly known for being mildly funny “for a news anchor” on Saturday Night Live and fathering that one girl from Girls. We almost had Anderson Cooper for awhile, but now he’s basically a one-man Kathie Lee and Hoda show filling up the afternoons with giggling conversations about leg cream. When Jeff Daniels’s character is telling Emily Mortimer’s character that her fantasy of an opinionated news broadcast that still manages to bring people from vastly different worldviews together for the beloved institution of informing themselves and he says “what you’re talking about is simply not possible” he’s absolutely right. But hey! Fantasy is fun! Game of Thrones!
It did feel a little bit like watching a theatrical play rather than a TV show. And is everyone really that much of a jerk? Like, sure, Jeff Daniels is supposed to be a jerk, but that other guy, Don? He was such a jerk, too. Dump the chump, nice blonde girl! Meanwhile, I am not entirely convinced that people openly drink that much whiskey around the office, Sam Waterston’s character, but it’s what makes people love Mad Men so I guess we’ll try it here, too. Something something Olivia Munn? Get on Twitter, Olivia Munn, and tweet about Dev Patel’s blog.
BUT SO GUYS? WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT HBO’S THE NEWSROOM?