We Love You, but Can YOU Handle the Truth?
By Lady Sharon
with guest contributor The Wicked Peacock
with guest contributor The Wicked Peacock
|Aaron, Aaron, he's our man!|
Aaron said it himself to Men’s Journal: “When someone's bullshitting you, they are usually telling you something you want to hear… Which is why, when you can find people who are honest with you, you should stay close to them.”
So from the bottom of our Sorkin-loving hearts, we won’t bullshit you. You done good, but you have some work to do.
Read on to see how Aaron and the show fared in Season 1 and what might be on deck for Season 2.
Season 1 RecapWill McAvoy is on a “mission to civilize”
Will used to be this mild-mannered, don’t-bother-anyone news reporter. After he sees his old flame, MacKenzie MacHale, in the audience at a panel, he lets his inner academic loose, and rants about why he thinks America isn't so great.
Combine that with the fact that ACN, specifically the News Division President, Charlie Skinner, has brought in that old flame to run Will’s 8 o’clock show. MacKenzie is a seasoned news producer and knows that Will is done being a news hack. What you get is a new staff, a new show, a new way of doing the news that doesn’t pander to ratings and advertisers. Welcome to News Night 2.0!
That’s a noble and entertaining premise for a show. Shazam!
Will and Mac
|You had us at hello. photo: source|
It’s easy to get drawn in to the love angle here, and want to learn their history and see their possible future. Good potential.
Will’s psych therapy
With Mac back in his life, Will is driven back to his therapist. He hasn’t been there in so long, his shrink died and the son, Dr. Jacob Habib, has taken over the practice. What was so bad about the split that drove Will to back to the proverbial couch? Or is it that... combined with inner demons from his past: absuive father and who knows what else?
We’ll take any way we can to get to see the soft underbelly of the show’s hero. Smiles.
Jim, Maggie, Don, Lisa
MacKenzie brings with her Jim Harper to be her senior producer. He’s adorbs. MacKenzie immediately presents Maggie Jordan, newly minted associate producer, as a potential love interest. Mac lightly fans that flame and it works. The token “love interest” is set.
Maggie however, is dating Don Keefer, another producer at ACN; but Don has trouble committing. (okay, it’s a love triangle) Don sees the chemistry between Jim and Maggie and smells danger. To distract Jim, Don dangles Maggie’s roommate Lisa in front of him. (wait, love quadrangle?)
|Le sigh. photo: source|
This plot line languishes all season and slows the show down. Even the one glorious kiss in the season finale isn’t enough to bring happiness to anyone, including us!
Leona and Prez Douchebag
This is nepotism gone horribly awry. Jane Fonda rocks as Leona Lansing, owner of Atlantis Media Group and ACN. But her son Reese, ACN President, is a douchebag who probably spends a lot of time eating Cheetos and downing Mountain Dew. He started as an innocent ally of Will’s, providing the stats on his new performance. But he turned out to be a weasel who hacked News Night employees’ phones to get fodder for the tabloids.
Maybe in Season 2 he'll get thrown in the federal pokey?
Our Favorite ThingsIf Oprah can have them, so can we. Here's what we liked most from Season 1.
The Wicked Peacock
|Actor/ Character||Will: When the man is on his mission, his intentions are good, he’s sorta lovable and works to keep the team together. |
|Jim: He’s absolutely adorable and has hit some of the show's most heart-warming moments. |
|Maggie: She’s the young, impressionable, apprentice in the newsroom. She’s also a huge part of the comedy that makes this show work. Who else can pull off lines like this in a newsroom: “Focus, nerd.” |
|Maggie: Don’t believe the pundits who call her the posterchild for Sorkin’s ditzy women. She's a little flighty, buy it’s key to her naiveté. Alison Pill plays her so well, it’s 100% believable. Though with her recent accidental nude Tweet, maybe she's just playing herself?|
|Honorable Mention Actor/Character||Charlie: He’s a prickly punk executive in a bow tie (two thumbs up) with the ability to drink all day and the best lines. Sam Waterston deserves an Emmy, but snappy one-liners does not a nomination make. |
|Neal: Everyone loves the comic relief. They’ve laid the foundation for some good meat for him in Season 2 and they better deliver. |
|Honorable Mention Actress/Character||Sloan: She handles Sorkin's dialog with ease and is the hippest chick on staff. |
|Leona: You love to hate her. Please sir, I’d like some more. |
|News Event Coverage||Killing of bin Laden: They navigated this emotional news very well, and it was like experiencing it all over. Not an easy thing to do. Don's speech on the plane put it over the top.||BP Deepwater Horizon: Something about the first one. It was captivating to watch it unfold, I got all tingly. You felt the rush and adrenaline of putting the show together for air. Phenom!|
|Random Fave||Will's tirade in the pilot about why American isn't the greatest country. That moment got me hooked, and the deal was sealed with this line from Will: "I'm taking medicine for vertigo and I think it works because I've got it."||Don, Master of the Dark Arts: In Tragedy Porn, Don gives a crash course on how tabloids and shows like Nancy Grace are produced. He explains the science of how TV successfully manipulates us.|
If you've ever watched TV, watch this!
Our Newsroom RazziesWhat's love without hate... or snark in this case. Here are the things this season that really cheesed us off.
The Wicked Peacock
|Actor/Character... but not really||Don: He’s in the dog house from day one for bailing on our fearless leader. But he stood up for honest reporting with Gabby Giffords, and his crowning moment was in 5/1 when he delivered the news about bin Laden to the flight crew on the plane.||Don: He was a slime from the get go and stayed one for getting in between Jim and Maggie. But his journey towards redemption as a real newsman has been enormously enjoyable to watch and was one of the few unexpected gems in the season.|
|Actress/Character||MacKenzie: Get your shit together, woman! She’s supposed to be this seasoned professional with amazing-in-the-field credentials but can’t navigate a parking lot without blowing a gasket. Why didn’t they cover more of her experience overseas? Exploring that backstory could have given her character more respect... maybe not. |
|MacKenzie: Part of the problem is Emily Mortimer. If she didn't take the obvious readings of great lines and overact, she could have brought Mac back from space. She doesn't have the chops to pull off Sorkin subtleties. |
|News Event Coverage||Arizona Immigration Law: It was like watching it in fast forward. Way too hard to keep up with.||Voter ID Law: This was just campy. Upon hearing of the nurse’s dear, sweet, old great aunt without a license, Will goes from hanging up his hat to charging to her rescue. Puh-lease.|
|Random Fails ||Romantic Entanglements: After an entire season, Maggie, Don, Jim, and Lisa have gotten nowhere. Adding Sloan to create the romantic pentagon from hell was a three o’clock in the morning Hail Mary pass that just makes the whole thing more complicated. Add another person and it’ll be an orgy. HBO will have to show it at 3 am.||Change the M.O. or just stop talking about it. We get it! They’re trying to “do the news their way.” Sometimes they win and sometimes they lose. But it never goes any further than that. Explore those struggles, wins and losses more deeply.|
Brewing Plots for Season 2?Internet trolls
This was a good story and great for cutie pie Neal. Let Neal take this all the way to air then promote him to producer. Ya know, send him to Disneyworld!
There is big potential for this little story that just stopped. Was the threat a hoax? Will there be a legit attempt made on Will’s life? Is Prez Douchebag behind it? Even worse, is Leona behind it? Or is it really an Internet troll who’s got a beef with Will? If that’s the case, hopefully
Neal nails him to the wall.
The only downside to resolving this is that it could be the end
of Lonny. Find a way to keep him!
Jim, Maggie, Don, Lisa
Aaron. Baby. Resolve this ASAP, preferably with Jim and Maggie getting together. But at least stop with the quick plot changes. If Maggie moves in with Don, let her stay for a bit before their 136th breakup.
Other potential continuations
Will ACN do more wiretapping or get busted? Will Charlie followup on his promise to Solomon Hancock and expose the NSA? What of Will and Mac?
Our Final Word on Season 1Aaron has mastered theatre, movies, and network TV. He hasn’t quite yet mastered cable drama. Could his reputation be the barrier? Are expectations just too high? How can The Newsroom ever live up to the home run that was The West Wing or his Oscar-winning The Social Network? Without being a total repeat...
Love the Sorkin Supercut! But don't want to see it in its entirety on The Newsroom.
The Newsroom showed a side of journalism that isn’t often seen. It was fun to peek behind the curtain, but also see that the people back there have determination, heart, and their fair share of flaws. They are talented, sometimes flighty, individuals who wanted to do the news, do it good and do it right.
Season 1 was an above-average, enjoyable, though somewhat predictable Sorkin drama with his signature fast talking, big words, and honorable intentions. It gave you both headaches and chills.
The show wasn’t a seamless drama with nice neat plot lines. It had female issues and too many stories in each episode. It got lost in its own intent and fumbled around matters of the heart.
Take this as no-bullshit, speaking-truth-to-stupid, we-love-you-no-matter-what advice. Aaron, you done good. But we want more. A lot more.
So bring it in Season 2! In the words of President Bartlet, we’re ready to see “what’s next.”