The second season of The Newsroom premiered last night on HBO. Now, despite the mixed reactions to the Game of Thrones and Madmen FP diaries, I wouldn't pretend to think that every show on television is worthy of being discussed on dailykos despite my personal high opinion of the current state of television. But The Newsroom is different. Besides being great television, it is essentially news porn. And I can't help but think that for news junkies such as myself which I can only imagine is a sizable segment of the daily visitors to dailykos that it has a unique appeal. I couldn't help but think during the episode that if you wanted to give someone an overview of the history of this decade in 20 years that you could do worse than just showing them The Newsroom.
Follow me after the squiggle for some thoughts and mild spoilers of the episode.
In a lot of ways the episode introduced a slightly different format of the show than the first season. While there are still copious references to news events, the focus of the show is going to be more on season long news stories. Occupy Wall street, the Romney campaign, Genoa, and whatever happens to Maggie.
First though is another uniquely dailykos connection. Will McAvoy calls right-wing republicans the American Taliban. This is of course the title of Markos' book in pretty much the same context. And this was one of my motivations for writing this diary since I feel like I know less about the etymology of the term than some here might. The show makes it sort of seem like Will made up the term which is of course impossible as Markos' book came out in 2009 and the show is currently in August 2011. On the other hand it is the sort of term that I could imagine people independently coming up with at different times. Does the term even predate Markos' book? Would the viewers be expected to be familiar with the term and heard it before? But if so why is it such a big deal that Will would use it. Given the caustic nature of television news, I find it hard to imagine that its use would occasion such ruckus if it was a common term.
Genoa is also a departure in that it is a fictional news story. Since everything else on the show is real news stories that the viewer would be expected to be familiar with, they start out with the conceit of starting at the end of the season to clue the viewer to a certain extent and then flashing back to the beginning of the season. If that description makes sense. On a certain level it seems modeled on Snowden, but that is of course impossible as the season was written and filmed before that story broke. It is more likely just sort of descended from Wikileaks. Now I rewatched the opening sequence with the lawyers, and I can't be completely sure whether Genoa is intended to be a true story[in the fictional universe of the show] or not. Do people think it is being presented as intentionally ambiguous, or am I just being obtuse?
Sloan and Neal annoy me, but they have the potential to annoy me less than the first season. And I love me some Olivia Munn as an actress. I think she is great.
I like the direction they've taken Maggie. They imply that she has matured in a rather dark fashion. I just hope they don't screw up the execution of her story line.
It is also nice that they've seemed to separate some of the story lines apart from each other Game of Thrones style which will hopefully allow them all to get more depth.
What did other people think?