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 Allow me to break the etiquette of TDK for a moment to whore for a television show.  If you have not yet seen Newsroom, a new series on HBO, then you should.  The first episode was provided by HBO on YouTube for free and I was hooked (brilliant marketing by HBO by the way, I'm sure I'm not the only one to subscribe after watching it).  Jeff Daniels' monolog near the beginning of the series, which sets the stage for the whole premise of the show, is an absolute must.  It summarizes the state of our country with absolute precision, and I'm sure I'm not the only one to suspect that their thoughts had been stolen by Aaron Sorkin (except that the writing is clearer, more concise, and more compelling than anything my noggin has been able to assemble).
  The show eviscerates mainstream journalism by showing what network news should be/could be like using real world stories as a plot device.  It speaks the truth that the networks are either too scared or too bought out to tell.  The only fault in the show is that it is on HBO and thus doesn't reach the audiences that so desperately need to see it.  Here's to early syndication, so that a broader audience can see it while it is still relevant.
  Kudos and thanks to Aaron Sorkin and HBO.  Finally something on T.V. worth watching that doesn't involve zombies or meth dealers.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I watched it here (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FiredUpInCA

    in the UK.

    Loved it.

    When I saw the Dana Millbank diary on the rec list I wondered if he had watched it and had a little guilt trip. Let's hope it's catching.

    •  My favorite show (0+ / 0-)

      you know a show is good when you could watch it over and over. I love it and I think Jeff Daniels is wonderful. I always liked him as an actor and this has elevated him to  where his talent belongs.

  •  Right you are Outascope (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FiredUpInCA, LinSea

    Once again, a refreshingly good use of the Tee Vee machine.

    Sorkin always hits it out of the park - this one is no exception to that track record.

    For a better America, vote the GOP out of office whenever and wherever possible and as soon (and as often) as possible!

    by dagnome on Thu Jul 26, 2012 at 05:40:50 PM PDT

  •  I don't dislike it. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mod2lib

    It would be nice if it were real, and maybe for some in the industry (cable news) it will inspire them or appeal to their vanity.  I agree with Sorkin that it succeeds in making journalists appear "swashbuckling" and that the show itself is entertaining.  

    Open, but not gaping..

    by sgary on Thu Jul 26, 2012 at 06:21:21 PM PDT

  •  I Hate That Monologue From The Pilot..... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JesseCW

    I don't dislike the show, and it's probably better than 90% of the stuff on TV, but it definitely has some issues.

    The problem with that monologue is that Sorkin couches the character's epiphany & reverence for a "great" past in a Baby Boomer arrogance that believes the universe began & will end with their generation.

    I mean really? Generations X & Y are the "worst. generation. ever."?

    Because it's not like people from Gen X & Y are a lot of young people struggling to get jobs because the Baby Boomer generation stuck us with the "bill" of their poor decisions.

  •  The acting is great, the dialogue is snappy, (0+ / 0-)

    and the production values are outstanding.

    Let's not pretend the politics are anything but bullshit.

    Starting with reactionary pinning for some glorious America Past that never came close to existing, and moving right on to a present day bias in favor of center-right policy.

    The effect of the show is just to drive a few more nails into a framing of "Sane" (center-right)) vs. "Crazy" (far-right) as the totality of our national dialogue.

    By all means - enjoy the show. I do.

    But see it for the propaganda that it is, and understand that it serves to promote interests which are not yours.

    Thinking the "food stamp challenge" teaches you about being poor is like thinking a camping trip will give you insight into being homeless.

    by JesseCW on Thu Jul 26, 2012 at 08:08:02 PM PDT

  •  While i like some of it (0+ / 0-)

    The production values are a bit too slick and they talk too fast much of the time. Facile is the word that comes to mind about plot lines.

    My favorite series was Six Feet Under, btw.

    I must be dreaming...

    by murphy on Thu Jul 26, 2012 at 09:59:59 PM PDT

  •  Good show, but I'd hesitate to use superlatives. (0+ / 0-)

    Considered writing a diary doing an in-depth criticism of the show so far, but worried about poor response to it.

    As someone who's never seen a Sorkin show before, I'm immune to the critique that it recycles too many lines and situations from his earlier works, but I can nonetheless see a number of issues in the show.

    - The politics aren't always accurate.
    Given that this is one of the show's basic premises, it's very embarrassing when it does things wrong like getting the basic nature of the Citizens United case incorrect, and misspellings and typos.

    - The romances are awkward.
    Really awkward. There's, frankly, too much time spent on them. I feel that for the most part, the Don-Maggie-Jim love triangle is executed fine if with no particular originality. I don't see why it even needs to be a love triangle; I'm more interested in watching Don grow from being irregularly an asshole. I like Jim a lot, but he's almost too perfect as a boyfriend for me to care about Unresolved Sexual Tension. His poor handling of his kind-of relationship with Maggie's roommate is not particularly factored into this because Jim has been repeatedly pushed into that relationship.

    The Mack-Will relationship is just ridiculous. Let me be clear - I think Emily Mortimer and Jeff Daniels are fantastic at expressing the range of their characters' emotions, and I'm in love with Ms. Mortimer as an actress - the way she smoothly transitions between emotions in rapid sequence is awe-inspiring. She was a very believable and lovable screwball in the first episode...

    The problem is that as the episodes continue on, it becomes more and more ridiculous that these two - who are at the top of their classes in the media world, apparently - are completely unable to enact any sort of professionalism or focus at the workplace. When these emotional outbursts happen constantly, they force the show to border on self-parody.

    - There's not enough focus on the news. Chris Matthews has voiced approval of the verisimilitude in the process of making news, and I find that part of their show very intriguing; the struggle to make something newsworthy into something that is also Nielsenworthy. Yet it gets sidelined constantly in most episodes for the somewhat clumsily executed romances that are filled with a lot of blank and awkward staring screentime.

    - Will McAvoy is not a Republican. I'm on board with the idea that Will is supposed to be a center-right person who has become disgusted with the state of his party, but aside from his objections raised in one meeting about illegal immigrants - that read more like him being in asshole mode than a serious viewpoint - he's come off as a Democrat. It doesn't read like a serious attempt to show a disgruntled Republican. He's a disgruntled liberal.

    - Sorkin's too obsessed with character quirks. The Neal Bigfoot obsession managed to go from cute to annoying halfway through one episode. That was really bad. Some people have attacked the show overall for weak women due to how much Mack and Maggie rely on quirks, but given the contrast in Sloan Sabbith, and the fact I really admire Mack's character and the growth of Maggie as a character in a short time, I don't think this is particularly fair. It's just that when a character has a quirk, Sorkin runs with it until he runs out of road, builds a shoddy bridge, and keeps running some more.

    Despite all of that, the show has its merits - for starters, it's cathartic for progressives, and I've found that the first episode, the most recent episode, and the tea party episode are good "infotainment" propaganda pieces to get undecideds and moderate conservatives a bit more aware. The actors all do a great job portraying their characters.

    And I was very fond of this bit:

  •  I do wish it wasn't on HBO, as we don't subscribe (0+ / 0-)

    there's apparently a ton of pop-culture we only vaguely recognize the outlines of (Sopranos, Wired, etc.), because we have NEVER watched enough movies to justify HBO...

    I'm REALLY missing this one. Oh well, it will eventually be available on DVD and we will be able to watch public library copies.

    "real" work : a job where you wash your hands BEFORE you use the bathroom...

    by chimene on Fri Jul 27, 2012 at 02:54:46 AM PDT

  •  It's good and getting better. The cast is getting (0+ / 0-)

    Comfortable together and sorkins writing is always snappy. I am  watching each week. Critics want to criticize it but i think
    It is good tv. Sorry it is on hbo so few  can see it.

  •  But yes, the Bigfoot thing was too much! (0+ / 0-)
  •  Episode 3 should have been the pilot. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ConfusedSkyes

    Show's 1 and 2 were too involved with relationships that I don't care about.  They could have touched this, but not feature this.  Show # 3 gets into the meat of what News could be.  We all know the two man actors are going to have a few drinks by episode 5 go screw, and then break up in episode 6.  Who cares.  Get back to the news story.

    ( I know it's too late to change episode 5 and 6, they probably have been shot by now, or are prepping.)

    Bumpy start, but I am sticking with it.  

    " With religion you can't get just a little pregnant"

    by EarTo44 on Fri Jul 27, 2012 at 05:40:29 AM PDT

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