movies matter | criticism by maryann johanson
Mon Jul 08 2013, 03:25pm | 10 comments
I didn’t realize that this is how the series opened:
The guy who posted this to YouTube called this “the most honest three and a half minutes of television, EVER…” That may well be true.
Just started watching the show myself – and yes, you need to watch it!
Yes, watch it. It is wonderful. Great scripts. Fabulous acting. Really good work.
It’s a very uneven show, but every time there’s a scene that makes you want to cover your eyes in embarrassment, like this one
(Some spoilers ahead)
Aaron Sorkin writes a speech like this:
And even the Sex and the City scene has its moments.
i love damn near everything Aaron Sorkin has ever done, The Newsroom included. that said, i also recognize that i have a really high tolerance for his particular brand of sap and sanctimony. and he lays it on pretty thick in The Newsroom.
the fact that the show is set in the real world and addresses real news stories makes it that much more addictive. he’s not attacking a slimy gas bag loosely based on Rush Limbaugh; he’s attacking the actual Rush Limbaugh. so, you know, it’s good fun, but definitely in a circle-jerky kind of way.
really looking forward to season 2.
While I really liked the show, I do feel that by covering historical events after the fact, it cheats a bit to make the people who work at the newsroom seem more knowledgeable/informed than they actually could have been. It also sometimes comes across as preachy.
I’d put it at a solid number 4 in my list of current HBO drama shows, with GOT at number 1, Boardwalk Empire at 2 and Treme at 3
by covering historical events after the fact, it cheats a bit to make the people who work at the newsroom seem more knowledgeable/informed than they actually could have been.
Sorkin has cheerfully admitted to this in interviews.
I’m a few episodes in, and it hasn’t bothered me so far. And sometimes the news team looks good not because of unfair hindsight but because they simply make better decisions in the service of being accurate rather than being first.
But the author decides when the news team is making better decisions and the author is definitely able to use hindsight to decide when the news team should be making better decisions (since the news team is a fiction).
That’s a fair criticism, but the series is a fantasy about what a dream news team would look like. They’re exceptionally talented journalists who think that accuracy is more important than ratings. The premise is that people who have those values would make better decisions than the people who actually reported the stories. It may not be a realistic show, but I hate cable news so much that I’m willing to give into the fantasy; I enjoy being able to see the news reported well for 60 minutes a week.
This. I was thinking, in particular, of this scene (spoilers) — which doesn’t have any blatantly “future” information that would have been impossible to access at the time, and which shows the news team demonstrating the values you describe.
Oh dear. Freakin’ “Newsroom”. Look, I lovelovelove “Sports Night” and “The West Wing” with deep devotion. But I was horribly disappointed in “Newsroom”, which is kind of shocking considering my political opinions are quite in line with pretty much all of the writing. I could give you a blow-by-blow of why I fucking hated this show, but really just go look at the TWoP recaps, which expertly detail why this show is just miserably, uncomfortably, unforgivably awful.
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