“The Newsroom” is one of the newest editions to HBO’s summer lineup and I was surprisingly satisfied with my hour spent. And I say surprisingly only because I logged on to HBO GO to watch “True Blood”, of course. Imagine my excitement when I fell in love with another drama of a different sort.
“The Newsroom” captures the exhilaration and chaos of a newsroom along with the frenzied personalities of the people who bring your news to you every night in their seemingly composed way.
The premiere episode touches on the gulf coast oil spill, the “biggest environmental disaster in history” that happened on April 20, 2010. The use of actual past events only adds to the excitement for the viewer. You watch and you say, “Hey, I was there for that! I watched this news station and they did that,” whatever that is, you feel some sort of inclusion into such an extensive and popular industry.
The Aaron Sorkin (“The West Wing”, “The Social Network”) created drama attempts to “take on the media as an establishment pretty unapologetically.” The goal is to be the “watchdog” journalism was meant to be, not being governed by ratings, big businesses, government influence, or being afraid to step on anyone’s toes. Their argument suggests that the prevalence of such journalism births the mistakes we make as viewers and voters, due to the constant dissemination of disinformation.
Our two main characters bump heads thanks to their polarized ideals. One has very little faith in the American viewing audience and the other believes news can be genuine and still prevalent. Their feud is intensified by the opening of old wounds and a past failed relationship (which is ironically mirrored by new blossoming office romance).
Will McAvoy, played by Jeff Daniels, opens with a less-than-patriotic spill on how America is not the greatest country in the world. He is pessimistic, he has been let down and he has given up on the memories of a better America. In juxtaposition to his new executive producer, MacKenzie McHale (Emily Mortimer), who is fighting to restore faith in him and the beloved industry. She is whimsical, smart, hardworking and fighting fearlessly for her “beliefs” in Louboutins.
There is the budding crew, who embodies innocence and makes mistakes that sometimes pay off, mixed with the more established and seasoned veterans who lead the way against the opposition. We get to be a part of the story of a group of people who become a work family and the intense situations that inevitably bring them closer. “The Newsroom” becomes a display of the constant battle between emotion and logic. There are contradicting positions, passions and ideas in one room–on more than just politics.
From someone who hates to watch the news and the circus it has become, I thoroughly enjoyed this show. It is intelligent, fast-paced and I could not sit still. We now have an exclusive insider into the hard work that goes into each and every news story and station. The development of the characters, and their stories on and off the camera, are bonus and very amusing to watch. Tune in, for there will be “more as this story develops,” seeing as “The Newsroom” has already been renewed for a second season.