The Newsroom

Discuss TV shows old and new.
Message
Author
User avatar
mfunk9786
Under Chris' Protection
Joined: Fri May 16, 2008 4:43 pm
Location: Philadelphia, PA

Re: The Newsroom

#26 Post by mfunk9786 » Tue Jun 26, 2012 3:30 pm

domino harvey wrote:A pertinent defense of the show from Vulture's review of the series
When MacKenzie tells Will in an upcoming episode, "We don't do good television, we do the news!" and "Be the leader; be the moral center of this show,"
She keeps saying that stuff? Really? We didn't get enough of that in the pilot? Not a good sign that Sorkin's going to be unwilling to at least let these characters settle in and is going to continue to hold the viewers' hands. Aaron, we get it

User avatar
Roger Ryan
Joined: Wed Apr 28, 2010 12:04 pm
Location: A Midland town spread and darkened into a city

Re: The Newsroom

#27 Post by Roger Ryan » Tue Jun 26, 2012 3:57 pm

I don't have a problem with Sorkin's idealism or how the "self-righteousness" is presented in THE NEWSROOM, but I was very underwhelmed by the one-dimensional character types and creaky sit-com moments. For every snappy line there was a moment like the one where MacKenzie's producer trips over the purse. One minute Sorkin is taking on all that is wrong with the media, the next he seems to be trying to write a Howard Hawks' comedy. The pilot felt like it wanted to cram an entire season of plot into one episode. Why exactly does MacKenzie encourage her producer to woo Will's assistant within seconds of meeting her? Does Will's boss have to be that drunk all the time? The tone and characterizations were all over the place. The opening scene was good fun (although a bit negated by the silly reveal at the end of the episode) and the newscast played alright, but the middle-section was drearily-paced and felt too much like a series of formula sit-com moments one would expect on broadcast network television.

I watched THE SOCIAL NETWORK for the second time last Friday and was even more impressed by quality of Sorkin's writing and how his familiar tropes seemed perfectly married to the subject matter and Fincher's direction. I'm hoping that THE NEWSROOM might find its groove in the coming weeks, but the pilot impressed me a lot less than STUDIO 60 ON THE SUNSET STRIP.

User avatar
domino harvey
Dot Com Dom
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:42 pm

Or should I say Back

#28 Post by domino harvey » Wed Jun 27, 2012 12:42 am

HBO gave subscribers a lot of options on what to watch tonight, so long as it was black

Image

User avatar
Polybius
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 10:57 pm
Location: Rollin' down Highway 41

Re: The Newsroom

#29 Post by Polybius » Wed Jun 27, 2012 5:02 am

knives wrote:I guess I should watch Malcolm McDowell in Superman now.
If only...

Charles Pierce's take

User avatar
mfunk9786
Under Chris' Protection
Joined: Fri May 16, 2008 4:43 pm
Location: Philadelphia, PA

Re: The Newsroom

#30 Post by mfunk9786 » Wed Jun 27, 2012 9:18 am

It's a shame the show couldn't date back to the Clinton administration. "I have a source at the White House, she's my half sister's former roommate. She's blowing the president right now." "Alright, let's go on the air tonight with the entire Ken Starr report."

User avatar
domino harvey
Dot Com Dom
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:42 pm

Re: The Newsroom

#31 Post by domino harvey » Wed Jun 27, 2012 9:37 am

Can we please not turn this into the AV Club's comment section?

User avatar
mfunk9786
Under Chris' Protection
Joined: Fri May 16, 2008 4:43 pm
Location: Philadelphia, PA

Re: The Newsroom

#32 Post by mfunk9786 » Wed Jun 27, 2012 9:47 am

Firsties

User avatar
Cold Bishop
Joined: Tue May 30, 2006 9:45 pm
Location: Portland, OR

Re: The Newsroom

#33 Post by Cold Bishop » Wed Jun 27, 2012 10:12 am

OF COCK!

*lowers head in shame*

User avatar
Matt
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 12:58 pm

Re: The Newsroom

#34 Post by Matt » Wed Jun 27, 2012 10:36 am

As memes go, "Hey Internet Girl" is pretty terrible, but in the interview that spawned it, Sorkin comes off like some kind of slimy groper.

User avatar
domino harvey
Dot Com Dom
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:42 pm

Re: The Newsroom

#35 Post by domino harvey » Wed Jun 27, 2012 10:43 am

I wouldn't judge Sorkin too harshly from that article ("interview" is too generous) given that it's twice as much about the person who wrote it than her subject and, not coincidentally, exhibits all the narcissistic entitled traits Sorkin keenly criticizes in her generation. This article being co-opted by feminists who should know better to rally against "patriarchy" or Sorkin's alleged misogyny, here or in his work (charges that seem to come from an alternate universe), is depressing and distracting from real issues and causes which could be addressed and given attention, though the out of proportion outrage it's sparked certainly fits our generation's general discourse

User avatar
mfunk9786
Under Chris' Protection
Joined: Fri May 16, 2008 4:43 pm
Location: Philadelphia, PA

Re: The Newsroom

#36 Post by mfunk9786 » Wed Jun 27, 2012 10:59 am

domino harvey wrote:I wouldn't judge Sorkin too harshly

User avatar
domino harvey
Dot Com Dom
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:42 pm

Re: The Newsroom

#37 Post by domino harvey » Wed Jun 27, 2012 11:03 am

What, was my comment not jejune or vituperative enough?

User avatar
mfunk9786
Under Chris' Protection
Joined: Fri May 16, 2008 4:43 pm
Location: Philadelphia, PA

Re: The Newsroom

#38 Post by mfunk9786 » Wed Jun 27, 2012 11:05 am

Just a situation where I have very little filter when it comes to gentle jabs and couldn't resist.

User avatar
Matt
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 12:58 pm

Re: The Newsroom

#39 Post by Matt » Wed Jun 27, 2012 11:18 am

I agree, no one comes off looking good from that article.

I thought the first episode of the show was pretty okay, about what I expected. I do wish that the flag-waving was a little more subtle and that the show did not use real-world events as the basis for fictional news coverage. Hindsight, as they say, is 20/20 and to use these events in the fashion Sorkin does (with a kind of "Boom! That's how ya do it, bitches" smugness) is nauseating. No one had even half the information Sorkin's newsroom had in the first few hours of the Deepwater Horizon explosion. In fact, it took nearly two days for news to break that the well was leaking and several days to verify the amount of oil that was coming out of it. When the show gets around to events like Wikileaks/Bradley Manning, the Arab Spring, the Japan earthquake and tsunami, and the death of bin Laden, I'm going to want to throw something heavy at my TV.

User avatar
mfunk9786
Under Chris' Protection
Joined: Fri May 16, 2008 4:43 pm
Location: Philadelphia, PA

Re: The Newsroom

#40 Post by mfunk9786 » Wed Jun 27, 2012 11:31 am

And if he wanted to make the argument that they could have had the information so quickly in real life if they were just better journalists, using plot devices like conveniently personally related sources was a pretty soft serve way of doing things. Not sure why there was an unwillingness in the script to let this build over a few days rather than trying to convince us that a new employee on the show knew someone at both BP and at Halliburton because they're close relations to him. It smacks of weak screenwriting, which was once something that Sorkin was rarely guilty of, regardless of whether his work was your taste or not.

User avatar
Andre Jurieu
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 3:38 pm
Location: Back in Milan (Ind.)

Re: The Newsroom

#41 Post by Andre Jurieu » Wed Jun 27, 2012 12:41 pm

mfunk9786 wrote:... using plot devices like conveniently personally related sources was a pretty soft serve way of doing things... rather than trying to convince us that a new employee on the show knew someone at both BP and at Halliburton because they're close relations to him. It smacks of weak screenwriting, which was once something that Sorkin was rarely guilty of, regardless of whether his work was your taste or not.
Though he has used the "source is a sibling and/or an ol' college chum" in previous shows as well. Granted it was a little different scenario on West Wing (I remember the sibling in space storyline, which I always thought actually rendered the tension kind of hollow rather than built it up), but very similar on the Sports Night (the steroids-story). I can't remember if it was as condensed a time-frame on Sports Night (I believe it wasn't but I haven't watched that show in a while), which is where the Newsroom plot really stumbled for me, since it felt far more like a screenwriting "deus ex machina".

User avatar
mfunk9786
Under Chris' Protection
Joined: Fri May 16, 2008 4:43 pm
Location: Philadelphia, PA

Re: The Newsroom

#42 Post by mfunk9786 » Thu Jun 28, 2012 9:49 am

For anyone thinking the show may settle in:
Andy Greenwald from the Grantland television podcast wrote:There are moments in the pilot that are undeniably enjoyable... the problem is, the things that I did not like about the show were all present in the pilot, but they just get catastrophically worse and worse over the next few weeks... a lot of Monday morning quarterbacking passed off as heroism... this gets much worse as the series moves forward.

User avatar
Matt
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 12:58 pm

Re: The Newsroom

#43 Post by Matt » Thu Jun 28, 2012 12:53 pm

Emily Nussbaum in the New Yorker was kind to the pilot but also says things go off the rails quickly.
The pilot of “The Newsroom” is full of yelling and self-righteousness, but it’s got energy, just like “The West Wing,” Sorkin’s “Sports Night,” and his hit movie “The Social Network.” The second episode is more obviously stuffed with piety and syrup, although there’s one amusing segment, when McAvoy mocks some right-wing idiots. After that, “The Newsroom” gets so bad so quickly that I found my jaw dropping. The third episode is lousy (and devolves into lectures that are chopped into montages). The fourth episode is the worst. There are six to go.
My HBO subscription is riding on this show being worth the monthly cost. Otherwise it's getting cancelled until Game o' Thrones, Girls, and Veep start back up.

User avatar
tavernier
Joined: Sat Apr 02, 2005 7:18 pm

Re: The Newsroom

#44 Post by tavernier » Thu Jun 28, 2012 6:32 pm

Sorkin's on Colbert tonight.

User avatar
knives
Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2008 6:49 pm

Re: The Newsroom

#45 Post by knives » Thu Jun 28, 2012 6:49 pm

Who's going to talk over whom?

User avatar
domino harvey
Dot Com Dom
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:42 pm

Re: The Newsroom

#46 Post by domino harvey » Thu Jun 28, 2012 6:54 pm

No thanks, I only get my Sorkin interviews from Gawker links

User avatar
dx23
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 8:52 pm
Location: Puerto Rico

Re: The Newsroom

#47 Post by dx23 » Fri Jun 29, 2012 9:33 pm

I just saw the pilot and liked it but didn't love it since I was expecting something in the same vein as Michael Mann's The Insider. To me the problem boils down in that almost every character is a cliche and the focus on the romantic tensions kind of took away from the episode. Still, I think the show has potential if it focus more on what news networks should be doing and scale back a little in the office interpersonal sexual dynamics. By the way, if anyone said what Daniels character said in the opening scene at a college like Northwestern, many would have stood up and cheered.

wattsup32
Joined: Wed Aug 01, 2007 12:00 pm

Re: The Newsroom

#48 Post by wattsup32 » Fri Jun 29, 2012 11:56 pm

I finally got the time to watch the pilot. I'm on the fence, but I'll stick with it for a season at least (very easy to do on HBO). It has all the hallmarks of what I like about Sorkin: directness excused only by the quickness of the situation, intelligence bolstered by arrogance trumped by intelligence grounded in humility, and the a conviction that if you present yourself to the public as though you have faith in their intelligence they will come.

At the same time, it felt mostly flat for most of the time. LIkely due to how unlikable almost every character was. In Sorkin's past efforts even the detestable characters had their charms for the most part. That didn't happen here. And, the underdog characters I normally root for simply because of their station (the assistant) grated in ways that made it tough to get through.

But, in the end, I'm pretty much a sucker for Sorkin. So, I'll keep at it.

Did anyone who read the interview with "Internet Girl" think she was taking a shot at another HBO show with this paragraph:

"Sorkin doesn't see this. He denies being either an ideologue or a modernist, agreeing only that the show is written in his voice, and that said voice is “authorial” (both my word and his). I’d posit that creating an authorial drama in a time of mumbling, precarious, voice-of-a-generation comedy almost absolutely constitutes an ideology, one both modernist and masculinist."?

User avatar
Mr Sausage
Not PETA approved
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 9:02 pm
Location: Canada

Re: The Newsroom

#49 Post by Mr Sausage » Sat Jun 30, 2012 12:19 am

Modernism was opposed to the "authorial voice." Can we call misusing big words in a printed column an Armondism? Or should we reserve that one for when someone makes shrill and baseless provocations like, I don't know, calling the authorial voice "masculinist"?

User avatar
matrixschmatrix
Joined: Tue May 25, 2010 11:26 pm

Re: The Newsroom

#50 Post by matrixschmatrix » Sat Jun 30, 2012 1:32 am

Particularly as the context for doing so is taking a shot at a totally unrelated work

Post Reply