What I Loved and Hated about the Newsroom Season 2.

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This review of the Newsroom Season 2 will contain *spoilers* but then again it is set in the past so you probably know the news stories anyway…

 

What I loved.

  • Will McAvoy.
    • Will is one of those characters that are hard not to like.  Yeah he’s a dick, but that doesn’t mean that you don’t like the guy.  You feel sorry for him because you know he means well, but can’t get out of his own way with his smug sense of self satisfaction.
    • You know that he is the silver tongued voice of the creator and writer Aaron Sorkin, and that isn’t always a good thing, but Jeff Daniels does an incredible job in the role (and yes he is he guy from Dumb and Dumber).
    • Whilst we are talking about Jeff Daniels and his great acting job in the Newsroom, it is worth pointing out that he won an Emmy for his role in the show (for season one).  I really like the character, but how the hell he won the Emmy in front of Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad) is beyond computation.
  • Dialogue.
    • The dialogue in the Newsroom is excellent; fast, witty and intelligent, it is how you wish people really talked whilst also knowing that people don’t really talk in that manner.  Still makes for good TV.
  • Sloan.
    • Before watching the Newsroom I would probably have said that Olivia Munn was one of those actresses that have gotten to where they are in their career based upon their looks (there are many of them), but she really impressed me last season and deservedly saw an increased role in season two.
    • What’s not to like about Sloan?  She’s smart, awkward and all kinds of hot; like the perfect woman or something.
    • I loved the story about the nude pictures that got leaked on the internet, which obviously happened to Olivia Munn herself.  Talk  about art imitating life.
  • Neal.
    • Don’t you just want to be friends with Neal?  What a nice guy.  Give the man more stories!

 

What I liked.

  • Charlie.
    • If you were to draw a picture of what the perfect grandpa would be, then you would draw Charlie Skinner from the Newsroom.  What’s not to love?
    • Plus great eyebrows.
  • MacKenzie.
    • MacKenzie is essentially a stereotype of a British man, but she’s a woman.
    • She’s a good character, but they have to give her more to do than chasing Will about.
  • Jim.
    • Got some nice time out of the office as he went on a road trip with the Romney campaign (looked fun, that Romney guy puts on a good show), which was a nice change of pace.
    • Who gives away a one on one interview with a likely Presidential candidate?  I don’t care if you want to get nasty with the tour bus girl, bone head move.
  • Jane Fonda.
    • You would think if you’ve got Jane Fonda as part of your show, that you would use her more.  She doesn’t get much screen time (which I imagine is her choice) but when she does she steals the show as the often high network owner.

 

What I disliked.

  • Election coverage.
    • It isn’t that I disliked the episodes necessarily but rather that it all looked a little small time.  If you look at the coverage that a FOX (not real news I know but still) or CNN put on it looked amateur.
  • Uneven political writing.
    • I’m not an American, and if I were I certainly would not be a Republican (I’ll leave it to you to figure out what my political affiliation would be), but come on the Newsroom writers, even I think you’re uneven in your negativity towards Republicans (in comparison to Democrats), regardless of how stupid Republicans (and mainly the Tea Party members) are.
    • It’s funny that in the last episode they even openly got a character to criticise their uneven coverage just so that they could try and explain it away.
    • I’m sure in season 3 they will go big on the public sector shutdown and how the Republicans were totally at fault for it, which is of course true, but it doesn’t mean you are a bad liberal if you criticise something the Democrats do.

 

What I hated.

  • Preachy.
    • My god is this show preachy.  We get it you don’t like Republicans.  We get it you want people to report that actual news.  We get it America sucks and their citizens don’t realise it.  If I wanted to get preached to, I’d go to church, and only losers go to church, essentially what I’m saying is that I don’t want to be preached to.
  • Overly smart characters.
    • It isn’t an issue to have a number of smart characters in a TV show, in fact it is quite refreshing, however what isn’t refreshing is when every single character comes across as some kind of genius.  I personally have never worked in a newsroom, but I doubt that everyone has such a good nose for a story or is able to carry a conversation in such an intelligent manner.  I would expect that levels of intelligence would differ from person to person, with many people only being considered intelligent in a specific subject.  You wouldn’t know that if you watched the Newsroom, where everyone’s intelligence is either very high or incredibly high across all areas.  Where are the numpties?
  • Hindsight.
    • In a show that is set between a year and two years ago it is hard to not write it with hindsight, however it really bothers me that it is written in such a manner where every little hint for a big story that everyone missed is somehow picked up by the cast of the Newsroom.  The best example of this is the Occupy Wall Street movement, which was somehow picked up in its infancy by someone off a major network news show, who seen it as a big deal rather than what most people considered it to be at the time (and I personally still do) a total waste of time.  It’s easy to write with hindsight, and it would be nice to see the Newsroom writers go with a real story which shows that the people at ACN News aren’t always right.
  • Genoa.
    • You have to respect the Newsroom in trying to do something a bit different from the first season and it allowed them to have a proper story arc throughout the season which is a good thing, but it just wasn’t very well handled for many reasons.
    • I like how they take real stories from the past year and react to them, Genoa was obviously made up and because of that I felt it didn’t really work.
    • I think it is really lazy of a TV show to build suspense through the use of flashbacks in the way the Newsroom did.  It is a simplified way of building suspense by showing you that something bad has happened and slowly feeding you pieces of information to make the picture become clearer.  It is lazy writing from writers that don’t know how to build true suspense, and what makes it worse is that they could easily have done it without the flashbacks and it would still have had a similar effect.
    • They made the legal thing seem like a bigger deal than it actually was.
    • In the end there was absolutely no consequences for the whole Genoa mess, so what was the point?
  • Anything to do with Maggie.
    • I don’t care that she got stuck in a love triangle with two guys that are too good looking for her.  I don’t care that she went to Africa had a traumatic experience.  I don’t care that she cut and dyed her own hair.  Quite frankly I just don’t care.  She was never a great character and they managed to make her a worst character in this season.
  • Lovey dovey ending.
    • Ugh…..ugh……ugh.  So Sloan got together with Don after all their sexual tension, and Will and MacKenzie finally put aside all their previous problems and are now engaged…..yipee I guess, but it doesn’t really make good TV.
    • What happened to Will’s girlfriend?  She’s gonna be pissed!
    • It’s funny because if I didn’t know any better, I would have thought that this was the last episode of the Newsroom because of the way it ended by giving everyone a happy ending.  Clearly the writers were concerned that they weren’t going to be renewed for a third season (which they have been).
  • Lead characters out of position.
    • I get that the Newsroom has a starring cast, and it is more than likely to then work within that cast when it is dealing with situations.  After all they can’t have a cast of about 100 people because the audience couldn’t truly connect with all of those people.  However why is the producer from another show getting involved in Genoa?  Shouldn’t he be trying to get good stories for his own show?  Why is Sloan on the election coverage?  Is she not an economist?  Shouldn’t they have gotten someone with a political background to do that spot?  I understand that sometimes that’s just TV, but it doesn’t make it seem any less ridiculous.  It is never a good sign for a TV show when you start to pick out unusual occurrences instead of being lost in the story telling.
  • America isn’t the be all and end all of the world.
    • There was a scene at the start of the election coverage where Charlie addresses the news team and he talks about people watching this election around the world (which is true) and how every country is envious of what America has, which pissed me off.  Is this the same country that shut down non-essential public services because their two party system couldn’t agree with each other so thought it would be a better idea to hold out and see which side would crack first, only for one side to buckle because fucking hell you are holding the citizens of your country to ransom over your own petty and pathetic dislike for the other side?  Is this the same country who preaches to the rest of the world about fair and true voting, yet more than often finds itself with high levels of voting irregularities?  You’re right I’m super jealous.  You honestly would think listening to Americans that they invented democracy, which they didn’t.  Well then you would honestly believe listening to Americans that they were the first modern democracy, which they weren’t.  America’s political system is shit, somebody really needs to tell American’s because they clearly don’t realise.
  • Potential.
    • Whenever anyone asked me about the Newsroom (season 1) I would always respond that I love the concept but the show isn’t that great.  Season 2 didn’t change my feelings on the matter; an excellent concept that never truly fulfils its potential, which is very frustrating.

 

For me the Newsroom never gets past that ok stage, which is sad because I really do love the concept of a show based in a newsroom which looks back at the past years big stories.  The show has a great concept, it has great characters and it has good acting, the problem is that it just isn’t that good a show.  They have renewed it for a third season which is good because it isn’t so bad that it doesn’t deserve another chance.  The hope is of course that the Newsroom will fulfil that potential that the concept and the actors deserve, but you can’t help but have doubts because at times it seems that the creator (and writer) is more interested in getting across his own political agenda and using the show as a soapbox than making it the success that it truly could be, which is sad.

 

So what did you think of the Newsroom season 2?  Leave a comment and let me know, and don’t forget to like BM23reviews on Facebook, follow BM23Reviews on Twitter and to share with all your friends.  Thanks for reading.

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