The Newsroom: Same show, differing opinions

This Twitter conversation with Steve Riggins:

is interesting if only to see how two people can see the same thing and yet come out of it with completely different experiences. I really disliked the second episode – this story from The Daily Beast neatly encapsulates why.

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11 thoughts on “The Newsroom: Same show, differing opinions

  1. We were disappointed by the pilot. Two supposedly professional female characters whose first conversation with each other is about men? One of them ostensibly a seasoned foreign correspondent?

    Failed Bechdel Test.

    Casting was poor, and performances were all over the map. Because it’s Sorkin, we’re giving it at least one more episode.

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  2. I can appreciate that, it was used twice as a plot device.

    I don’t know if you have ever worked in a customer or tech dept support role, its a little far too common.

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  3. I was really looking forward to “The Newsroom”. Everything I’ve seen from Sorkin has been fantastic; well paced intelligent writing, developed characters and plots that feel as if they have somewhere to go.

    After being forced to watch “The West Wing” one evening I fell in love with it, so much so I re-watch it every couple of years. After finding TWW I went back and found “Sports Night”, such a witty and intelligent show. “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip” was great, but could not develop when put against “30 Rock”. I was really disappointed when “Studio 60” was cancelled.

    In the above three, Sorkin mastered good, intelligent and fast paced dialog, characters were well researched, and I have to assume Sorkin has sway when it comes to casting, it is nearly always great.

    But, “The Newsroom” really is not doing it for me. I think some of the casting is great, Daniels, Waterstone, Patel, Mortimer are great, but the characters are just not there. Daniels character is reasonably solid as the jaded anchor, but Waterstone portrays his character as a parkinsons patient and Mortimer who is supposed to be a seasoned war reporter seems to be on the ever-present verge of a teary breakdown incapable of putting her point across.

    The first episode was about setting the scene, I get that, the Daniels monologue was pure channeled Sorkin, saying something of importance with the eloquence Sorkin is known for, and is expected from, however the ‘tension’ between the Daniels character and the Mortimer character dragged on for far too long, so long it spilled into the god damn second episode.

    We get it, they dated, its uncomfortable for them, its odd, we don’t quite know who cheated on who, but we know that by the end of episode 1, to drag it into episode 2 really pisses me off.

    Then we have the ‘jealousy’ triangle. The flat faced blonde is dating the nondescript one that is moving to the other slot, so lets create some tension with the new guy who sits just beyond halfway geeky scale. She screws up and its who will take the shit? Are we in romcom territory?

    I normally have a 2 episode policy. If it doesn’t grab me in the first to episodes its jettisoned from the play list, on the evidence of the first 2 episodes of “The Newsroom” it should be off the list. However, this is Sorkin, and when Sorkin is good nothing else compares, so I’m breaking my two episode rule, this show gets one more chance.

    btw, I’ve never seen “Social Network” nor do I intend to.

    Crabbit.

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    • “Mortimer who is supposed to be a seasoned war reporter seems to be on the ever-present verge of a teary breakdown incapable of putting her point across.”

      Absolutely. That thread of her in the 2nd episode literally pissed me off. Sorkin is expecting us to believe that this seasoned journalist can’t even properly send an email – TWICE!? Let alone the whole romcom aspect of the entire episode turned me off of it.

      If you remember back to West Wing, we didn’t learn much about their personal lives until we where well into their storylines and even then, it was nowhere near as lame as what happened in episode 2.

      “I’m breaking my two episode rule, this show gets one more chance.”

      If you read the linked Daily Beast story that hints at what will happen in Episodes #3 and #4, you may want to stick to your rule and not bother.

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      • I pretty much glossed over the email failure while watching Ep 2, the likes of you and I who deal with this type of thing on a daily basis know the realities, I think it was meant to resonate with Joe Public, many of whom have made that “reply all” mistake in a corp environ.

        I really am hoping that this ‘romcom’ aspect will be dropped soon, if it is being used as a device for further plot and character development, ok, but if it becomes intrinsic to the story I really can’t be arsed with it.

        If I remember back to The West Wing, I don’t think we started to learn about the personal history of characters until midway through season 2.

        Crabbit

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        • “I think it was meant to resonate with Joe Public, many of whom have made that “reply all” mistake in a corp environ.”

          If it were just a one time thing, I’d agree. But they used the same lame gag twice in the episode. It said the character was “too dumb to learn from her mistakes”. It rubbed me the wrong way.

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