What is it about? It revolves around a news broadcast station and those that work for the news agency, ACN.
Jeff Daniels. Isn't he the Dumber part of Dumb & Dumber? Yeah, but dumb he's not. I have always liked Jeff Daniels but I never got the impression he was capable of fulfilling such a role. I guess no one ever gave him the chance. Seeing this side of Daniels was a bit shocking at first. I was like....."WOW, where did this come from?" He is witty, intelligent, sharp as a tack and is nothing less than impressive. Very impressive.
This shows relies on two things and one of them is strong acting from all. The cast delivers and delivers well. The other thing is writing. This is one of the best written shows on TV with strong actors capable of delivering well written scripts. The dialogue is fast, funny, intelligent and their timing is well executed. The scripts reflect today's current events which makes it even more fun. I have not seen a TV program with this level of well delivered scripts since Gilmore Girls.
This show is not one that you can casually watch while doing other things....like playing on the computer. This show requires your attention. As the first reviewer remarked, you can watch an episode independent of the others and still enjoy it but watching them chronologically is best and stuff will make more sense.
Hats off to Mr. Daniels for such an excellent performance. 5 stars easy.
Edited to add: Mr. Daniels won an Emmy this year as Best Actor in a drama series for this role. If he nudged out Bryan Cranston in his final season, you know Daniels is dishing out some serious stuff.
The second season of HBO's NEWSROOM picks up where last season leaves off. However, unlike shows like TRUE BLOOD, there's no cliffhanger from season 1 that needs resolving. So if you haven't watched season 1, you can jump right in without feeling overwhelmed by complicated plots, and various character's backstories. All you need to know is that its a story about the characters who bring us the nightly news on ATLANTA CABLE NEWS (ACN, representing apparently a mash up of CNN and NBC.) Jeff Daniels is Will McAvoy, the news ancor who called "THE TEA PARTY" the "American Taliban", has a romantic history with his producer, Mackenzie. The other romantic backstory involves Maggie, a fact checker in the newsroom, played by the lovely Alison Pill. She is torn between her live-in boyfriend from season 1, Don Keefer, a producer in the newsroom, and her REAL love, Jim Harper, who's also a producer. The other two main characters include Sloan Sabbith, who's a super genius economist with her own news show on the economy. Sloan is beautiful, and socially awkward since her intelligence puts guys off. And finally there's Neal, a young guy who runs the ACN internet page, and monitors Will's blog.
Season TWO opens in early 2012 with a conference involving the company Lawyers, and the newsroom cast, over a wrongful termination suite. During the first ten minutes of the new season, we discover that the temporary news producer who was hired to cover for Jim Harper, was fired for bringing a fake story to ACN, that concerned the US military using chemical weapons in Afghanistan. Mistakenly reporting that the US military committed war crimes, has serious consequences. But how did this happen? Well, there's a replacement news producer filling in for Jim Harper, who needed time off. Jim could no longer face Maggie, his secret love, at work. So Jim is allowed to be a normal reporter on Mitt Romney's bus. Meanwhile, Maggie decides she also needs to get away from the Newsroom, so she volunteers to cover a story in Africa, where a horrible tragedy involving orphans devastates her. The only back story from season one that plays out in season two, involves Jim and Maggie's hidden love for each other being revealed during a drunken confessional in public, which was secretly video taped and placed on Youtube. Jim's girlfriend, and Maggie's boyfriend (Don Keefer)both saw the video on youtube, and break ups ensue. Also lingering from season 1, Mackenzie comes ONE MORE STEP closer to discovering that Will is still in love with her.
The entire season 2 story arc occurs during 5 days, during which we are shown how the ACN news team tries to vet a seemingly reliable allegation about the military's use of chemical weapons. Needless to say, the story was bogus but was reported on the nightly news, and everybody is in serious hot water. Along with that, minor subplots concern Neal's coverage of OCCUPY WALLSTREET, and Jim's coverage of Romney's presidential election campaign. As in season one, the drama of interpersonal relationships at the workplace, while covering hot news stories, is the motor behind the whole show. But why do people love the NEWSROOM? Because its smart. THE NEWSROOM concerns highly intelligent, sophisticated New Yorkers leading their personal and professional lives, in the post 9/11 world. The relationships, like the news stories, are firmly grounded in realism, but with a nice dose of snarky comedy, tied to personal insight. Best of all, we're given a balanced, philosophical albeit cynical overview of our world's news. Its riveting, without pandering to sensationalist melodrama, or involving supernatural elements. (Nobody's a vampire, an alien, a psychic, or a secret cyborg. At least, we don't think so...) So if you like dramedy coupled to a "behind the scenes" look at network newscasts, you might just find THE NEWSROOM a fun ride. At least fun until its not anymore.
on January 9, 2014
I thought Emily Mortimer couldn't be any better than she was in Lars and the Real Girl and Dear Frankie, but she has proved me wrong in every episode! Her sublime performance, whether comedic or tragic has me believing every word Sorkin put in her mouth. I thought Jeff Daniels would never equal HIS performance in Gettysburg, but, again, I was absolutely wrong! Will McAvoy is that treasure we all hope exists: an honest reporter who values the truth above his own success and, tortured though he may be by his sometimes-lack-of social-skills, he surprises me over and over again with his genuine goodness.
I have watched all seven seasons of West Wing and still love them and I'm confident that I'll be enjoying all the seasons (may there be many!) of Newsroom. Thank you, Aaron Sorkin and HBO, for writing for those of us who want smart television!!!
p.s. I had dropped HBO from my cable package until I heard Newsroom was coming---called the same day and got it hooked up!!!
on November 7, 2014
This is a brilliant program about the moral ground-high and low-that is taken regarding presentation/representation of the news, to include the nuances of personal bias, the ethics of reporting in an objective, neutral fashion, the responsibility to nail down credible, factual sources/information, and the parts each person plays in this process while, at the same time, trying to win the ratings game. Is it more important to win that game, or to be genuinely fair and balanced in your reporting as opposed to merely claiming to be, and then doing the exact opposite? This program illustrates these ethical issues within the framework of actual news stories beautifully. The writing, the acting-there just isn't a false note to be found here. This show makes you think, feel, and care about the world around you and how these issues are presented to us.
on August 6, 2015
It's the "West Wing" in a Newsroom. Some of the same cliche dialog tricks (fast talking, interrupting), and "walk and talk" camera work. It's preachy, and blatantly left wing liberal. I am not a liberal and found the bias irritating. All that said, I watched both season 1 and season 2 and mostly enjoyed the story telling, acting. There's some first rate talent in the cast, and they definitely bring it. The story lines were compelling as well.