The Newsroom, like most HBO series, received a lot of attention in the 3 years that it aired. It received at best mixed reviews, the most common complaint being the complexity of the writing and the unrealistic dialogue. The creator and writer of the show, Aaron Sorkin is known for his intelligent dialogue in his previous works (A Few Good Men, The West Wing, The Social Network, Moneyball). In the 25 episodes of this brief series there isn’t one filler or unnecessary story arc. The Newsroom covers a lot in its weirdly structured 3 seasons and it has moved towards the top of my favorite TV shows.
I am a millennial college graduate whose mind was corrupted by the radical left after receiving a social science degree. I watched the Colbert Report and Daily Show through college and continued to watch up until recently when the shows ceased to exist or changed hosts (I have moved on to the true heir of infotainment, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver) so I have a deep rooted hatred for cable news. The ratings driven cable news industry is used to control the mass crowds of ignorant people who pick their news source based on which one will confirm their prejudices. The Newsroom is a show about a news network that attempts to change the way news in presented in the modern world and that is 90% of the reason why I like this show. Anybody fighting for an impossible moral mission while being able to keep a hold on their sense of superiority has my respect.
Newsrooms are chaotic environments that force people working within them to work together and to work constantly. This is a perfect setting to create a story filled with unique characters who are constantly interacting and advancing the story. The cast for this show is impressive which is led by the star Jeff Daniels. As a person who grew up in a hunting Michigan family, I have known about the Michigan native Jeff Daniels for as long as I can remember and was reminded of his understanding of the strange semi-Canadian weirdness of Michigan by watching Escanaba in the Moonlight every hunting season with my family. Dumb and Dumber is one of my favorite movies (I refuse to watch the official sequel) and Jeff Daniels’ range of acting was revealed when he received an Emmy for outstanding lead actor in a drama series for a show that was airing alongside the release of Dumb and Dumber To.
The rest of the cast is filled with faces that I recognized from other movies and shows. The main supporting cast consist of Olivia Munn (I have only seen her act in Babymakers, but I have been aware of her attractiveness since her G4 days), Allison Pill (Scott Pilgrim vs. The World), Jason Gallagher (10 Cloverfield Lane), Sam Waterston (Law and Order), Jane Fonda (On Golden Pond), and new faces to me, Thomas Sadowski, Emily Mortimer, and Dev Patel. The reoccurring, or supporting supporting cast was also full of worthy actors: Grace Gummer (Meryl Streep’s daughter), BJ Novak (Inglorious Basterds), Natalie Morales (Parks and Recreation), Kat Dennings (Nick and Nora’s Infinite Playlist), Terry Crews (The Longest Yard), Paul Schneider (Parks and Recreation), David Harbour (Stranger Things), and playing one of the most despicable characters ever created in fiction, actor Hamish Linklater.
This show has a peculiar season structure with the first season consisting of 10 episodes, the second has 9 episodes and the third only has 6 episode. It looks strange on paper but the structure of the seasons makes sense when watching. The first season establishes the characters and the foundation of the show, the second season revolves around one main event, and the third season wraps up the story. Despite its short run, this is a dense a show.
The most engrossing aspect of this show is the comradery of the members of the newsroom. Inter-office relationships, feuds, acts of encouragement, rundown meetings, all brought the employees of the show together. Everyone in the crew grew closer with every hardship and triumph and even through their conversations may include dialogue that is unrealistic, the relationships were real. I hadn’t enjoyed the evolution of relationships between characters in a show like this since I watched The Wire.
The Newsroom is great.