Monday, July 2, 2012

The Newsroom: A Bad Night on the Show

by Amy K. Bredemeyer

Man. I LOVED Maggie in the first episode. I was a pretty big fan of Jim, too. And Neil, he was my third-favorite. But, Maggie and Jim took a nosedive as the craziness in the office wore on. Mack also ended up losing some points in my eye, particularly with her inability to send a freakin' email and her interactions with Sloan. What kind of name is that, anyway? What is this, Ferris Bueller's Day Off? Anyway, this episode really turned me off of the show. I'll give it another episode or two, but let's hope that things turn around, or I'm just gonna leave this one behind me. What did you think? Was it a step down from the pilot? Are they just setting things up? What do you want to see in episode 3?

The Newsroom "News Night 2.0" (S01E02): It's three days after the first episode, so April 23rd, 2010. Will is worried that Mack's "people" are too inexperienced to make good shows, but he still has spent a few hours looking over their names and profiles (and those of his old group, it seems). [sucks that so many have left, tho! and odd that only Mack seems to know why Don is still there.] At the first pitch meeting of the Mack-run News Night, they talk about the spill, the Arizona Immigration Bill (SB1070), and the new email system, which Mack has Neil explain. [I'm already sick of everyone deferring to him as an IT guy!] Mack then dives into her "rules", which include "Is this information we need in the voting booth?" "Is this the best possible form of the argument?" "Is the story in historical context?" "Are there really two sides to this story?" [that fourth one is a great one. I struggled with that well into my first semester of graduate school! the first one I could easily do without, but I'm not a politics person.] She explains that the show is a courtroom, and Will makes the truth come to light. [mmhmm...]

Mack asks Sloan about a word switch in the broadcast, then offers her five minutes every night to talk about economics. [borrrrrrrrrring!] She tries to deflect to someone more qualified, but Mack mentions that looks matter. [oh, good. for a second there I thought we were in 2010, but I guess it's still 1960 after all.] Mack then tries to make friends with Sloan but when Sloan says that they have in common they've been cheated on, things fall apart. Mack also learns that everyone in the office believes that she and Will aren't together because he cheated on her. Mack tells Sloan to tell everyone that isn't what happened, as Will has asked Mack to stay quiet about why they're not together.

Maggie and Jim get into it. [this was the most boring five minutes I've seen in a month, I think. but, it's clear that he has a crush on her, just like Mack wanted him to. kinda.] It doesn't just happen once, either... they get into it again when it comes out that Maggie once dated Glen, who now works in a governor's office. [and I totally about called Maggie "Lucy," like from Sports Night... oh, Sorkin.] Long story short, there are no guests for the broadcast, and Jim covers for Maggie, later explaining to her that everyone lies for one another. [yep, I see this being a recurring thing...] To top it off, Mack sends a second accidental mass-email, this time mentioning how she cheated on Will, and he wishes that she had never told him. [statements like this always make me wonder... I love how she asked someone to sneak into Will's office just before he walks in, tho!] Everyone tries to come up with replacements for the interviews, but they all suck. [University of Phoenix? really?] The "scholar" is too concise and doesn't elaborate, the pageant contestant [Megan Park!] just sits there smiling, and the volunteer border patrol guy talks about America needing to build another Great Wall of China. [so bad!] Mack tries to get Will to dump the entire segment, but he keeps it going. [...why?] They then dive into the well story, including a quote from Sarah Palin that Will didn't want Mack to know about - but it failed anyway so it didn't matter much. [and you wonder why I didn't like this episode?]

After the show, Neil invites Jim to come out with the group to a karaoke bar. [nice to invite the new guy and all, but he's also the boss... ha! They send an intern down to order 30 drinks at 8:55! FAB! I was shocked to hear "Bubbly" by Colbie Caillet, tho.] Don asks Maggie to come with him to 10pm, because it'll eventually edge out Will at 8pm anyway. [presumptuous, much?] Jim says, "I really only drink when I'm scared," then takes a shot and talks to Maggie. [show is starting to drag again...] Will calls Neil, asking him to set up everything for a family man (whom Neil originally wanted on the show that night) in Spokane who has been affected by immigration issues. Will will anonymously pay for the guy to take a cab to and from his work. Then, Will talks to Mack, saying that he's "in" and will see her on Monday. Of course, that's after she told him "Be the leader; be the moral center of this show; be the integrity." [powerful, no? I loved that other line - "just because the scenery fell down doesn't mean it's not a good play." ]

other news? Greece wants a bailout. [dang, I forgot how long that's been going on...] Bernie and Betsey Shapiro are Will's new upstairs neighbors. [could be coincidence, but there's also an old railroad court case with these two as the defendants...] 
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