I finally got a chance to watch that new HBO show The Newsroom, and I gotta say, what a doozy! Here's my re-cap:
First 1/2 Hour:
(Warning: this first half reeks of pilotjamtoomuchinfoinitis)
Panel discussion - Liberal White Lady and Conservative White Man are very partisan. Old Fashioned Newsman is a centrist, dammit! Whatever happened to the good old days? YELLING ABOUT THE OLD DAYS! When the news was white and the white men read the news with absolutely no political opinion! Kennedy was perfect and the country had no flaws. WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THAT? MORE YELLING. Old Fashioned Newsman tells a Young Blonde Girl in the audience she is dumb. (Coincidentally, creator Aaron Sorkin did a similar thing in an interview about The Newsroom to a lady reporter). YBG is sad. I am bored.
Cut to "3 weeks later". OFN comes back from a vacation where inexplicably no one has been able to get a hold of him to tell him his whole staff left him because he's not as nice as he used to be. SOMEONE'S lost their edge. Strangely enough the tabloids have photos of him on vacation, but his own boss can't reach him by phone, email, fax, text, Twitter, Facebook, hotel phone, etc. Boss also likes to drink. MORE YELLING! They have hired a Lady to take over as Executive Producer.
Lady comes in and MAYBE Lady and OFN have a history? Hmmmmmm? Perhaps? It'll take 25 minutes of arguing about Don Quixote in OFN's office to find out. That happens after Lady gives Young New Girl love advice that sound like it came from a 14 year old girl or 40 something male staff writer. MORE YELLING BETWEEN LADY AND OFN IN HIS OFFICE ABOUT DON QUIXOTE! Or is it Man of La Mancha? HA HA, gotchya! Sexual tension. Symbolism.
But wait! Lady's new staff smells a news story and Quirky Guy has not one, but TWO leads inside Halliburton and BP.
Last 1/2 Hour:
Ok, this is where the show got good. The last part is all about the OFN finding his bearings by ACTUALLY BEING LIKE THOSE OLD TIMEY REPORTERS! The story flows a lot better and is genuinely riveting. I am beginning to like the characters even though some of the acting direction is questionable. THERE'S NO TIME FOR JOKES DURING THE BP OIL SPILL! OFN starts to love his job and life again. He tries to give credit to his staff. Then the sexy time backstory with him and Lady we already knew about gets reiterated. This scene goes on for ten minutes. I let it slide. Credits roll. I'll watch next week.
If you can sit through the uneven first half hour (the pilot runs 70 minutes), I recommend watching this, especially is you're a news whore like me. I'm also quite positive that this is the kind of show Tom Brokaw and Dan Rather will splooge over. But if you want to watch something a little shorter that gets right to the drama, watch this: