By Deanna Campbell (Eps 1-5) and Huntress Thompson (Eps 6-10)
It’s been a big year for TV, Jeff Daniels and his chin. In The Newsroom he steals the show as charming, egotistical Will McAvoy and whether we like it or not, we’ve found ourselves tuning in.
Here’s our take on the show’s fledgling season, episode by episode.
SPOILER ALERT: This is a retrospective of the whole season, including the episodes that have yet to air on South African TV.
Episode one: We just decided to
“Jeff Daniels is remarkable. True to form, Sorkin has hired the perfect man for the job. And yet, every time Will McAvoy fires through a piece of intellectual dialogue (every scene then), I get disturbing flashbacks of his ‘bathroom’ scene in 1994′s Dumb and Dumber…”
Episode two: News Night 2.0
“Meanwhile, assistant turned associate producer Maggie, who has the endearing and sometimes annoying ability to switch between intelligent capable woman to blubbering confused lady-girl, commits a major no-no in news terms when she lets her personal feelings destroy a key interview with an Arizona governor. No one is amused… except Jim… who wants to get in her pants, so technically it doesn’t count…”
Episode three: The 112th Congress
“It takes an entire episode for Fonda’s character, Leona Lansing, to say anything but when she does, you better believe you’ll listen, mostly because she says ‘fuck’ a lot. Can’t really argue with a F-bomb wielding Jane Fonda…”
Episode four: I’ll try to fix you
“Poor Maggie, oblivious to the fact that she can’t have her cake and eat it too, later makes a late-night phone call to Jim (at Don’s insistence) only to discover that he’s in bed with Lisa. Go Jim! Who knew you had it in you…”
Episode five: Amen
“Neal Sampat needs more screen time. That is all…”
Episode six: Bullies
“Aaron Sorkin characters are almost always well-crafted, but rarely subtly crafted, so when he tells you Sloan Sabbith is clever, he tells you she holds multiple degrees in Economics, tutors the executive producer on her show and speaks fluent Japanese, and whenever any of those things comes up, the rest of the room must be suitably awed. She also wears giant Velma-From-Scooby-Doo glasses when she’s being especially clever…”
Episode seven: 5/1
“It’s the biggest story, perhaps, of the team’s careers. Will is shit faced. His necktie has outsmarted him. Key players aren’t where they should be…”
Episode eight: The Blackout Part 1: Tragedy Porn
“The website death threat story arc offers Dev Patel’s Neal (the website admin) a bit more to play over the coming episodes, which is a relief because he was criminally underused early on. I’ve been wishing his earnest little drama student face would be given more key lines, instead of just routinely beaming for the heart-warming cut-away shot whenever the more important characters hug…”
Episode nine: The Blackout, Part 2: Mock Debate
“Jim Harper’s appeal is exactly that he’s too clever to be cool, but so clever that he’s really attractive. “I don’t know if it’s been clear from my emails and phonecalls,” he says, “but I’ve been wooing you.” He’s witty, sharp and talented, but there’s no chance that any of that will help him navigate the world socially – not even the world of The Newsroom…”
Deanna spends her days buried in a jumble of words and her nights trying to balance family life and everything in between, all while doodling the name Grohl on her notepad and watching reruns of Supernatural. If it’s on TV, she’s seen it. If it’s the latest fad diet… she’s tried it. She’s got a lot to say. Be warned.
In the vacuum between dark and light, Siouxsie Sioux and Emmylou Harris, Amelie and Travis Bickle, Huntress Thompson is an idiot lost, and reporting from the field. If you’re after irrational rants about cupcakes and Johnny Cash (and you probably aren’t), she’s grumpy, but she’s your girl.