By Deanna Campbell
While the rest of the world is focusing on the BP oil spill, News Night chooses a different tact and centres their broadcast around the Arizona neighbourhoods act. (If, like me, you had no idea what this was when you watched the ep, here’s some key info).
Like most of Sorkin’s previous work, it’s clear that we’re going to spend a lot of our time dissecting key characters in an attempt to try and make sense of their behaviour.
Cue possibly the most complicated character of all, hot shot news man Will McAvoy. We first find him (alone) in his sleek apartment, attempting to get to know his staff as any normal person would, by studying flashcards. Somewhere in between all of that we discover, via accidental mass e-mail, that Will wasn’t the bad guy in his relationship with MacKenzie and that she, in fact, cheated on him. At this point, let me just take a step back and say it – we get it, ok, we get it. Will McAvoy is, at the heart of it, a nice guy. But please, I implore you Mr Sorkin, give us at least a few eps where we can loathe him, it’s always more interesting that way.
Back in the newsroom, MacKenzie attempts to describe to the staff, her vision for the new and improved News Night. Says MacKenzie, “the sole aim of News Night will be to inform the American electorate in the most responsible, non-sensational way possible.” As admirable as that may appear to be, one wonders how serious she really is when she, later on in the ep, hires economist Sloane Sabbith based largely on her appearance.
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.
That being said, it becomes increasingly clear in this episode that the show is going to invest a great amount in the chemistry between Maggie and Jim. Don’t believe me? See what I stumbled across on the wonderful interweb.
Told you so.