And we’re back for another episode of The Newsroom! Will the characters become more likeable? Will the women stop being so annoying? Will I start to care about what happens on this show? All are questions that weigh heavily on my mind as I sit down with my supply of Laffy Taffys to watch the second episode, also written by Aaron Sorkin.
— Will has a massive office. Wowza.
— But the ceiling is falling in. If that’s not symbolic, I don’t know what is.
— Ooh, Bryant Park subway station! Actually looks like New York. Was this filmed in New York? I should look this up. Answer: Yes, yes it was.
— Mackenzie: “What they lack in experience, they make up for in inexperience.” Come on, Sorkin, I know you can do better than that. That wasn’t even clever in an unclever way.
— Will doesn’t want anyone to know why he and Mackenzie broke up. This obviously includes the audience. Good thing the audience (read: ME) doesn’t care.
— Mackenzie says that the oil spill is all anyone’s talking about because they, the news, are telling them to. Fits with the concept of media not necessarily telling you what to think, but what to think about.
— So, there’s some newfangled new email system in the newsroom that is totally designed to send emails to the wrong people. Well, THIS WILL END WELL.
— And the issue this episode will be immigration. I have relatively few opinions about this subject. Enlighten me, O show.
— Of course the whiteboard falls down. Because slapstick comedy is the only way to hold an audience’s attention.
— Blah blah blah, more about making the best news possible. WHAT DOES THAT EVEN MEAN? Be clearer, show! At least there’s no sappy music swelling.
— Ah, finally, Mackenzie is clarifying. So apparently good news is a) what you need in a voting booth, b) put together in the best possible argument, and c) in historical context. Okay, maybe, but those all sound HIGHLY subjective. Much like, “Is this person an IMMINENT threat to national security?” (Current events tie-in ftw.)
— “Media is biased towards fairness.” We’ve discussed this in class, how the media constantly tries to bring two sides to every story and give them equal weight, even when one is obviously much more valid than the other (e.g. Holocaust: Real or Hoax?), or there are more factors to be considered.
— Apparently, anything that makes you feel is emotionally manipulative and won’t give you any facts. Hmm. Depends what facts you’re looking for. I think most people just want to know the pros and cons on any given issue so that they can weigh them themselves. So, what’s the case for immigration? What’s the case against? That would be useful. Not sure if that’s what’s happening here. Must wait and see.
— Jim is being unbelievably condescending toward Maggie, ordering her around, not taking her complaints seriously. Jim, you’re being a poop. Stop it.
— Okay, now that they’re talking about the immigration issue, it’s bearable.
— Oh, yay! The first scene of the season that passes the Bechdel test because it’s between two women, Sloan and Mackenzie, who are not talking about a man. I’m legit happy about this. And that’s kind of sad.
— Mackenzie tells Sloan that she wants to be friends because she doesn’t have any. DUDE. Not how you make friends. You’ve been to war, you’ve been a journalist for years, you’ve got life experience — you should have rudimentary social skills.
— Aaand now the scene has devolved into talking about a man. I consider that to be a half-pass of the Bechdel test.
— Will totally is an ass. Stop defending him, Mackenzie. This is just depressing.
— Woo, Mackenzie stands up for Will, Will stands up for Mackenzie. So obviously they’re made for each other. Still don’t care.
— Great, Maggie withheld personal information that jeopardized a professional situation. Ugh. *headdesk* Am I supposed to think this is adorable and cute? Because I just think it’s irresponsible.
— And now she’s completely freaking out and acting like a crazy person. Man, I was just starting to think you were competent. WHYYY.
— Jim’s covering for her. That’s nice. But he’s probably only doing it because he’s got a crush on her.
— Yup, I knew it. Mackenzie cheated on Will, and thanks to screwy office email systems, everyone now knows. Lovely.
— And now Mackenzie’s flipping out. Vomit. I really can’t stand all these meltdowns; it’s ridiculous. I want to go watch The West Wing or Battlestar Galactica — shows where people were really good at their jobs and didn’t act like babies half the time.
— MACKENZIE, STOP IT! You cheated, you know it, stop defending it, there are NO SUCH THINGS AS TECHNICALITIES HERE, I can’t listen to this, jeez.
— Will said something nice to Maggie that was totally out of character. Because the show has to prove he’s got a big heart. Because Mackenzie said so. Sigh. Silly show.
— Wow, this interview segment is a disaster and completely the opposite of what the show is claiming to do. If you want to tell people what to think and have Will just spout all the arguments, why even interview anyone. I’m sure he’d be fine just spouting. That was just a total joke.
— Mackenzie is asking Will to be the moral center of the show?? Excuse me while I go laugh hysterically in a corner.
— Wait, Maggie and Don broke up? While she’s babbling and drunk? That doesn’t seem like a mature way to end a relationship. They better not leave it at that. Or whatever, go ahead. I don’t care about them either.
— Confused — they’re going for the emotionally manipulative angle? Does Will think this is in line with Mackenzie’s philosophy? Or is he undermining her authority? Unclear.
Okay, that was disappointing. The characters were, if possible, even more unlikeable and more unprofessional than last episode. I was really hoping they wouldn’t be; I want to like this show. It had one memorably enjoyable scene — the one where Jim and Maggie are finally arguing about immigration itself, wittily and informatively — but other than that, I really couldn’t wait for the episode to just go away and take its unpleasant, mostly incompetent people with it. I just don’t enjoy spending any time with them.
Rating: 2.5/5 stars