Review: The Newsroom “I’ll Try to Fix You”

Ringing in the New Year with Bigfoot! That’s the start of this week’s episode of The Newsroom. This episode will make you laugh, and possibly make you cry in this sex scandal filled montage aptly titled for a culmination in a galvanizing moment that instills the fervor within the Newsroom.There are two overarching themes throughout this installment of The Newsroom. They are led by Neal (Dev Patel) and Will (Jeff Daniels), respectively, and like Don (Thomas Sadoski) says: It’s time to start the New Years with a bang!

Bigfoot is real; just ask Neal Sampat. Throughout the entirety of the episode he desperately tries to get Will, and the other members of the Newsroom to believe in the man, myth, legend, that is Bigfoot. Going so far as to create an entire presentation to illustrate the information available on the apex predator; Neal finds this task of convincing Will to do a story on this lovable oaf is harder than he thought.

That’s not the only hard thing on this episode, and to Will’s detriment a flurry of women with whom he’s dated have been seen splashing drinks into his face and forcing stories about him to appear on page six of the daily news. Problem after problem and mishap after mishap riddle Will’s personal life full of meaningless holes that he can’t seem to fill without the obvious necessity of the lack of an intimate Mac (Emily Mortimer) in his life. Although he is the star, this isn’t the only love story that’s taking place. There’s also a nicely timed piece concerning Maggie (Alison Pill), Don, and Jim (John Gallagher, Jr.).

It begins on New Year’s Eve, like all train wrecks do, with Don forcing Maggie’s roommate to go out with Jim. Everything boils down to a lie, of course, and when Maggie finds out Jim lied to her about spending the night with her roommate; tensions flare on an early Saturday morning where Jim is force to use his position to take control and order her into a timeout of sorts after he apologizes for his betrayal of her trust.

With the revelation between Jim and Maggie and Will’s negative status on the cover of tabloids coming to a head; Charlie (Sam Waterston) realizes the key to all of their problems. That key was that ACN owns that tabloid, and the owner of ACN is trying to deliver on her promise to fire Will if he doesn’t cool off on his reports on her Tea Party friends. Just as things seemingly couldn’t get worse; they do, but they all come together to produce a broadcast of brilliance on reporting the near fatal shooting of U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords on Saturday, January 8, 2011.

Rating: 4.8/5

Don’t miss The Newsroom Sundays at 10pm on HBO

Review: The Newsroom “The 112th Congress”

Spanning six months, this episode delivers astute political criticism towards the Tea Party and news that ceases to be informative to the modern voter. This shows seeks to explain, or at least try to, the decisions of voters and how educated they truly were in the 2010 American election. It begins with the most simply complex thing possible: An apology.

Aaron Sorkin delivers another masterpiece in this; the third episode of a series that is making leaps and bounds in an attack on the politics that corrupt own daily news broadcasts. This idea that is so eloquently delivered throughout the broadcasts of News Night is that the facts are what matters and not the spin on stories that are of little concern.  This point is made clearly as we begin talking about the “Times Square Bomber” which, on News Night got fairly little coverage due to the fact that the system actually worked in capturing the bomber while little consideration was given to the actual person that reported the bombing, an immigrant from Senegal, who turns out to be Muslim.

This show takes big risks by attacking certain political parties, but does so brilliantly in exposing the flaws in not just one party, but all parties as everything is fair game in the political arena. This does however cause great distress to the network which causes another main focal point of the episode in a time skipping meeting involving Charlie Skinner (Sam Waterston) and the CEO of Atlantis World Media, the parent company of ACN, Leona Lansing (Jane Fonda). This episode, and the conspiring events, is what led to this eventual meeting that had taken place after these six expedited months of newscasts which all culminated with the coverage of Election Night 2010.

Jeff Daniels as Will McAvoy is brilliant in his delivery of information and retaliation against political extremists, but also towards MacKenzie McHale (Emily Mortimer) as he brings date after date into the Newsroom to more than entice McHale into retaliating with her own solution–a secret boyfriend–which is discovered by Will during the Election Night newscast which sends his tripping over his own feet on the way back to his desk in a troublesome disbelief, but with everything it did to him it didn’t distract him from his job: delivering the facts. This isn’t the only love-line on this show; as time goes on and the multiple break-ups and get-back-togethers of Maggie (Alison Pill) and Don (Thomas Sadoski) influence his actions, Jim (John Gallagher, Jr.) tries to keep his cool long enough to ask Maggie out, but every single time he is shot down before he can take off with the appearance of Don to sweep Maggie away before he can even arrive.

This episode is a fantastic piece of political examination from the previous election. I would highly recommend you start watching from the beginning as this is still a new series, and it gives you insight into facts that you may have not known had you been otherwise misinformed.  I have to give this episode a 4.6/5. Don’t miss an episode on HBO Sunday nights and 10!

Review: The Newsroom “We Just Decided To”

Created by Aaron Sorkin, The Newsroom stars Jeff Daniels as Will McAvoy–A news anchor for the fictional Atlantis Cable News (ACN) with hostile tendencies and a attitude that is suggestive of a man that has it right, but dumbs himself down in order to communicate to a larger audience–who seemingly snaps during a panel interview at Northwestern in which he claims to have had vertigo. This is where the story starts and the dialogue gets smart.

At this interview he attempts to deflect every question that comes his way until he is force to give an answer to which is explodes into a political frenzy that, in fact, mirrors my own opinions on the current political system and a hope for improvement, which all started with the question: “Why is America the greatest country in the world?” The simple answer; it’s not, but it can be. This outburst leads to nearly his entire staff to jump ship with the Executive Producer (EP) Don Keefer–played by Thomas Sadoski–thus leaving Will with a new EP that he is all to familiar with: His ex-girlfriend MacKenzie McHale (Emily Mortimer).

This series features newscasts from real-world events that have occurred with the added spin of a retrospective about the knowledge gained over time. They search for information, pester sources, and come together to form a broadcast of which isn’t at the level of Jay Leno–as Will McAvoy was compared to by his lack of opinions and having “not bothered” anyone.–but in fact spearheading the mainstream media to inform and educate rather than talk about easy to understand concepts and ideas. As the episode continues it’s filled with turmoil with interoffice relationships and old habits dying hard as the new mix of personalities juxtapose to form a beautiful piece of action and information that is penned wonderfully by the show’s creator; Sorkin.

I would recommend this show to anyone with indifference and an ability to be unbiased about past news, as some of the topics touched upon are rather harshly pursued from multiple points of view that could upset some people with their political ideals. I plan on watching and review an episode each week, and I leave you with the first episode in its entirety. Be sure to tune in Sundays at 10 PM on HBO!

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