TV Recap: The Newsroom, S1E9

After a blackout, there will be light. And there is. Perhaps the blackout was more indicative of the morally downward spiral New Night 2.0 was taking with the Casey Anthony storyline. Last week’s episode (Blackout Part 1) saw the team adhering to network demands. Naturally, this could only last so long, with the renegades clambering up their courage and doing things their own way.

One rather specific and personal observation became apparent upon watching this episode. Firstly, Will’s (Jeff Daniels) therapy sessions that not at all interesting, and I really couldn’t care less about his damaged childhood. Perhaps this is because The Newsroom is a workplace drama. Finding out about character’s past always seems a little strange. It is their behaviours that are of interest to the viewer, and less how they felt the night they were stood up for the prom. This being said, series creator Aaron Sorkin does seem to falter with the personal relationship storylines, in comparison to his sharp, astute workplace actions and social commentaries.

Mackenzie (Emily Mortimer) was on fire too with two moments of exasperated mania, only further ignited by the presence of her ex Brian (Paul Schneider). It seems comical of Sorkin to present Will and Brian as two competitors for Mac’s affections. There is clearly no contest, as Brian is boringly annoying (unfortunately for Schneider, who once again reprises his ability to play bland and boring really characters with blandness and boredom).

The perennial love-triangle saga with Maggie (Alison Pill), Jim (John Gallagher Jr.) and Don (Thomas Sadoski) broke little ground when it was discovered that Don had been seeing other women in his off times with Maggie (quelle surprise!) Jim and Maggie are going to get to together eventually, and then it will be awkward. But by that time, no one will care. Not that they do now.

Counter balancing the coordination and technological inabilities of the lead female characters, Will’s (comedic?) literal downfall as he attempted to pull on his pants evened out the playing field. Sorkin’s point is loud and clear. Both male and female professionals can be extremely well read, intelligible and savvy, but can still have trouble putting on a pair of pants. Does Sorkin actually mean anything, apart from a little wisecrack? Not really. And so, the conversation should practically end there.

Despite loosing the options of holding the Republican Primary debates, the team still won at holding the upper hand, despite their lack of securing a deal. Unsurprisingly, The Newsroom is presenting an option of what classy can look like. Unfortunately, the message came across as a little too didactic and blatant in this second last episode of the season.

The Newsroom airs Monday nights on the SoHo channel. Read more episode reviews of this season.

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