In Defense of The Newsroom

SPOILERS MIGHT BE AHEAD IDK EXACTLY WHAT I’M GONNA SAY YET – Last night, The Newsroom wrapped up its second season, giving me ~all the feelings~ with reactions including but not limited to mushy happiness, fist-punching triumph, awkward giggling, awkward cringing, and crushing despair at the withdrawals in my imminent future.

That being said, I felt the need to get my feelings down about just how brilliant this show is and why most of the critiques I read seem to completely miss the entire point. I think the main issue here is that there’s no clear genre for it. It’s something I (personally) kinda like about it — it’s drama, current events, romance, screwball comedy, and more all jumbled up into precious unprecedented television. Why unprecedented? Because I don’t think I’ve seen another television show that so accurately captures the essence of a newsroom. The integration of new media (as delivered by Neal’s character), the fast pace and leap-into-action-ness of breaking news, the corporate tradition that currently exists versus the quixotic ideology that we wish our own news could produce.

And for all the criticisms of the way Sorkin writes his characters, they don’t necessarily bother me like they seem to completely infuriate certain critics. I don’t know, I think you have to understand Sorkin as a writer and acknowledge that his characters will be unrealistically quick-witted and whip-smart while at the same time exhibit very realistic human traits and make very realistic human mistakes. Slash, hello? It’s television. Characters aren’t supposed to be too realistic. They’re supposed to be as realistic as we wish we could be.

Okay. I’m sort of rambling and I’ve used “realistic” too much so I’ll move on.

There were just so many great moments throughout the episode that really drove home just how much of a 180 the show did from season 1. No more focus on Jim+Maggie (thank God), character development for Don (douchey insecure boyfriend to most likable character, whaaaat?), more Sloan (sooo much potential for her character aaahh), romantic relationships in general taking a backseat to the overarching plot line of Genoa, and like just GENOA wow way more interesting than the rehashing of old news “done the right way” that drove season 1 (while I did enjoy some moments of it, I really don’t think I could have handled one more season with that format).

While the finale seemed to wrap up a lot of loose ends, I really hope that this isn’t the end for the ACN news team. While Mac and Will had their awkward yet touching moment, I still think they have a few issues they need to work out and it’ll be interesting to see their interactions as a couple. And I do think Maggie’s character was probably the weakest out of the entire season. She showed so many signs of personal development and clearly is still working through what happened in Africa. She’s not the same awkward girl bumbling around the newsroom from the first season. She seems more comfortable in her position and more mature in so many ways and I feel the season didn’t fully explore it as much as they could have.

Dude I don’t know, I just really love this show and I can’t totally explain why. People need to realize it’s not supposed to be a documentary. It’s not supposed to be a realistic depiction of the news. The characters aren’t supposed to act “how you would expect them to act.” They aren’t supposed to be a perfect depiction of how things should be and how people should act. It’s entertainment. It’s (mostly) complex characters interacting with brilliant dialogue in a unique setting that uses media and current events to deliver interesting stories.

That’s literally all I need in a television show.

Then again, this is coming from the girl who’s top favorite shows at the moment include Parks & Recreation and Mad Men.

Which brings me to my next point. If you don’t like the show, then don’t watch it jfc it’s that easy.

Because there’s an entire community of people who do enjoy it for a hundred different reasons and who are you to tell them they’re wrong? Whether you like it or not, there is a market for The Newsroom. Sorkin saw it, he wrote it, he did it his own way, and it works for some people and not for others and that’s fine.

Now. Allllll that aside. We have The Newsroom for real-time current journalism, Mad Men for old-fashioned advertising. Who’s going to create an awesome drama centered around the world of public relations? And can I help? And star in it?

But seriously. Thoughts?

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One response to “In Defense of The Newsroom

  1. Pingback: And We’re Out: Saying Goodbye to The Newsroom | dany vasquez·

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