The Newsroom Season 1 Episode 2 Recap – ‘News Night 2.0′
News Night 2.0, the second episode of The Newsroom, still felt like a mix of genres and tone, and left me confused trying to figure out what did I just see. Was show creator Aaron Sorkin watching too many episodes of The Office, or 30 Rock, that he forgot his original idea for the show? Everything was very much predictable on last night’s episode, but still, in between all the bad moments, there were a few, too few, relatively good bits. My episode review follows…
What just happened (episode summary): The tech-guy presents a new email system; Mackenzie reveals accidentaly to the entire company the reason for the breakup between her and Will – against his request; Will is revenging by destroying the show; Maggie decides to stay on News Night; Her relationship with Don is not the greatest, and things are heating up between her and Jim.
How it happened (the chatty TV critic): After watching two episodes of The Newsroom my opinion is that this should not have been developed as a one hour drama. First, it becomes very quickly tedious with all the talking, and the predictable dramas that leaves no air for the audience to do any processing. Every tiny detail is revealed, like it was in itself a news report. Well, if I wanted real news I’d watch something else other than HBO. Second reason this might have worked better in a different format, is the tone. Too many times Sorkin is trying, awkwardly, to make us laugh. Should we believe these characters or are they out of proportions? I’d accept them better in a comedy, but here they look most of the time pathetic, neurotic, almost crazy.
In the beginning of the episode Will is asking his EP to never reveal the real reason for their breakup. I already have guessed then that she had cheated on him – and when the new tech-guy (he has a name now, but not as easy as ‘Gary Cooper’) presents the new email technology, that sends the email to the entire company (who would agree to such a thing? In a news company?) – the way the story rolls from here is pretty much predictable.
The news this week were about illegal immigrants, but it was almost not important. No,this week the personal drama was the focus. Besides the Will/Mackenzie plot there was the Meggie-Don-Jim thing, with Meggie failing a job, Jim covering for her, Don offering her a position on the 10 O’clock show, she’s refusing, breaking up with Don, half-crying to Jim, who makes a remark about her relationship with Don, and then sends her to Don’s place to do what she has to do (say sorry for something).
So Jim is such a great guy, Will is not an ass, and only the girls are a bunch of confused bitches. And this is a prime-time drama on HBO. Oh, damn.
What are we left with: Where can it go from here? Will the news come to the front, or will we still have to watch the predictable drama ahead of us? Wait, it’s old news, so I guess there’s not much option anyway. It’s all very predictable, so I guess we will watch the Will/Mackenzie relationship goes all directions (other potential partners, jealousy, some painful truth, a comeback, and again), as well as Jim-Meggie-Don (but their story is almost more interesting, with Don’s new show a potential real battle element between the three).
Honestly, this show is not good enough in anyway (should I mention again the horrible soundtrack?), but thanks to the performances it is watchable. So I keep watching, for now.
Episode Info: The episode premiered July 1 on HBO. It was directed by Alex Graves.