Excavating through the vastness of television history to feature programs from broadcast past that were critically maligned and/or lost on the way to home video.
The US military’s apparent use of chemical weapons has been a looming story over much of The Newsroom’s second season, with the story of the Genoa mission and its implications not escaping anyone who learned of the case. Previous episodes have indicated that something goes terribly wrong with the story, necessitating the presence of a high-priced lawyer to clean up the ensuing mess, casting a shadow of dread throughout the developments. The story comes to a head this week, with the ACN team going live with the news of Genoa as the final pieces click into place, leading to a compelling episode that explores the idea of bending small truths to get to a larger one.
To date, the only female character to receive significant screentime but not get embroiled in a major personal life storyline is financial expert Sloan Sabbith. While this has made the character a breath of fresh air, and allowed actress Olivia Munn to excel in the role, it was only a matter of time until her out-of-work life infringed in some way. This episode sees the infringement occur in an interesting manner that unfortunately sees the show pull itself back from meaningful character development in an area where it is sorely needed.
One of the more intriguing aspects of The Newsroom’s second season premiere was the physical transformation of Maggie Jordan. The change, along with hints of a traumatic event, promised to pull the character out of the romantic triangle subplot she was mired in for most of the first season, and add some more dimensions in the process. This week’s episode dives into what led to the change, in a promising episode that also saw the team face their own inability to communicate well, correcting many of the downsides of last week’s episode.
The second season premiere of The Newsroom last week hinted at a major catastrophe that engulfs the station, but buried amidst the discussions of the events that led to lawyerly intervention was the question of why Will McAvoy and the news crew would take on such a volatile story in the first place. This week’s episode dives deeper into the psyche of the individuals who comprise the news team, and their emotional and psychological state leading up to the Genoa revelation, in an episode that unfortunately brings back large chunks of previously problematic storylines, but nonetheless gives a better idea of what makes certain characters tick.
With shows such as Sports Night and The West Wing under his belt, many people were excited to see Aaron Sorkin return to television, particularly after finding big screen success with The Social Network and Moneyball. Tackling journalism, Sorkin’s The Newsroom premiered in 2012 on HBO, with a cast that included Jeff Daniels, Emily Mortimer, Alison Pill, and Dev Patel, and ended up receiving uneven reviews throughout the season, with most of the audience qualms coming down on his portrayal of Mackenzie and Maggie, the two key female characters on the show, who often acted out of character when engaged in romantic entanglements, which dominated much of their storylines in the first ten episodes.