I feel like lightning will strike when I say this out loud
I liked The Newsroom.
I am not one of those people who love to be counterculture, I’m not trying to be different. I just liked it. I thought it was a good hour of TV.
*The problems I had with the show were not with the writing. I think it was a classic Aaron Sorkin script, inspiring us all to be our better selves using characters who are smarter than we could ever be.
*My main complaint was the director, Greg Mottola. Thomas Schlamme has directed most Aaron Sorkin TV shows and has a perhaps learned, perhaps innate understanding of how to make that dialogue work in a scene. Mottola created a lot of awkward pauses and moments that interrupted the flow.
*I thought Jeff Daniels was outstanding, born to play this part. It will not redeem my lifelong hatred of him (based on his character in Terms of Endearment,) but this character isn’t supposed to be likeable. He’s like Jed Bartlett on his worst day.
*Sam Waterston was slurring his words in a way that just distracted and confused me. Is he sick or supposed to be slightly drunk all the time? (Robert Guillaume had a stroke while filming Sorkin’s Sports Night and thereafter had some trouble with his speech. As far as I know this is a character choice, not a problem with the actor’s health.)
*My favorite moment was during the news broadcast when the oil spokesperson said, “our thoughts and prayers are with the victims” and Will McAvoy quickly countered, “No one’s thoughts and prayers are with the fire.”
If this show is going to blow up ridiculous cliches, call the national media to do a better job, and ask you and me to be better informed, and do all of it in such an entertaining, well-acted way…I’m all in. I can use a little speechifying in my life. It will make me do better and be better. And that’s pretty impressive for an hour of HBO.