Or: Why I Love The Newsroom and You Should Too
Guys, The Newsroom is back for it's third and final season, and I need to tell you all why, despite how unrealistic it is, and how it treats its women, I love it so much.
And don't get me wrong. It's incredibly unrealistic. It's all about a team of newsmen and women who decide to do a nightly newscast that's the news the way it should be done, as opposed to a newscast that's sensational and driven by ratings. Even when their ratings go down (which they do - the show doesn't shy away from the fact that people don't want to watch the news) they decide to hold fast, and in the end, that's what makes them strong.
And it does treat its women pretty badly. They are all, of course, very intelligent and beyond competent professionally, but leave the professional world and each and every one of them is a ditz who can't handle her personal life. This is pretty standard for showrunner Aaron Sorkin, and it irritates me beyond belief.
But. You guys. Like I said, this show is created and written by Aaron Sorkin, and it has all the good, and the bad, that comes with that. (For those of you to whom the name sounds familar but you can't quite place it: Aaron Sorkin was also the person behind Sports Night, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, The West Wing, and The Social Network, among others!) The bad: I mentioned how Sorkin deals with women. Also, it's incredibly liberal, trying to masquerade as moderate (although whether that's because it's actually liberal or because conservatives refuse to compromise leading anything that isn't conservative to seem super liberal is up for debate), and it puts forth all of it's arguments about politics and the way the country should be run in such a way that it insists that you must be an ignoramus if you don't agree.
That being said, sometimes it is pretty hard to disagree with the scenes in this show. Sorkin has a gift for cutting right through the bullshit to the heart of whichever problem he chooses to deal with, and then taking that heart out and presenting it for all to see. The opening scene of The Newsroom has been passed around, so you may have seen it before, but it's still incredibly, incredibly effective.
But, despite that, he also has created a beautifully idealistic show. As Mackenzie McHale, one of our leading ladies, is fond of saying, it insists that "we can do better!" And I love that mindset. The idea that no, we're not perfect. But if we work at it, we can be not just what we want to be, but what we should be. We can be the kind of people who do what's right because it's the right thing to do. The kind of people who choose to be informed. The kind of people who can make a difference in the world.
And watching the characters of The Newsroom either be or become that makes it difficult for viewers to not want to be or become that themselves. And anything that makes people care more is pretty amazing to me!
In the spirit of fairness and full disclosure, I usually watch this show with my mother, and she doesn't love it quite as much as I do. She says that I'm somewhat blinded by how attractive John Gallagher Jr. and Thomas Sadoski are. I say that she's ignoring just how pretty Dev Patel, Alison Pill, and Olivia Munn are as well when she says that. But I would be lying if I said I didn't have a crush on any of them/their characters. (For the record, if you know their characters, that one is Don Keefer, as played by Thomas Sadoski. Something about guys who are moral jerks and aren't unwilling to challenge you but also support you at the same time just gets me, man.) But I sure hope that doesn't completely nullify everything I have to say about the show as well! The fact that they're all very, very attractive doesn't change the way Sorkin writes women. But I thought I'd throw it out there. This show has a beautiful cast.
I suppose this was necessarily a pretty vague blog post, mainly because I wanted to keep it spoiler free. But if any of you would like to discuss anything about The Newsroom, from the series overall to the most recent episode (having to relive the Boston Bombings was awful, but I so appreciate how they always handle news events, especially ones like that, in the classiest possible way), please go ahead and comment! And I'm just going to issue a blanket *spoiler alert* for the entire comments section, in case anyone has anything they'd like to say!
I'm Will McAvoy. Good night.