Tuesday, June 26, 2012

This Summer's News (Television Review: The Newsroom/HBO)

Aaron Sorkin is back on television. HBO's new summer series, "The Newsroom" premiered Sunday and this series is a welcome delight. A lot of critics haven't been kind to this show, calling it preachy and condescending. Well, I am not going to complain about that because I agree with what the series is saying. Surely, the show is opinionated, and arrogant perhaps, but at least it has a specific point of view. Perhaps you disagree with it, but you cannot begrudge it's message. I am reminded of it as I read accounts of what is happening at NBC's Today Show. Ann Curry, allegedly, is being pushed out, and is being blamed for its ratings decline. However, I think the bigger problem is the tabloidization of morning news in general. There used to be a time when you turned the news in the morning and you heard news. Nowadays, you get a magazine type show where they interview reality television stars. That is perhaps part of "The Newsroom"'s message - at some point, you have to make a decision to be "above it all." Sure, for a lot of people, that may be a hard pill to swallow, and most times these are the same people reviewing shows like "the Newsroom." But with its snappy dialogue and charismatic cast, the show is vastly entertaining - whether you agree with its message or now. John J Gallagher and Thomas Sadoski are great in it, as the then-and-now producer of Will McAvoy's (Jeff Daniels) show. I am not entirely convinced about Daniels, though I think he will grow on me as the season progresses. There is just something about him, for now, that seems off: too sleek, not sleek enough, too polished, not attractive enough? Something. Anyhow, I will be watching, and expecting the best.

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