The Newsroom (Season 2)
HBO, Sundays 10/9 Central
Jul 14, 2013
HBO's The Newsroom is back, and for now it seems writer/showrunner Aaron Sorkin has taken some of the criticism of its first season to heart. It's still plenty Sorkin-y—full of witty banter between media elites who are ever so brilliant at economics and foreign policy, but can't manage to maintain a steady relationship—but the long, wordy, politically thick conversations are more seamlessly interwoven between dramatic moments.
One of the most overlooked problems with The Newsroom was how cautious a story must be to criticize the media and journalism without contributing to the problem. There were more than a couple of moments in the first season that crossed over the line into sensationalism, but its seems Sorkin has found a way to relevantly tackle big stories without becoming part of the problem. Season two has also toned down the liberal idealist spin on yesterday's news, and finally Will McAvoy (Jeff Daniels) is capable of sounding like a moderate Republican without simply interjecting "I'm a Republican," once every episode. By the way, it takes some very gifted actors to believably deliver Sorkin's dialogue without ever sounding like they're reciting a textbook, but Daniels is definitely one of those actors. And luckily, he's not the only one in this ensemble. Neal's (Dev Patel) thirst for covering the burgeoning Occupy Wall Street movement is perfectly idealistic and interesting, and Maggie (Alison Pill) confronts emotional distress and blunt reality with both enthusiasm and nuance. There are plenty more performances that hint at a compelling climax later on.
Sorkin still has his flaws, but The Newsroom is an effective and entertaining vehicle for dissecting current issues. It is comfort for the cynical. Sorkin still has a unique voice and valuable perspective on politics and media, and that is always something to look forward to. (www.hbo.com/the-newsroom/index.html)
Author rating: 7/10
Average reader rating: 9/10
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