Review: ‘The Newsroom’ – ‘The Blackout Part 2: Mock Debate’

08.20.12 5 years ago 100 Comments


A quick review of last night’s “The Newsroom” coming up just as soon as I’m in a conspiracy cahoots…

“You remember when I didn’t care about the lives of the people who worked here?” -Will
“Yeah.” -Don
“Those were the days.” -Will

If last week’s episode was an hour of “The Newsroom” where Aaron Sorkin largely kept his worst impulses in check, “Mock Debate” was Bad Sorkin on Parade. Way too much time spent on romantic triangles and rhombuses that are grating in the extreme. Way too much of Mac appearing to be a completely insane person in front of the entire staff (even if she was also presented as being right throughout the episode). More of Sorkin not understanding the Internet with the 4Chan subplot (which keeps being justified by characters like Sloan insisting it’s a great story, when it was really a Who Cares? until Neal inadvertently stumbled on the death threat guy). More of the characters being wildly naive at best in expecting the RNC to like that debate format.(*) More of Will/the show being condescending towards women by referring to Lisa as a “15-year-old girl,” along with the suggestion that it’s mortifying that said 15-year-old-girl is braver than a man like Will McAvoy. It was an hour in which I hated pretty much every character (other than perhaps Charlie and Lonny), even ones I have previously liked (like Sloan).

(*) It would have been one thing if the characters from the start treated it like a noble but futile gesture that had a tiny chance of working, but would at least make their point; instead, everyone was stunned that Greg the haircut was offended by it, and they all come across like kids who just got told Santa Claus wasn’t real.

Finale’s next week – and, for the first time in Sorkin’s TV history, his first season finale isn’t called “What Kind of a Day Has It Been” – and I sure hope that Good Sorkin is much more on display.

What did everybody else think?

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