The Newsroom ended, and I am sad…

Let me be forthcoming… I am a BIG Aaron Sorkin fan, I own Sports Night on DVD, I own all 7 seasons of West Wing, I know he wrote A Few Good Men/American President and The Social Network… I even enjoyed Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip (seriously)! So I am a bit biased… But there is a reason why I loved The Newsroom…

In the first 8 minutes of the very first episode, Sorkin laid out exactly where the show was going, and how he was going to get there. While setting it in context to where we are today in society and the TV news landscape… It’s one of the best monologues in the history of TV (in my opinion)…

CLICK TO WATCHMature language here… so be aware…

And with that the show was underway, but The Newsroom had it’s share of scathing reviews…

“The Newsroom boldly wants to smother you in both ethical debate and its own self-reflected glory.” – Ken Tucker/EW

‘When The Newsroom isn’t obvious and self-congratulatory, it’s manipulative and shrieky.” Maureen Ryan/Huff Post

“Monstrously misconceived and incompetently executed, powered by a high-octane blend of arrogance and contempt, The Newsroom is an epochal failure, a program destined for television’s all-time What Were They Thinking? list. Not since NASA’s first Vanguard rocket blew up on its launch pad in 1957 will Americans have seen anything crash and burn on television with such hellish spectacularity.” Glenn Garvin/Miami Herald (This one is my fav!)

The reviews were probably 50/50 at best, and they stayed that way all through the three years of the show… I have never seen a show more debated in the press than this show, but I shouldn’t be surprised… It was about them! The mirror was on them, and many didn’t like what they saw…. I loved it!

The Newsroom did something, through the stories it told, it asked us to look for news content that was better, reporting that was well researched, information gathering that was ethical, and people who were informed and educated!

It was a group of people trying to do the right thing the right way, when their competition and peers were taking the easy path, the one that was ratings driven and profitable… They wanted to inform, educate and be profitable because they felt the public was smarter than news/TV companies believed they were…. I believe we are… Do you?

It asked hard questions about the world, about how news is covered and more importantly what WE the public now consider news. And he held a mirror up to show us what we, the public, watch and claim as “the news”.

Maybe we need to hold the people who shape the “conversation” to a higher standard, so we as a country are not so “easily scared” (if you didn’t watch the video, this makes no sense I know). As an artist, Sorkin tried to get us to ask the questions, and want something more…

There are some great dramas out there like House of Cards, Breaking Bad, True Detective, Sons of Anarchy, Game of Thrones, Orange is the New Black, Girls, Homeland, The Walking Dead, American Horror Story… I watch a couple of these, not all…. But what I do know is there’s not a lot of positive messages in most of these stories… Great, well written, well acted, incredible stories… But they are not necessarily reaching for something higher, or asking me to do so…

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Philippians 4:8

The term “over reaching” was used several times to describe what Aaron Sorkin was trying to do… What’s wrong with over reaching if you are challenging people to take a look at our world and have them want something pure and true out of the news. Why not want the news to be honorable and just, put together by people that put the truth before personal/professional gain In the pursuit of excellence… Sounds like what we should aspire to…

Art can entertain us for sure… But art can also challenge us, move us, educate us and make us look at the world differently… I think this is what The Newsroom was all about…

If you haven’t watched the show, you should… As for me the show is over, and i don’t know what’s gonna challenge me next, what’s gonna ask me to ask for something greater, to try to change things for the good…. You got any ideas…?

One thought on “The Newsroom ended, and I am sad…

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  1. Well said sir.

    Like you, I was hooked by those first eight minutes. So much so that during the first season I did full recaps running between 3k and 5K per. It was a lot of work, I did them because I was enthralled by the show.

    But eventually the real world crept into my head and I began to understand some of the vitriolic about the show. Will McAvoy or McAvoy speaking for Sorkin took on a good number of targets, I mean, certainly the American media, political, and cultural worlds are target rich.

    The problem was that all too often, Will was defeating straw-men – he’d over power those being interviewed, or he’d lay out a blitzkrieg of information, so much so that the other person was easily over whelmed. Or simply bullied.

    I didn’t like Will any less for his tactics, but I began to feel that Sorkinspeak was too often ‘unfair’.

    Then there were romantic follies: I called them follies because basically they wasted time.I never much cared for Jim Harper as a romantic character even while I was thinking he was aces as a senior producer.

    Other characters like Sloan and Don, Mackenzie all seemed so much larger than life. The rest of us never talked that fast.

    I concluded that the cast of The Newsroom ie the actors making up the News Night Show both on camera and behind the scenes were often a bunch of sharp pointed sticks – dangerous to every one around them.

    But all of these loose cannons were not only held together by one person – Charlie Skinner – but he also managed to either soften their sharpness, or mellow them down – which made the show so much more exciting when Charlie was the one to get hopping mad.

    Season Two was less about issues but more about one issue, Genoa. The season was both better and worse, Many of the problems had been fixed but newer ones came into pay.

    As for Season Three – we hadn’t any news, Will went to jail after wasting an episode by saying not a whole lot more than No Sir. Neal went off the grid.

    And yet I applauded Sorkin for presenting a finale that had multiple happy endings.

    No, this wasn’t any where close to a perfect show. And I hardly would get upset with the term seriously flawed. Yet I never missed a single episode, and am supremely glad to have watched the series in its entirety.

    Liked by 1 person

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