The Newsroom

Writer's Note: Hopefully I will be able to provide weekly reviews for this show. It is likely that they will be posted sometime between Monday and Wednesday following the show, and in the future will probably include the plot line. Today's review does not spoil anything, except for your day when you realize that you haven't yet seen this show.

Yes, I am an Aaron Sorkin geek. I love all of his work and have my opinion skewed by his awesomeness. At least I am not a bitter critic who buries someone's work based on past relationships, or vendetta's against an actor or show runner. Now on with the review...

After waiting for a year and a half for the debut of Aaron Sorkin's latest television project, The Newsroom made its long awaited debut this past Sunday on HBO.

The show is a look behind the scenes at a fictional national news broadcast starring Will McAvoy (Jeff Daniels). With brand new executive producer, Mackenzie MacHale (Emily Mortimer), now calling the shots for one hour a night, McAvoy's outlook on what's important and how he is going to broadcast seem to be changing.

The pilot episode begins at a local University as McAvoy is among a panel speaking to broadcasting students. After spotting who he thought was MacHale in the audience, the "Jay Leno of newscasts" goes on an epic rant on the state of the country he loves so much.

Returning after a multiple week suspension vacation, McAvoy quickly finds out that things are not the same around the office. His executive producer and majority of his staff are moving on to 10 PM show leaving him with a skeleton staff, and more importantly, a staff he is unfamiliar with.

When an off shore oil rig explodes and begins leaking into the Gulf of Mexcio, McAvoy decides to take a gamble and follow the lead of his new senior producer Jim Harper (John Gallagher Jr.), who has sources indicating that this story may be larger than just an explosion.

I am not here to give away what happens to anyone who hasn't seen the show (what are you waiting for? HBO uploaded for free on YouTube), I am here to let you know that if you haven't yet watched this show, you need to.

I spent the first half hour of the show worried, wondering why I should invest my time into any of these characters, but as soon as Jim Harper's cell phone rang you began to see the geniusness that is the writing of Aaron Sorkin. You quickly find yourself emotionally attached and rooting for the characters to fill the lofty expectations set for them by their boss.

For me it is going to take some time getting used to the accent of Emily Mortimer, however the "tensious chemistry" that she and Jeff Daniels have on screen make for a great relationship between two strong minded characters who are at the top of their game.

It also might take some time for me to get used to Sam Waterston playing the comedic role in any television show. Waterston plays Charlie, Will's boss, and provides the one-line jokes that are so desperately needed in Sorkin's heavy writing.

I love the way that Sorkin has used the same actors in different shows. You probably know that Bradley Whitford has starred in two of Sorkin's television shows, and of course we have seen Josh Malina in Sports Night and The West Wing, but seeing characters like John F. Carpenter are what makes him special. He knows that only certain actors can handle the "glue" roles, and unfortunately for us as viewers Timothy Busfield was so amazing in The West Wing and Studio 60 that he is almost too big to play a role as a producer/director in The Newsroom.

As previously mentioned I've been waiting 18 months for this show to debut. After working exhaustively through the first 3 weeks of June, and concluding a week where I worked around 100 hours I turned on the pilot, watched the show, and became so amped up by the time the closing credits roled that I immediately wrote 3 pages of notes for this review.

So yes, you could say it lived up to my hype.

The Newsroom: We Just Decided To (Season 1, Episode 1)
Sorkin's Walk & Talk Tally thru one show: 1
Directed by: Greg Mottola
Written by: Aaron Sorkin
My Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Would Gene Pick it?: You better believe it!

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