The Newsroom

Writer's Note: Really? You don't already know what I'm going to say here? It rhymes with Shmoiler Smlert.

I wrote last week about my affection for entertainment that makes you feel good. Ask any Aaron Sorkin fan and they will refer you to the episode of Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip when Tom's military brother is found and located after being kidnapped in Afghanistan, or the Posse Comitatus episode of The West Wing, and start to tell you about the goosebumps they got during those episodes. This week's episode of The Newsroom just skyrocketed up that list.

There is no one better in the world at writing "soapbox" moments than Aaron Sorkin. Whether it is Mark Zuckerberg telling his former friends to go to hell in The Social Network, President Bartlett helping the country fulfill the visions of our founding fathers, or now Will McAvoy informing the country that Osama Bin Laden has been killed, there is NO ONE better.

Even the critics of Sorkin agree. There is a reason why people get so fired up when discussing whether or not they like his work. He evokes emotion from the audience, which is the goal of every writer, entertainer or performer in the world. He can't control whether or not you agree with him, but even without knowing the man I can guarantee you that if you have a strong opinion on his work one way or the other, he will feel like he did his job.

The seventh episode of The Newsroom is entitled "5/1", and for good reason. The fine folks at ACN are celebrating at a party in their superstar's apartment. When Charlie receives an anonymous phone calling letting him know that there is a news story that they will all want to be ready to break coming in the next few hours the party quickly comes to a close as the staff shuttles their way back to the office.

The news as we all know, and the staff is quick to find out, is that American forces have killed Osama Bin Laden. They way the story unfolds is a beautifully written hour of television.

9/11 has always been an emotional topic for me. I wrote a post last year on the 10th anniversary of the attacks because I needed somewhere to keep track of being reminded of the way I felt on a Tuesday in September as a junior in High School. The way the country came together in the aftermath of that horrible day is something that I will never forget. Partisanship went out the window. It didn't matter if you leaned right or left (or in my world at the time, if you were a Red Devil or a Don - trust me, that was a big deal), we were all Americans. Entertainment like the seventh episode of the first season of The Newsroom reaches emotional levels that nothing else can touch.

I thought just about everything in this episode was the best it could be. The comedic relief of Will being stoned, Don and company being stranded with Flight Attendant Crazy Lady, and Neal's girlfriend being so closely effected by the events of 9/11 all were perfect fits in the story. I think the "romantic" scenes between the love triangle heard 'round The Newsroom (and also apparently on a United Airlines flight from DC-NYC) were a little misplaced. They certainly are playing a large part of the arc in season one, but this episode was so good, and will stand apart from the rest of the series regardless of what happens between Don and Maggie.

I am not sure what the remaining three episodes of this season have in store for us, but I have a really hard time seeing any of them matching this week's show. If they do... well, let's all just be grateful that we'll be along for the ride.

The Newsroom: 5/1 (Season 1, Episode 7)
Sorkin's Walk and Talk Tally thru seven episodes: Ironically still 1 1/2
Directed by: Joshua Marston
Written by: Aaron Sorkin
My Rating: 4.75 out of 5
Would Gene Pick it?: Oh Hell Yes!

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