Recap: The Newsroom Season 2, Episode 1 [A Bro’s Thoughts]

After a reasonably entertaining, yet melodramatic, first season, Aaron Sorkin’s The Newsroom is back for a second year; ready to teach us all about the lifestyles of the media elite. Journalism isn’t exactly the ‘sexiest’ profession in the world, but somehow, the team over at the fictional ACN network turn up all their personal lives to 11 and somehow report the news to us every day. As a journalism major, I really enjoy the show due to the broadcast classes I used to take. It brings back semi-kind memories of when I thought I was going to change the world. Oh, how the mighty fall. Anyway, here’s the recap:

In Which Will McAvoy Is An American Terrorist

Calling the Republican Tea Party the ‘American Taliban’ is no joke, and even though it happened at around the halfway point of the first season, we’re only seeing the backlash of it now. ACN is left out of all the important meetings (poor Reese Lansing getting the door shut on him), advertisers are apparently backing away from them, ratings are dropping and the only person they can put a face to blame on this is Will. Instead of asking him to make some compromises and maybe even change an opinion or two on air, Charlie Skinner decides to remove Will altogether from the 10 year anniversary 9/11 broadcast, which seems so irrational and insulting to Will that how he held in his anger until the end of the episode is kind of bonkers. The goal of bringing honesty to the news shouldn’t make someone a pariah, I understand that, but using the 10 year anniversary of 9/11 felt a little heavy handed to me. It’ll add impact overall to Will’s apparent downfall in the flash forwards, but it just didn’t feel right for a premiere.

In Which Jim Harper & Maggie Jordan Need A Vacation

While Maggie definitely seems to have lost her marbles in the flash forwards post-Africa (is that politically correct? Whatever.), her relationship with Don Keefer falling apart in the finale definitely seems to be a bit of fan service, since everyone I knew that watched the show absolutely LOATHED them together. We didn’t even want her to get with Jim; we just wanted Don off the show. While it seems like he has a way more limited role this time around, his work ‘relationship’ with Sloane Sabbith seems to be blossoming, so that’ll be his plot device this season.

Either way, Jim seemingly can’t keep his heart out of his work, which is admirable, and decides to go cover the Romney Presidential campaign. I guess that’s Aaron Sorkin’s way of making up for picking not the Republicans so much last season. He just goes and makes a political campaign the major plot device for at least half a season. Huh.

In Which Neal Sampat Lets A Girl’s Pretty Eyes Make Him Occupy Wall Street

Sure it sounded kind of stupid when Mackenzie Hale was like, ‘Psh Occupy Wall Street,’ but it’s a good plot device to give arguably the most talented member on the cast (Dev Patel) some room to breathe/act. His interactions with the Occupy Wall Street ‘town meeting’ was so genuine and interesting that you really did hope that he could make his story work out instead of just being infatuated with the cute girl from NYU trying to talk to him about socioeconomics. Either way, he seems to be away from the actual drama within the newsroom itself and starting his own, which definitely will be a good thing for at least the first half of the season.

As to be expected with something from Aaron Sorkin, not much happened in terms of plot besides a flashfoward about a wrongful termination suit that the News Night staff has to deal with. There’s a slow burn feel to the season already, which may be good or bad. Either way, the quick conversation quips, big monologues, and melodramatic-breakdowns were at an all time high, which is to be expected from The Newsroom. Let me know what you though of the premiere either in the comments or on Twitter.

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