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1-2 "News Night 2.0" 2012.07.01


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#1

DoctorDogBoy

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Posted Jul 1, 2012 @ 10:31 PM

It begins.

#2

Princess Aldrea

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Posted Jul 1, 2012 @ 10:51 PM

I think that Sloan was the only woman in this episode that didn't make me want to scream.

Maggie somehow managed to fail even worse this week than last week. She should have been fired. Jim apparently takes his job so seriously that he will develop a crush on someone completely unlikable when ordered to do so. Why does Maggie think that she can talk to her boss like that in the workplace? What happened to her being shy? Suddenly she's a bitch all episode to Jim? It's Jim's job to make sure she doesn't screw up the pre-interview. She won't let him do that and then she screws up the pre-interview. And there is no excuse for her not handing that call off because of their failed relationship.

Did she think there would never be other pre-interviews? And why did Jim say that she had it when her fake-interview was needlessly argumentative? That seems like the kind of thing that would piss people off on the air and would not make them put the people they represent on the air. And she just looked so pathetic at the end. She's jsut bitchy and weak and pathetic and I want her to either grow a backbone and stop torturing the guy she apparently likes or get off the show. Jim said that he'll be pissed if the employees who were not Maggie since she had just left screw up again? In whawt universe did they screw up the first time? I could also buy crazy boarder patrolman and stupid Miss America person but the guy who got the PhD (even online) should come off a bit better than that. He can still be racist or whatever but come on.

Mackenzie was little better. She has no excuse for not checking to make absolutely certain that she was sending it to the right party given how important and sensitive that email was and considering that she had just been warned away from doing that exact same thing a few hours earlier. And since Will clearly doesn't care if people think he cheated on her (I think he would prefer that to people knowing the truth, actually) then why is she so obsessed with changing everyone's mind? Why couldn't she just make up a story where they broke up because he didn't want her to go to the Middle East? Her compulsive truth-telling is not a virtue. And I thought she had no business calling him on the Sarah Palin thing that night. Yes, in general he cannot have that on her vision of news but that was his last-ditch effort to salvage something about that broadcast that she and the others screwed up and she knew that. Why was it so much better to have a complete trainwreck instead of mostly a trainwreck and a little bit of ratings? Ratings are not the enemy, Mackenzie. I'm starting to see why no one else would hire her, though. She's pretty terrible at her job. And Will should stop sabotaging his show just to spite her.

The two black people arguing about Obama is going to get old really fast. In fact, it already got old. It was Kendra and...Gary Cooper? I think that was who they were. I don't even know what's that about but it's annoying. Good for Will for learning everyone's names, though.

I loved Charlie again. I think he should casually threaten somebody every episode.

#3

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Posted Jul 1, 2012 @ 10:57 PM

The West Wing remains one of my favourite shows, and it was a hugely significant show for me in terms of my appreciation of TV drama, but with all of Sorkin's subsequent shows all I seem to be able to focus on is his writing tics. This episode was a bit better than last time, but I still have major issues with this, principally Will's utter lack of likeability, and the gimmick of setting this show in 2010 still feels to me like Sorkin creating a vehicle for him to comment on all the stuff that happened while he didn't have a regular TV show.

#4

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Posted Jul 1, 2012 @ 11:06 PM

I like Will. Every scene he's in is a treat, and the primary reason I've enjoyed this show. (Charlie being the other big reason.) MacKenzie's fixation with their relationship was grating, though I liked her last episode when she focused on doing her job. Every scene with Maggie continues to be an utter disaster.

I have no idea what the Kendra and Gary Cooper thing was about, but it was idiotic.

#5

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Posted Jul 1, 2012 @ 11:07 PM

That was like the most tedious hour of television ever. I guess it only seemed it was three hours long. Reminded me of why I hated Studio 60.

#6

Princess Aldrea

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Posted Jul 1, 2012 @ 11:08 PM

Apparently Gary Cooper was an actor who died in the 1960s. Is that what the "Is your name really Gary Cooper?" thing was about. That seems a little dated.

I did like the bantering that was going on but Mackenzie and Maggie are driving me crazy. I actually really like Don. He's not nice but he's hilarious.

Edited by Princess Aldrea, Jul 1, 2012 @ 11:34 PM.


#7

Colonel Green

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Posted Jul 1, 2012 @ 11:10 PM

Apparently Gary Cooper was an actor who died in the 1960s.

One of the biggest stars of the 40s-50s; it's akin to "is your name really Clark Gable?"

#8

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Posted Jul 1, 2012 @ 11:15 PM

One of the biggest stars of the 40s-50s; it's akin to "is your name really Clark Gable?"

Well, I've heard of Clark Gable. I watch a lot of 40s and 50s movies, too, but I hadn't heard of him.

#9

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Posted Jul 1, 2012 @ 11:27 PM

Why would MacKenzie assume people hate Will because they think he cheated on her? Why would she assume they even care (especially about something that apparently happened 3 years ago). The staff are perfectly able to judge Will on the behavior they witness as how he treats THEM. Seriously MacKenzie going around insisting Will was a great guy (and everyone needs to know). The staff doesn't care about your past relationship! They care about the fact he's still unpleasant to work for.

#10

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Posted Jul 1, 2012 @ 11:30 PM

Well, I'm at odds with the online reviewers so far, but I liked this one better than last week's, in a decidedly guilty-pleasure, drunk-on-dialogue sort of way. Someone somewhere compared it to "Ally McBeal." For the first year or two, I enjoyed that show as a fantasy version of "What work would be like if everyone said exactly what they were thinking and nobody self-edited a single word, ever." Just add about eighty IQ points and you've got this. Although Mackenzie has GOT to take it down a notch, and I say that as a fan of Emily Mortimer in the role.

#11

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Posted Jul 1, 2012 @ 11:32 PM

I confess, the attempt to do a counterpart to their "big success" with an "EPIC FAIL" didn't work out for me.

1. Yes, firing the entire crew and hiring inexperienced staffers would result in something like this.

2. Yes, Maggie is in over her head and telling her to go with her convictions is a STUPID idea.

3. Sending Maggie to interview a person she has a grudge against is a bad bad idea.

We didn't need any of these scenes to be spelled out because they're self-evident and you'd think our characters would know this.

Also, bluntly, our heroine's ideas about the news situation re: Immigration was probably wrong.

Immigration is an important, big big deal, but the oil is a bigger issue for immediate relevance.

Frankly, their choices were so bad as well they should have just ditched the interview thing altogether.

These are supposed to be professionals.

#12

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Posted Jul 1, 2012 @ 11:32 PM

Apparently Gary Cooper was an actor who died in the 1960s. Is taht what the "Is your name really Gary Cooper?" thing was about. That seems a little dated.

Ouch. Really? He wasn't even my generation and I know who he was. Gary Cooper is one of the great classic movie stars. High Noon, Mr Deeds Goes to Town, Sergeant York, Ball of Fire, Pride of The Yankees, Meet John Doe. I'm not being a snob or disparaging you--these are some of the finest American movies ever made by some of the great directors, writers and producers, and Cooper co-starred with the biggest female stars of his day as well. (Imagine in 35 years if the joke were about Tom Hanks--he was that big) Anyone with an interest in classic filmaking or just wanting to spend quality time watching a movie ought to experience them. Cooper was a deeply charismatic actor (and apparently quite the player in real life). He had a prolific career. And even his worst film would have been a better way to spend time than Newsroom.

Edited by maatkare, Jul 1, 2012 @ 11:35 PM.


#13

Princess Aldrea

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Posted Jul 1, 2012 @ 11:33 PM

Why would MacKenzie assume people hate Will because they think he cheated on her?

That's a good point. I guess it's because, despite how Will treated her (which she thinks she deserves, I guess), she had no idea that people didn't like him (even though she knew about Don and the staffing crisis) until Sloan told her and Sloan also told her about the cheating theory. But seriously, everyone in the room wasn't worried about someone being hired because Will might have cheated on Mackenzie.

#14

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Posted Jul 1, 2012 @ 11:38 PM

I also wonder what the whole breakup scene was about.

Eesh.

But yes, everyone's IQ dropped for this episode but Will's.

Will also, if I were him, should have exercised his firing option.

#15

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Posted Jul 1, 2012 @ 11:39 PM

The sad thing with the email gag was there are so many better actual fuck ups in journalism. Guests getting accidental reply-alls from producers talking shit about them, reporters getting scoops and/or embarrassing stuff from sources doing the same. So many better ideas!

Also do large multi-national companies even have "company-wide" emails like that anymore? Just google Free Bananas in the Kitchen to find out why ANC wouldn't have a "use an * to send all company emails." He said that went to like 100,000 people. Fuck no, it wouldn't. That's like someone who's never worked before in an office trying to think of a "email accident."

#16

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Posted Jul 1, 2012 @ 11:41 PM

EVEN FOR SORKIN I FOUND THE TALK TONIGHT REALLY FAST, SORT OF UBER-SORKIN. ALSO, IIRC, THE RATINGS STORY WAS TAKEN FROM STUDIO 60. I AM NOT PARTICULARLY LIKING THIS SHOW AND I THINK THAT'S BECAUSE I EXPECT SO MUCH FROM AARON, PROBABLY TOO MUCH AND UNFAIRLY. STILL, I WON'T GIVE UP ON IT.

Edited by TWoP Mars, Jul 5, 2012 @ 9:53 AM.
Caps issue addressed


#17

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Posted Jul 1, 2012 @ 11:42 PM

I think the big complaint is that someone mixed up the characters.

Maggie should be the inexperienced screw up.

MacKenzie should be the classy girl on top of everything.

Easy to remember short sentences for writing characters are not bad.

Also, I think MacKenzie is kind of condescending. "Don't care what people think about you!" That's great and lovely but isn't it also your job to make people care?

#18

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Posted Jul 1, 2012 @ 11:52 PM

And no, Will, the Dutch do not live in "Holland". Their nation is called the Netherlands.

This on top of last week's "Quixote doesn't ride a horse, he rides a donkey".

#19

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Posted Jul 2, 2012 @ 2:39 AM

Uh oh. I think I'm beginning to see why the critics weren't too kind with this show. The pilot surprised me, but this really was flying into Studio 60 territory. The writing and scenes involving Maggie and Mackenzie were just awful. It's sad because I really, really love Allison Pill, but Maggie was just ridiculous. That was just one of the biggest, stupidest fuck-ups I've seen, and I can't see how she didn't get fired. And especially why Jim took the blame for it, because of the way she treated him. She was just so unlikable to him and I can't figure out that apparently makes him become even more attracted to her. I was really hoping she might slowly grow a backbone after the pilot, but instead I'm almost worried she'd might become as unlikable was Harriet was in Studio 60 was, which is probably my least favorite Sorkin character so far.

Looking past the ridiculousness of someone like Mackenzie, whose suppose to be seasoned and brilliant, not being able to do email correctly or the goofy way she conducted the meeting (seriously, Will might have been able to do a better job, which is just bad), her reaction to everyone hating Will and thinking it was because they thought he cheated on her, was just bizarre. Um, Mackenzie? I know you have only been here a few days, but you've already seen that Will can be a major dick to his employees, like not remembering Maggie's name, cussing out Don and Jim, and him referring to Neal by a cliched Indian sounding name and crapping on his job. There are plenty, plenty of reasons these people can hate his ass that don't involve what went down between you too. And while she might have been right in the end, I didn't feel like she earned that smack-down.

Will is still a dick, but Jeff Daniels seems to be having a blast and it can be fun to watch at least.

Holy hell.. I actually liked Olivia Munn?! I mean, I don't hate her but I always found her extremely overrated in talent, personality, and looks, but I actually enjoyed her scenes. Probably helps that the character seems more normal then everyone else. Except Neal. Man, he doesn't do much, but I kind of love how he's just there, watching all the crazies run the ship. I especially loved the one scene where Maggie/Jim were doing their stupid arguing, and you see a brief shot of him looking at them all "Really, guys?!" I hope they don't screw up that character.

Continue to love Charlie, especially because anytime he cusses or threatens to kick someone's ass, I imagine that was what Jack McCoy always wanted to say to many, many people throughout his career (if only Law & Order was on HBO, heh.)

Silly me, being all "Hey, two black characters", only to be mainly used to argue over Obama (with the exception of poor Gary Cooper getting his blackberry smashed. Mackenzie better buy him a new one.) This one really concerns me, because of the way Sorkin handled a conflict between two black characters on Studio 60 (Simon and Darius.) That shit was infuriating.

#20

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Posted Jul 2, 2012 @ 3:30 AM

I decided to overlook the moments that verged on sexism last week, but then Margaret/Maggie was just a complete idiot and also shrill and made me feel bad for Douchebag Don this week. She was sputtering, ineffectual, Annie Hall without the wit.
Mackenzie was also annoying. The slapstick crap in the meeting dropping the board and the inability to think through her presentation even a little bit prior to meeting? This person is supposed to be trusted to captain a news program and she can't figure out a pneumonic device let alone speak? No.

Also they telegraphed the shit out of that stupid e-mail gag. Worst set up ever. All they had to do was introduce the new e-mail system and state that there is a guide sent to everyone's desk. Then have Mackenzie not get to it. That way later when she fucks up it's because she hasn't actually used it before and not just the EXACT THING WE SAW HER DO BEFORE making her look like a moron and gag flat. Still a too obvious for my task, but less beating you over the head with Look Mac doesn't get the e-mail... look Macís sending a private (and totally not necessary) e-mail, remember how Mac sucked at this 5 minutes ago?

And I agree that it was dumb for Mac to think that it was the cheating rumor that caused people to think Will is an ass and not his being assy to them. He seems like a nice enough guy, but they made it pretty clear in the pilot and through copious amounts of exposition to Mac that Will has been as ass for a good bit of time. And making it about her and will was stupid romantic comedy crap.

However, I love Neal. He is made of win. And so far Olivia Munn's character seems like she might be sane, so that's nice.

#21

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Posted Jul 2, 2012 @ 3:43 AM

I'd really like to see what Mac was doing in Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan. She couldn't have been this ridiculous. Get me Lara Logan in this newsroom, and this will be a different story. And please, make the relationship stuff stop. It's painful to watch. There were some very good moments, though. I hope the show grows into itself. I think it can be a lot better than this.

#22

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Posted Jul 2, 2012 @ 5:09 AM

Some things about this show are just too stupid to be believable. The whole segment with Mackenzie, beginning from when she sent the email to when she stomped the blackberry to the breakup discussion afterward... It was so incredibly stupid and contrived that MY brain just shut down.

What made it ten times worse was her explanation of why she cheated on Will. I could understand that kind of nonsense coming from a teenager or maybe someone in their twenties, but a woman in her late 30s? How the hell are we supposed to respect or cheer for someone who has such vapid epiphanies? I wanted to punch myself in the head to make it stop. I get that competent people have messy personal lives, but this was Dana all over again. Beyond the realm of believable stupidity.


To have Mackenzie lecture Will about being the moral compass was just the height of absurdity. After her email and the guests her team booked, well, it just made her look completely ridiculous. Be the integrity my eye.

The Maggie screw-up, Jim white-knighting it and then telling the others not to fuck up, how could this show be so stupid. If we're supposed to add 80 IQ points to Ally Mcbeal than Ally Mcbeal must have been a show about turnips.

Did anyone else think the karaoke bar didn't look like a karaoke bar? At all? And karaoke bars are fun! When Jim told everyone to listen up, I thought he was going to make them sing. Which would have been awesome.

As for that last shot of the Statue of Liberty. I laughed out loud.

Edit: I thought I'd heard the Radiohead song in many things before, but it turns out I was wrong.

Edited by Breaker, Jul 2, 2012 @ 5:54 AM.


#23

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Posted Jul 2, 2012 @ 6:08 AM

Somebody should really introduce Aaron Sorkin to a woman, some time. He might begin to understand that they aren't all complete idiots. I actually had to stop watching this at the point when Emily Mortimer was telling Olivia Munn that she doesn't have any friends, partly because I was tired of seeing yet another element recycled from a previous show of his, partly because not a single female character was not making me want to cry.

#24

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Posted Jul 2, 2012 @ 6:16 AM

This show was virtually unwatchable last night.

There is nothing about Mackenzie that works: self-righteous on minute, pleading and emotional the next. The Blackberry stomping was just silly. Did someone tell Emily Mortimer that acting means screming all of your dialogue and waving your hands around? Maggie isn't much better. Alison Pill doesn't do wide-eyed earnestness particularly well. And she is another screamer.

Can we get more of Sam Waterson and Dev Patel instead?

Unless there is improvement in the next few episodes, I'm out.

#25

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Posted Jul 2, 2012 @ 7:12 AM

So what is the tone of this show supposed to be? An office comedy? A realistic drama? Does it actually want to be a David E. Kelly show? Because if that's what it wants you can't do sitcom-shit like having an executive producer smash an employee's phone because she doesn't want the mass email to be read but then expect anyone to take your stirring speeches about how journalism should be serious.

Also I'd like to point out that Maggie used the term "undocumented worker" to refer to illegal immigrants. As a side note, I'm perfectly okay with that term and support a path to citizenship, yadda, yadda, yadda (liberal creds here).

But that term "undocumented worker" is a term ONLY used by pro-immigration groups. In fact Sorkin could have used an actual journalism debate about what to call this group of people. (No "illegals" isn't what journalists other than Fox News use either). Having a producer call them "undocumented workers" is a lot like having a producer call a "pro-life" group "anti-choice." (Not that I don't use that term, but I'm a pro-choice activist.) It was just one of those really conspicious uses of framing terms that I know activists fight out in the media. Something a former journalist like myself might notice.

Maggie goes off on a rant about "what we call these people" but they never actually get into the idea of talking about how they are identified in the segment and therefore Jim didn't push back about the actual terms Maggie used. (Didn't Will also call them "undocumented" in the segment?)

Maybe I shouldn't mind because I'm super-liberal and used "undocumented worker" myself in regular speech. But neither journalists nor average people use that term.

#26

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Posted Jul 2, 2012 @ 7:47 AM

That was like the most tedious hour of television ever. I guess it only seemed it was three hours long.

Couldn't agree with this more.I just kept thinking, Isn't this over yet?

Sloan was extremely likable. Dev Patel's character is great—in part because he's so understated that he's a breath of fresh air from all of the frantic hamsters running around like an earthquake is approaching. And I find Jim very appealing, even though some of his actions this episode made no sense.

But Maggie—where did her fierce independence come from? She had a victory in the previous episode and suddenly she forgot that she was promoted by mistake and then again by a woman who had known her for less than two minutes? She had no right to be demanding to conduct that interview! Suddenly she's talking back to her new boss, who just last week she had been super-impressed by? The only reasonable explanation I can think of is that Sorkin is painting her as a Millennial type, with an unfounded sense of entitlement, but that's not how she seemed last week and her response to her fuck-up this week didn't fit with that notion either. So just totally inconsistent writing? That's what I'm going with.

The Mackenzie email thing was so stupid. Really, Sorkin? A totally telegraphed email screw-up is your idea of intelligent TV? I must be too dumb to understand the brilliance there.

Even though I'm not a Sorkin fan, I was rooting for this one because I'm so starved for good TV this summer, I like Jeff Daniels, and I'm fascinated by the news industry. I didn't love last week, but it was better than I'd anticipated based on the reviews. But this episode was terrible.

Edited by lovinbob, Jul 2, 2012 @ 7:47 AM.


#27

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Posted Jul 2, 2012 @ 8:10 AM

This was pretty dreadful. I didn't love the pilot, but this was so much much worse.

So the booking team doesn't have access to three or four dozen conservative think tank talking heads (yes - they have them) that couldn't be reached for analysis on the Arizona law? But a beauty contestant is suitable? Ughh...

I felt bad for both Mortimer and Pill. How exactly did their characters suddenly become these hysterical narcissists? Regardless, if Sorkin, is going for this zany workplace comedy vibe, both are so miscast.

I think its interesting that Sorkin chose the newsanchor as the lead of the series vs. a producer or even a reporter. Yes - the news anchor is front and center during the airing of the newshow, but its probably the least dramatically compelling job at the office. Lets look at Wills day - he wanders into the office, gets a rating breakdown, attends a staff meeting, and then, wait for it, he reads a teleprompter! Throw in a few tantrums and some relationship nonsense, but its not exactly dramatically rich stuff.

I think this is going to be a trainwreck on the scale of Studio 60.

#28

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Posted Jul 2, 2012 @ 8:23 AM

Can someone explain the asterisk thing to me? What does an asterisk have to do with e-mailing? I've never heard of such a thing. Is this something that used to be more common but isn't used any more? That would fall directly in line with Sorkin's technophobic nature. Or is it a Blackberry or a smartphone thing? I've never had a smartphone, so that would at least explain why I was confused.

It was obvious that Mac was going to screw up the e-mail somehow, but I couldn't figure out how because I had literally no idea what they were talking about.

#29

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Posted Jul 2, 2012 @ 8:42 AM

Wow, that was terrible. Was this really written by the same man who wrote CJ Cregg and Abbey Bartlet? Because apparently he now thinks all women are absolute morons.

Also, that was all in need of some SERIOUS editing. Scenes went on waaay too long. Iím assuming HBO are too in awe of Sorkin to tell him to rein it in, or at least to edit the scenes down to something much tighter and more tolerable.

There was almost nothing intelligent about this episode, and the only tolerable characters were played by Dev Patel, Olivia Munn and Sam Waterston. This episode made Studio 60 look like Homeland. This had better improve fast.

If we're supposed to add 80 IQ points to Ally Mcbeal than Ally Mcbeal must have been a show about turnips.

LMAO.

#30

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Posted Jul 2, 2012 @ 8:46 AM

Or is it a Blackberry or a smartphone thing? I've never had a smartphone, so that would at least explain why I was confused.


It's not an Iphone thing, for sure. Don't know about Blackberries. I was totally confused too, but just said "whatever" like a lot of the rest of this episode.