The Newsroom "The Blackout Part II" Review: Two Legs at a Time

The Newsroom S01E09: "The Blackout Part II: The Mock Debate"

Guys? Help me out here. All throughout this inaugural season of The Newsroom, I have attempted to look for the positive. In some cases, that came more easily than in others. There have been some very good episodes of this show, and there have also been some pretty heinous ones. But even in the more heinous circumstances, there were usually a couple things I could point to in order to say, "See? There's something worthwhile here."

In watching "The Blackout Part II: The Mock Debate," I was unable to find one of those things.

I tried. I really did. Initially, that debate demonstration we've been building toward seemed like it could have been this episode's great moment. I sat there, thinking about the merits of the new debate format the staff pitched to the RNC, the aching plead for more pointed questioning and scrutiny of presidential candidates that Will and Mackenzie and Charlie have been fighting for. I watched as Will tore the boilerplate answers of his impersonating staff to shreds in front of RNC reps. I knew, of course, that the reps would never go for it. No party in its right mind would ever put its candidates through these kinds of paces, because that would be suicidal—especially with the clown-shoes crop of candidates we've got this election cycle. What I didn't expect was to find myself agreeing with the smarmy, by-the-book RNC guy who we were all meant to hate.

It's not that I don't think there's merit in the idea of grilling our presidential candidates harder. There was no more savage moment this week than the brief clip of Michele Bachmann being tossed the softball question of "Elvis? Or Johnny Cash?" by John King. It's that the savagery with which Will went after his mock candidates demonstrated a greater self interest than simply improving discourse. He cross-examined them, obliterated them every time they tripped on their words. He murdered them, and in the end, the only one who could possibly have looked good by the end of it was Will McAvoy. And the smarmy RNC guy pointed that out. And he was right.

With the debate dead, all of News Night's pandering to the Casey Anthony and Anthony Weiner rubberneckers was for naught. All that hard work, all that crawling around the muck, it meant pretty much nothing. And yet, I suppose it really couldn't have gone any other way. But there was still something kind of empty-feeling about the whole ordeal. Seeing the staff flip to the dark side, only to immediately flip back, felt so hollow. The principles these people supposedly believe in so much apparently can be flipped on and off like a light switch. They might not like the switch when it's dark, but they flip it anyway, because ratings, but also Journalism, and... wait, where are we again?

I stress that these unfortunate debate sections of "The Blackout Part II" were the best parts of "The Blackout Part II." The rest of the episode was a train wreck, a colossally miserable mash-up of all the things this show doesn't do well, scrunched together into a frenzied, generally execrable hour of television that overstuffed itself with too many things of little import. Unless, of course, you're one of the nine people who's super invested in Will/Mackenzie/Old Boyfriend situation, or Jim/Maggie/Don/Lisa's quadrangle of relationship nonsense. If that's you, then this was probably the best episode ever.

We've run this course so many times now that I had honestly begun to believe that maybe the Maggie/Jim thing was just over with. Don hadn't been made out to be a particularly bad guy, and Lisa, despite her occasional ditziness, arguably appears to be a far more sane and put-together woman than Maggie. So this week, of course all of that got messed up. We learned that Don had been sleeping with other women while broken up with Maggie, and that this revelation may finally put the kibosh on their coupling. We also watched Jim go from wanting Lisa, to Lisa forcing him back to Maggie, to Jim wanting Maggie again but suddenly finding himself with Lisa all over him once more. All of that in an hour.

And somehow, there was still room for Will and Mac to flit around their own issues as well. Mac knows Will's psychologically punishing her by having her ex hang around the office. Will knows he's doing this, but he doesn't know why. Eventually his therapist got around to telling him why, but still we were left dangling. All we learned this week is that both characters know what they're doing, they know it's idiotic, yet they continue to do it. Why am I supposed to root for these two again?

For all these actors' inherent likability, I couldn't bring myself to cheer on any of these clods as they continued down their spiral of endless shrieking and espousing of principals while pretending they don't want to screw each other. It's exhausting, unbearable stuff that completely distracts from the show's purported purpose of highlighting the news media's various failings. Even when I find Aaron Sorkin's methods preachy, I still find myself compelled to watch as he deconstructs where the media has failed us. He might be a smug armchair quarterback, but more often than not, he's right. Dammit.

This week featured none of that. Neal continued his ludicrous pursuit of "online troll sites" by continuing to demean Sloan on comment threads. She finally gave him her grudging permission for some reason, but mostly focused her attention on the subject of the debt-ceiling votes, which she proclaimed nobody was covering. That, by the way, isn't exactly true, since I distinctly recall hearing pretty much nothing but commentary on the debt ceiling when all that stuff broke. Sure, it wasn't on Nancy Grace, but that doesn't bother me because I don't watch Nancy Grace, on account of I am a sane human being who has an ounce of self-respect.

Even when Sloan finally got her wish, we got to see none of it. Instead, more time was dedicated to Casey Anthony, and the revelatory realization that Lisa used to go to high school with "Tot Mom." Lisa didn't really know Tot Mom, of course, but that didn't matter. Will needed a guest no one else had, and she had to be it. So Maggie and Jim had to walk on down to the expensive dress shop where Tot Mom works, and engage in absurd behavior to eventually get her to agree to appear. She did, albeit with a big card full of prepared statements written by the News Night staff. Suddenly, she had become a squawk box for the staff, railing against their own coverage in a way that Will and Mackenzie couldn't. But then she went off script, delivering a scathing pro-choice statement that apparently someone didn't take too kindly to.

Everything that was wrong with "The Blackout Part II" could pretty much be found in the scenes that followed. Because of her courage to say what she felt, Lisa was rewarded with a visit to her place of work by a vandal, who painted the words "BABY KILLER" on the front of the store. How did the vandal find her place of work? It was on her Facebook page, which Jim hilariously instructed her to "take down." And then in walked Will, out of the smoky nighttime distance, to comfort poor Lisa and rescue her by talking to her boss. Why was Will there? Nobody bothered to ask. But the deftness with which he handled the situation was like something out of old Hollywood.

And then there was a scene where Will fell over in the middle of the newsroom with his pants around his ankles.

So, to tally up this week's damage, Will morphed into both a white knight and a clumsy boob, Mackenzie returned to her screaming hysterics phase, there was no real forward progress with the big honking conspiracy against AWM, and the news was basically ignored altogether in favor of spending far too many precious minutes on the relationship stuff that even the show's most ardent fans have a hard time defending. Did I miss anything?



NOTES


– I really wanted to see the big, inspirational, outdoor newscast Mackenzie had cooked up right before the power came back on. For the first time all season, then Mackenzie began screaming her skull off, I actually felt her pain.

– In Neal's trolling expl toits, he accidentally discovered the online home of the guy who threatened Will's life. Suddenly the possibility of Neal dying by season's end seems more realistic. Not that I'm rooting for that, or anything. Of course not.

– Nice to see Adam Arkin as the more friendly, less partisan RNC staffer. Him and Will chatting made up the best moments of this week's episode. There weren't nearly enough of them.

– How is "The Blackout Part II: The Mock Debate" not the name of somebody's rap album?

– To answer a question from last week's comments as well as clarify a point about this week's episode, I absolutely believe that real-world debates should be more mindful of the statements politicians have made in the past, and more pointed in their questioning. It's the way the questions are being delivered by the staff (and, by proxy, Sorkin), with maximum gotcha-ness, that I can't quite deal with. Nobody wants to be cross-examined, which is exactly why nobody gets cross-examined unless they have to. There's intelligent discourse, and then there's self-aggrandized preaching. That's what Will's method is.

– Only one more episode left in this season, and it's sure to be heavy on the conspiracy stuff. I'm just wondering exactly how much the show is going to tie up this season. If the bit in the preview we saw with Jane Fonda pulling a Vince McMahon on Will is the last line of a cliffhanger finale, I'm quitting this series altogether.

Comments (75)
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The review was too harsh.

The debate form was too harsh - Alex is right

The episode was quite bad

Actually, the best part for me was Neal and Sloan's story. Olivia Munn - still kicking ass.
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Dear TV.com,



Please hand off the reviewing of this show in it's inevitable second season to somebody else. Anybody else will do, really. Alex Navarro has made it clear he is not up to the task.



Thank you.
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Is there anyone who dislikes Neal as much as I do?
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Probably not. I don't like that they've made him believe in bigfoot and stuff, but other than that he's fine. He was good this week.
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The episode was... okay? I guess? Like a lot of the episodes of The Newsroom that I kind of disliked, it still entertained me in some way. That seems to be Sorkin's strength for me... even if I dislike most of the things that actually went on in the episode, he still somehow makes it watchable.



I agree with this article about not much caring for the Maggie-Jim-Don-Lisa thingy mostly because they KEEP going back and forth and back and forth. Will-they-or-wont-they is usually bad enough, but The Newsroom basically goes a little further and does they-do-they-don't-they-do-they-don't again and again. I do, however, kind of care about the Will-Mac relationship... the ex-boyfriend doesn't really factor in. It's a bummer that the debate didn't work out, but I also kind of expected it because even if it was accepted and allowed, The Newsroom wouldn't be able to show it anyway. They'd just have to show all the reactions and re-hash it through character conversations the day after.
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i quit reading after the first paragraph. i have little to no interest in reading opinion pieces when they vary so drastically from my own, especially when it's not a one-off situation.



find a show you like and review it.
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What's the fun in reading opinion pieces if you don't care about their opinion? It's a pretty simple truth that opinions differ. If you just want to read something that keeps agreeing with you, write your own review and read that to yourself.
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What's the point of going to each and every comment and saying the exact same thing? We get it you think he should write whatever he wants. Great. Lots of people don't like his opinion or his manner of stating it. And, at least for me, I come back to see if his bosses have had a talk with him or maybe shown him one of Price's articles to see if he can maybe win over his readers who he is currently alienating and annoying. I'm continuing to comment because as much as he has the right to his opinion, his readers have the right to theirs. And if you can't see that the "if you don't like it don't read it" argument is the exact same as the "if you don't like it stop berating me with your hate every week" argument than I think you've missed something major. The final reason I'm back here being annoyed in the comments is the hope that Mr. Navarro doesn't get asked to review this show next season or anything else once the Newsroom ends.
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First, way to go with the exaggerations. I replied to maybe, 5 or 6 comments out of the 60 at the time... and they weren't all saying the exact same thing (although they were certainly similar).



Second, if my replying to a handful of comments in one specific article bothers you, I don't see how that's any worse than going to each and every article week after week and complaining about the exact same thing. See what I did there?



Anyway, I can understand why my comment may have come across this way, but I wasn't really saying that "if you don't like it, don't read it." I was specifically pointing to the fact that, while it's in a readers' right to complain, I'm not sure as to the validity of some of these complaints.



It's not unreasonable to complain about reviews... you're certainly allowed and in your right to do so. But it's what you complain about. A lot of the comments here aren't complaining that the review is poorly written but rather that it doesn't adhere to their own views and opinions, like this comment from terminaltrip421. Complaining about bad writing is more than fine... complaining that his views aren't the same as yours? I find that unreasonable.
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Okay,I think I figured out who the would be shooter is.It has someone we have seen or else it's pointless.I think it's the shrink. He is smart and has access to Will in a secluded place, in "his" office. Has anyone checked whether Will's now deceased psychiatrist had a son in the same line of work and whether this shrink actually has client list.He told Will that " his father" bequeathed him a very large file on Will, which means he has intimate knowledge if he were to plan on harming or killing Will.Finally, to be aware and know enough computing to be part of the Troll community, he has to be young.And btw, we don't how the original shrink died.

I will be glad if you have other candidates.
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I love the irony of people who keep coming here and complaining about Alex's reviews being negative.



Some of these comments insist that because he often dislikes the episodes that he has to stop watching them. Why, then, do you keep reading his articles if you often dislike them? For every complaint he makes about the show, you're making just as many complains about his reviews.



So why do you keep reading? I expect it's because you WANT to see if there's something good in it. That's fine, but then I guess that's why Alex can keep watching The Newsroom. He doesn't know he's going to dislike it before watching it. If he knew that, I'm sure he'd stop (unless he's being forced to watch it by his boss[es]).
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I've read reviews when Tim, Price and Lily have absolutely hated the episode of the show they were reviewing (Terra Nova/The Event, Dexter, True Blood), but weren't any where near as condescendingly annoying to read. They made it fun to come on here and write about what we liked and disliked about the show. And their negative opinion didn't dictate the entire tone of the review.



Alex desperately needs to learn some tact.
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That's fine with me. I wasn't complaining about ALL the sorts of complaints people have about the reviews. Generally speaking, I think the one valid complaint people can have with reviews is that they're poorly written. Unfortunately, a lot of the complaints I see when reading these reviews and comments (much like those of Tim's Falling Skies reviews) isn't necessarily that the review is poorly written, but that the review is bad just because his opinion isn't the same as theirs. What many of these complaints amount to is "I liked it, you hated it... therefore, you suck." I don't see the validity in those complaints.
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He's watching it because he's paid to. And everyone of his "reviews" has had an overwhelming tone of an employee asked to clean the bathroom.
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I forgot to complain about the thing that actually annoyed me this episode:



The psychiatrist claimed that you will catch a cold if you're outside in the rain, and Will didn't tear him a new asshole about it. In fact, he didn't even seem to understand that the psychiatrist was wrong.
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The author of this article did not even touch on the bigger topic stemming from News Night covering the Anthony/Anthony fodder. Jane Fonda's character has laid on the table that the declining ratings may lead to heads rolling. Am I right? That subject has not changed? There was something about her using the company's "TMZ"-like entity to ruin Will, but the ratings thing was still there, right?
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Just for future reference, Alex, never concede that you have an once of self respect because this literally means you have an once of self respect. Remain vague, hint it can be ten onces or maybe a little more and keep people on their toes on this subject. If you don't you'll invariably have someone ask you how much is an once of self respect these days and then you'll be really stuck.

Aside from that, forget the naysayers, I'm with you all the way.
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Must. Refrain. From. Trolling ...



Please do us all a favor and don't come back next season. DAMN!



Couldn't do it.
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FringeFanatic have you learned nothing from the Newsroom. Trolling takes the conversation on a space online and completely derails it and makes it so the initial point of the space is compromised and forgotten in an amalgamation game of "he said, she said...nah, nah, nah... I'm better than you." You're not trolling by saying something that 90% of the board has already said or agreed upon.



That being said:



I think that Alex Navarro's reviews of the Newsroom have been some of the most poignant and insightful things I have ever read. Not just on TV.com but on the whole of the internet. It takes a really thoughful and passionate person to continually come back week after week and write what he truly feels about the television program and not cowtow to the demands of the masses like so many other reviewers are doing when it comes to Aaron Sorkin's latest masterpiece in compelling and though-provoking television. I wish that more people in the world could do what it is that Mr. Navarro does each week, that is, I wish that they could suffer the slings and arrows of something that clearly they do not enjoy and come back from the fray to tell us in such gripping and vivid details what they found wrong with it. Knowing full well that this expression of opinion will probably result in the taking up of arms by those who enjoy what he does not and the constant insultation and threats of an upset internet populace. Alex Navarro should be viewed as a hero to all of those people out there who have opinions and are too callow to share them for fear of the retirbution of their fellow peers. Not only should we honour such a brave and noble soul, but we should celebrate his contribution to the global consciouness by allowing him to go out and take the piss out of the numerous other things that people enjoy and he does not. Let us support him as the man who will go out and watch the Twilight Saga and comeback complaining about the love triangle inherent within. Let him be the one to watch the Avengers and complain about the changes they made to the mythos in order to not only make it flow better for the cinema crowd but also exist alongside our modern sensibilities. Finally let us look to the future and put out support behind Alex Navarro to be the TV.com writer to review NBC's new series Revolution which already critics and fans alike are chomping at the bit to view. Let him again be the voice of reason to tell us, what is so egregiously wrong with a show that the world is supposed to love.



FoxZerro is Devon D. Decker! Questions, Comments, Concerns, Death Threats feel free to send them to Vongrove@hotmail.com! Enjoy your day!
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He definitely missed the concept of trolling there.
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You would know ...



See?! Trolling.
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A troll is someone who posts inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community, such as a forum, chat room, or blog, with the primary intent of provoking readers into an emotional response.



Judging by your passionate response, I think I "Troll" quite well.
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Passionate, that was exemplatory!



I was just having some fun bored at work. Plus you know adjective quest?
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No, you pretty much nailed it, Alex. After a couple of mostly good to great episodes, this was a stinker. The pratfalls only serve to break the overall tone of the show and are not funny at all. The pants gag, the inconceivably perfect timing of the power. And what have you done to Dev? The "internet troll" story line isn't interesting or good television. This was one long, horrible setup to come back to the guy who threatened to kill Will?? Mackenzie's freakouts are like nails on a chalk-board. And yeah, at this point, I don't care if Jim, Maggie, Don and Lisa work things out. Mostly, I just feel bad for Lisa, since Maggie has dibs on every guy in the room. And while I love the idea of the tougher debates, the pointed questions and more accountability for what these political candidates say, it's folly to believe that anyone would ever go for such a drastic change in the format, much less subject themselves to an arena where only Will comes out looking good. Even though he was right, the RNC guy was still a dick. So, I guess now that they don't have the debate, screw the ratings and Casey Anthony starved viewers and go back to the new - old informative way of running the show that saw everyone leave for Nancy Grace? That doesn't make much sense. However, I would have much rather watched some of that newscast than most of the stuff that came before it.



On the plus side, Adam Arkin was great here, it needed more of him and Will together. Hope they bring him back. Olivia Munn also continues to do great work (except for a couple of minutes last week, when she was freaking out at Dev about if anyone thought she was fat or her ass was big, but that's what they gave her to work with).



Hoping for a redeeming season finale after this clunker.
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As a television critic you don't have to love all the shows you review, I guess.. But it might be more fun for both parties (reviewer and readers) if there's a certain consensus about the show. Obviously, people who really like certain series want to read about it on this website and it's not very helpful if there's nothing positive there. I would agree to have positive reviews written but that doesn't mean Alex Navarro has to change his opinion about The Newsroom.
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I don't know that there's nothing positive in his reviews. He's often stated that he likes the news broadcast portion of the show... he just mostly hates the relationshippy stuff, which this episode had a LOT of.



Also, I'm not sure why you used the word "helpful" in your statement. Considering most of the reviews on this site are mostly read by people who have already watched the episode, how is it helpful at all that the article be positive and in agreement with your own thoughts?



I guess the question is why you read these reviews after watching the episode yourself. Are you just looking for your own opinion and thoughts to be validated by others? I understand that being validated is usually a good feeling, but it's not Alex's fault or problem that his opinion isn't the same as yours.
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I think it's pretty clear from the comments that you're not going to get a consensus in one article, because some people think its a great show and some people think its a terrible show. So, sure, they could assign two reviewers to every show, or partner with another site. Not sure you can convince the site to double their writing staff or split their traffic in half though.
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Enough with al the Alex Navarro bashing. It is a very poor (and tired for that matter) argument to say that he should stop watching the show because he doesn't like it. He is a Television critic. Apparently a lot of people here don't know what that means. Try to pick apart his reviews and then say that he sucks or whatever but the 'stop watching' rants are getting old

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Not gonna rant. Just gonna say that he's spent the entire season telling me why I shouldn't like a show that I like. It's tiresome to me, puts me on the defensive. If he can't write balanced reviews, or refrain from reviewing a show he so obviously doesn't like or even appreciate, then I will stop reading his reviews. It's shame on me that it took 9 weeks out of 10 to get to this point.
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It's a review. Review = stating one's own assessment. If you understand that definition and also understand that people have differing opinions, you should be able to accept reviews that go against your own opinion or assessment... and not get frustrated and basically demand that they change their opinion to be similar to yours or for the site to find someone else that has the same opinion as you.
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This is a review. But reviews can be good or bad, reading reviews can help you to understand something better, but also they can just put you off. This is the kind that puts people, who don't hate the show, off. Also this review is bad, because it's full of the weekly ranter's personal opinions, rather that objective comments about the episode.

If he only wants to rant, then write a friggin' blog, that's for personal opinions about things you abhor. This site employs people to write reviews and not to have a personal rant page.

Writing a review is a craft, ranting about stuff is blogging and should be treated as such.

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Actually, from what I can tell, he's a video game critic, which is what I think he should go back to.
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is that what he is? huh.. If someone on the street asked me what he did for a living, I certainly wouldn't have said that...

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I don't require reviewers to share my opinion. I enjoy balanced and insightful reviews and even though Alex is no Time or Price, he has definitely improved.
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"Guys? Help me out here. All throughout this inaugural season of The Newsroom, I have attempted to look for the positive."



I'll help you: Stop. Friggin'. Watching. It.
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Love this show. One of my new faves.
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How are you not fired from this?
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There were about 180 seconds where this episode were tolerable. Those were filled by the acting mastery of Adam Arkin, who made the lackluster lines actually work. I believed him. The rest of the dialog, even from Daniels, who is a superb actor, went from lousy, to boring, to extremely annoying to screaming idiocy.



- The scene with Will falling in his pants: did we need convincing that this series is headed for the deadpool? Jeff, put an end to the suffering.



- MacKenzie's shouting scene in the power outage - from hunger! Get rid of this character, she's not credible for a second.



- The girl with the bowling ball eyes: please someone, find her a boyfriend that isn't a tool. (But not this way, off screen.)



I don't think I can watch any more. What's needed? A director? No, you know what, the casting sucks, it really does. I can't believe anything that's said. The bodyguard is one of the best characters, and David the Numbers guy. Jane Fonda when she's around.



Thanks to Adam Arkin, for a lesson in how this excuse for a Sorkin masterpiece should look, if someone woke up and fired half of the staff on the show and half on the real show.



Someone wake up Jeff Daniels, I cry every time I see someone this talented wasted in this fast food version of the West WIng + Studio 60.
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Aaron Sorkin should just stop doing television and stick to writing awesome screenplays for film.

Sure this show might be entertaining, and that's fine. True Blood is entertaining as hell, but it sure isn't a shining example of the best tv has to offer. It's not the Sorkinisms (speeches, grandstanding, heavy-handed political messages) that bother reviewers, it's the murky character development. We want to see the motivations for why characters are acting the way they are.

I believe that Will is Aaron Sorkin's conceptualization of himself as a News Anchor. Sorkin knows the motivations, because they're his, but he hasn't figured out a good way to share them yet.

I had high hopes for this show: Aaron Sorkin, Jeff Daniels, News television, HBO-it seemed like the stars were aligning, but no such luck. I sincerely hope the second season turns it around.
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Yes, you still suck. This website's review for the second episode sucked, and this did too. That's the last time you're getting a click from me.
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Awful review. I wish TV.com would grab some sense and stop letting you write.
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"In watching "The Blackout Part II: The Mock Debate," I was unable to find one of those things." - then DON'T REVIEW IT. Get someone who actually likes the show, at least Tim Surette admitted he wouldn't review the show well because its not his thing, you should show the same level of class and hand it off, rather than spend every week ripping it apart.
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the fact that you would suggest that he should stop writing reviews just because they tend to be negative (rightfully or not) is really immature. I like the Newsroom. It's idealistic (I don't know, my English might be bad, but I can't see how that can be a good thing) and silly (Will's pants) and the characters are annoyingly self-righteous (Mackenzie and newly reformed Will). But I like it, it's smarter than most of the TV shows, I don't feel like I need to interrupt my critical thinking for 50 minutes so I can watch it. And that's exactly why I' m bothered by "if you don't like it, THEN DON'T REVIEW IT" . I read this entire series of reviews and ok, they are not great, I don't agree with everything he said, they are not even very well written, as you would expect from someone who is paid to write. But there are positive reviews and negative reviews and they both help you understand the relativity of your own opinions and maybe influence them in a constructive way.
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I disagree. Where does it say that a critic can only review shows he actually likes?
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That makes sense for movies, but for on-going series? It doesn't make any sense at all. If a critic reviews something, and doesn't like it..why keep going back to the well? Hand it off.

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That would make sense if the show has gone on longer than the one season it (almost) has and he keeps reviewing season after season. But it's only been 9 episodes. Not everybody quits on shows right away, some give it whole seasons.



Have you never stopped watching a show after a whole season? Or two? I've stopped watching some after three.



Also, the fact that this is a show and not a movie actually works against you, in a sense. A movie is basically just one hour-and-a-half long episode... you watch, then it's over. If you didn't like it, you didn't like it. A TV show is an on-going and often changing line of episodes. Even if you don't like the pilot, for example, you may keep watching future episodes because it has the potential to improve.
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Exactly DJ8! It it makes sense for Alex to at least finish the season to see if it improves or not. And if not, he can hand it over to someone else.



I myself am very much considering passing along coverage of Falling Skies to someone else on my own website.



I still have hope for the season finale of The Newsroom though.
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CreedP you took the words out of my mouth
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Good review.
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I just want to point out that, last night, Jim told one of the biggest truths about the huge majority of heterosexual males out there:



"If I were a woman, I'd spent the whole day kissing other women. I don't understand gay men or straight women."



It was as if Sorkin was literrally taking words right out of my brain!!!
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Haha, that line was about the only thing I really liked from this episode.
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Again Sorkin trying to pull a Murphy Brown out of this show. Dont get me wrong Murphy Brown was great doing what it was meant to be. The Newsroom feels like a sand castle that A.S. keeps building and destroying episode after episode.



-Will and his dumb and dumber moment with the pants....why?



-I honestly hate Mackenzie coming from a great last episode to see her in this one being all hysteric. That felt quite unreal.



-Maggie/Jim/Lisa/Don love life... After 7 episodes I couldnt care less about that.
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Staple Sorkin move. Main character who, while otherwise very intelligent, out of nowhere does something completely moronic... either physical comedy or acts high.

Most of the characters of West Wing had their stupid moments, as with Studio 60 / Sports Night / etc.

The icing on the cake, is these "Sorkin Moments" are usually preceded with someone commenting on how smart character X is.
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Honestly, dude. Stop watching this show. This isn't for you.



First of all, why would you say nine people are interested in the relationships? Who on earth are you to assume something like that? I like seeing these relationships evolve. Even if you don't see it, it's still happening. The message, again, is pretty clear. Humans are fucked up. They have fucked up and complex relationships. Sometimes, things don't actually change. That doesn't mean they don't evolve. Did you see will completely frustrated with not being able to understand why she couldn't forgive Mac? Or were you expecting them to have already made up and hooked up and only kissed behind the scenes where 'relationships don't bother you'? Seriously, you really can't identify yourself with anything on this show? Excuse me but I do not believe you mean what you write. It sounds like you want us to believe that you're all for better politics and vetting and whatnot, but I just don't believe you. You are criticizing this show for anything that it does, whilst attempting to say that you agree with the lil' bits that 'are right'. I'm going out on a limb, but I think you've had a pretty linear life, hence why you think everything is silly on this show, because you can't connect with it. You can't connect with the idea that some relationships are unfixable. You can't connect with the idea that you just can't get some situations right with other people; and you can't connect with the idea that this world IS INDEED FUCKED UP.



Now... could the show be less about relationships more about news? Sure, it could. Could it be less silly humourwise? Yes it could. That doesn't mean it's the shit you make it out to be.



Moreover... I live in the UK, and let me tell you, the illegal stuff that happened with News of the World is STILL very much all up in the air over there. There IS corruption, therefore there can be a conspiracy. Again, you can't see this can you? For you it's just some lame plot. You are being ignorant. Just like you are being ignorant with the Troll's story. If you don't believe that what Neal is investigating actually exists in some form, you, sir, do not know what the internet is made of. Just check out 4chan sometime.



This show raises valid, interesting and relevant plots. The use of real news makes this even better. I don't know how it passes so high up above your head that you just can't see any of it. Just for this, it's worth watching as far as I'm concerned.



I think most of us come here to check out the review and exchange comments but you take the will out of me to do that. My brain forces me to come here and tell you why you should NOT be reviewing and/or WATCHING this show. It's just not for you.
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For the record, The website I told you to check out is censored. That's as ironic as it gets for me.
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Seriously, if you don't like the show, don't review it. Pass it off to someone else, or just do recaps. Kinda tired of reading reviews that are nothing more than bashes. Think I'll just give that up.

BTW, Casey Anthony did not work in a high-priced boutique in Manhattan...

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"...I'm quitting this series altogether."



I wish you would. These reviews are terrible.
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You used the plural. I assume this means you read most of these supposedly terrible reviews. Has it occurred to you that tv.com mostly wants the traffic and is just as happy for you to come here and comment on reviews you hate as reviews you like? Your self-hatred is not their problem.
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I keep checking these reviews every week just to see if he has anything positive to say! But you are right, TV.com would just be happy with the traffic.
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I really don't understand why and how people dislike the Newsroom so much. It is actually the best entertainment I get all week. It's fantastic. Why do people take things so seriously and nitpick at everything wrong in it? It's good television. Enjoy it for God's sake.
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The problem with this type of argument is that you can make it about EVERY show. I know a couple people who get their "best entertainment" all week by watching the Kardashians. I tell them they suck, they tell me not to take it seriously and that it makes for good television.



By your argument, may I ask if there's any show that you don't like? In a round-about way, your comment is saying that I have to force myself to like something even if I dislike it.
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I quite enjoy it. One of my favorite series.

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Will could take a note from Jon Stewart's interviewing technique--not afraid to ask the tough questions, but also not grandstanding about it.



I really don't understand how Sorkin got it so right with Sports Night and is now struggling with this.
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I thought this was a pretty good episode. Certainly not a train wreck. I usually like how they handle the issue of the week, and I usually don't like the character stories. I think they handled the issue (the ridiculous format of political debates) well enough this week. I don't think the character stories were any worse than they usually are. In fact, we finally got an episode where Neal wasn't being an idiot, and was acting like the person we expected him to be the first time we saw him. His interaction with Sloan was very nice.
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This was definitely one of my favourite episodes. I love this show whole-heartedly. I really don't get the critics though. It's like they're watching an Aaron Sorkin show and they're mad that it's exactly what every Aaron Sorkin show is. It's like walking out of a Michael Bay movie and saying "well I could have done without all those explosions and beautiful women" what were you honestly expecting? Will he have a political agenda? Of course. Will there be chaos and ridiculousness? You better believe it. Will it be amazing? You bet your ass it will.
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They're mad because aaron sorkin can do and has done better.

See: Sports Night, The West Wing, Social Network, Moneyball

Alex is not the only critic savaging "The Newsroom", believe me.
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I enjoy this series a lot. The only redeeming part of this episode was the mock debate. Because that is how debates should be structured. But aside from that I didn't like the episode.



Seriously when you have Jeff Daniels prancing around in his underwear have issues with his pants. It is time to rethink firing those writers.



Jim and Maggie. I have to agree with WKaiser. I like Lisa better. Who is going to want a woman in Maggie that is that high strung, Has that much low self esteem to let Don walk all over her. And Has that nervous I may stab you smile that she has. Seriously, whomever is not casting Alison Pill in horror movies right now is making a huge mistake.



But the rest of the show this week was just weak. The only other thing good was surprisingly Olivia Munn. She is getting stronger each week and delivered my only laugh of the show when she ordered Neal to change her wikipedia page.





And granted no one wants to be cross examined. But if you are wanting to lead the nation. You should be. And as self aggrandizing as it seems. I just don't think it is. Mostly because this is the way it should be and seeing it seems so foreign because that is just so not the way it is. The republican debates could have been a reality tv show. Literally. They were that bad.

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Neal: "You are the greatest!" Sloan: "I really am." Me: " Olivia Munn, I love you!" I can't get over this crush ever since she started speaking Japanese
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I am also crushing on OIivia Munn whilst watching this.
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Good to know that I'm not the only one :-)
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Are we still supposed to root for Maggie and Jim? Cause Lisa and Don are only looking better and better, to the point where I think Maggie and Jim should be together simply because they deserve each other.
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I also like how the one guy exploded and immediately started accusing of him being "out to get" the Republicans, but the other guy saying "no he isn't, these are valid questions." These were perfectly valid / real / political questions. Everyone, EVERYONE, defaults to "you're out to get my party" when you just ask a valid question that they don't like

The only one "out there" was more might have been a gotcha question that they didn't get to demo: if you claim to speak to God, what does he sound like + do you hear other voices too?

That would have been a loaded question: but a valid one. If you're saying you should be chosen as a politician AND God talks back to you... you should be able to respond to that and not see ANY question to it be as a joke. I think my priest is quite religious and a solid guy... and while most of his day he talks TO God he doesn't say God talks to him. Other than the metaphorical "you hear god in every child's laugh" or what-not
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I think the questions he asked at the mock debate were all good questions, but I didn't like that he was so fast with his follow-ups . You can make anyone look like an ignorant fool this way, so this is not a good way to determine which ones of the candiates are ignorant fools. He should have been more like "take your time, it's an important question".
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Honestly I didn't have a problem with the mock interview. Just about every politician pretty much gives a non-answer, makes something up, or doesn't elaborate. And the media just accepts the answer and moves on. In Will's case, he had them (supposedly) research "how" the politicians would answer said questions based on their past answers, and then demonstrated how he wasn't going to let that slide.

Considering he only had minutes to demonstrate... he had to get to the point right away that "we're not going to ask what music is on their iPod, we're going to ask serious questions and they can't get away with a BS answer and expect me to accept it"



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I completely agree. Too many soft answers are allowed whenever anyone (not just politicians) are questioned on television.
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