A The Newsroom Community
HBO (ended 2014)

Aaron Sorkin's political news drama The Newsroom, which begins its second season on HBO this Sunday, is one of the more polarizing shows on television.The first season was hotly anticipated by a lot of people—West Wing diehards, Social Network fans, and even the small but dedicated group of Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip stans—all who thought that (Sorkin + politics) x (cable TV + HBO) = likely success. Of course, we now know that reaction to The Newsroom's first batch of episodes ranged from PURE RAGE at worst to heavily modulated optimism at best.

I'm not here to try to convince you that The Newsroom is a capital-G-Great television show; it's not. Instead, what I am going to do is let you all in on a secret viewing method that made the first season a lot more enjoyable than it probably should have been, one that I hope will help you enjoy Season 2 just as I will: Just think of it as another HBO fantasy show. It fits right alongside—or perhaps right between, on the scale of quality—True Blood and Game of Thrones.

Now, don't get it twisted. If you ask me, The Newsroom is a much better show than True Blood and it's certainly nowhere near as good as Game of Thrones. But like those two other tent-pole HBO dramas, The Newsroom exists not in reality, but its own utterly fictionalized version of the real world. In Season 1, so many people got hung up on the show's incessant need to re-configure the past so that Sorkin could show us all HOW TO DO JOURNALISM—partially because that mostly resulted in hilariously preachy bullsh*t, but also because the show tried too hard to key into real events. So here's what you gotta do: Imagine that none of it actually happened IRL. When Season 2 spends four episodes making fun of already forgotten conservative presidential "candidates" like Herman Cain and Newt Gingrich and somehow brings Will McAvoy into the origin story of Binders Full of Women, your first thought is probably going to be "Who's Herman Cain again?" and your second thought is probably going to be to just tweet "SORRRRRKKKKIN!" in all caps. But what you should really do is just pretend—as the Republicans eventually did—that Herman Cain isn't a real person, and that he never tried to run for president. Keep repeating to yourself "None of this is real."

Once you've gotten past The Newsroom's insistence on mocking CNN long after it's already done enough to make a mockery of itself, it's easier to start accepting the show's other faults as parts of Newsroom universe (they're still problematic parts, but still). Sure, it could bother you that The Newsroom exists in a world where blogging is still only for really weird (and foreign) nerds and where just about anybody can easily deliver a soliloquy full of $2 words about important concepts like DEMOCRACY and AMERICA and REAL MEN. But hey, it could also bother you that, on True Blood, a vampire killed a newscaster and then suggested a race war on national TV and people only got mad for like four days, or that everybody on Game of Thrones likes to pontificate while they fornicate. We're willing to accept that vampires and werewolves and dirtbag werepanthers exist in society on True Blood, and that dragons and smoke demons exist on Thrones. Every fantasy show has its weird things we just buy because we're invested in at least some of the characters or themes. The Newsroom is no different.

And maybe, just maybe, thinking about the show as a fantasy will help alleviate what is perhaps The Newsroom's biggest issue: its treatment of women. Perhaps this is just a world where totally competent career women don't know how to use email clients on smartphones, or can't do their jobs because they're constantly blubbering their way through two different romantic relationships with barely deserving men. Right?!

Whoops, okay, so maybe that's a step too far. Being a fantasy show doesn't write off sexism. Hell, even True Blood knows that (I think).

But even though The Newsroom isn't a great show, and even though it probably never will be because so many of its fundamental flaws are so thoroughly Sorkin-y (the news boners, the sanctimonious speeches, the fairly problematic representation of women) it nevertheless features some really good characters (Sloan and Charlie most notably, but Neal, Don, Will and Mac all have their moments on the reg) that make the problematic material better. And once you start imaging the Newsroom universe as a place where every monologue about freedom of the press actually improves the world and let every montage set to five-year-old Coldplay songs wash over you, The Newsroom becomes immediately better.

Will you be watching The Newsroom Season 2? What do you like or dislike most about the show?

Previously Aired Episode

AIRED ON 12/14/2014

Season 3 : Episode 6

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Wow, how did I miss this? The fray in comments was pretty steamy.

Well I can hardly add much to the convo at this point except to say that truly, the most important montage of S01 was set to the amazing, timeless and epic, "High and Dry" by the musical geniuses Radiohead. It totally made up for any other unfortunate musical gaffes last season.
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I liked the Will Mc?voy of last year's show. He was a liberal rediscovering his soul. So now he has transmuted himself into a moderate conservative. I do not like this Will McAvoy. I am a liberal and seeing one on TV was a pleasure.

Frankly another dumb David Gregory clone is no fun to watch. Another usual mainstream rightish journalist is just soooooooo boring.


so Sorkin listened to all the TV critics, moderates who trade in the same journalistic cliches , as the establishment of the Republican Party. So they reenforces a right wing view of the American polity. And since that is wh
at most of the .american polity jphears on their brief moments of leisure, that is what they believe.

if this Will McAvoy stays around I won't.
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Ok, confession. I love this show even more now after I've learned how much people hate it (especially those in the blogging world, media, news, journalism, etc).
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I tried to love this show, but I couldn't get over how dumb the female characters are. I just couldn't.
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Not going to work. Fantasy is all about escaping reality. Why escape it to get back to it? I mean, come one, I sometimes even have to switch off the real TV news because it feels like all they say is bullshit. Now this show does the same - pretending they are ultra objective by giving us the same preaching bullshit... and how do I do to transform it into fantasy? And why would I want to do that? If it is fantasy what I want, there is True Blood and Game of Thrones.
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If you want to look at it another way, think of it as watching dated episodes of the Daily Show along with their fake behind-the-scenes.

People are fine watching the Daily Show poke holes through the "real" news networks epic fails at trying to be unbiased. They're fine listening to John Stewart's monologues about certain issues in the news as well as how he decries CNN and FoxNews for shaping the news for entertainment. How he's ashamed of the the crud NBC pulled during the Trayvon Martin case which unbelievably horrible.

Here, we're watching the same stuff go on only with a bit more drama and less comedy

I had a friend screaming with rage over how the Newsroom depicted how a real debate should work with their mock answers... they were like the debate rep. He was focused on how he thought they were doing a stand-up sketch instead of the fact that these were REAL questions and that the moderator wouldn't tolerate the target switching focus with a "RAH RAH America is #1" speech.
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I really want to love this show, as I'm a big Sorkin fan. But while the writing overall is good, the reason I like Newsroom but don't love it is the main character just doesn't have the same integrity/likeability that the other shows' main characters have. I LOVE Danny and Matt (Studio 60), and Josh/Leo/Bartlett/C.j (West Wing). I don't love Will McAvoy. I tolerate him. He's intelligent, but doesn't take personal responsibility for his actions, and doesn't show much concern for others. That's hard for me to overcome.
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First of all, I disagree that this isn't a great show.

Interesting characters? Check. Episodes that don't contain a single boring scene whilst keeping up the pace? Check. Relevant political and/or moral-filled storylines ? Check. I could keep going. The point is, Sorkin went nuts on season 1 but it worked on many levels, and if there's a guy who doesn't think most all of the points made weren't valid, well go ahead, say it. Nobody is saying the show isn't pompous or arrogant, because it is, but it also has to be because of its own very nature. The ironic thing really is that the show also mocks itself for taking itself too seriously and being overly harsh with the benefit of hindsight (check will's entire s1 storyline, including the "greater fool" metaphor which is more aimed at sorkin himself than will). Of course journalists are gonna whine about this, nobody likes being told they are doing a crappy job, which in the end is what this show is inferring. Guess what though, things like the overall approach to analysing the republican candidates for presidency was and IS unbelievably appalling, like it has been for many years (not just republican candidates or even just in american politics, but in general) because there is no real scrutiny, especially policy-wise, instead being related to who they go to bed with or if they buy expensive jewellery. This isn't good journalism, and neither is calling the death of a politician without having proper confirmation. So go on, journalists, tell me again that this show doesn't have an actual point.

To finish, I said before and I'll say it again, I completely disagree with your view of women on the show. Women are totally nuts, but also do incredible jobs. Mac is the freaking E.P. of the news show, Maggie went from being in a fictitious position (will's assistant) to being a relevant journalist in the news show; Sloane started off with a couple of minutes of economy to being on prime time challenging politicians. How are women not portrayed as strong and powerful in all of this? Again, yes, they are nuts and do crazy things. Where I also think your point is moot is where... so do the MEN. Have you noticed Will's behaviour, or Jim's, or Neil's, or Don's? For god's sake, we're talking about a news presenter that goes high live on TV, a guy whom vies for another guy's girlfriend whilst having sex with her best friend, a dude who doesn't stop going on about big foot, and Don... is Don. Women aren't "the crazy" of this show, everybody is.

Can't wait for S2 to start, and I hope all these pestering critics haven't made Sorkin change what he is about.

Plus...I think we're gonna have some fun in this season's reviews and comments.
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Well said!
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You are nuts; this is one of THE BEST shows on cable. I was mesmerized every single minute. The writing is first rate, the acting is superb, I have watched seasons 1 & 2 several times and can't wait for it's return tonight.
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Seasons 1 & 2? Hasn't there only been one season?
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He's taking the "imagination" thing to a whole new level.
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For the record I don't "hate" the show, I just don't care about it.

But to answer the question: what I dislike the most is that "you have to love this because we say you do!" angle from shows like Glee, Smash or this one.
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Wow what obviously biased person was actually allowed to write this drivel. The Newsroom is nothing of what is written here. The show is fiction of course but it expertly weaves in true life events around an amazing cast of characters. I will be watching it and have been anticipating it's return.
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Well I like this show, I like it a lot. Not perfect but it's smart, not subtle but then again why does it have to be? Being Australian might give me a bit of distance to the subject matter but I really just do not get the hate no matter how many comments I read.
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I'm with you. I'm Canadian and while all the crap that goes on in the States ends up directly effecting us, it's just so easy to sit back and have a laugh!!
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there's nothing to dislike about it unless you can't appreciate it trying to represent the characters as people better than ourselves.
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I really don't watch the news because I'm one of those people who can drive by a bad accident with no burning desire to see what happened. I did, however follow this last election rather closely--well, as closely as Stewart and Colbert had to say about it, because I thought it was important. I think it will be interesting to see their take on it.

As for the issue of what universe this is all in. It's already not our Universe, but a parallel universe where there most probably isn't a--although there could be--Jeff Daniels, but a Will McAvoy instead. But this universe does contain all the other principle players ( Sarah Palin, Mitt Romney--Yikes! there are two of them?). How do I know this? I wrote a book about it--A Brief History of Time Travel--which also discusses parallel universes. Parallel universes to our knowledge don't exist--except in fiction, of course--but they are necessary to tell stories because sometimes we need to bend people, like the president, to our will to tell the story, as in the show Last Resort. So Will McAvoy and his gang get to relive the past in an entertaining way through the process of "Suspension of Disbelief" and I, for one, will probably enjoy it. And if you look at it this way, you can too.
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I think Paul Simon said it best--"You can get all the news you need from the weather report."
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"The Only L:ving Boy in New York" Paul's song to Art when he went to film "Catch 22". Is there a bad song on "Bridge Over Troubled Waters"? I think not. Nice one Muderboy!
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Paul Simon didn't write too many bad songs, did he?
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I wanted to like this show so much. I really did. Really. But then they mistreated the news, facts and general journalism, so I thought - you know what? I'll focus on the characters. Not a good idea. I now find myself wanting to punch most of them. And the sexism makes me so mad, because it makes me angry at parts of The West Wing too, which I resent. But mostly, and weirdly, this show makes me mad because of Jim and what's-her-face. Let me just say that I am in no way invested in this relationship - I just don't like badly made semi re-makes. Because COME ON! They're so blatantly ripping off one of the best, most realistic love stories on TV ever. And they're doing a really terrible job of it. Seriously - the frazzled assistant, who can do better - both in her job and her terrible relationship. She is stuck in every part of her life, but here comes a guy LITERALLY NAMED JIM, who sees her, helps her, sort of understands her and stares semi-longingly at her across the room. He even overhears her talking about him on the phone. At this point there are so many examples that it's getting ridiculous - their respective hair is even the same as their 1st season counterparts. Why, oh God why? Just stop! Leave Jim and Pam alone! I know The Office itself couldn't seem to, but come on, Sorkin. You're better than this.
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If they would drop the teenage love BS, the show would be decent. Jeff Daniels is a fantastic actor and his delivery is good in this, but the plot often sucks. I feel like Sorkin lost his magic or is bending down to forces that he can't control. The basic political stuff is up to snuff, if only we could turn down the silly prom nite love interest crap and stay where the show might matter?
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What's to pretend? The show is as subtle as a brick.
And likewise, I bet Aaron Sorkin's daughter is praying he doesn't win an award for it, that is after telling her onstage at the Oscars that not only the pretty ones win. Way to go dad!
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What really chapped my behind in the show was the last episode where Will McAvoy decries the tea party movement and equates them to the Taliban. That is like saying the founding fathers of the United States are similar to the Taliban, as they were technically "terrorists". Every opposition is a terrorist to those that are against it.


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His point was that the Tea Party are fanatics. The Taliban weren't, technically, terrorists when they were in power because they were the government.
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Actually it was the US government that supplied the Taliban with weapons to oppose the USSR when held the territory. They were terrorists then, just as they are now.
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Well, technically, the U.S. supplied the mujahideen in Afghanistan with weapons, which lead to a civil war after the Soviet invasion. The Taliban, who are from Pakistan, took advantage of the situation and backed one the leaders, allowing them to take control of the government. But it's just two sides of the same coin.

They say hindsight is 20/20, but I don't accept that as an excuse in this situation. Yeah, we didn't like the Soviet Union, but at least they were predictable. I can understand the U.S. backing Saddam Hussein in his war against Iran because he was a secular dictator, but arming the mujahideen was just stupid, and the U.S. should have realized it even at that time.
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Some in the Tea Party are fanatics, but not all.
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"Perhaps this is just a world where totally competent career women don't know how to use email clients on smartphones, or can't do their jobs because they're constantly blubbering their way through two different romantic relationships with barely deserving men. Right?!"

I am so tired of sexism only in regards to women. A writer can't write something funny for a show without it being brought up as sexism if it depicts a woman as the one making the "stupid" mistake. Seriously, why are only men allowed to make bumbling mistakes but not women; even a professional one?
Low self esteem is what leads to those bumbling moments on Newsroom, not a lack of intelligence. You might have seen the same thing in Sports Night if you ever watched it.
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Massively overhyped, it's a weird kind of left wing that people who are actually a little left wing find forced and not truthful. I didn't believe much of it and adding in real events just highlighted this unreality. His speech at the start of the first episode was cringeworthy. Series 2 can suck it tbh, and to say it's better than True Bood is bizarre, even recent True Blood which has gone down a little in quality.
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at times I found it hard to understand , I did like it though and will be watching season 2. didn't they fire a lot of writers near the end of season 1? maybe that will make a difference this season.
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Nah, they hired them all back. It was just a little Sorkin tizzy fit...
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well I'll still give it a shot anyway.
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best show i ever seen
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I love The Newsroom. Period. Why the hell someone shouldn´t put in his show some agenda? At least it has balls and it doesn´t care if it insult oh-so-fragile Americans.
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isn't it an American show made by Americans? not to fragile to laugh at ourselves
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HBO has become too left wing with Bill Maher and The Newsroom.
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It's not HBO's fault. Reality has a well-known liberal bias.
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"even the small but dedicated group of Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip stans"

Wow, I thought I was the only one.

Anyway....I'm having a little trouble why this article was written, or why it isn't just a blurb? Is hating this show really a full time job? How about just not watch the show if you have this kind of whiny issue with it? I know that the article is geared towards people who seemingly heavily disagree with the politics of the show, but guess what, it is also true that a lot of the stuff they cover on the show is not "forgettable". I still remember who Hermain Cain is, in fact that whole period with the republican nominations was incredible(y bad).
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I like that show too. It was good. But yeah, Sorkin does have a small problem with portraying women.
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I disagree. What was wrong with the Characters Dana Whitaker, C.J. Cregg, or even Jordan McDeere? All very intelligent highly successful women whose biggest fault seems to be there personal lives. I wonder if women in this world that are successful do not also have trouble in the significant other department?
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I like that it not have those USA=god-goggles on, but actually criticize America, i don't hate America but it has it's flauts. And i don't think that the old news angle ruins the show, the show has been months in the making, so of course it will be old news, you can move on to CNN if you want to Watch the news. Besides it's America those news will repeat themselves with other names..
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"flauts"_--ironic. LOL!
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I didn't say i didn't have faults, I just say America does too.
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No, your fault is that you ironically misspelled faults...
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It's hilarious, your hatred against The Newsroom makes you a little too much CBS-y..
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Good, bold TV journalism is a fantasy these days. I thought that was a given!! Lol... However, fantasy or not, I really enjoyed how the Newsroom tried to key into real events.

Plus, it's not like Sorkin is even remotely trying to hide his bias.
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I love me some Newsroom, guys, fantasy or not!! It is brilliantly hilarious
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Interesting article Cory, tv.com needs more articles like it! In my opinion it's obvious you enjoy the show, otherwise you wouldn't have bothered to watch it and then write an article suggesting how it can be viewed in a better light despite its problems.

I've always been interested in looking into Sorkin's work (I didn't really get into television until after The West Wing and Studio 60 had finished), despite the many criticisms that he's received.

The problem I think I might have with The Newsroom (as I also have with the actual news), is that I'm always assuming its pushing its own agenda, political or otherwise, and it sounds like Sorkin doesn't try to hide it.

Why I find it odd that Sorkin would use actual political figures and events with fictionalised stories, for me, and possibly others viewers, it might actually work story-wise because our knowledge of the American political landscape is quite limited
. I don't live in America, so some of these people's names I may have never heard of, but I would understand if those with a strong ideas of politics would view the show completely different to someone without.

That being said, viewers not knowing about the figures and events depicted in the show brings me back to my original concern: What Sorkin is presenting, although fiction, is the only information viewers are receiving about certain political topics, and this makes Sorkin's agenda a lot easier for him to push on them.
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If you're catching up on Sorkin, you should not miss Sports Night.
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Yeah, Sports Night was great...
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or just ignore this piece of crap like the rest of America.
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I like this show for 1 specific reason: It's an hour of escapeism. I watch this for an hour & say: "fuck yeah! if only actual news networks had the same set of old-school journalistic ethics on any given day."

Fact of the matter is, "real news" on any given day is more laughable than how it's satirized on the show in general, but, like I said, watching the show gives me an hour of thinking armchair quarterback-style how much better life could be if news was driven less by what is ratings-worthy as opposed to what is actually news-worthy.
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Guys, I LIKE the show. This is a (mostly tongue and cheek) call to the people who don't like it. But it's not perfect, not in the least bit.
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I think this show is better suited to people who aren't American, purely because the show is one big big hate on at the US. American's are all caught up in the belief that America is the best, most free country in the world, when in episode 1 they clearly state how they aren't the greatest country in the world.
For those of us who aren't American, we can appreciate the storylines, the writing, the acting, rather than hating it because it is one of the only shows that shows America in a less than perfect light.
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Ha, that's a really interesting perspective. At least it's for people who aren't obsessed with a certain version of America?
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Being not an american i never had an issue with doing just that. Because as far as i know, much of the stuff in the first season was fiction. I can remember reading about some of it in the paper but that's the extend of it. Maybe that's why i never found it to be terrible in the first place. There is still a lot of stuff in it i don't like and completely agree that it's not a great show, but the characters at least aren' that bad.
About the things i didn't like. Sorkin's preaching for one, although i agree with a lot of it, it's just too heavy handed. Secondly, the amazing, astonishing narcissism journalists are portrayed with. Wasn't there a scene on a plane once? Where they made the biggest fuzz because they were journalist and needed their cellphones NOW! Security be damned.
About the things i did enjoy. Jeff Daniels.
Maybe you should do a poll how many americans like the Newsroom and how the rest of the world feels about it.
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No, most of the news they covered happened, they just fictionalized it to fit their needs.
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I get that. But since only some of these news were covered in the media in europe it could as well be fiction. You know? I have no relation to these events and no memory of them occuring. Therefore they may as well be something a writer came up with just as in every other show. That's what i meant. For a lot of people outside the US this is just another show. Regardless whether or not these events really occured.
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The idea that newscasts are actually about information is pretty naive i think... And :) I said it once, I'll say it again: there's something very off-putting about the way that journalists ridicules this show...
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Do not understand the intense hate you guys give this show. It's not the best thing on television but it's a good show and actually had some of my favourite television scenes from last year.
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I actually kind of love the show, that's why I wrote this!
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So do a lot of people, and thanks for that, Cory...
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The interesting thing is that more people watch the fictional newscasts on this show than they watch real news shows.

Which means Will McAvoy, in the weird world of US news that includes the real Fox News (which is more like fiction), is probably a better anchorman and journalist than most real ones.

Gee, why are any networks nowadays pretending their news shows are real, since what they report is so warped by the need to get ratings. They should just throw in the towel and write their own versions of the Newsroom and be done with it.
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"...reaction to The Newsroom's first batch of episodes ranged from PURE RAGE at worst to heavily modulated optimism at best."

Not true. I guess I fit the modulated optimism description, but I know a few people who consider it pure awesomeness.

"Just think of it as another HBO fantasy show. It fits right alongside—or perhaps right between, on the scale of quality—True Blood and Game of Thrones."

No, this is completely wrong. It has nothing in common with those shows. It fits right alongside The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, The Colbert Report, and Real Time with Bill Maher. It makes fun of how incredibly absurd news and politics in the USA have become, and it does so really well. The only problem the show has is that, with the exception of Will McAvoy, the fictional characters they're using to do this aren't as well-written as Steven Colbert. This is still going to be a significant problem if you compare it to Game of Thrones.

"The Newsroom is a much better show than True Blood and it's certainly nowhere near as good as Game of Thrones."

This I agree with.

"...hilariously preachy bullsh*t..."


How is it bullshit? Do you live in that bubble that Bill Maher keeps talking about? The preachy stuff is what they do best. It's also the point of the show.

"Will you be watching The Newsroom Season 2?"

Hell yes.

"What do you like or dislike most about the show?"

Like: That "preachy bullshit". For example, their analysis of Nancy Grace's coverage of the Casey Anthony trial. That was brilliant.

Dislike: The fictional stories about the fictional characters. I don't hate them, but they could certainly be better.
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I think you're taking my points a little too literally. And if you think that this show is on the same level as The Daily Show and Colbert, I disagree.
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What is on the same level?--nothing, really...
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I don't hate the newsroom, but I don't particularly love it either, from the beginning I've watched it as a drama with no basis in reality, even though I know it takes some material from real events, and guess that is helped me like it more than most.
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Admirable effort Cory, but like you suggested there are certain suspensions of disbelief that are manageable in watching a series but they do not include the attitude the show has to its characters. Most quality cable dramas are very male-centric but even the limited female characters, sometimes in fiercely misogynist settings, aren't treated like incompetent hysterical romance-obsessed idiots (and even despite that I really like Maggie's character - mostly due to the acting I guess).

So apart from the treatment of women, the forced romances, the lack of subtlety and the cringe-worthy humour I have issues with the show's lack of integrity to its core message. How did the show go from a dispassionate, pundit-free, evidence-based approach to news to a weekly Koch Brothers bashing with the apotheosis calling the Tea Party the American Taliban? It was just strange and it made Sorkin a huge hypocrite, unable to follow his own rules.

I never minded the gimmick of using old news stories so much, it gave the show some authenticity, and I can imagine how much preachier it would be if Sorkin was allowed to create his own fictional news. As I see it covering old stories is okay if they just report the events dispassionately and if Sorkin doesn't use the benefit of hindsight to cheat but this doesn't always occur. Things become more problematic when The Newsroom becomes more focused on political punditry, reporting opinions instead of the news and criticising political figures of the time. That's when The Newsroom goes from reporting the news to being a part of the news and that's where you're creating a fake, airbrushed history.

Still there was enough there that I don't feel I can stop watching at this point, despite the flaws. Seeing the show as a fantasy helps to a point but not completely.
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I think that's the part that bothers most people. The dumb approach to news is problematic in its own right, but the way the show treats women is REALLY screwed up.
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The problem is not having stupid women (they exist, it's a fact), but I can't stand the way they depict suposedly intelligent women as morons. One of them has been in charge of war coverage, right? How can someone who has seen the horrors of war upclose and be so stupid?
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I´m not very happy that I have to say this (because I´m woman) but most of women are like that.. weak, whinny, obsessed with men or kids, no opinions or knowledge, no goals (except for getting pregnant of course)..so..yeah.
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Well, women like that abound, but that shouldn't stop series writers from trying to depict the other kinds too.
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Maggie's character is, in my opinion, the only character frequently depicted as a "moron". Sloan is a bit socially awkward, sure, but extremely intelligent and driven. Mac is only ever flustered around Will, which simply makes sense if the viewers are to believe the character's past "discretions".

1 moron out of 3 ain't bad... probably better odds than in real life.

And what about other more minor recurring female roles, such as Leona? Even Sorority Girl rebounded back in a huge way near the end of season 1.

I think the "range" is there, but the whole Maggie/Jim/Don triangle drama stands out so much that it clouds the rest.
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I for one did not hate season 1. Yes I appreciate that the show probably does not give a true to life account of the events, but then again was there ever a president of the united states quite like President Bartlett? Also, need we be reminded of the belly aching that came as a result of the release of "The Social Network"?
Something people tend to forget is that Aaron Sorkin is, at the end of the day, a director who earns his paycheck by getting a lot of viewers, and the best way to do that is to take something people can relate to, and make it 100 times more dramatic.
I enjoy "The Newsroom" because I hate general politics, and cannot tolerate it enough to keep up with current affairs. By watching this show I get a very general synopsis of actual events that have occurred, and get to watch them through a medium that makes it vastly more interesting and entertaining, making it easier to understand and easier to retain.
If you want to watch a factual account of events then watch CNN, not HBO. Otherwise sit back, relax, and watch a frustrated genius give out to people for messing up, and ranting about the government and society in general
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No, I won't be watching it. The speeches make me cringe. It doesn't even work as fantasy to me, especially when its roots are so deep-set in reality. It's not like True Blood, where all supernatural creatures exist. Anything goes on that show, and it still can have a foot in reality, somehow. Or Game of Thrones, where Dragons exist, can do a much better job on people's real reactions and dialogues. I can't stand the dialogues on The Newsroom. Honestly, I really wanted to like this show. I had great hopes (I was a fan of The West Wing). It fell flat to me.
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The problem I had with the Newsroom is the problem I have with most political shows which is why I avoid them: They are so heavily leaning to one side that it becomes little more than a propaganda piece. The Newsroom claimed to be different by having a main protagonist that is a "Republican". However, if Jeff Daniels character is a Republican, then I'm Hillary Clinton. Having the character throw in a few "Immigrants Take Jobs" doesn't make him conservative. I still enjoy the show overall, but I really wish they would just admit that Jeff Daniels character is just a liberal as every other character on the show.
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It's funny that you posted this since I had a very similar conversation regarding this topic the other day. I was trying to explain to someone how the Newsroom is kind of a fantasy version of reality and True Blood is similar to a wacky cartoon/animated show at this point. I enjoy both shows but I don't expect much more than to be somewhat entertained from week to week.
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Glad to see someone feels the same way!
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"Well... sometimes I have the feeling I can do crystal meth, but then I think, mmm... better not."
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Fat Amy, FTW!
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You might be missing out. Plus Jesse's done it and he's turned out okay.
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Nope. While I appreciate your point, I will watch the show and continue to come here after to rip on the ridiculous things they do and say and applaud what they occasionally do right.
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Sigh, so it looks like we're stuck with Cory Barker reviewing this show again this season? Well, I'm sure there's some other website out there I can go to. Can't imagine why somebody who hates the show would want to review it on a weekly basis, but that's Tv.com for you.
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Everything is peachy. The reviews were good last season and the show did have many faults. That being said, I liked The Newsroom and will certainly keep watching. Somewhere in the middle of all the preechiness and super fast and articulate dialogs there's a good message about the media today.

I appreciate that reviewers offer their opinion and don't turn a blind eye on show's faults. I remember when Tim reviewed Fringe and you could tell he really loved the show but still didn't ignore its faults. So keep doing what you're doing, TV.Com :)

P.S. Cory's writing is always very thought trough, smart and fair. What's not to like?
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Cory didn't review Season 1, Alex Navarro did. I don't know if he's still around or if anyone is recapping Season 2 but I wouldn't assume Cory is just because he wrote an article about the show. E.g. he just wrote an article about The Challenge and he wrote articles about Fringe and 30 Rock a while ago but he didn't recap them. Having said that, the general critical consensus of the show is that it has flaws so if it was recapped in a purely positive light don't you think it would be getting it too easy?
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[First paragraph redacted after Jen took a deep breath and reminded herself that "If you don't have anything nice to say, sometime's it's better not to say anything at all."]

First of all, Cory didn't review The Newsroom for TV.com last season!

And second of all, for what it's worth, Ryan Sandoval will be reviewing the show in Season 2. He also didn't review The Newsroom for TV.com last season (Alex Navarro did).

Sorry you didn't like last season's reviews, maybe you will like this season's! But there's no need to be, er, less-than-polite in the comments just to put somebody down, especially when said putdown is based on a byline and incorrect/missing information.

If you don't agree with this story, definitely feel free join the discussion and say so, but please do it in a way that contributes to the conversation rather than detracts from it!
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Well, I think Cory has well-balanced and interesting opinions in general. Nothing against him, if you ask me. The problem is probably the show, not who reviews it. It seems to me that The Newsroom isn't a big critic favorite. Still, people shouldn't look for validation when they like a show. If you like something, and it makes sense to you, go for it.
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Yes, my mistake and my apologies, it turns out the hater last season was Alex Navarro.

Thank you for the news that Cory won't be reviewing the show this season. His disdain for the show is clear, and it's a good decision not to force him to watch and then put his opinions on the show up for general consumption each week if that's the case.

It's a clear problem on a number of the shows Tv.com reviews. I assume your staff is smallish, and with the vast number of shows to review, it makes sense that people who hate a particular show may sometimes be called on to review it. Just, do us all a favor, and avoid that wherever possible,
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...I actually like the show? That's why I wrote this. You realize that you can still find problems with shows you like, right?
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You mustn't have been reading the same Season 1 recaps that I was. Alex had a very balanced opinion about the show, he loved some bits and had issues with others. Do you call everyone who doesn't rate something 100% a hater?
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I never ask anyone who *actually* hates a show to review it on a weekly basis. But, the inherent nature of reviews is that sometimes they're critical; that's why we headline them as reviews and not lists of only the things we liked about a given episode of television.

Now, I'm being a little snarky here to prove a point, but sometimes TV shows don't do everything right, and The Newsroom is one of those shows. *Most* shows are one of those shows. There are people who love The Newsroom and people who hate it. But all I really want to point is that a negative review or even a story like this one, which is obviously targeted at folks who didn't particularly care for the first season, doesn't automatically mean that the author absolutely and totally hates the show and is being forced to review it or talk about it just because we couldn't find anyone else.

We will continue to "hone our tone," so to speak, so that when we do say something critical about a show or an episode, it doesn't come across as being negative just for the sake of being negative. But I will ask that for your part, you come into episode discussions and comments sections with a respect for others' opinions and the knowledge that you are free to debate those opinions... in a civilized way, of course. :) Blanket statements and assumptions about haters and forced assignments don't really help anyone! If you would like to share specific concerns about what you feel is the clear problem with so much of the writing on the site, please don't hesitate to PM me at TVcom_editorial. I mean it!

Jen
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Also: Reviews don't exist just to validate your opinions. If someone hates an episode of a show, they're allowed to. Just like you're allowed to like it. But just because someone disagrees with you doesn't mean they shouldn't able to review something.
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@layle1 Don't worry! We try to cultivate those voices on purpose. I just mean that we will try not to rant without reason, and to avoid being mean-spirited (in contrast to offering good-natured ribbing, let's say). After all, we're all fans here. ;)
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I actually frequent the reviews of this site for their particular voices. I hope you don't alter things too much when you 'hone' your tone.
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It seems like this show is popular amongst a number of people because it's comfortably idealistic. Equating 'comfortable' with 'good' is a bad habit that a number of people pick up with regards to their viewing habits. It might as well be Hallmark for Liberals.
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Can't do it. Pretend, that is. I can't pretend that I don't know who Sarah Palin is, or Herman Cain. I can't pretend that they used real people and set their show two years in the past because they're pompous, preachy, and worst of all, incapable of their own ideas. They're the P. Diddy of news dramas.

I can, however, accept that some people should've quit making shows while they were ahead. I can accept that The West Wing was a long time ago, and they just won't be making 'em like they used to.

And I can also remind myself that I still watch True Blood, so I can push the bar down a little lower for this show once a week. But I stop at the floor. This first episode will at least tell me if Sorkin's learned anything.
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I'm a Jedi Master in pretending. Helped me to enjoy large parts of 24 and Homeland. Can't watch Newsroom though ...
Newsroom = P.Diddy of news dramas is gold. That much I watched to confirm this.
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Exactly right about 24 and Homeland. I enjoyed them mostly...but yes. Yes. I had that issue with SoA, but my kung fu wasn't strong enough to last with that one.
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I think you do make some interesting point but i will take Newsroom over the other HBO shows. I pretty much watch all kind of shows on TV, from Sopranos, West wing to say teen wolf. I don't do any reality crap or any shows that involves phoning in or voting, I rather stab myself to death and blow myself up (i know vivid much lol ) Anyway I love Sorkin's works, the guy is a genius and his script are intelligent, witty and quite original. I have watched season 1 bout 7 times now and each time it gets better, On the other hand Game of Thrones was really good until the end of season 1 when Stark was killed and that was the end for me. A lot of my friends didn't watch season 2 because of that. I came back at season 3 and for most of it i kept skipping forward because the conversations were long and boring and then towards the end it got ruined again in my opinion. I love almost anything about Vampires and werewolf's, but True blood i just cant stand, I don't like any of the characters and i really tried but the show just doesn't entertain me. Its just so flat and boring and it should have been cancelled after season 1 or 2.
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