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The Newsroom S02E05: "News Night With Will McAvoy"


Color me confused, y’all: what is The Newsroom saying by inflicting the events of the real world on its characters? In tonight’s "News Night With Will McAvoy," Sloan got way bummed out because some personal photos that her ex-boyfriend took wound up on the internet, jeopardizing her reputation. Coincidentally, Newsroom actresses Olivia Munn and Alison Pill have both had similar things happen to them in actual life. It’s hardly a coincidence this storyline meant to nod at Munn and Pill’s respective invasions of privacy, even as fictional character Mac made the point to Jesse—the closeted Rutgers student who was ready to come out on national TV—that intimate moments shouldn’t be used as entertainment. Though ultimately, the purpose of this art-imitates-life scenario was a small form of entertainment. What was the desired reaction for a viewer who might make a connection between the real world and the written one?  "Huh, how about that?" or "Oh boy, clever—there go my endorphins! I am pleased." Olivia Munn must have LOVED reliving this non-embarrassing part of her real life. Good boss, that Sorkin.


So yeah, Sloan spent the entire episode depressed over her AIG ex posting these photos to some site called "RevengePorn.com." Oh Newsroom, you do love your fake websites. Luckily, Don—seeking to undo the aftermath of a faulty quote of his—found himself cheering Sloan up in her darkened office. She sure did talk about animals a bunch. Zebras this, basset hounds that. But then he did that thing some people do when they’re not only offering a shoulder to cry on but also one on which to maybe-possibly snuggle up: He questioned her choice in men. Only a few episodes ago, Sloan was hinting at her interest in Don, only to be rebuffed, and now it seems like he’s shared a moment that could lead to something more. Will they? Won’t they? The Newsroom, where every relationship is a rom-com wrapped in a nattering snarknado. 

Anyway, Don got to make his call, and one thing that is good about having so many abrasive, smarty-pants characters is that when they do get all revved up and they yell at deserving parties, it’s pretty satisfying in, like, a professional athlete’s effortless, elegant movements while doing a sport kind of way. Basically Don was a dick to the editor who had picked up his faulty quote and that (along with the dude’s name, "Munch") made Sloan feel better. So delighted, in fact, that she kicked up her heels to the crotch-level of her ex, and punched every last tooth out of his weasel face and snapped a picture. How's that for invasion of privacy, you pig?! As a victory lap, Don continued his good-guy tear and prevented the fellow from furthering the conflict and basically guaranteed himself a ticket on Sloan’s Smoochahassee Express. All aboard! 


Will, as a male, is way too important to have problems that only derive from his body image or sexuality, so while no dick pics or nipplegrams were sent, he did receive a bummer of a phone call from his father’s cell phone. As the George Zimmerman 911 call slowly became available to media outlets, Will got word that his father had suffered a mild heart attack. Thing was, Will took his sweet-ass time even making an effort to leave a "tried calling ya, pops, hope you don't die and stuff" voicemail. Meanwhile, Neal informed Will that a woman was badmouthing him on Twitter and that immediately became way more important. 

What an unlikeable quality in a person: At his age and education level, he’d rather trade barbs with a stranger to feed an ego than dedicate one minute toward human decency. It’s not that hard to be the bigger person against a dying abusive drunk. What was that about a mission to civilize? Later Will admitted that when he did cave in and call, his sister picked up to tell him that their father had kicked the bucket, which led to him closing out the broadcast with a very unprofessional blank stare. "Well I guess it’s just us now," he said before signing off, and lord knows what daddy issues will trip him up for the next two episodes, when this thread will likely fall by the wayside in favor of OWS doing something. 

Elsewhere, while waiting for the Zimmerman call to download, Jim got on Maggie’s case about her wreaking of booze and she threw it back by trashing Hallie for being a one-trick pony just writing about sexism. What the hell was Maggie’s point here? That we shouldn’t care that Rush Limbaugh casually called Sandra Fluke a slut, and focus more on why being a slut is not bad? Yes, that’s one way to approach the problem of sexism, essentially saying that if those slandered by derogatory words were to take ownership or pride in the concept behind the slurs, people like Limbaugh wouldn’t have any ammunition—the words would not be insults. But is that doing away with the culture behind these sexist motivations, or just removing the language? Also, WHY IS MAGGIE STILL LIVING WITH LISA? This is so unbelievable, no one does this! Absolutely the worst source of conflict on this show. It would be more realistic if Maggie started living in the sewers. THAT ONE'S ON THE HOUSE, SORKIN.

Ah Charlie. Drunk-ass, bobble-headed, whiskey-tongued, connection-having Charlie. Frankly, Charlie had the most interesting scenes of the episode. Meeting with the press liaison for the Office of Naval Intelligence, Shep Pressman (Frank Wood, Flight of the Conchords Greg), the two bantered masterfully, talked shit on philosophy degrees, then got down to brass tacks about Genoa. Allegedly, the whole thing occurred because the captive son of a Marine was about to be sold off for beheading. Pressman argued that civilizations living in the ninth century alongside those in the twenty-first presented a "crazy problem." Reporting that our country had committed war crimes would ruin America’s global reputation and ultimately damage the world. True, but also acting immorally would sink us to the level of the crazies, and then would we be any better? (#rockthevote) 

Anyways, "News Night With Will McAvoy" had fair intentions in its aim to discuss internet-shaming, sexism, and audience relations, all against the backdrop of personal tragedy. But like most Newsroom episodes that miss their mark, multiple targets resulted in shots going wide.     

FOLLOW-UP QUESTIONS:

– What will Sam do with his newfound information about Genoa?

– What did Will mean when he said, "Well I guess it’s just us now"?

– Is Twitter mysterious or exotic to you?

– What is the most enjoyable aspect of this show for you?

– How will Will handle his father dying? 

Previously Aired Episode

AIRED ON 12/14/2014

Season 3 : Episode 6

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Speaking of flaws, Sam won't do anything with the"newfound information about Genoa". Charlie might, but Sam will probably just read the next script.
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Instead of raging about all of the flaws with your review I'd like to say you should be ashamed of yourself for talking about victims of abuse, sexual abuse and trauma in such a generalized, disrespectful way. Either you do not have the capacity for empathy or decided you could seem to be some sort of intellectual by determining "flaws" in these characters behavior, flaws only created because of some standard that you believe people should live to.

I hope you can be happy some day.
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I wasn't trying reek havoc with that last post I promise.

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Almost none of this makes sens and how the fuck did you get a job writing for a living? How about less overcompensating for your Sorkin fetish and write about the story in a way that doesn't make me want to punch the nearest 8 year old? Impossible dream I suppose.

Nothing you wrote is smart or funny and nothing you wrote that actually has anything to do with the episode is free of your juvenile opinion about the meta of the show.

Anyway, congratulations on getting a job you are clearly not qualified for and collecting a paycheck you obviously don't deserve.
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-Also, WHY IS MAGGIE STILL LIVING WITH LISA? This is so unbelievable, no one does this!

Excuse me, Mr. Sandoval, I don't know your life, what experiences you have and haven't had, what decisions you were and were not forced to make, whether or not you have ever felt trapped by a situation or your own personal demons. One favor I will ask of you is, don't spew that "no one does this". You're likely to get a more interesting reaction if you ASK whether or not someone does this and why.

Until very recently, I lived with someone who did not respect me, nor I him. I hated every decision he was making. The first thing I would do when I came home was to try and avoid any conversation with him. But I was at a point in my life where I just didn't know where I would go if I left. Not that I was financially burdened, which I wasn't. But I had some things to figure out and decisions to make about where I would move, how far I would move, and come up with a way out of some personal choices I myself had made.

I'm happy that apparently you had never been through this kind of situation, but don't dismiss it outright just because you can't imagine yourself in a similar scenario.

Relating to the specifics of the Newsroom, you'd have a better case criticizing why the Newsroom has not clarified Maggie's psychological reasons for staying with Lisa. As an audience member who has gone through something similar, I'm content with not knowing. However, I wouldn't argue with someone wanting to know, if they had no such personal experience.
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Maybe it's just me, but I found that most points of this episode hit.

I believe that Sloan, a woman who's been desperate to be taken seriously because of her looks, would curl up on the floor and babble about various animals being completely unsure about what emotion she was feeling.

While I agree, I don't believe for a second that Maggie would spend 6 months walking on eggshells with a roommate who despised her...housing in New York can't be THAT bad, can it? I can believe that a woman who's gone through a tramatic experience might start looking at life in general with a different perspective. I don't think she was trying to have anybody "take ownership or pride" but question the absurd notion and ridiculous double standard that is slut shaming. Not because it's "okay" to be a slut but to challenge the notion that a single woman who enjoys is by definition a slut, hence her asking the question.

I also believed that it would take Will 40 minutes to process the idea of his drunk abusive father having a heart attack and any resulting implications. I have no problem accepting that he'd need a little guidance from a friend to put aside his personal feelings and leave a message...not because it was the right thing to do for his father, but because it was the right thing to do for him. If they eventually got to speaking, it would avoid the "Why didn't you call me?" speech. If he didn't, he could take some self satisfaction. Will's got deep rooted issues with being liked and is having an especially hard time right now. He spelled that out clearly when talking with the OWS girl. When confronted with the mortality of the man who made his childhood a living hell and a chink in the armour of his public appeal...is it really that big a stretch that he'd pay more attention to the latter, for if nothing else than a coping mechanism?

Personally, I don't think any targets were missed wide. I found each character to have been true to themselves (if not most people) with their respective plot points. Perhaps not a direct bullseye, but no missed targets here.
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Isn't the comment, "We'll, I guess it's just us now" assumed to be directly to his sister? And isn't the SAME kind of thing that the kid who was trying to "out" himself to his patents... Which Mac said was NOT what this show was about and that Will would eat him alive for doing something SO personal? Hmmm!?
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Ryan, I don't know if you're being serious or sarcastic, but I imagine there's some liability in using a real web site's address in a broadcast. Much like the fake phone numbers used since the beginning of time in movies and television.

Also, it was certainly compressed compared to Maggie's processing time but Sloan pretty much ran the gamut of what I'd feel if someone had posted me on a revenge porn site. The only unrealistic part -- lawsuit anyone? -- was the fantasy comeuppance she wielded on her ex. I mean, he was smirking at his male coworkers as he went to meet her. Totally righteous fantasy.
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You mean names of websites like Twitter? Yeah. You're right. They would never dream of using that in an episode of TV.
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All this negativity is seriously harshing my mellow, man.

I can honestly say this was not one of my favorite reviews for this show, but I haven't a decent rebuttal at this point and while typically I can count on you all in the community to open my eyes to insights or perspectives I may not have had on my own, I am far more underwhelmed by the proliferation of complaining rather than intelligent discourse within the comments than any criticism I may have of the review itself. But it is not just here on this review, or within this community, that this negative, nonconstructive behavior seems to be gaining traction given that for the last several months I have watched as comments at this site have become increasingly petty and insulting, especially towards the reviewers, a trend both disappointing and tedious.

What are we creating when people cannot state an opinion without it being taken by other people and twisted into a personal indictment and affront of their own opinion, whereby the "injured" huddle together around their imaginary wounds and take pot shots at the person who dared to utter an opinion? Without meaningful discourse we cannot hope to approach solving the world's problems, let alone have a decent conversation about a few episodes of television.

I very much enjoy coming here to learn about and discuss what we're watching, learning to love things as you all do, learning why you love them, and in doing so, learning just a little about you through our engagement with these shows and on this site. Television today is truly very intelligent and can be quite beautiful, and people across the world can gather 'round to talk about it with a few clicks (generally speaking). The very fact that we are talking about television to such a degree as a community, across cultures, time zones, and borders as well as every social and demographical indicator, is indicative of the fundamental change that has occurred in television programming since the turn of the millennium. That is pretty profound and more than a little awesome. You are obviously intelligent, as evidenced by your choice in programming (no bias there) and in your desire to seek out other like-minded fans to participate in an in-depth analysis and critique of the works. But like-minded does not mean hive-minded.

With each episode, the action taken is done so at the cost of any and all other possible actions that might have been taken, characters and storylines progress (hopefully) and that progress, that action, may not always meet the ideals we hold in mind. Certainly we each have our own vision and at any given time those individual visions may somehow conflict. My tastes have been shaped by just as many factors as your own, and just as uniquely. If I think watermelon Bubblicious is the best flavor, EVER, I'm not going to whine, complain, call you names and post it to Twitter if you insist that the best flavor is in fact, sour apple. Similarly, the reviewers are offering their opinions, starting the conversations, and agree or disagree, the reviews deserve to be received with the respect in which they are offered. If you don't like the review, if you disagree with the summation or the opinions expressed, SAY SOMETHING! Say something about the show, about the episode, about the characters, the showrunners, the writers, the storylines, the plot arcs, the dialogue, ship the heck out it if it makes you happy, but for the love of the television gods, shut up about the reviewers already.

If you are reading an opinion on an episode of television and your pride stings or you feel offended because the opinions expressed conflict with your own, I suggest, and this is offered with all due respect and best intentions, that you grow the heck up already. After you've shaken off your bout of neo-infantilism, show the person who doesn't see things as you do and everyone else here just how intelligent you can be and give us a great rebuttal. If you are wasting space on a comment whining and complaining via veiled insults and empty accusations because Ryan, or Tim or Cory or MaryAnne or whoever doesn't seem to lose IQ points and vocal octaves in gushing love and adoration for every precious moment of your beloved series, then you are wasting time and missing an opportunity, not to mention adding nothing meaningful to the conversation. Because with your passion and insight, you could be turning the conversation around, you could be schooling us all on the epic awesomeness of this plot arc or that character direction. You could be changing opinions and opening minds. So stop taking cheap shots at the reviewers, offer up an opinion with some insights and add something meaningful to the conversation, will ya?
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Since I took the time to read your entire comment, I felt the need to retort, seeing as I did mention that I felt as if this show is being reviewed in a less than favorable light. Now, I haven't read every comment here, but I did see that a few of them were very negative towards the reviewer. I feel personally that I wasn't negative towards the reviewer, rather very respectful, and so I'm hoping my post wasn't one you were pointing out. Nonetheless, I felt obligated to respond.

I grow frustrated by negativity on the internet too, but there is one thing that I think we all need to keep in mind from time to time as well. Not everyone is an English major, or able to eloquently explain what they are trying to say. It could just be that people have a deeper opinion and just really don't know how to verbally explain it. You are absolutely right in that if you don't care for the review, don't read it. But the same can also be said about going through the comments. I feel like you just need to let the one's you don't like roll off your back.

In my case, I feel like I explained myself and why I feel the way I do pretty well, and if you disagree with me I'd love to have a discourse. I've seen your name on many boards around here, and typically we seem to share a lot of common opinons on shows, and the fact that we both watch and both agree tells me volumes about how I should feel about you as a person. (I kid).

Fact of the matter is I've never complained about a reviewer on this site before, and I'm actually so fond of Tim, Ryan, Cory, etc. that I follow all of them on twitter as well. It's only with this particular show I have an issue, and only because I feel as if it's being looked at for what they wish they were getting as opposed to what the show is trying to accomplish, and I personally feel that leads to unfair criticism. Now I'm not exactly an English major either, but I do feel like I explained myself rather well, although feel free to tell me otherwise. And nonetheless I apologize if you feel offended or just tired because of that opinion. But I hope you'll take into account what I said as well. Overt negativity is one thing, but open discourse is another one entirely.
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Thanks for your reply. I actually did not have anyone in particular in mind when I wrote the post, I simply had reached my limit of people being assholes and idiotically reenacting the very failures of decent society Will McAvoy does his best to champion when his ego isn't getting in the way.
I definitely wasn't talking about you. I thought your earlier post was thoughtful and respectful and added nuance to the conversation. I'm not certain I entirely agree, but honestly I am not familiar enough with the "cult of Sorkin" to really form much of an opinion on the issues raised. I leave that to those better in the know than I.

While I appreciate that you seem to notice I try to proofread my posts, I'm not a Ph.D. nor an English major either, and I can sympathize with anyone struggling to articulate their perceptions and thoughts in a digital medium, especially when the material and subjects are complex and emotional or controversial. Some of the best, most insightful comments I've read at this site have been written by fans for whom English is not their first language, who struggle to put their thoughts and feelings into the right words to convey to others how they see things or how they've been touched by their experience. Perhaps their comments are not grammatically correct or they mistakenly chose a word that doesn't make sense but we can all figure out what they are saying from the context, and it is something really great and worth saying, something that changes minds or shines light on something from a different perspective, and in their own way they've added so much value just by chiming in. Most of the "Ah hah!" moments I've had here have been from folks making one or two line off-hand comments; they just happened to see things so differently from me I never would have gotten there without them shining the light.

There is a difference between offering a conflicting opinion or even respectful criticism and making attacks and bullying. Most of us here are adults and we know what the standard of conduct should be. Perhaps it is the anonymity of the interwebs that offers some people an opportunity to behave in inappropriate ways, perhaps they had a bad day and lost their cool, whatever the case, they're merely excuses. Not a single one of us would like or appreciate it if our bosses posted our work product on the internet and people used their anonymity to tear it down, to malign us personally, to insult us and call us names.

My post wasn't targeting people having and expressing opinions, it was directed at people behaving badly. But now that you mention it, at the time of this post, I don't have any problem calling out @AdedayoAdelakun for the unnecessary last paragraph, or @stephenjon10 because, really, congrats on that, that's a perfect example of what's got my back up. Seriously, this is the text of @stephenjon10's comment:

"Almost none of this makes sens and how the fuck did you get a job writing for a living? How about less overcompensating for your Sorkin fetish and write about the story in a way that doesn't make me want to punch the nearest 8 year old? Impossible dream I suppose.

Nothing you wrote is smart or funny and nothing you wrote that actually has anything to do with the episode is free of your juvenile opinion about the meta of the show.

Anyway, congratulations on getting a job you are clearly not qualified for and collecting a paycheck you obviously don't deserve."
Something tells me that this is not remotely in the ballpark of what you are defending in your comment, but I presume and perhaps I am mistaken. You may be far more invested in the First Amendment than I apparently am.

Normally I'd take the high road and not make direct examples of anyone but someone recently pointed out to me that no injustice was ever corrected by bystanders; some might argue they're just as guilty. I don't think I'm the smartest person in the room, the morality police, or a paragon of virtue. I get it wrong all the time, and when I become aware of it, I own it. I do my level best to live life by the Golden Rule, and when it comes to name calling, profanity laced attacks and veiled bullying I don't have a problem speaking out because I'd hope that someone would see it and stand up somewhere else it may be happening.

Kevin DeYoung said, "The problem with our discourse—are you ready for this brilliant insight?—is that some people are jerks and some people are too nice." I'm not religious, but I still found a great deal of value in what Mr. DeYoung is saying. I'm not expecting that everyone posting here aspire to be Madison, Adams and Jefferson, but I'd like us all to aspire to not only be better than jerks or meekly nice, but to act with true intention each time we click the SUBMIT button, keeping the Golden Rule in mind. Perhaps that's naive of me, but to do otherwise means I cannot help feeling like we are so not getting the point of the entire first season of this awesome show: WE CAN BE BETTER.
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Fair enough. I can't say as I disagree with anything you said there.
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Loved very minute of it, everyone is entitled to their opinion so who am to complain if someone has something negative or bad about a show I like. Sorkin cant do any wrong with me, the guy is brilliant and his writing is just too smart and funny.
As for this episode its clearly not the best but i think its still up there. Why should Will call his Dad just because he was hospitalized?? If you had a shit parent who was never there for you growing up and beat you and your siblings up are you suppose to just forget that? I don't know what that feels like because my parents are awesome and still very much alive but if they were nasty people i probably go to the hospital and make sure they don't survive (joking or not!)
As for Ryan if you really don't like this show can you do us all a favor and stop reviewing it please, just get someone else who likes the show to please review it. I mean come on you constant moaning and whinging for the love of God get a grip!!!!
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Absolutely true. Excellent episode, MUCH better than all the others with EyesTooClose. They should relegate her to the filing room.

>>>>Why should Will call his Dad just because he was hospitalized?? If you had a shit parent who was never there for you growing up and beat you and your siblings up are you suppose to just forget that?

Stockholm syndrome. Guilt. Pick a sick human emotion that a twisted dysfunctional childhood saddles an adult with - yes, parents' f'ing up lives on long after their influence is over.

Good for you that you don't know how this is. Seriously, count your blessings!

I like Ryan's reviews and 98% of the time I hate shows so he's entitled to his opinion. He should send some of that hate to the Dexter board, they need more hate.

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Why do you keep reviewing this show if you hate it? All your reviews put every episode, every scene in the worst light possible.
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So? He's entitled.
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oh nothing. i just want to get this show go to a third season.
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I'm sorry to say, this episode wasn't as good as the previous ones. I just felt like there wasn't a real focus. And while I could actually comprehend Will not wanting to call his dad - seriously, dying or not, after years and years of abuse the relationship will be vey difficult indeed - I couldn't understand why he thought that tweet was so much more important? I mean... Really now? Yes, your dad was a jerk. He hit you. It's a horrible thing. Your relationship is tenuous at best. But even though it's that crappy, you do not give a shit about some stupid tweet from some stupid woman you don't know just because she said "you just lost a viewer". That just didn't add up to me. Btw: I have no clue who he meant by "us" in "it's just us now". Obviously it's about his dad. But who's he talking to? His sister perhaps?

I also felt really bad for Sloan. I had no idea the actress had actually lived through that, but maybe it was kinda fun for her to let her character kick the shit out of the culprit in the show. And Don really stepped up to the plate here. I kinda like this will-they-won't-they. Maggie-Don-Jim was annoying. But this I like. Speaking of Maggie: so she's becoming an alcoholic and she's sleeping around a lot. Uhm... Does anyone think this is kind of a weird character development? It just... Doesn't really seem like her. I mean, even for traumatic her. And again... So a kid you bonded with for an afternoon died saving your life. Not fair. Very painful. But... Again, not earth-shattering? I don't know, it seems implausible to me that Maggie is taking this so bad that she's doing things that are completely out of her character, even if she had been through a rough ordeal. But maybe that's just "jaded me" talking, which could be very possible.
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Earth shattering. PTSD. Survivor's guilt. People do out of character things in these situations.
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Yes I know that. But for Maggie, I would've guessed she would either become a crying basket or someone really tough who holds it all in. Especially after having seen her at the end, with her new hair and all. She looks very much like a "don't-mess-with-me"-kinda girl. And though she was obviously still upset in the (framed) interview, she held her own.
And now to see this scared and also cynical Maggie as the "stage inbetween" happy-go-lucky Maggie and don't-mess-with-me-Maggie, I just hadn't pegged her as someone capable of that. So while I expected something out of her usual character, I didn't expect to see - and this is where you have to try and get my reasoning - her doing things that are so different from what I thought would be her "out-of-character"-mode. Do you get what I'm saying here? I mean that it's normal for her to do weird things (that are, in essence, out of character), but I didn't expect her to go so out of character that it just doesn't seem to fit at all anymore. This feels like some other persona's "out of character" instead of Maggie's "out of character"-behaviour. I'm sorry, this is the worst explanation ever. The joys when talking on the internet! :-)
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I find Maggie's reaction to the entire ordeal completely incomprehensible. But, that could change if they actually talked about and involved what we know about her previous psychiatric history. If they just mentioned once how the "happy-go-blonde" version of her used to have massive panic attacks even back then, then her current out of character freak out becomes much more believable. As it is, it just seems like the writers can't figure out what to do with her. She's a complete mess - the writing of her, not the character. I am all for a delightful messy character. This is just shoddy, messy work from the writers.
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I'm not buying it either.

I guess it's because she's a bad actress and her eyes are too close together.
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I think Will is able to talk more vocally about something petty, like that tweet, but is incapable of having to go through a phone call with his dad, something he is completely bothered by and not able to process easily.
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Bingo.
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Maybe, yeah. But I think it was a little ridiculous that this tweet was even given attention. I mean, they were in the middle of a broadcast, Neil just waltzes in there like it was of the greatest importance, because a tweet - obviously - has as much worth as, perhaps, Osama Bin Laden being found, you know? I mean, I'd think a tweet immediately deserved attention, even though my boss is trying to focus on being presentable to over a million viewers. Seriously, this tweet I just found, those 140 characters, it's all-important!
Why show? Why did you put that extra storyline in there? I think the episode would've been much better with just the dad-dying storyline. Maybe the writers thought that would make the episode whenever Will was on too harsh, so they wanted to throw something in there to make Will's scenes a little lighter. But all it did - and mind the pun - was make light of the situation which I didn't find all that funny. At all. Actually.
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I think the tweet matters, every person who says you just lost a viewer is likely speaking for a number of others who won't watch him any more because he isn't the man they thought he was. I think the father doesn't matter. After a certain number of decades since you disowned a family member, you really don't care anymore.
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But he does, but can't admit to it, and as such makes the audience his top priority.

If he were normal where relationships were concerned, he'd give the little puppy dog Mac another chance.
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I really wouldn't know. I mean, I've never experienced anything like that, ever. So I wouldn't know how something like that even feels. But it just seems like a stretch to me that he wouldn't care. I think bingbeltran3's explanation is more logical, in that it's affecting him so much, that he can't process it properly.
And the tweet to me still isn't important enough.
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– What will Sam do with his newfound information about Genoa?
-I'm intrigued to find out how all of this is a hoax, how they're wrong in the end, when piece after piece of evidence seems to be shoring up that they're right.
– What did Will mean when he said, "Well I guess it’s just us now"?
-Just him and his audience. Doing a psychological evaluation on a fictional character, I think a part of him always hoped that his father would end up acknowledging that Will wasn't bad, that he was actually a good, remarkable person. I think the love Will tries to get from his audience, he was hoping his dad would someday show just a fraction of that love as well. Instead, his search for approval and love from his dad is over; now it's just him and his audience.
– Is Twitter mysterious or exotic to you?
-I've never gotten into the whole twitter thing. I follow some of the funnier people, but don't tweet myself. It seems... I dunno, weird. Like passing notes in school, but in 140 characters and with the entire world able to read them.
– What is the most enjoyable aspect of this show for you?
-I like when they show more of the behind the scenes stuff of a newsroom, and don't get so caught up in the will they/won't they soapy type stuff. That being said, I did get chills when Don stopped the dickhead from coming after Sloan with just a simple "No." So hot.
– How will Will handle his father dying?
-Denial. Avoidance. Eventual meltdown.
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Don has slowly become a more and more sympathetic character and that 'no' and the way he walked away was amazing. I think I'm in love ;)
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Umm, I would imagine that if Olivia had an issue with it then they wouldn't have done it. I'm not saying she's the headliner but she is still a main character. I would imagine that the writers / director would approach her and make sure it wasn't hitting too close to home.

Perhaps she saw it as kind of a way to make a statement; to say "Hey, you jerks out there make us feel like cr@p when you do this. And if you do it, expect to get kicked in the junk and punched in the nose." And to say "this really hurts us when you do stupid stuff like this"

Honestly, watching her strong character dealing with this so emotionally really drives the horror of the situation home a lot more than an actress's PR person make a press release condemning the posted pics.
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It was a bit of an off episode for me for a few reasons

-Neil, for some reason i just found him annoying tonight - going into the studio about a tweet? During a live broadcast everything would go through the production office, he would never be allowed to enter during a live show. The story about the bombings went through Mac in the booth so why is twitter boy running into the studio = makes no sense.
Also I found his attitude to Jim a bit smug, he is at his desk doing nothing but is still arrogant enough to reprimand Jim, someone who could be considered his supervisor about how to unblock a call.

-Maggie = I get she may have PTSD, but why she wasnt sent home for her own good, even before her screw up is beyond me. No one else could download an audio file and edit it?

The audio file - REALLY? REALLY? Are they still using dial up or something? No audio file would take that long to download. Having that be the reason for the quick edit was lazy writing. Just like their stroke of luck in finding out about a source in the last episode.

Will, Sloan and Don carried the episode for me and the last couple of minutes were very good
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In Neil's defense... the Twitter thing was kind of a mix of business AND personal stuff. Mostly personal. Though it probably could have waited until after the show.

Also, in Neil's defense... the hierarchy is muddy. Is Will his boss or is Maggie. If will is his boss, as even Will agrees, then something personal about him should go to him and he might be the kind of person that wants that stuff sooner than later. If Mac is his boss then obviously he should have gone to her. And apparently neither Mac nor Will can agree who is his boss.
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I think somewhere along the way Will gave him a director order to go to him with that sort of thing. He is fairly needy.
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He was talking to his sister. The one he had to defend. That was such a damn sad scene, though :,((
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I'm kind of surprised nobody is commenting that their head exploded due to the Newsroom "justifying" the horrible editing of the Zimmerman 911 tape. A friend of mine was furious because he thought the show was trying to justify the mistake.

Personally I saw it the other way around: the Newsroom showed how the network SHOULD have reacted immediately that evening. They all freaked out, face-palmed, and then apologized on-air that night and aired the tape in its entirety to point out their mistake. In short: Aaron was commenting on what they SHOULD have done if this was an actual mistake as they claimed

Instead of, you know, just airing it and blaming it on an Intern and never apologizing on air.

Back to reality, the 911 tape edit was just a horrible horrible thing and you could not unring that bell. Even after it came out that it was an edit job people were still saying that's how the conversation actually went down.
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I have read stories about interviews that have been butchered in the edit for sensationalism - so your idea of "the Newsroom showed how the network SHOULD have reacted immediately that evening." really resonates with the idea that they are trying to portray The Newsroom as an ideal for broadcast journalism - which has been the point of the show
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Agreed - that's how I saw the episode.

But I know at least one person who took it the other way around: that they were apologizing for NBC's actions.

So I was afraid my friend was representative of "more" viewers.
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alison pill accidentally tweeted a topless photo of herself meant for her then fiance; hardly the same as an ex posting private photos to get back at you for breaking up with them. so i dont think that was a nod to her invasion of privacy.
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Olivia Munn's were the result of a hack I think.
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they were and that is terrible and i hope she can one day kick those A**Holes in the crotch but alison pills situation is different and to be far she stood up and owned it and made a joke out of it.
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---What will Sam do with his new-found information about Genoa?
Don't care, he's the best thing about the show (Maggie is the worst) and is a joy to watch. Jeff ain't bad either. Good show. Not great, but very good.

–-- What did Will mean when he said, "Well I guess it’s just us now"?
I guess previously he harbored an idea that he could make up with his miserable excuse for a father, and in his head he had a. the audience and b. his father in his life. Now he has just the audience.

–-- Is Twitter mysterious or exotic to you?
No, it's just another useless piece of social media that is responsible for the rude ignorant a holes in the world.

–-- What is the most enjoyable aspect of this show for you?
The fact that it isn't Dexter.

–-- How will Will handle his father dying? He'll be glad he's gone, wouldn't you?


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This was probably my least favourite episode of the series to date, the thing I love about this show is the banter and there was very little this week. I don't really understand why you'd have a mediocre filler episode there's only nine in this season. It reminded me a bit of the West Wing episode about CJ going to see her dad - the one I skip when re-watching the DVDs.
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kind of a bland episode, it was largely filler and just served as a progression for a couple storylines but even then we barely got anything... and they're really not giving Olivia Munn much to work with this season and then gave her a stupid leaked nude photo storyline.. but atleast her revenge was awesome.
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Honestly? Bad episode, worst of the season. There was just too much going on, it was muddled and confused.

There were plenty of interesting things to explore, but because they were all lumped together it just became a great big mess.

Also continuity issue, didn't Maggie cut her hair off after returning from Africa, and still have it short (and dyed) whenever the legal sections are taking place... yet some how she's managed to grow it that long again in seven months?


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My guess is the flash-back scene to her cutting her hair didn't occur *immediately* after she got back from her trip, and probably months later after something finally pushed her over the edge about the incident.

She's still dealing with stuff (badly) and she did just let her emotions cause her to make a mistake. My guess is that will go on for a little while longer until she has a mini-breakdown thinking about that kid and will cut-and-dye her hair.

Meanwhile, we see the Trayvon shooting took place before the whole lawyer bit. As they're still investigating Genoa.

I *guess* :
- Return from disaster trip
- Goes through PTSD and deals with it via booze and boys
- Trayvon Martin shooting, she messes up the tape
- ???
- Has a mini-breakdown, thinks of the kid, cuts-and-dyes her hair
- ???
- Air the Genoa piece, which was apparently incorrect
- Legal review
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On the hair - yup, sloppy continuity, eh? The least they could have done was get her some interim wigs. Oh well, if Dexter can get away with what it gets away with, I'm ready to cut Newsroom all the slack in the world.
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It wasn't bad, it was just kind of meh. The stuff with Sloan I think was great if onli because ms. Munn had to deal with the same thing. I am sure she did not want to but like the character it kind of showed her owning it rather than just ignoring it or saying it want really her, like she did in real life. I thought this went well with Maggie's speech about owning the term slut. Which was good for once. However Maggie is supposed to be smart and a smart Maggie would have realized that Rush is just a sounding board for ultra conservatives and I'd the regular media would just freaking ignore him than he would have little to no power.

Now the rest was all right the NIS liaison was ok. But sadly Sam isn't going to take his suggestion.


could have done without the whole Zimmerman, Martin shooting. I mean the actual media already wore that out. Does a show about the news really need to address it. At least they did the correction.

Quesions.

He is going to use it and not follow what the guy was saying. Wich was this was personal, people were pissed and they wanted to teach people a lesson. Now whether that is perceived well or not publicaly really depends onthe indicidual's experiences. But Sam has a soap box and dammit he wants to stand on it. And it seems that he will their wise no on eWorld be talking to the lawyer.

Unkown, it could have been a delayed response to his sister. It cold have been to Mac. I am sure it will be talked about next episode.

Nope. It is actually pretty simple.

At this point. The aspect that these are suppose to be educated and enightened people that tend to get consistently caught up with the most materialistic aspects of life.

Likel more therapy.
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I agree with Maggie's approach to the slut thing. Taking slut as an insult validates it as an insult and makes you complicit in every time it is used to harm someone.
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You're just saying that because you're a slut. :P
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Also, the function of an insult isn't the word used, but the malice behind it. I could call someone, I dunno, a saint and mean it as an insult.
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That's my point, and Maggie's. It's nothing to do with the word, the problem is that if you get offended you've been called a word, you are accepting that the being the thing behind the word is bad. You need to make it as socially acceptable to BE a slut as it is to be a dieter or any other toothless word that describes someone. If you call someone a saint as an insult you're going to come off as silly.
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I don't know. What you're describing is a way to cope with the term personally. It doesn't stop talking heads or congressman from using it with malice and attracting like-minded people to use it that way, too. If only a subset of women (and men) understand they've neutralized the meaning, it doesn't follow that everyone will stop using it as a slur -- you won't care about it, but the damage continues.
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I think I've seen vocal minorities change words. I don't think it takes a lot of people. I think the Internet makes it happen in the blink of an eye, even faster than culture changes. Even individuals have changed language on the Internet. For santorum it was that Perez Hilton dude and his followers. An amusing one was deniers of global warming using the term climate change to make it sound not so bad, then the left taking that over too and making it sound even worse.
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To sum up, what I've been saying all along. All we can really do is to try and change our own idiolects, our own individual usage of language and hope that other people will follow our example. And they will, if they choose to. If they don't, well, there's really nothing we can do to force them. 'Cause if we try, at best, it won't do a thing. At worst - we'll create only a different kind of repression.
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You're completely missing my point. Yeah, people say "let's take the word back". And then they do. And if there is enough of them, if it takes, it takes. If not, it doesn't. But for that to work, enough people need to *want* it to work.
Language is fluid, it constantly changes. It's a living thing that cannot be controlled. But it is also dependent on its users. Change happens. It just does, as naturally as society evolves. Some people may want to start something, influence other people. But, no matter the circumstances, it's still all about people and what they think and what they believe. If they're ready for the change, if they want that change to happen - eventually, it will. And language will just ride along, as it has done for millennia.
Language influences our development of moral and societal norms as we grow within the society as individuals. But as societies grow, it is their growth that influences language.
I agree that we should disarm certain insults, I even agree that one of those should be "slut" (though maybe not necessarily the first I'd start with). I'd even go as far as to say that I've been doing that for most of my life. But as long as I'm still in the minority, well, I'm in the minority. And I may rage against that fact as much as I want, but it won't change a thing. Because people who adhere to the Judeo-Christian repression of sexuality and womanhood, they won't suddenly change their minds just because I, or anyone else for that matter, tell them to. A myriad of changes, huge and small, must happen first. And it is happening. But I don't think we'll see the end result any time soon.
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I've been on the Internet for a while now, I've seen the change in usage of a word go viral a number of times now. Have you never heard the phrase "we're taking back the word [fill in the blank]". Hell, even Santorum is a good example. An innocuous last name turns into an offensive word, and then back. It's just a matter of getting a topic to trend (in the more general sense, not twitter). Whatever text book you are referencing is out of date by some decades.
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No, actually it doesn't. In order for something to change in a given language, the majority of its users need to change the way in which they speak or use words. If the majority of, say, English-speakers, by some miracle, started to use the word "slut" as a neutral term, for instance, that would mean that the change in societal consciousness has already happened. Hence, language responds to that change.
Obviously, certain influential individuals might start that change by means of example, but if people are to follow that example, they have to want to follow it, which means that the way in which they view a certain term or its meaning, has changed already.
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No. It happens both ways.
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@safibwana
Actually, it's the other way around. First, the societal stigma lessens or disappears, then the word changes its meaning. Language changes in response to shifting reality and societal norms. Which is the most beautiful paradox of language. It's an arbitrary agreement among the users that certain words mean certain things, but the users cannot artificially agree to change those relations. We're talking here about very complex processes, but the gist of it is: societal norms and stigmas change, and language changes in response.
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Of many examples: the words queer and geek. Takes a while. Decades. But it has to start somewhere.
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(Sorry, I can't reply directly to your post.) I get what you're saying, I'm just not sure it's possible.
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No, that's the opposite of what I'm describing. I'm describing how you take the word and make it powerless against everyone. Don't defend Sandra Fluke, defend sluts.
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I don't think the problem is in the word itself, rather in the double standard. I mean, a man who sleeps around a lot is a stud, a woman - a slut.
Besides, language doesn't work that way. People can't suddenly decide that 'slut' is no longer a derogatory term and expect that both the word and the intention behind it *and* sexism will go away. It's like telling African American people "Hey, when someone calls you a nigger, don't take offence and the racism will disappear!".
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While I enjoy the intelligence of the show, I just can't get over how unlikeable the characters (particularly Will) are. When it all comes down to it, I need to be able to root for these people...and unlike The West Wing, these characters' issues often strike me as self-created. And based on the way he reacts to situations, Will really does come off as a jerk 99% of the time. It's really tough as a viewer to sympathize with him. Like EVER.
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Really? The characters are my favorite part of the show. Even when the story lines get muddled, like last night, the characters keep it going for me. I think Will is actually the ultimate good guy. He comes off as gruff and sullen, but they've shown that he always does the right thing in the end. Like when he paid his own money ($250,000) to ransom Neal's contact in Egypt, or the way he always sticks up for Sloan and Maggie. Or when he apologized to Shelly from OWS last week for the segment. It's hard to see some times, but the good is there!
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Really? I kinda like him. He's damaged goods, had a monster for a father. I don't think a person would turn out to be Ward Cleaver if they had a drunken monster for a father.

Now EyesTooClose, she REALLY should go back to Nebraska or wherever it is she came from. She ain't cut out for the Big City.
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I can't lie, and I'm not trying to be argumentative, but I really don't understand the reviews on this show. I feel like The Newsroom is held to some kind of higher standard than anything else on TV.

It's not Breaking Bad or Mad Men or Justified. Those shows, for all intents and purposes, are perfect. Every detail is so mapped out, characters are always right on point, and every little bit MATTERS. This show occasionally has a couple things in it that don't make perfect sense. Sometimes things happen and don't necessarily go to what we would like to be a satisfactory conclusion. I get that.

But I feel like the reviewers on this show don't really get what this show is. It's Aaron Sorkin. Anyone who's ever seen anything he's done knows what they're going to get. Yes, he tackles issues, and yes, he will flaunt his own politics. Yes, the shows are supposed to be grounded in realism. But all of his shows have always had that wacky element to it, and I feel as if anyone trying to review this show is not looking at it with the proper lens.

Not every show needs to be Breaking Bad or Mad Men or one of those perfectly scripted, impeccably detailed shows. A show can be both grounded in real world events, and still have crazy, silly, not necessarily going to happen in the real world things happen to the characters. Because it's TV. More than that, it's Sorkin's version of TV, and we know that coming in.

To Ryan, if you read this, I enjoy your work here, and I'm not disparaging anything you say. You being a reviewer doesn't mean you don't have an opinion, and of course you're welcome to that. More than that it's obvious that your review is just that...your own opinion. I just can't help but feel like we are sometimes watching two different things. Or at least going in with totally different mindsets.
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Maybe I'm just looking back on The West Wing with rose colored glasses, but I feel like Sorkin *did* achieve a higher standard there. Sure there were wacky episodes mixed in, but more so as the result of the absurd 22-episode network schedule than a lack of good writing.

That's why The Newsroom has been a bit of a bummer for me... Sorkin only has to fill out 10 episodes this time around, but they don't feel richer for it. I think that's what causes the overall disappointment from critics, fair or unfair.
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In a way you're comparing Pippins to Granny Smiths (instead of oranges - you get where I'm going). West Wing was about what politics could be and very rarely dealt with failure during Sorkin's time on the show. It was about the best and the brightest making Washington their own.

The Newsroom is a modified version of that, reflecting the cynicism - or disgust - the nation has come to feel about corporate news' mouthpieces and their canned coverage. The flawed coverage, though, still nets millions of viewers. This is about change, but it's also about the realization that change may only happen at News Night and not spark a journalistic revolution. Witness Jim's continued tilting at Romney's campaign, yet Hallie and the press corps' acceptance that in order to stay on the press bus they must play by the rules, no matter how restrictive they are.
There's a reason the Don Quixote metaphor keeps getting shoved down our throats.
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I completely agree. I felt throughout season 1 that all the criticisms were simply because it was a Sorkin show, despite the fact that it was one of the best hours on television. And because of all the critiques, they changed up the format of the show and to be honest, it's not working as well for me in season 2. I wish Aaron Sorkin has stood his ground. That being said, I still think it's one of the best hours on TV!
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Don't get me wrong the show is far from perfect. I just feel as if it's being judged according to what some people wish it was instead of what it's trying to be. It's like hating The Sopranos because there wasn't enough comedy in it. Or hating a show like Revolution because it doesn't have emmy worthy acting or writing. That isn't what the show is trying to accomplish. If you don't like those things then of course don't watch it, but don't go in expecting the wrong thing and then be upset when you don't get it.
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Here here, Tjsmooth!

I must admit I'm a little 'off' after watching tonight's episode. I feel that so much was going on that I won't have a complete grasp of all the implications and intentions until a second viewing... but, at the same time, it's the first time I've felt that way after watching a television show in as long as I can remember, and for that, I must applaud Aaron Sorkin.

That said, and for the reasons I just mentioned, this was the first time I've checked the internet for reviews of Newsroom. I just wanted to hear some other people's takes on what I'd just seen. I was disappointed with the results, as when I've done the same for 'Mad Men' in the past, I've usually found interesting, and often illuminating material. Instead, after reading three reviews, I've found what Tjsmooth just described above.

In sum... what he said.
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Ryan's lucky he doesn't have to review Dexter. His head would explode.

This show is Shakespeare compared to Dexter.

Good show.
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-What did Will mean when he said, "Well I guess it’s just us now"?

I'm guessing one of two things..

1) He was speaking to his audience, an outlet of emotions and frustrations he has... (Which Mac touched on earlier when bumping the Rutgers kid)

or...

2) He was speaking to Mac directly. In the opening scene Will asked for his mic to be turned off so he wasn't sharing his life with an entire control room.

Anyone else?
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I figured that due to his difficult relationship/history with his Father, he's never broached the subjects with him that made it so difficult. He's never really talked to him since he's been an adult. Instead, while his father couldn't 'talk back', he knew that whenever he did a show that his father could see him, and hear him... and now he never will again... so he was speaking to the audience, as in, it's just you and I now, he won't be watching anymore.
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I think he was talking to the audience since he CAN'T!!!!! FORGIVE!!!!! Mac yet.

Get over it, Will, and marry her already. You're lucky the show isn't on STARZ, or you wouldn't have all this time to whine and the show would be canceled by now.
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