Normally my Sunday nights go a little like this. At 6 watch Breaking Bad finish it up and write about it for 45ish minutes. Which puts me right at the start time for the east coast feed of The Newsroom. A show I definitely don’t hate but don’t love either. The majority of time I find it far easier to write about Bad than Newsroom. Which is largely due the shows formulaic instance on presenting its cast of supposedly ultra competent newsman doing just about everything but the news. It kind of numbs you to everything. The Newsroomthough is still written by Aaron Sorkin and even when it’s bad he can still give you nice little moments. Or even big episode sized moments like “News Night with Will McAvoy” that make you wish that was the show. "Election Night, Part I" does not have the real time gimmick as “News Night with Will McAvoy” but it still contextualizes the cast nascent vapidness with them actually doing their jobs well (for the most part that whole Genoa thing is still blowing up).
Comedy just has a certain way of lightening the mood. Allowing characters like Will but mostly Charlie and Mac to walk around like zombies looking to put out of their “misery”. When in reality it’s all just to live up to some vague concept of duty. Besides if Leona actually fired them, well season 3 would be very different, we wouldn’t get so many lines about how only she is allowed to hate and beat up on the news team.
Sorkins dialog is a unique beast. Most of his fast talking when it involves The Newsroom comes off as ephemeral. It sounds great in the moment but these conversations are ultimately about nothing of importance. They are either about suddenly brough up issues that the participants are “experts” in or just about nothing. It’s real nice sounding filler. “Election Night” starts out with a typical fast kind of vapid conversation. Only it isn’t. It is Charlie, Will, and Rebecca Halliday(Marcia Gay Harden) in a three way about how Leona won’t accept their resignations and will sue them if they attempt to abdicate their duties as President and anchor of News Night. Will gives in the quickest and devolves into mocking the conversation. Charlie, who is fueled by continuous whiskey injections, just wants a “honorable” death and won’t give up on it.
Voting Will McAvoy the captain of morale is a bad idea.
That conversation is what “Election Night Part 1” is in a nutshell. Lots of quick conversations that are tangentially about something, which may or not be important. In the moment however they are extremely entertaining and funny. Oliva Munn has been the unsung hero of the show as the socially unaware Sloan Sabbith. Munn who is an actress I never expect much from comically, though she has solid dramatic chops, deadpans everything. Bossing an already overworked Neil into finding the person who bought her book for $1000 as part of a Sandy fundraiser. Treating it as more important than calling actual election results correctly.
There is some continued work with the Mac-Will relationship thing. But honestly I don’t really care and the words seem like such hot air at this point. Just get them together so Sorkin can break them apart in terrible fashion at the start of season 3 already.
O yea Don is being sued by Jerry in a seperate case for 20 million by not giving him a good job recommendation. Really it’s about Don calling Jerry a sociopath (which is a heavy clinical word) during said bad job recommendation
The Newsroom second season has actually been mostly better and built on an overall sounder foundation than the first. I’m still mostly disaffected by the majority of news commentary but it’s episodes like this and “News Night with Will McAvoy” that remind me what this show can be. .
The Bits At The End
For anyone who cares my writing music is a playlist of the entire Avatar/Korra soundtracks written by Jeremy Zuckerman.
Seriously next season just needs to have Marcia Gay Harden recast as another character (hell it could be her sister for all I care) just so she could speak more Sorkinese.