The Newsroom — "We Just Decided To"
Thoughts on, and a place to discuss, the plot details we can't reveal in our review.
For those who have seen the episode in full, some “stray observations”:
• For the record, I loved Sorkin’s screenplays for The Social Network and Moneyball, both of which turned potentially dry profiles of high-powered wonks into dynamic narratives that presented complex material and complex men with great wit and accessibility. But my cubicle-mate Kevin McFarland just observed that it helped to have strong directors around to “de-Sorkinize” the material. I’m not convinced anyone can hold his excesses in check this time around.
• Will’s “Worst. Generation. Ever.” line rankles quite a lot, since the Millennials have essentially inherited a giant box of shit (no jobs, massive debt, global warming, etc.) and haven’t even had the chance to make fertilizer out of it. It might be okay to disagree with Will’s nonsense if he weren’t so clearly a mouthpiece for Sorkin.
• The somebody-is-saying-something-important piano cue kicks in three times during the pilot—once during Will’s meltdown and twice more during a couple of MacKenzie’s monologues about “reclaiming the fourth estate” and “speaking truth to stupid.” It’s as excruciating here as it was on the lesson-filled early episodes of Sports Night.
• Emily Mortimer none-too-subtly functions as Will’s conscience in the pilot. Her “this is journalism at its most meaningful” look is already driving me batty.
• Lots of references to real news figures should grease up the media machine every week, though it was sad to hear James O’Keefe’s name come up. Don’t feed the troll, folks.
• The Newsroom has just learned of blogs and Twitter, and would like you to know it’s vaguely contemptuous of them.