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The Newsroom Review: To Rise Again

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The Newsroom season finale brought many of its story lines full circle, while others simply felt like they'd been running in circles all along, which is why I found "The Greater Fool" both entertaining and frustrating. 

Will's depression and pill popping finally caught up with him in a way that no stalker has had the opportunity to thus far.  When, not surprisingly, Mac's ex-boyfriend skewered Will in The New Yorker, he took it hard, ending up in the hospital and contemplating checking out of the newscasts. All of which finally had him asking MacKenzie about his message to her the night he was high.

The Newsroom Season Finale Scene

The funny part was that I'd forgotten all about that message. Sometimes The Newsroom throws so much at us in an episode that the some of the relationship details don't seem so important. That is, until Will"s grilling Mac about why she never responded.

But fans of the estranged couple were once again left disappointed. Once Will realized that Mac had never heard the infamous message, he backtracked and refused to relay it to her. Does he have to be high to tell her he still cares about her? Will he ever get over her betrayal? These two seem to have found a professional trust over the season, but we'll have to wait and see if their will ever again be a romance in their future.

The show's other relationship merry-go-round left me dizzy. Sloan told Don she had feelings for him but he ignored that and asked Maggie to move in with him instead. Maggie admitted she had feelings for Jim, which climaxed in the two star crossed non-lovers sharing a kiss but then she said yes to Don. Jim then lied to Lisa to keep from being alone. 

Wow. That was one wild ride that dropped us off almost back where we began... with Jim and Maggie still pining for one another but choosing to be with someone else.

And I'm still left wondering if Don really wants Maggie or does he only want her because he knows there's competition? I believe Sloan's right. He likes her but he doesn't love her and he's forcing this because he thinks it's the right thing to do.

I used to root for Jim and Maggie but I've grown tired of going in circles. Even though all of these characters, even Maggie, have grown on me throughout the season, I'm tired of watching them end up back in the same place.

The one highpoint in all of this was Maggie ranting at the Sex and the City bus at the inanity of Carrie Bradshaw making the money she did to buy her Manolo Blahniks while writing a column for a no-name paper. That always bugged me too.

Back in the newsroom, Solomon's suicide was sad, especially since at least part of the reason he did it was that he thought Charlie wouldn't use his information. 

I did wish the meeting with Leona felt a little more climatic. I never really felt that Will was going to be fired and I really wanted to see smarmy Reese go down in flames. In the end, he didn't even get a slap on the wrist. But I do wonder if this story is over.  Nina may have deleted that file but she didn't securely delete it. It could easily pop up again in the future.

Over at the anchor desk, Will's newscasts - or shall we call them monologues? - left me a little disconcerted. I'm game for using the quotes of politicians as fodder for entertainment, especially since so much of what is said is worthy of a good eye roll, but I'd be happier if Aaron Sorkin balanced it out a little more. 

Using Will as the Republican to bash Republican's makes me feel like I'm getting hit over the head with Sorkin's soap box every week. Can't we look for some of the ridiculousness on the other side of the aisle every now and again, just for the fun of it?

After 10 episodes of The Newsroom, I'm a definitely fan. I've been frustrated by some of the characters and although the political slant is often over the top and the revisionist newscast history can be questionable, I've still found it highly entertaining.  Sorkin has taken me on a roller coaster ride this season and now that it's done, I'll admit that despite the highs and lows, I'm ready to buy a ticket to ride it again next summer.

Review

Editor Rating: 4.4 / 5.0
  • 4.4 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.7 / 5.0 (214 Votes)

C. Orlando is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.

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How do you have a conversation with an angry drunk? You don't... Terrrrible show.
Like its premise this show is old news. LemonLyman's agree.

Wolfshades

The thing about this show - the thing that makes it so frustrating for some yet so entertaining to others - is that it's got real characters. Real people have biases. It's in our nature. We may say that we're independent thinkers and that we don't like to be pigeon-holed and we really may mean it (I know *I* do, at least), but at the end of the day, we really do have a bias. Whether it's political or social or economic or spiritual or what-have-you. Sorkin has created a beautiful mosaic of people, all of whom have a bias of one sort or another. These characters are not one or two dimensional. They have faults and phobias and they make mistakes. Yet they're true to their own beliefs, however misguided or wrong some of us may feel about them. It's the reason I love the hell out of it and can't wait for the next season to begin.

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I'm glad the season is over. I never thought I would say that but enough with the Shakespearean love rectangle. Too few meaty news stories, too much pathetic junior high puppy love.
I am also tired of MacKenzie's screechy whining. I can't remember the last time she played the part of a leader in the newsroom. Come to think of it, did she ever?
The ultimate insult to the intelligence of the viewer occurred after an extended conversation about Sex and the City. Maggie runs out in the street, gets splashed by traffic going by as the theme from Sex and the City is played and then they explain to us what has happened. Like we were too dumb to draw the obvious comparison so Maggie has to give us a 5 minute lecture on what being Single in the City is really all about.
Some one suggested new writers. We all know that they will get the pen out of Sorkin's hand when they can pull it from his cold dead fist.

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Cjstake, I totally agree that it would be wrong to call tea party members terrorists, but showing how many similarities in agendas besides the actual terrorism the two actually have was weird to see.

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I am a sorkin fan. The West Wing is my personal favourite show (above The Sopranos, The Wire, Mad Men and Breaking Bad) so I am going to be biased towards the man who wrote "Two Cathedrals" and "Let Bartlet Be Bartlet" and "100 000 Airplanes" but i do love The Newsroom. I read articles every Monday and see the complaints "too liberal; uses a republican", "women started strong and are now clumsy and jokes", "a boring love triangle". They are all plot points, even the thing about writing for females. Anyone remember CJ Cregg and Abby Bartlet; strong proffesional women in The West Wing but at times they were clumsy and forgetful. Sorkin is doing the same with Mackenzie and Sloan. Its character building. Sorkin has started to flesh out his characters and its a good thing. Sure it can be said he had lost his touch since Sports Night and The West Wing but its clear from the second half of the season he started to get his groove back and i reckon season 2 will be spectacular. I even hear he is hiring republican writers!

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Great, great show......except......enough with the Maggie - Don - Jim triangle. That is really tiresome, ridiculous (I love you but he loves me so I'll stay with him). Come on already, I have to turn away in embarrassment.

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Great, great show......except......enough with the Maggie - Don - Jim -triangle. That is really tiresome, ridiculous (I love you but he loves me so I'll stay with him). Come one already, I have to turn away in embarrassment.

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When it comes to using a female voice, Sorkin is simply not at the level of D.H. Lawrence, or Ian McEwen, or that bird-watching contemporary novelist. Forget about how words tumble out of the female characters. That's the price we pay when watching shows written or co-written by Sorkin.

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And one more thing... Don't ya just 'hate' it when the wrong people are together? But, it the right people WERE together, then it would not be interesting.

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This is one of those shows for me. I don't know why, but it's a show that can't do anything wrong. I love the cast, brilliant cast, the writing and the whole look and feel. I'm an unabashed fan. I hate season finales because of just that fact. It's a finale. That means next week there won't be a new episode or the week after that and in television, we can never be guaranteed that the show will be back. Thank you Mr. Sorkin, your talent knows no bounds, as a writer/creator. You created three dimensional characters that have, quite frankly, become part of my reality in a small sense. Hats off to Jeff Daniels and the rest of the cast for very endearing and sometimes brilliant performances. The bottom line for me is that not matter what all the critics say, what's been written or what I've even written. I like this show!