The Newsroom Review: Fix the Crazy Problem

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There are times when watching The Newsroom can be a frustrating experience - and "News Night with Will McAvoy" was one of those times.

I was surprised when the show brought up the Trayvon Martin case. On the heels of the trial, it all felt too soon. But then I realized that this episode was probably filmed months in advance, around the time the 911 call George Zimmerman made was released. 

Throughout the story, I wondered what was the point they were trying to make by rehashing it all and I found it interesting that the other people I watched the show with all had differing opinions.

Mac v. Will

Was the series saying that playing the most controversial seconds of a conversation that took over four minutes was irresponsible? Were they making the excuse that mistakes happen when reporters and editors rush to make impossible deadlines? Was it simply a fictitious way of telling the story of how things could have happened behind the scenes if these characters had been involved?

I suppose that's the risk of using recent real world events to move a plot forward. The audience is left to wonder if it's just a unique form of storytelling or is the writer using his characters to push a particular agenda.

Of course, there were plenty of other stories swirling around ACN. Operation Genoa was mostly on the back burner, except for Charlie's conversation with an old friend and military contact. Kudos for the Top Gun reference that made me laugh out loud, which turned out to be only slightly embarrassing when the person sitting next to me didn't get it at all.

I was a bit surprised that Charlie was so gung-ho to move forward with the story when all he had were scribbles on a sheet of notebook paper. The code for what may or may not have been Sarin gas appeared to be just more conjecture, not hard evidence but I'm sure all of this will lead somewhere.

The death of Will's abusive father overlapping with the anti-McAvoy Twitter chatter was odd. Will seemed more upset about the bad publicity and losing a viewer than his father dying. I know it's not nearly that simple given his complex relationship with his dad and I wonder if we'll revisit it all before the end of the season.

I was a little confused by this week's timeline until Jim mentioned that it had been six months since Maggie and Gary got back from Africa. Last week's episode made it appear that Maggie had come home and immediately cut her hair. That obviously wasn't the case. 

Maggie's downward spiral took a much longer journey including a good deal of alcohol. It's horrible that six months later she was still living with Lisa and is afraid to sleep by herself. It had me wishing she'd take the prescribed medication. 

I felt horrible for Sloan as she had to admit to her bosses that the nude pictures posted of her online were real. Sloan trusted the wrong person but I agreed with what Don told her: When a guy is that big of an ass, there had to be signs long before their breakup. In the end, it was nice to see Sloan give the jackass just what he deserved. I only hope she doesn't end up getting hit with assault charges for the privilege. 

But Sloan and Maggie's stories made me wonder if there will ever come a time when the women at ACN will be able to come to the rescue of their male counterparts. As much as I appreciate the entertaining character arcs, it's a little disheartening that the women on this show always seem to be such a mess.

Am I taking it all too seriously? It is just TV after all. What's your take on this week's The Newsroom?


Editor Rating: 4.4 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.3 / 5.0 (49 Votes)

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


The Top Gun Reference.... the office meeting between the navy brass and Charlie Skinner. The navy guy is asking Charlie not to inform the public about the computer complex in Utah. His reason, it could be embarrassing as the public thinks the navy doesn't know what they are doing. He basically says.... 'The Navy knows what we are doing, we saw the benefit of (Mav and Goose)!' The first line of his we know what we are doing defense was the Top Gun reference.


I really liked Sloan's moments, especially the rage. She has always been a seething cauldron, and she was able to put aside the humiliation and fight back. The blackberry was frosting.
I have a serious soft spot for Mackenzie and she also ran the gamut of emotions, and way a force in control.
The hiccup in the time/space continuum threw me for a loop. Where did this fit with Maggies dissembling?
Also, someone please reveal the top gun reference?


So what was the Top Gun reference?


Honestly, I have to watch the same episode 2-3 times to keep-up. I think that the women characters are perfect. They all have their own strengths and weaknesses - real people cause we all have friends or know someone that have same personalities as Mac, Sloan, and Maggie. As for the men, I love that they have drama as well as the women and are not perfect. Sure, the news stories used always takes a political side but I watch it for entertainment - afterall, it's a TV show not a "real" news show.
I'm always excited for next episode after watching it on Sunday nights.


To be rather blunt, especially for me; I thought this was Aaron Sorking at his "West Wing" best with dialogue that soared and all the frenetic energy of a newsroom not only palpable, but real and full of angst. Loved it.


Let me clarify, you are hoping the men or think the men should be more a mess than they are portrayed? Will, Jim, Don? They are not a mess? They are a mess in guy ways. The girls are a mess in girl ways. We all heal differently and I think they have done a good job of portraying real life versions of people in a way. Is it realistic? Probably not. Is it a good story? I think so. I take exception with people slamming this show as anti woman. I work in an office dominated by women and many of them show the triats displayed by the characters on this show.


@kdolphins - Maggie hasn't cut or dyed her hair yet! This episode happened BEFORE the last one or Genoa would have already been reported and retracted.


I was confused by the timing of the episode at first as well. The back & forth of time is one of a few ways this season has seemed convoluted to me. Along with the many sub-stories happening in each episode. Was the whole negative tweets about Will/Tyler Clementi story at all necessary to this episode? We already had the Maggie/Jim debate, the Zimmerman 911 story, the Syria prank, Sloan's debacle, Don's debacle, Will's dad dying and of course, Genoa. Personally I find Genoa already tired and boring and it bums me out it will run the entire season. But I am glad to have the entire team back in the newsroom and not off on random assignments, and I LOVED Don and Sloan!! Their scenes this season have been some of my favorite. Loving the chemistry with Will and Mackenzie too. People complained about the relationship aspect of the show in S1 but to me, that's what makes the show.


I agree with you on many points - I was particularly surprised that Maggie's hair is back to long and blond - I don't remember my hair growing that fast but maybe - but particularly since she dyed it red - I would think there'd be at least some red remnants still. I think the whole Zimmerman 911 call is about Jim letting her get away with it (the alcohol and mistakes) - until somehow, she breaks down in front of him and hopefully reconcile (soon I hope). This season has definitely been a "Together they stand alone" season which to be fair was advertised and promoted as such but have to admit - every time I watch I feel a little bit lonelier. Love this show for the characters and their interactions - have missed them this season - I'm continuing to hope there is reconciliation for all of them; But wouldn't be a story and we wouldn't miss the characters we knew last season if we didn't care so much about them. Aaron Sorkin has done that for us.

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The Newsroom Season 2 Episode 5 Quotes

Will: A woman says I snubbed her in a restaurant.
Mac: Should we try to get that into the D-block?

Jim: You want to let me do some good?
Mac: Just be right.