If The Newsroom was a half-hour comedy-drama, it would be perfect. Episode 2, ‘Newsnight 2.0′ had some incredibly amusing scenes and, repetitive as they were, they were the best parts of this episode, which itself was an improvement over the pilot to some extent.
The humor shown in ‘Newsroom 2.0′ was unexpectedly dense, with almost every scene having something to at least make the viewer smile, but it was the scenes between Maggie and Jim that were especially funny. Their relationship has been done many times before on other shows but I think Allison Pill and John Gallagher, Jr play their parts with enough charm to make it work.
That said, one of their scenes in particular highlighted an issue with this series overall. The telephone interview practise gave Sorkin an opportunity to lay out both sides of an argument without resorting to the usual dry news interview. This is obviously a good thing, but it wouldn’t it be better if The Newsroom was discussing current issues? Of course, historical issues always have some relevance to the modern day, especially when ‘historical’ is just a few years ago, but because it was just a few years ago and we all saw the news play out in real time, the arguments being laid out feel redundant. We’re watching an almost-comedy about old news that we experienced firsthand at the time that it was current news.
Even if these old issues were explored in new and interesting ways, the hour-long format of the show really stretches the viewers’ attention. Scenes run long, conversations go on past their natural end point, and I, for one, am already tired of the actual news show towards the end of the episode. I can turn my television to a real news show at any point during the day or night and see current news with a vast array of guests. I just can’t understand the appeal of this part of the show. If it was fictional news based on current themes then this would be a lot more interesting because the viewers would be just as invested in the situation and the outcome as the characters — because we wouldn’t know the outcome.
Overall, the second episode of The Newsroom was more engaging and character driven than the first. This isn’t a show without flaws, but it has potential, and perhaps more importantly, it has an amazing cast. I think I’ll be genuinely interested in seeing where this series goes.
What did you think of ‘Newsroom 2.0′? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!