Aaron Sorkin’s NEWSROOM recently had its 3rd Season Premiere (its final season). This is one of the best shows on TV. Hands down. And sometimes I feel like I’m the only one that knows about it. Genre shows get championed all the time. While I also love WALKING DEAD and GAME OF THRONES, they don’t satisfy me in the same way this HBO drama does. So I decided to champion this intellectual heavyweight.
This season kicked things off with a… no, wait, I won’t say that… This season opened with covering the Boston Marathon Bombing. We get a behind-the-scenes point of view on this national tragedy. At the same time, Sorkin explores the responsibility of those covering the news. He is especially harsh on the rise of social media as a new source. We need JOURNALISTS, not reporters. Sorkin makes that clear.
The beauty of NEWSROOM is how it balances the real-world news stories with the fictional characters’ personal relationships. JEFF DANIELS leads the way. He is absolutely stellar. Subtle. Commanding the screen with his presence alone. And he has been throughout the series. This season other characters share the spotlight. I’m thinking of the supporting characters played by DEV PATEL, OLIVIA MUNN, and ALLISON PILL. Each one already has their own compelling arc building in episode one.
The best part of this show is the dialogue. Conversations are like a string of firecrackers banging off in succession. The scripts must be twice as long as your average hour long teleplay. It’s so delicious to gobble up this writer’s flavourful concoction. The dialogue hits you like a spray of bullets – piercing the truth.
Aaron Sorkin confronts us with reality. He shows us the porcelain veneer, then strips it away – even if we aren’t ready to tackle our preconceived ideologies. Like one of his characters said in his first screenplay, “You can’t handle the truth.” Yeah, I’m talking about Jack Nicholson’s famous retort from A FEW GOOD MEN.
NEWSROOM breaks a story with so much intensity it feels like you’re watching a car chase through busy downtown streets. As the characters learn of the bombing and plan their coverage I felt like I was watching an action film. The drama is THAT good. Maybe I’m preaching to the choir. But don’t let this rare gem SLIP/THROUGH your hands. Grab it. Embrace it.
What do you think? Is the NEWSROOM the best drama on television? Should HBO cancel their cancellation of this cerebral show for adults?
What headlines do you hope they cover in Season 3? I’m hoping the finale shines a light on this summer’s events in Ferguson, Missouri.