Sunday, July 1, 2012

WE DISCLAIM THE DISCLAIMER:I'm sure folks want to talk about The Newsroom, and two legal points to jump-start the discussion:
  • Given that the primary message of the showis that "current news operations are full of crap," I'm kind of shocked Fox News cleared the clip that was used during the course of the episode.  (I assume HBO would clear the clip rather than risk suit, though that'd be an interesting First Amendment commentary defense.)
  • Given the "real stories from two years ago" element, the disclaimer at the end of the episode is particularly interesting--it reads "THE NEWSROOM incorporates fictional and fictionalized elements and events, and any similarity between characters in the series and actual persons is purely coincidental and unintentional.  Nothing in the series is intended to convey or imply facts about any persons, elements, or events."  Anyone buy that disclaimer for even a single hot minute?


  1. The behaviors of Mac and Maggie were enough to make me never watch this show again.

  2. Women be doing dumb stuff and crying, am I right?

  3. Randy2:24 AM

    Holy CRAP, you guys. That was TERRIBLE. I'm trying to think what this episode was saying other than "Do you see what happens when we let women in the workplace?"  Two episodes aired; two episodes in which the plot turned on a staff member's previous relationships with newsmakers. That's just lazy writing - almost as lazy as a story about EMAILING EVERYONE.  Jesus.

  4. The bugs in Starship Troopers were treated with more empathy than the women here.  And, my goodness, is that asterisk thing even real?

  5. What's particularly annoying about the asterisk thing is that it's very easy to write something that's more plausible and has the same function by setting it up that McKenzie accidentally "replies all" on the Blackberry.  That happens fairly regularly in my workplace, as does the "don't check auto-completed name so it goes to wrong person."

  6. Duvall8:22 AM

    I wonder if we will need to count the number of times the NewsNight staff declares that they are too good to do something right before plot contrivances allow THE NEWSROOM to do that very thing in fictionalized form.

  7. Jenn.8:26 AM

    I spent the hour wanting to slap Mac and Maggie. Which meant I wanted to slap Aaron Sorkin.

    A couple of other things: (1) is there anyone who regularly watches TV who did not guess that Mac was going to accidentally email everyone in the office the info about their breakup as soon as the asterisk thing came up? And (2) how do you accidentally type an asterisk when doing an interoffice email on a blackberry? Misspelling I could get. Accidentally typing a symbol? Not so much.

  8. Watts9:20 AM

    With that asterisk/email storyline, I think Sorkin showed the only thing he understands/likes less than women is technology.

  9. Watts9:42 AM

    In worlds colliding - Ken Levine's column about Ann Curry and cooking segments recalls Sloan Sabbith's (Olivia Munn) line about cooking segments last night.

    Can we have just a moment to talk about those two horrible names on the show: Sloan Sabbith and Mackenzie MacHale? Maybe they'll feel more real with repetition but right now they both sound so implausible.

  10. Duvall9:54 AM

    OTOH, Wolf Blitzer and Soledad O'Brien.

  11. christy in nyc9:57 AM

    Aaron Sorkin would probably not like to hear this, but...the opening credits sequence reminds me of EPCOT.

    And if Aaron Sorkin were to visit EPCOT, his knowledge of technology would improve.

    On a more positive note (about a different show), it's a testament to the great quality of Homeland that every time I see Gary Cooper on screen, I get an uneasy feeling.

  12. It's okay to hope for a terrorist attack if the attack is fictional and only harming fictional (and terrible) characters, right?

  13. Right? People in real life have odd names too - I think it may just take some getting used to.

    Although I may never stop referring to Mortimer's character as MacMac. (Or MacMc - there seems to be some confusion as to the spelling - critics are using Mc, imdb says Mac.)

  14. Last time was the first time I've even dozed off during any Sorkin ever.  I rewatched today and would second lots of everything above. 

    But really, the note of apology from the upstairs neighbors?  Was that just to say that people are generally good?  Perhaps I was still too annoyed with that "homage" to Josh and The West Wing to get it.  Or perhaps I'm just a dumb girl.

  15. <span>Last night was the first time I've even dozed off during any Sorkin ever.  I rewatched today and would second lots of everything above.   
    But really, the note of apology from the upstairs neighbors?  Was that just to say that people are generally good?  Perhaps I was still too annoyed with that "homage" to Josh and The West Wing to get it.  Or perhaps I'm just a dumb girl.</span>

  16. christy in nyc1:32 PM

    I have actually sincerely contemplated that very question, because I am a TV nerd. (Personally I think yes).

  17. spacewoman7:22 PM

    In addition to all the points made above, it felt like every conversation was at least twice as long as it needed to be. And why tf did the Jim Halpern guy need to hear every single detail about Allison Pill's night under the bed?

  18. Because women are an unfamiar, alien species but one worth of study by smartass, awkward guys, particularly when the subject is embarrassing.  See:  Donna's panties, whether CJ is good in bed, and several more I am sure.

  19. isaac_spaceman7:42 PM

    Some things to remember: 

    1.  I wonder how people would feel now TWW or SN if they were just coming on right now.  Frequently unprofessional behavior, plot contrivances, characters (mostly, not entirely, women) doing things that are not commensurate with their intelligence and stature, the sheer brilliance of us ultimately defeating the sheer stupidity of them -- these shows have all of those things in spades.  Does NR suffer because our irritation with those things has accreted, because we expect him to cure clearly identified defects, or just because the stuff around those things is not as good (or, in a parallel way, that the repetition of Sorkinese has inured us to it)? 

    2.  Sports Night aside (greatest second episode in TV history, maybe), it's unfair to expect a show to have its footing by the second episode.  The first couple of episodes of P&R and Happy Endings were terrible.  By the end of the second episode of The Wire, people were wondering if it was going to be about anything.  There are endless examples.  A 13-episode season means that the show has to hurry up and get good quick, but even a failure like John From Cincinnati went from hot mess to interestingly hot mess over that length. 

    3.  I kind of love the show every time Sam Waterston is on screen, yelling and chewing scenery and making bug eyes and hypnotizing me into forgetting whether he has a mustache or not and replacing his eyebrows with caterpillars that cross his forehead to make sweet love to each other every time he delivers a speech. 

  20. Agreed on the third point in particular.  Sorkin has always been pretty damn great with the mentor character.  (And one can argue that the lack of one was one of the flaws with Studio 60.)  Waterston is having a ton of fun with it, and the character is kind of completely different from Leo/Isaac while still being in that vein.  (Leo/Isaac was the moral conscience, and this guy is...not.)

  21. Marsha10:22 AM

    Sabbith is another Sorkin re-used name - the boss that was an idiot for not keeping Jeremy was Mark Sabbith.

  22. bristlesage12:50 PM

    Yeah, I'm not willing to write off the whole show just yet, because of the things you outline here. Maybe it makes me a hopeful sap to think that Sorkin will figure some stuff out.  I do understand that the first season was in the can so there won't be any adjusting until next season. And I, one of those Americans who's never seen a single minute of Law and Order, am totally in love with Waterston. I would gladly watch an hour each week of him being half-drunk and quippy. 

  23. Adlai6:12 PM

    I still like West Wing when I catch episodes now - but find Sports Night almost unwatchable.

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