The News Room - Episode 3

Last week I reserved judgement on HBO's The Newsroom.  I noticed that they went full tilt for comedy.  In this 3rd episode called, The 112th Congress, they moved back on target and the show was better for it.  Using a device that Aaron Sorkin loves, he told the story out of order as we move through a six month period of election coverage.  The target for this episode was the Tea Party.  A pretty safe target.  It is sort of like making fun of the Amish.  There is no way a Tea Party member is going to be watching this type of show that is centered around challenging ideas.  During election night 2010 they have a reporter make an off handed comment about the Debt Ceiling.  I love that Sorkin expects his viewers to be able to put this comment in context with what occurred the summer of 2011.   I have always felt that what the 112th congress did with the debt ceiling was treasonous.  I wonder if Republicans will be able to view this episode as it was intended.  He had plenty of people state that the Tea Party is not the conservative party that most Republicans believe in.  The topic of the debt ceiling, election finances, the reporting of religion from a Muslim point of view, these are all really hefty topics.  But the show is still entertaining.  We can be educated and entertained at the same time.  I personally believe the best teachers I ever had were people who also entertained me.  The one area or character that I am having issues with is Don Keefer (Thomas Sadoski).  He is the rival executive producer for the 10 o clock show.  He is two steps away from having a black hat and a large mustache.  No way does he talk to a News Anchor with the tone of voice he used.  And he is just awful to everyone.  The best character villains always have a related point of view.  And while it is true that he does have network restraints on what he can cover, that doesn't really excuse his behavior to EVERYONE.  I would like to see him either even out or move out. I loved the way they handled the introduction of Jane Fonda.  She was slowly brought in and that was a great idea.  When you bring on someone who has so much screen history, it is better to ease them in so their own persona doesn't over take the story.  We wait till the end of the episode till they let her loose and she did a great job going toe to toe with Sam Waterston.  I have to say I am really surprised this show is on HBO.  It has no qualities of an HBO show and that makes me happy.  For once they are making just TV and I appreciate it.  It is TV with out a gimmick routed in something "dirty."  Network television has totally given up on creating morality plays, interesting characters and anything that could be deemed as offensive.  How interesting that for HBO to be controversial they had to air a show that has the nerve to tell facts.  Telling the truth about the debt ceiling and the tea party is now considered more controversial than nudity or doing a show about a mobster.  We live in strange times.  What we need is a show to cover that.  And with News Night 2.0 we do.

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