The Newsroom: Episode 5 Review

The Newsroom went to a couple of classic movies to mine their story for this uneven fifth episode.  Broadcast News is the standard to which every story about the modern news media must be measured against.  In this episode they referenced Joan Cusack's memorable  run through the news studio bumping and smacking her way across the office.  Those days of carrying video tapes are long gone, but slap stick bumps and bruises are alive and well on this show.  I am not sure that the Joan Cusack run is really the comedy this show needs.  In all five episodes Aaron has tried to balance the weighty topics with either Stooges or Marx's Brothers low ball comedy.  It doesn't work for me.  I get that he is trying to teach us about the Glass-Steagall Act and do it in an interesting comedic way.  However, I want to believe (mostly cause they keep telling us) that Executive Producer Mackenzie is brilliant.  So don't have her not know anything about the economy and prefer to talk about an ex boyfriend while she is learning about how repealing this act destroy our financial world.  Find a new way that doesn't sacrifice her character.  I was thinking of how well written CJ Craig was on The West Wing.  How strong the First Lady was written.  This show needs to dig in deep and start making the characters real people. The other movie they focused on was Rudy.  The emotional tie in to the last scene again worked for me.  Aaron is too good of a writer to mess up the end of an episode.  My fear is that he has never been adept at ushering a long term TV relationship.  He botched them on Sports Night (Dana and Casey) and the West Wing (Sam and everyone he ever dated.)   I do not have a good faith belief that the character arcs will come together, therefore it is the substance of the News that I respond too.  And isn't that what the show is supposed to be about?  I want to delve into the Wisconsin State House protest.  I want to see how Egypt fell and mostly, I want to watch smart competent characters make sense out of what has happened to my country.  With all due respect to that great run by Joan in Broadcast News, it was never that scene that I remembered for the last 25 years.  What I remembered most was how when everyone was running around gathering facts, the news anchor, William Hurt, was picking out which shirt and tie to wear.  As a teenager, it was my first real glimpse into seeing behind the veil of the Media.  When The Newsroom mines for it's inspiration from that well, I drink it down much better than when they try to drown me in bumped heads, shoulders and broken fingers.

The Red Room Podcast has a round table discussion about the entire First Season of The Newsroom.  You can listen by clicking the link or heading out to iTunes.

Read my Reviews of all The Newsroom Episodes starting with the Pilot or Episode 4 Or Jump ahead to Episode 8

Review of Episode 6

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