a half-assed mini review of the newsroom

Last season, and the season before, Toronto Blue Jays right fielder Jose Bautista crushed the ball.

Mammoth home run after mammoth home run.

His swing was violent beauty.

Then the beginning of this season happened.

His swing was off.

Probably not a lot. A first.

But balls that in past years would have been upper deck home runs, ended up as flyouts to second basemen.

And Joey Bats was angry.

He started pressing.

Swinging harder.

Swinging more often.

This, of course, did not go well.

Strike outs piled up, and his batting average plummented.

And then.

I’m not sure when it happened.

But he hit a home run.

It looked familiar.

It got out of the park so quickly.

And while experts were debating whether this was an outlier, or a corner turned, he hit another.

And another.

He now has 26 home runs. And the all-star game hasn’t been played yet.

That’s kind of how I felt about The Newsroom.

With the exception of an early well-written diatribe, in what we’d later find out was a brief moment of excellence for Jeff Daniels, the first half-ish of the show was… off.

The dialogue was stuck in between not realistic enough and not Sorkin enough.

The characters weren’t likable.

The casting was uninspired. (I dare you to try to think of any role in The West Wing being played by any other actor.)

But then.


An oil rig blew up.

Suddenly the energy increased.

You got brief glimpses of who some of the characters could be.

John Gallagher Jr. staked his claim as future break-out star of the show.

And time moved faster.

For a moment, I got the same feeling I get at the end of every episode of The West Wing.

“I want to watch more.”

For the first half, I didn’t think the show had potential.

At all.

I figured however many episodes were ordered already would be the entire run.

But now I’m not so sure.

Maybe a couple new characters.

Maybe Sorkin remembers he’s Sorkin.

Either way, I am pretty curious to see if the last twenty minutes of the pilot are an outlier or a corner turned.

5 thoughts on “a half-assed mini review of the newsroom

  1. I had these same thoughts—Will’s monologue in the beginning was great and Sorkin-esque, but I thought that was going to be the end of it for me. I’m glad I stuck it out because the last half hour or so was worth it!

  2. I agree. Kind of.

    I don’t think it was writing or the actors that put me off. I think, ultimately, it was the editing. It didn’t feel like it flowed. ‘Twas a bit choppy. But, it’s Sorkin. I’ll be watching no matter. :D

    • Oh I’ll watch it too, because of the Sorkin.

      The editing sucked, but unless they cut out many minutes of awesome dialogue, delivered in spectacular fashion, then I don’t blame the editor.

      And if I knew anything about wardrobe and make-up, I’d probably think they sucked too.

      Sam Waterston’s drunken scenes were terrible. His “I’m a marine…” line was laughably bad.

      I have many more thoughts, but my adorably cute niece is requesting my presence. :)

      • So I watched it again last night because of course I did.

        More thoughts.

        Sam Waterston’s drunken scenes were bad because I didn’t realize he actually was drunk. Oops.
        The whole Mackenzie-McAvoy dynamic was a little forced. I’m in love with all the other characters though! And I want more of them.

        Once they started with the news part of it, it was excellent!

        • (I haven’t watched this week’s episode yet.)

          I thought the Mackenzie-McAvoy relationship was just slightly less believable than Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes.

          I can’t imagine being in love with any of the other characters. Granted it could take a while, and some screen time, to get a real feel for them.

          Hopefully Olivia Munn will arrive soon. I enjoy her.

          And Kelen Coleman is apparently in some episodes. She’s a delight.

          I think i’ll write a half-assed review of episode 2 also. (Hopefully will watch it tonight!)

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