The Newsroom is an HBO series created by West Wing’s Aaron Sorkin. It debuted with ten episodes in 2012, followed by nine episodes in 2013, and will conclude with Season Three later this year. Only Season One is available on Netflix DVDs and I binged through the ten episodes this past week. (I actually saw and blogged about the first episode when it first came out because it was widely released, but subsequent episodes were limited to HBO subscribers.)
Although Wikipedia describes the series as a political drama, it is more accurate to call it journalism drama. Sorkin continues his West Wing tradition of high-minded, liberal speechifying. As critic Tim Goodman noted:
- “Sorkin is always true to himself and doesn’t try to cover his tendencies or be embarrassed by them.”
Sorkin accurately described the series as follows:
- “[The Newsroom] is meant to be an idealistic, romantic, swashbuckling, sometimes comedic but very optimistic, upward-looking look at a group of people who are often looked at cynically. The same as with The West Wing, where ordinarily in popular culture our leaders are portrayed either as Machiavellian or dumb; I wanted to do something different and show a highly competent group of people.”
The series stars Jeff Daniels as a network anchor who is an idealistic Republican – i.e., a full-throated RINO. Most of the first season has him bashing the TEA Party and anyone associated with it. The show is less balanced than Jon Stewart’s Daily Show, so if you can’t bear to listen to liberal partisans make their case, then you will hate this show.
Personally, I am a solid conservative, but I can watch The Daily Show without raising my blood pressure. And ever since college, I have felt that journalism is a noble pursuit. So watching Sorkin show journalists trying to do a good job is enjoyable and thought-provoking (even if The TEA Party is the foil).
Even better, according to the critics Season Two is supposed to be even better and more balanced in its treatment of conservatives. I can’t wait for Netflix to get it.