The Newsroom 1.7 – 5/1
I haven’t done a full dialog on any episode of this show, and I actually started watching it a few weeks late. I had it on the Tivo, but didn’t have the time to watch it for awhile. And then I immediately watched the first four episodes in one night because I honestly just couldn’t stop.
The show is basically a dramatized version of what happens in a newsroom, one that’s more along the lines of a Keith Olberman situation rather than your local nightly news. Jeff Daniels is the shows lead, Will McAvoy, and while I have liked him before, this show has made me love him. To the point that I forget that Jeff Daniels is even a person.
This episode is titled 5/1, which we learn a bit in that is May 1, 2011 – the day we learned that US Special Forces successfully killed Osama Bin Laden. It opens with Charlie, played by Sam Waterston, receiving a phone call saying something important is going to happen in about an hour and a half. The dude just wants to establish credibility as a source for later, which is interesting since a lot of crazy stuff happens in this show.
The things that I really like about this show are the interpersonal relationships between the people who work together in the newsroom. In the first episode of the show, Will’s former girlfriend, Mackenzie MacHale (played by the amazing Emily Mortimer), was hired to be his Executive Producer, so there’s a bunch of tension and unresolved issues between the two of them. Mackenzie brought with her a bunch of staff, which includes Jim (John Gallagher Jr.), who is quite possibly my favorite character on the show. Jim has a bit of a crush on Maggie (Alison Pill), who does kind of like him back, but she is dating Don (Thomas Sadoski), who is kind of a douchebag.
Don and Maggie have broken up something like five times in a year and a half, and in this episode Don spends a lot of time talking about how he’s worried that his relationship with Maggie isn’t going well. I find Maggie to be kind of adorable, so every time she’s with Don, I get a bit sad. And because I like Jim so much, I am totally shipping the two of them these days. We keep getting some close calls, but not quite there. It’s like watching Castle and Beckett all over again. Cept we only have a premium TV series length, so only half the amount of time to watch this!
The emotion for me in this episode was very high. I remember what I was doing the night the President made this announcement, I’m guessing we all remember that night, and remembering the history of this event in itself is emotional enough. So thinking about all of that while watching this episode had me teary throughout much of the episode. One of the most touching moments of the episode was Charlie pointing out how much of an accomplishment this was, and why it’s so important to get confirmation from the White House when something like this happens. I love the dynamic of the newsroom during this whole thing, although no one was crying and I find that a little hard to believe. Or maybe it’s just that I cry so easily that I expect to see people crying, even in a fictionalized situation.
I’d like to imagine that this is what a real newsroom is like. I’m sure it’s not, it’s probably more chaotic, with people who are less charming and not as pretty, but I still like this small look into what it might be like. If nothing else, because I watch so much TV that is hyper-real or just flat out fantasy, something like this speaks to me in a way I didn’t even know I was looking for. The scene where they are finally able to go on the air with the news of Bin Laden’s death is both hilarious and made me a bit teary, because it’s so touching that they are waiting on news, which has been received by a totally high Will and he doesn’t even remember how to use his phone at this point in the episode. Instead of being concerned that he sat on this news for twenty minutes, he starts explaining what he and Joe Biden have in common. I giggled through my tears.
The episode ends with President Obama’s address to the nation while the credits are rolling. It brought back memories of September 11, me remembering where I was during that particular event, and a tiny bit of a sigh of relief to relive the night that helped close the door on Bin Laden. With only three episodes left in the season, I can’t wait to see what is happening, and I’m dying for the second season to start already.