The stories of episode three continue to be removed from the flash-forward mystery conflict seen in the season two premiere of The Newsroom. Much like last week’s episode, the show forces us to ‘...wait for it’ without even knowing what ‘it’ is. That being said, there are still some fun moments.
The new season of HBO’s The Newsroom is up and running, and the second episode, "The Genoa Tip," is principally spent maneuvering us towards the season’s larger ongoing stories. We get some long-overdue progress in the Jim-Maggie-Don love triangle, more of intrepid-as-opposed-to-incompetent reporter Neal Sanpat, and more than one genuinely fun scene featuring Sloan.
While The Newsroom's first season often mistook ripped from the headline fact for character and simplistic moralizing for profundity, having watched the first four episodes of season two we are happy to report that showrunner Aaron Sorkin seems to have fixed many of the problems that plagued the first season... and in a few cases replaced them with all new problems.
In many of the series reviews I've read of The Newsroom, critics unanimously declared that the pilot, "We Just Decided To," was the strongest of the first four episodes. For me, however, this Sunday's episode, "The 112th Congress," is easily Sorkin's strongest stuff thus far, at least partly because of the episodes effective structural reliance on a device that Sorkin memorably used in David Fincher's The Social Network.
After a promising but problematic pilot, the second episode of Aaron Sorkin's The Newsroom should have brought things together and smoothed out some of the rough edges. Instead, it's very clear that the series is still struggling to find its feet. Worse, it almost squandered what interest we had in the series by repeating itself in just the second episode.
Pilot episodes are notoriously hard to pull off. The writer must introduce characters, themes, and settings, all while telling a very specific type of “jumping off” story likely bearing little resemblance to the episodes that will follow. Such is the case with “We Just Decided To,” the first episode of super-creator Aaron Sorkin’s new show The Newsroom.
After a notable 5-year absence from television, made even more notable by a well-deserved Academy Award win for The Social Network screenplay, Aaron Sorkin returns this Sunday to HBO with his new show The Newsroom. Ian MacIntyre previews the first three episodes of Sorkin's fast-paced and highly political new TV series.