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The Newsroom Recap 1×08 ‘The Blackout, Part 1: Tragedy Porn

Written by   // 08/13/2012

The Newsroom 8/12 Recap

 

 

Last night’s episode of HBO’s “The Newsroom” was the first installment of a two-parter titled “The Blackout Part I: Tragedy Porn”. For the record, let me just say that with every new episode, when I see the words “Written by Aaron Sorkin”, I do a little internal-happy dance. Oh, Aaron. How I’ve missed you. Eight episodes into the first season and he has yet to let me down, although this episode was not quite on the caliber of, say, the fifth and sixth episodes, “Amen” and “Bullies”, respectively. Regardless, “The Blackout Part I” starts out with rain beating down on the windows of Will McAvoy’s office as a fast-paced argument ensues. Typical. And foreboding. This episode was one of the darker ones so far, with constant fighting between the co-workers and a steady stream of bad news (no pun intended). ACN’s News Night ratings have plummeted, largely due to the fact that America is pretty stupid, as a whole, and all we want to hear about is the trial of Casey Anthony. Again, typical. There’s a great line where Will says, “It’s news—” and Mac cuts him off with, “Say that three times and click your heels, it’s ENTERTAINMENT.” Awesome. Because it’s so true. And the whole point of News Night 2.0, or so they call their new and improved show, is to tell the ACTUAL news with ACTUAL facts. Not just succumbing to what people want to hear, but reporting what people need to hear. In one of the first episodes Mac slips in an almost verbatim Joss Whedon quote, telling Will, “I’d rather make a show that 100 people need to see than a show that 1,000 people want to.” That’s when I knew I loved this show.

 

But seriously, does anyone buy Will’s whole, “I’m a registered Republican” thing? Because clearly, this being an Aaron Sorkin show, it’s largely liberal, and I think he’s just using that aspect to appeal to conservative viewers. But I digress. They really are just reporting the truth. Also, it sort of pains me to see Jeff Daniels smoking a cigarette and acting like the bad guy, when I can’t quite seem to get some of his previous roles out of my head (Dumb & Dumber, 101 Dalmations, etc.). At least we know deep down he’s a big softie (e.g. the engagement ring).

 

We also need to talk about how much I love Sloan. She stole this episode, first with her, “Think tank conference in Baltimore” and the “Institution for Capitol Studies in Economic Growth—it’s gonna be a raver.” Then Olivia Munn proves her acting chops once again with her rant to Mac in the middle of the newsroom, fiercely fighting for airtime to report a serious “global economics meltdown” as opposed to pictures of Anthony Weiner’s underwear.

 

Anyway, this episode, while not the best so far, was more of a stepping stone to future plot lines, such as the impending “global clarity” debacle. Oh, boy. Oh, Aaron. I’m excited to see Jim take the reigns on this one. And, seriously, there’s a reason that his name (Jim Harper) is so eerily similar to Jim Halpert. They are both so lovable. And both have unrequited loves. And both are cute in that same goofy way. Not a coincidence, I tell you!

 

This is a show I’m excited to tune into each week, and I have a feeling Sorkin won’t let us down. Give me a show with quick wit and pointed glances any day, and “The Newsroom” is just that!


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