Right from the get-go, I found season two of HBO’s The Newsroom to be every bit as entertaining and annoying as ever. The second season debuted Sunday night at 10:00, Eastern.
It’s entertaining largely because Jeff Daniels, who stars as the intense and intellectual network anchor Will, is so damned good n this part. He looks and acts just like we want our anchors to behave. He is real.That’s the finest compliment a journalist can give to an actor who is playing a journalist.
And it is annoying because creator/writer Aaron Sorkin still wants his baby to be equal parts very beautiful and respected. The dialogue is endlessly snappy and clever and not exactly believable, though. I put forth the proposition that NOBODY in the media can ever be as clever and glib as the folks in The Newsroom. (And how many anchors have sung what sounded like Harry Nilsson’s song, “Got to Get Up,” as Will did during a lull in the show).
I liked it when Daniels told a meddling network lawyer, “I have the confidence of a tall man.”
I also liked very much the snotty, arrogant, abrasive press secretary’s shoddy treatment of Jim on the campaign trail. It seemed real to me.
My problem with The Newsroom is that it tries too hard to be clever, smart and realistic.
When a TV show tries too hard, it comes across as being pretentious. This drama wants to gain our affection and admiration.
It is earnest and well-meaning. That may be its downfall.
On to episode two, please.