As we've moved from "Sports Night" up through to "The Newsroom," the men in these relationships have tended more and more toward being right all the time, while increasingly the women should have known better -- either than to have once walked away or to be waiting for something to happen instead of making a move. Mac has been so far the worst off of the bunch, alternating between being Will's conscience and his emotional punching bag, between providing him inspirational speeches ("Be the moral center of this show, be the integrity!" she urges toward the end of this past Sunday's "News Night 2.0") and humiliating both of them by accidentally emailing the entire company the reason they broke up. Mac's ditziness gets amplified in the character of assistant-turned-associate producer Maggie (Alison Pill), in whom Mac tellingly sees a younger version of herself and who, in the same episode, also ends having a sexual misadventure aired to her coworkers. That's not an issue -- the issue is that it comes out after Maggie neglects to reveal her past relationship with someone with whom she's been assigned to do a pre-interview in preparation for air, itself a serious professional mishap even before she messes it up and costs the show an exclusive.
We're only two episodes into "The Newsroom," and it's got enough raw potential to be something much better -- Mortimer and Pill are proven gifted actresses, and Munn's shown significant comedic spark on screen before in otherwise unremarkable dreck like "I Don't Know How She Does It." They deserve deeper roles than this -- especially in a series that starts off with Will lecturing a college girl and seems to have never quite escaped that vein. I still enjoy Sorkin's dialogue, even the extra-sanctimonious variety seen too often in this series, and his faith in work as a haven remains moving even as the depictions of the relationships on which that work is built have curdled. This doesn't need to be and shouldn't be a show about great men and the women who appreciate them -- for the benefit of the people watching and for those on screen, we could all use something richer.