My name is Luke Duffy, I am an aspiring media journalist from Ireland and this is my website, Media Pancake. Media Pancake is a site devoted to my reviews and thoughts on the latest in film, television, and video games. If you enjoy my articles then please share them with your friends and stick around for my upcoming posts. Thanks.
Monday, 23 July 2012
TV Review: The Newsroom Season 1 Episode 3 "The 112th Congress"
Newsroom' is one of the most promising new shows around at the minute. With a
great cast and interesting stories to tell, its phenomenal writing team led by
the incomparable Aaron Sorkin have the potential to make this show into absolute
episode chronicles the aftermath of the shake-up of News Night over the course
of 6 months. The story is framed from the perspective of a meeting which
Charlie Skinner has been called to by his ACN bosses to discuss what has
happened over the past months at News Night, as each incident is referred to in
the meeting the audience is then shown the events of the night.
was easily the best episode of the show yet; finally the entire cast is
featured for the first time as Jane Fonda makes her debut as ACN owner Leona
Lansing. The scenes with Will and the staff of News Night were extremely strong
and the passing of time allowed for a great deal of character development to
occur in a relatively small amount of screen time. What is also evidently better this week
is the pacing of the episode, with so much room to move around in in regards to
the time setting the characters are each given equally entertaining stories
rather than any of them having to be relegated to a minor supporting story.
Alison Pill is great as the very relatable character of Maggie.
Newsroom’ has one of the most incredible casts in television. Jeff
Daniels is superb as Will McAvoy, he has really shown how capable he is at combining a dramatic role with comedic undertones whilst also demonstrating his ability to lead a series like this, which is a difficult thing to do
considering his talented co-workers. Sam Waterston apart from being fantastic
as Charlie Skinner always has a laugh out loud line every episode, he doesn’t
disappoint this week when his outburst as Skinner (who I’m not sure is entirely
mentally in check) is pure brilliance. Jane Fonda’s appearance in this episode
was handled perfectly in my opinion, she is shown sitting in darkness
throughout the meeting and never says a word for the first 50 of the shows
60-minute runtime. However when she begins to speak at the closing of the
episode she delivers a lengthy speech with the refinement and magnetism that is
natural to her, she is incredible during this scene and pretty much steals the
entire episode in the closing moments, her character is very interesting and
should prove to be a very worthy adversary to the team of Will, MacKenzie and
Charlie. I’m not going to go into as much detail with the rest of the cast but
I will mention a few standouts this episode including the actress who I think
has done tremendous work over her career and still has much more to offer,
Alison Pill, and also an actress who has impressed me with her work in this
show despite the fact I honestly never gave her much of a chance, Olivia Munn.
Fonda steals the episode.
true jewel in the crown of ‘The Newsroom’ though is Aaron Sorkin’s writing.
Sorkin has a legendary reputation as one of the most ingenious, witty and original writers of the past 20 years, when a man has written television shows such as
‘The West Wing’, ‘Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip’ and ‘Sports Night’ as well as
films like ‘A Few Good Men’, ‘The Social Network’ and ‘Moneyball’ as far as I’m
concerned he can retire a legend, but to continue crafting such great scripts
like those present in this show, the man has to be commended. Both his own
writing and that of his contributors have defined ‘The Newsroom’ already,
through its showing of the inner workings of a cable news show it makes comment
on everything from politics to television ratings (which in themselves are a
form of politics) and in my opinion presents a magnificently intelligent
viewpoint on world events over the past 2 years.
said before that this show is intelligent and I meant it, when watching it
don’t be ashamed that you feel like you are watching people with much higher
IQ’s than yourself have a conversation, this is common in Sorkin’s writing. The
great thing about this show is that even though it is incredibly smart it
demonstrates this subtly and effectively making it less about showing off someone’s
writing prowess and more about the intellectual capacity of the characters on
A perfectly cast Sam Waterston.
isn’t much more to say about ‘The Newsroom’, it’s an extremely intelligent show
with a stunning cast showing the best of what television has to offer. My
advice is check out this episode as a test to see if the show is for you as it
best embodies the pace, tone and humour of the show as a whole. If you like
politically influenced drama with intelligent humour and relatable characters
then you’re missing out if you don’t watch this show.