SLOAN SABBITH, ET AL

September 21, 2012

My review of the first season of that HBO series with Olivia Munn. `Nuff said.

Color bars, truth and ‘The Newsroom’

 BY KARL R. DE MESA
 Posted on 09/18/2012 5:33 AM  | Updated 09/18/2012 6:47 AM

MANILA, Philippines – I tell you this: when the second season of “The Newsroom” airs in June 2013, there’ll be more journos fast-talking in that patois of facts, opinion and calculated hyperbole so common in the Sorkinian landscape, it’ll be like hipsters got kicked down the pop culture ladder by a Muay Thai teep.

Like keffiyeh scarves, it’ll be the fashion du jour.

“The Newsroom” is an HBO TV series about how broadcast reportage and news are produced at the fictional Atlantis Cable News (ACN) channel, specifically in the program titled, “News Night with Will McAvoy.” Jeff Daniels plays the lead role as the titular anchor, a popular journo who’s right up there in the anchor-as-celeb with Dan Rather and Barbara Walters.

The brains behind this is Aaron Sorkin, creator and also primary writer. Yep, the same guy who penned “The Social Network,” “A Few Good Men” and “The West Wing” — that TV antidote to the facepalm surrealism of the Bush era.

Is this series worth your attention? The shot answer is: hell yeah… but with caveats.

The long answer follows:

On the practical side, we get the local episodes on HBO Asia almost concurrently; meaning, we’re only one episode behind its US airing. By this time, the finale of season 1 should be on replay and you can get buzzing on the forums if you like and you won’t be too out of touch.

This series is a dose of realism while we wait for Season 3 of Game of Thrones to get its sword arm up and swinging. It’s that fusion of recent history and through-the-veil look without the bathetic light of a reality show.

Except it’s not real.

Look, in the first episode, McAvoy suffers a very public tantrum of outrage (a breakdown from vertigo meds, he later claims) at a forum talk at Northwestern University. In a panel of 3, a liberal and a conservative sit on either side of him, talking their heads off for the student body. McAvoy answers in jest and desert dry wit, exercising that verbal judo anchors do so well.

When the open forum comes and a blonde student — stuttering and starstruck — asks: “Can you tell me why America is the greatest country in the world?” McAvoy continues to jest. University host insists on a “human moment” from him, as if to drive home the fact that he needs to earn that speaker’s token cheque.

This prompts McAvoy to give the “sorority girl” an epic dressing down, the kind that ruins lives. He waxes about how America “once went to war for moral reasons, and once struck down laws for moral reasons. We waged wars on poverty, not poor people. We sacrificed, we cared about our neighbors, we put our money where our mouths were, and we never beat our chest.”

Read the rest of it HERE.

POST-SCRIPT:

A day later, I saw this re-tweet. Yeah! Sweeter than the Siskel and Ebert one. That’s why we do it!

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