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HBO's The Newsroom : Rewriting the Narrative

Updated on July 1, 2012
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The show is about the inner workings of a prime time cable news show called ‘News Night ‘. Anchor and host of this show is Will McAvoy, played by Jeff Daniels, a journalist who is talented but bitter. He is at the top of his career but teetering on an edge of irrelevances.

I wanted to write a brief and general review of HBO’s new series The Newsroom. The one hour long show aired for the first time on June 24, 2012 at 10pm. The show follows HBO’s hit series True Blood. The show is about the inner workings of a prime time cable news show called ‘News Night ‘. Anchor and host of this show is Will McAvoy, played by Jeff Daniels, a journalist who is talented but bitter. He is at the top of his career but teetering on an edge of irrelevances. After speaking what many would considered the truth at a university forum, admitting that America is in fact NOT THE GREATEST COUNTRY ON EARTH, his entire staff jumps ship for a different news show. Will McAvoy is now looking to continue his show while trying to keep the attention of the polarized viewership. His only hope for a better show, even though he might not agree, is Mackenzie MacHale, played by Emily Mortimer, a renowned journalist who also happens to be McAvoy’s ex girlfriend! Her goal is to bring truth back to the news, the brutal, honest truth of the world events and not the entertainment it seems to have become. The tension between Mackenzie and Will is great but they also work really well together, even amongst the obvious power struggles of their powerful personalities. The show also includes a number of other characters that work in the newsroom, a developing love triangle, experience workers versus inexperience workers, and most importantly actual events that have happened! In the first episode the main news story covered by the newsroom is the infamous BP oil spill of April 2010, followed by the very relative (as of June 25, 2012 Supreme Court Ruling) Arizona Immigration law in the second episode airing on July 1, 2012.


what I find great about this show is it recreates a narrative history in a way that seems to put a value of truth over ratings, money, and entertainment.

What I like...

Ultimately what I find great about this show is it recreates a narrative history in a way that seems to put a value of truth over ratings, money, and entertainment. This value of delivering the news truthfully, as sad as it is, is not something we see in today’s world, making this reality a pleasant one. Of course hindsight is 20/20 and the revelations of what stories have become ‘big ones’ is already known when writing for the show unlike how they really developed in history. With that said I love that the show uses actual stories from the recent past, ones that I can remember viewing on television from multiple sources. The fact that I can compare my actual experiences viewing the news to the way many, including myself, would have liked the news to be reported is great! The chemistry between the actors seems to be on par, even just being two episodes in. Jeff Daniel’s portrayal of a hard hearted, bitter news man trapped under his own empire of straying from his moral path of news reporting is pretty decent. Emily Mortimer’s portrayal of an executive produces is even greater, her strong character says ‘don’t mess with me’ while also making you feel comfortable. After watching the first two episodes I am sure to tune in for the rest of the season! I wonder what other news stories will be featured, currently the show’s timeline is the end of April 2010. I am sure they will cover the rise of the Tea Party, the Healthcare debate and the 2010 midterm elections…but then again these are just predictions based on the past!


More Show Details


‘The Newsroom’ airs on HBO on Sunday nights at 10 PM Eastern Time following True Blood. The show‘s main writer is Aaron Sorkin, the writer of movies A Few Good Men, Moneyball, and The Social Network to name a few. The show stars leads Jeff Daniels and Emily Mortimer as well as supporting actors Olivia Munn, Adina Porter, Chris Chalk, John Gallagher Jr., Alison Pill, Sam Waterston, and Thomas Sadoski.


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