7 Questions This Season Of The Newsroom Better Answer, Or Else


The Newsroom is a flawed show with an interesting premise, a talented cast, good production value and, so far, some small moments of wit. Thing is, it doesn’t make any freaking sense! When it comes back in a few weeks, it better answer some questions.

1. Why is everyone in love with Allison Pill?

Allison is a dynamic, talented, good-looking young actress, to be sure. But we’re led to believe that John Gallagher Jr. falls in love-at-first-sight with her to such an extent that he dates her BFF in a misguided attempt to spend more time with her. Why? These are Pill’s character’s most salient traits thus far: she basically lied to get her job, she is clumsy, she is friendly in that way that most people who aren’t jerks are basically friendly, she gets panic attacks, she is a pushover, she doesn’t know very much about international politics/geography and…she is a female who is there. So that’s…cool…?!?

Have the two men competing for her attentions not met other girls?

To wit, the boyfriend character (I think it’s Dan?), halfway through season 1, has this moment of “Wow, Olivia Munn, you are beautiful and a woman who is about my age, and you work here?” flabbergasted-ness because, remember, Allison Pill is the only woman in the universe. The only one. They must love her because she is…klutzy and meek and…blonde and…the script called for a love triangle. Please explain.

2. What’s Olivia Munn’s second Ph.D in?

She’s pontificating about how smart she is (in spite of the heavy burden of being beautiful!) and how she wants to be taken seriously (in spite of the heavy burden of being beautiful!) and says something along the lines of, “I’ve studied economics, and I have two Ph.Ds.”

Are they both in Economics? If so, why would a person need that? Personally, I’d love to see her have a second advanced degree in something totally random. Zoology? Thermodynamics? Or being beautiful? Oh, no, she already has that covered. She is very beautiful.

3. Are they good journalists or just good at networking?

On more than one occasion the team has gotten a scoop because someone knows somebody connected to the story.

JGJ just has a “guy at FEMA” who gives him the edge on reporting the B.P. spill. And then they turn around and judge Fox and CNN for leading with some lesser story, even though NewsNight probably wouldn’t have lead with the spill either if they hadn’t had a special source. (Not to mention that CNN and Fox didn’t have the added advantage of covering the story two years after it happened, but let’s not get into that.) Instead, let’s mention that when, for ratings’ sake, the team is forced (Forced I tell you!) to descend into gossipy courtroom reporting and cover the Casey Anthony trial (How basic! Our reputation!), the BFF/roommate of Seductress Allison Pill just happens to have gone to college with Casey Anthony. They get their ratings, good for them, they had to search all the way to their apartments to find a source.

4. Is Emily Mortimer supposed to be a freaking idiot?

We see the IT guy explaining the new email system that allows for company-wide emails. She then types an email to her ex-boyfriend/current co-worker detailing the circumstances of their breakup. Why she would need to remind him of the details of a breakup he was a part of, in an email she thinks only he will read, is beyond me. But then guess what? She accidentally sends it to the whole staff! What a crazy, random, plot-forwarding, drama-creating, ridiculous situation!

Did she do it because she doesn’t understand technology? Because she’s a woman, so she extra doesn’t understand technology? Because she’s too immature to, uh, talk to her ex, whose office is three feet away, in person? Emily Mortimer’s character is supposed to be real levelheaded and brave and such, having been to Afghanistan and other scary places. But none too bright, I guess! Maybe Olivia Munn can lend her a Ph.D.

5. How does Jeff Daniels not know about tabloids?

A seasoned, professional reporter/newscaster/whatever who has been in the business for years and years is shocked, nonplussed, and downright disgusted to learn that tabloids print “takedowns”? Anyone who has been to a grocery store in the past fifteen years could have guessed they do that!

Maybe I’m looking for too much realism and character continuity in a fictional show. But then again–no I’m not.

This is Aaron freaking Sorkin on HB freaking O; the main character can’t be a naïve Boy Scout. Stop telling me characters are smart and then showing me they are stupid. That’s like telling me this show is going to be really groundbreaking and intellectual and then showing me something that is trope-ridden and nonsensical where they constantly talk about Man of La Mancha and it’s like ughhhhhcnksivoehrlibhdlf.

6. Um, that scene where they refuse to report that Gabby Giffords is dead because they can see the future, have journalistic integrity, and somehow that makes them, like, the reason she lived? And this is while they happened to be having a conversation about gun control? And freaking Coldplay is playing? Oh, and, also, that scene where they won’t put their phones away on a plane and find out that Bin Laden is dead and shake the plane captain’s hand and announce it to the cabin, being all proud as if they had killed Bin Laden by being such good reporters? And the political ramifications of his death are explored, like, not at all, while we take a moment to bask in the American Glory of something that happened two years ago?

Um, what the actual fuck?

7. Why is Dev Patel not in it more?

Can we give Dev Patel all the lines? And all the story arcs? And a variety show “The Dev Patel Charming Young Man Power Hour”?

Dev forev.

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