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The Newsroom


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106 replies to this topic

#26 OFFLINE   armophob

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Posted 29 August 2013 - 02:06 AM

As someone who once did non-linear editing for a living, installs and maintains NLEs, and is still around it daily, I'm afraid I have to disagree.

 

First, you can edit all the jump cuts you want into the footage, because they can be separated by B-roll (or a cut to a shot of the interviewer, although not in this case because the interview was not done by talent but by a producer, and that in itself is high-handed plot manipulation because virtually any interview of any weight is done by talent, so they cooked the books on the procedural part here just to create the opportunity to put the finger on Jerry--in real TV that does not happen).

 

And SPOILER ALERT, read this later if you have not seen "Red Team III".

 

Second, the interview was not an edited interview, it was a series of individual sound bites, meant to be dropped into the show one by one as the anchor referred to them, so there really is no editing for air per se, only editing for the production convenience of how these sound bites are rolled in to the broadcast. What Jerry did is edit the original footage itself out of context, specifically to hide the context, not from the viewers, but from the team. That is very different than editing for air, and he was able to do this without a jump-cut on air because the clip was an individual sound bite and could start or stop wherever.

 

Jerry also blurred the TV in the shot in editing, and while that was supposed to be because these things are blurred normally to protect airing rights, Jerry did that to fool the team and hopefully hide his underhandedness from them. What doesn't pass the smell test is that he was clever enough to perform the out of context edit on the clip sent to air by editing it out first in the original raw footage, yet was not clever enough to put the blur on the original raw footage, which made that a clue just waiting to be discovered. Blatant plot manipulation. It would actually have been clearer to the viewer (of The Newsroom, not of the fictional news broadcast) if "McMac" had been able to find the original footage with the original quote in its clear original context, and not missing the "If we used sarin...", precursor. That might have eliminated a lot of WTFs in HBO homes.

 

Maybe it is my closeness to this industry, but I could see this coming all the way down Broadway, especially because we all knew Genoa was going to blow up in their faces ahead of time just from the HBO promotion. The whole thing about the General loving B-Ball and him having the TV on and Jerry wanting the medals in the background so he had to have the live TV feed there seemed like a clumsy setup from the beginning. I just knew this was going to be the key to catching Jerry, but I had to wait through 3 more eps and an inane discussion about shot clocks before the other shoe finally dropped, and "McMac" finally allowed this elephant in the room to dawn on her.

 

They had 4 pieces of "evidence", 3 independent confirmations, another from Will, and 3 high-level long Red Team meetings agonizing over this yet the only one who ever saw the footage of Stomtonavitch was Jerry? A producer from out of town? Nobody from the core team went and looked at it? Cut me a break. That alone fits the definition of "institutional failure".

 

So to boil it down. The reason the CIA informant wanted the basketball game in the shot, was to be proof his testimony was not edited by the interviewer. Very smart.



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#27 OFFLINE   Maruuk

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Posted 29 August 2013 - 04:25 AM

When you analyze this show from an insider tech perspective, it tends to fall apart. But it's not designed for us, it's for the masses who know next to nothing.



#28 OFFLINE   djlong

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Posted 29 August 2013 - 04:40 AM

Newsroom is a must watch here. Never saw the sports night show. Not a sports fan, so it never interested me.

 

You don't have to be a "newsie" to enjoy "The Newsroom" - I'm sure you see that.  It's just like that for "Sports Night".  It *happens* to be set in a cable sports channel like The Newsroom is set at ACN.  In Sports Night's first episode, they hooked me with a scene between the two anchors (one of them being Peter Krause who I couldn't get enough of in "Six Feet Under" and Josh Charles is the other) where Charles makes an impassioned speech to newly-divorce Krause about how bad his now-ex-wife treated him (Krause) with him never realizing it.  I thought it was really well done when I fist saw it in 1998.  When I re-watched that episode in 2006 right after my now-ex-wife moved out, it hit me like a ton of bricks as my best friend had made almost the exact same speech to me. 

 

It's *that* personal drama that made the show That Damn Good.



#29 OFFLINE   Maruuk

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Posted 29 August 2013 - 03:37 PM

Amazing how certain current events are paralleling this Newsroom plot.

 

I probably should have given Sports Night more of a chance. How many seasons did that run?


Edited by Maruuk, 29 August 2013 - 05:24 PM.


#30 OFFLINE   Maruuk

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Posted 04 September 2013 - 11:28 AM

Newsroom just renewed for a third season. Good for me! More Sloane, please!



#31 OFFLINE   Laxguy

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Posted 04 September 2013 - 11:40 AM

Amazing how certain current events are paralleling this Newsroom plot.

 

I probably should have given Sports Night more of a chance. How many seasons did that run?

45 eps or so, over two and a half seasons, more or less, mas o menos, practically speaking. 

 

What annoys me is that Netflix has just a DVD of it, while it'd be perfect for streaming. Guess I should check out Amazon VOD....


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#32 OFFLINE   gpg

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Posted 04 September 2013 - 12:19 PM

Sports Night episodes are now running on FXX on channel 619. They're SD of course.
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#33 OFFLINE   RAD

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Posted 04 September 2013 - 12:26 PM

Newsroom just renewed for a third season. Good for me! More Sloane, please!

Sort of surprised that it was, didn't think the rating were that good.


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#34 OFFLINE   Laxguy

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Posted 04 September 2013 - 12:42 PM

Sports Night episodes are now running on FXX on channel 619. They're SD of course.

Thanks! 

 

I also found they are in fact streaming on Amazon VOD. Probably a toss up as to vid. quality.


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#35 OFFLINE   Maruuk

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Posted 05 September 2013 - 02:51 AM

45 eps or so, over two and a half seasons, more or less, mas o menos, practically speaking. 

 

What annoys me is that Netflix has just a DVD of it, while it'd be perfect for streaming. Guess I should check out Amazon VOD....

If you have Amazon Prime (and everybody should) you may be able to stream it free. Amazon streaming has a pretty good selection of TV shows.



#36 OFFLINE   Maruuk

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Posted 05 September 2013 - 02:55 AM

Sort of surprised that it was, didn't think the rating were that good.

I don't think HBO is as ratings-driven as a broadcast net since they don't have to please advertisers. I mean, they ran two seasons of "John from Cincinnati" didn't they??



#37 OFFLINE   RAD

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Posted 05 September 2013 - 07:16 AM

I don't think HBO is as ratings-driven as a broadcast net since they don't have to please advertisers. I mean, they ran two seasons of "John from Cincinnati" didn't they??

I think ratings play a part of it. While they don't get ad $'s they need to have programming that will cause people to subscribe, or keep subscribing, to HBO so they make the $'s.


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#38 OFFLINE   Laxguy

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Posted 05 September 2013 - 07:28 AM

If you have Amazon Prime (and everybody should) you may be able to stream it free. Amazon streaming has a pretty good selection of TV shows.

 

Yes, I do, and I did. PQ was absolute crap, but I am on a 2.8 Megs download. This was on a Sammy smart TV. Dunno if there's an automatic down-rezzing based on internet connection for TVs, but I didn't see a way to try to bump it up.


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#39 OFFLINE   Maruuk

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Posted 05 September 2013 - 08:29 PM

I'm at 2.4 but Roku does an awesome job of getting me 4 dots strength, about the equivalent of an upconverted DVD. Which for 2.4 is quite good. It's watchable at least. I think the box is as important as the source.



#40 OFFLINE   TomCat

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Posted 10 September 2013 - 07:25 PM

So to boil it down. The reason the CIA informant wanted the basketball game in the shot, was to be proof his testimony was not edited by the interviewer. Very smart.

I do not recall him requiring the TV to be in the shot, just for the TV to be on so that he would not miss his beloved playoff game. Of course that ended up making no sense because it was behind him with the sound turned off and he could not see it.

 

Jerry engineered the shot with the TV in  the background, supposedly because he wanted the medals as a backdrop. He did not want the TV but agreed to it to get the shot, knowing he could blur it out in post. Otherwise I would agree with your premise because Stomtonavitch was very smart, and very cagey. And played by the perfect smart, cagey actor. Great casting job. In fact, your very premise went through my mind during the setup for the interview; its just that the reality of what happened does not support that Stomtonavitch engineered that.

 

But of course it was Aaron Sorkin who engineered and manipulated the entire plot to give them a way to discover the edit. It's just sad that they did not figure out how to tell that story much more convincingly to a lay audience, because there was a large opportunity right there to get that right, yet they (writers/producers) did not.

 

It's ironic that possibly the best-written scripts of any show in any season also have so many plot holes in them. This is not Under the Dome and that is not expected, nor is it very easily tolerated.


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#41 OFFLINE   TomCat

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Posted 10 September 2013 - 07:46 PM

You don't have to be a "newsie" to enjoy "The Newsroom" - I'm sure you see that.  It's just like that for "Sports Night".  It *happens* to be set in a cable sports channel like The Newsroom is set at ACN.  In Sports Night's first episode, they hooked me with a scene between the two anchors (one of them being Peter Krause who I couldn't get enough of in "Six Feet Under" and Josh Charles is the other) where Charles makes an impassioned speech to newly-divorce Krause about how bad his now-ex-wife treated him (Krause) with him never realizing it.  I thought it was really well done when I fist saw it in 1998.  When I re-watched that episode in 2006 right after my now-ex-wife moved out, it hit me like a ton of bricks as my best friend had made almost the exact same speech to me. 

 

It's *that* personal drama that made the show That Damn Good.

 

Agreed. The newsroom in The Newsroom is just the McGuffin, the thing that doesn't mean anything but is there just to make the plot move and work. Same for Sports Night. It serves the same purpose as the statuette in The Maltese Falcon, which had no real purpose except to motivate the characters. "Workplace" drama or comedy needs what first? A workplace.

 

And I don't want to sound like a broken record but yeah, this is what Sorkin can do, hit you with a dramatic issue that can knock you completely over with just a few well-crafted lines. It's like being hit by Mike Tyson. He can expand your mind, and give you a whole new way of thinking. It's magic. He's the best thing to ever happen to TV.

 

My favorite Sports Night is the one where the character played by the always wonderful Joshua Malina (currently still knocking it out of the park in Scandal) goes deer hunting. Folks complain about the "speechifying" in Sorkin dramas, but Oh my living God was that a good one that Malina made reporting on his trip. Worth the price of admission for the entire series. SN also gave us Felicity Huffman; nothing wrong there.

 

If there were two series that were SD that I would still like to go back and watch again (not counting BuffyTVS and X-FIles which I have seen on a loop) they would be Sports Night and The West Wing (just the Sorkin years).


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#42 OFFLINE   TomCat

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Posted 10 September 2013 - 08:03 PM

Yes, I do, and I did. PQ was absolute crap, but I am on a 2.8 Megs download. This was on a Sammy smart TV. Dunno if there's an automatic down-rezzing based on internet connection for TVs, but I didn't see a way to try to bump it up.

Downloads typically down-rez to fit how large the pipe is at the moment. Roku, for instance, has 4 levels. You need $60-80 per month internet service to get decent download quality, and even if you do prime time is going to be bit-starved. And if the connection were perfect it would still be 1080p24 or 720p30, both inferior to broadcast and DBS in many ways.

 

Apparently "I want it right now" trumps "I want it with good quality". I disagree. I would prefer a service that will download overnight for 8 hours if it has to and still maintain original quality. Good luck finding one. I didn't buy a top-shelf HDTV to watch artifacts all day and night.

 

I can't imagine 2.8, even if it was reliably continuously that high, could be tolerable, which is why downloading is not for me, not yet. Broadcast is at 12-15 mbps, typically, and folks would be surprised at how visually dumbed-down even that is compared to HDTV as delivered to most stations. DTV is at 7-8 mbps, typically (live video delivery). At 2.8, something's got to give.


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#43 OFFLINE   Maruuk

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Posted 12 September 2013 - 01:40 AM

I WISH it was just a question of money. You spoiled city boys don't realize out here in the sticks 2.4 is all I can get. No cable whatsoever, and 17,000' from the nearest RT. Lucky to get 2.4. ATT of course refuses to upgrade their service because it's not worth it.



#44 OFFLINE   EdJ

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Posted 12 September 2013 - 06:21 AM

I WISH it was just a question of money. You spoiled city boys don't realize out here in the sticks 2.4 is all I can get. No cable whatsoever, and 17,000' from the nearest RT. Lucky to get 2.4. ATT of course refuses to upgrade their service because it's not worth it.

 

Have you looked at the Internet offering from DISH?  I don't know if it is better than you have now, but it might be worth looking into.

 

We are out in the boonies and had to deal with dial-up until they finally ran the cable line out to our area a couple years ago.  I have a cable modem now, but it costs $55 a month for it....



#45 OFFLINE   TomCat

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Posted 12 September 2013 - 08:12 PM

I WISH it was just a question of money. You spoiled city boys don't realize out here in the sticks 2.4 is all I can get.

 

Well, didn't mean to hit a sore spot, but I also feel your pain. And we city boys realize it just fine, and never even implied that it was JUST a question of money. Once that is cleared up it appears you are helping to make my argument for me against streaming as a viable delivery method. Streaming in its current form has but one advantage, and that is convenience, and its only convenient if you can get it. Your iPad does not need to be hooked to a coaxial cable or a DBS dish or an antenna or a Blu-Ray player, but let's face facts; that is where acceptable quality lives. There, and countries like South Korea that are not as backward as the USA. Internet speeds are an order of magnitude faster there.


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#46 OFFLINE   Laxguy

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Posted 12 September 2013 - 08:21 PM

Have you looked at the Internet offering from DISH?  I don't know if it is better than you have now, but it might be worth looking into.

 

We are out in the boonies and had to deal with dial-up until they finally ran the cable line out to our area a couple years ago.  I have a cable modem now, but it costs $55 a month for it....

I looked, and all packages on the first page note it's bundled with Dish TV service.... 

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#47 OFFLINE   tsmacro

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Posted 13 September 2013 - 04:40 PM

I really loved the first season of this show. This season while not awful by any means, still better than most shows, isn't living up to the standard Sorkin set in season one. Granted the bar was set pretty high, but I'm still a little disappointed when last season would just blow me away on a regular basis and this year, well it's still good just not as many "wow" moments for me I guess.




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#48 OFFLINE   phrelin

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Posted 14 September 2013 - 12:36 AM

I really loved the first season of this show. This season while not awful by any means, still better than most shows, isn't living up to the standard Sorkin set in season one. Granted the bar was set pretty high, but I'm still a little disappointed when last season would just blow me away on a regular basis and this year, well it's still good just not as many "wow" moments for me I guess.

It's odd. I agree that as a season I liked season 1 better. And yet there was one episode this season that I think was the best one of the series and last week was probably the funniest the show has ever been - some really great one-liners.

Edited by phrelin, 14 September 2013 - 12:37 AM.

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#49 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 14 September 2013 - 01:24 PM

Season 1 was told chronologically. We followed the action along with the characters with little hint of what was coming next (other than knowing the show would last so many episodes and seeing next week's show description in the guide).

Season 2 was mostly flashback. We were greeted with changes at the beginning of the first show that were explained over the length of the season. Only when we got caught up did we get to go chronologically again.

I prefer the chronological story telling. The ratings are down (slightly) this year so perhaps others do not like this year's arc.
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#50 OFFLINE   Maruuk

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Posted 14 September 2013 - 08:12 PM

Have you looked at the Internet offering from DISH?  I don't know if it is better than you have now, but it might be worth looking into.

 

We are out in the boonies and had to deal with dial-up until they finally ran the cable line out to our area a couple years ago.  I have a cable modem now, but it costs $55 a month for it....

Heck, I'd go SAT but for the brutal gating levels. I need to stream stuff and once you go down that road with the restrictive SAT data limits you're sunk quick.

 

Also I don't know how it is now, but back when I had Wild Blue (or whatever it was called) back in the day (the original SAT broadband) there was really nasty latency and super slow page loads. You had to wait 3-5 seconds for anything to happen. And then it happened gradually. Ridiculous. I was shocked when I went to DSL how things happened...NOW, not later! They just don't happen enough at 2.4.


Edited by Maruuk, 15 September 2013 - 12:52 AM.





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