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The Newsroom


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#51 OFFLINE   phrelin

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Posted 15 September 2013 - 12:43 AM

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.

That's the explanation that makes sense - I could not figure out why this season didn't feel as smooth. My wife hates the flashback flashforward story-telling style I think because sometimes she dozes off and there is no continuity to allow you to figure out what's going on.

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#52 OFFLINE   TomCat

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Posted 15 September 2013 - 12:00 PM

Correct. If you are paying rapt attention year two is as easy, well almost, to follow as year one. If not, it can lower your enjoyment quotient. Not everything is Pulp Fiction and deserves time-fractured presentation just to be trendy; it should be used only when it can add something other than glitz.

 

I love the show and most characters (boy, Jane Fonda sure did chew up the scenery, didn't she?) but I hate the insipid love triangles. And Jim skyping his girlfriend on a public stairwell without headphones? That was just stupid.


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#53 OFFLINE   phrelin

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Posted 15 September 2013 - 10:54 PM

I love the show and most characters (boy, Jane Fonda sure did chew up the scenery, didn't she?) but I hate the insipid love triangles. And Jim skyping his girlfriend on a public stairwell without headphones? That was just stupid.

That being the case, you're going to love the season finale. :sure:

 

In fact, it could have been a very good series finale. Which contrary to earlier tweets by Jeff Daniels, it may very well have been - see 'The Newsroom’ Season 3: Not So Fast, Says HBO On Renewal . Or this story which explains that Sorkin's time commitment for this show may be a bit much:

 

Spoiler


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#54 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 16 September 2013 - 12:38 AM

That being the case, you're going to love the season finale. :sure:


Plenty of staircase Skyping and a flashback to season 1 episode 1! :)

Spoiler


For a real show guilty of that look no further than Stephen Colbert. But, to be fair, I don't believe there is a single Colbert Report viewer that doesn't know the difference between the portrayal and the person ... and they understand that it is a comedy act using reality as fodder.

Much in the same way that Sorkin has used reality as fodder in his dramas. Occasionally warped reality but that is the root of fiction. I hope he decides to continue the series. I like his work.
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#55 OFFLINE   tsmacro

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Posted 16 September 2013 - 03:39 PM

I will say job well done in the finale of season 2! As I was saying above i wasn't loving season 2 as much as 1 but last nights ep made up for it!




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#56 OFFLINE   TomCat

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Posted 17 September 2013 - 01:50 PM

Even I was swept away by the love-triangle resolutions. I am not normally a fan of those sorts of things, but this was well done.

 

Here is what irks me--much of the writing is as good as it gets, and many of the characters are as likable as they can be, but those same characters do and say some of the stupidest, most bone-headed things you might imagine. While I like the show, there is plenty for haters to grab on to.

 

I feel cheated that we only get 13 eps a year for this, while Honey Boo Boo and other insipid fare seems to be on constantly. America's Got Talent (a show where even the title itself reflects stupid bad grammar) will air something like 51 hours of content this season alone. At least it has my avatar as one of the judges.


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#57 OFFLINE   mrro82

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Posted 17 September 2013 - 03:31 PM

Even I was swept away by the love-triangle resolutions. I am not normally a fan of those sorts of things, but this was well done.

Here is what irks me--much of the writing is as good as it gets, and many of the characters are as likable as they can be, but those same characters do and say some of the stupidest, most bone-headed things you might imagine. While I like the show, there is plenty for haters to grab on to.

I feel cheated that we only get 13 eps a year for this, while Honey Boo Boo and other insipid fare seems to be on constantly. America's Got Talent (a show where even the title itself reflects stupid bad grammar) will air something like 51 hours of content this season alone. At least it has my avatar as one of the judges.

I completely agree with you. I'm guessing that cost comes into play with The Newsroom. AGT and that disgusting southern family don't cost nearly as much to put on the air unfortunately.
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#58 OFFLINE   Maruuk

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Posted 17 September 2013 - 04:48 PM

The two trivial pursuits were mind-numbingly absurd and time-wasters (the unsigned book and the Wiki Cambridge credit). Nobody acts like that, talks like that, or would be obsessed about those things in the middle of critical work. Crazy writing. It's almost like Sorkin's a drug addict. Oh that's right, he even admits it.

 

The insistence on getting fired was patently ridiculous, nobody in the media demands to be fired from jobs paying millions. Another bizarre absurdity.

 

The endless Sabbith cut-offs. Not funny, completely fake-looking, and a real insult to her rapidly developing character and as an actress as well. Terrible writing.

 

Now Don/Sloane and Jim/Hallie (Meryl Streep's kid) are cute and fine. And even Jim's touching concern over Maggie works. That's a particularly good one in that he's (hopefully) acting as a friend. Not all valid relationships have to be about undying love or sex. Though what was the point about Jim acting like a lovesick fool over skanky Lisa upstairs? Does he have to be in love with 3 women at the same time?

 

And why don't they write associate producer/booker Tamara Hart (Wynn Everett) more into the show??

200px-Tamara_Hart.jpg

 

She's totally gorgeous but just used as a background prop. Like the guys in the newsroom wouldn't be all over her!

 

Impossible to make any sense out of the whole Will/Mac insanely intellectual wank job. "You think I'm the sort of person who would not fire you out of concern for my position as a newsman in the context of this company and blah blah blah blah......" Then "I used you to get back at him for rejecting me though I really loved you but didn't know but now I think you didn't fire me because of your own self-importance blah blah blah blah...." Who cares about either of these endlessly intellectualizing bobbleheads who speak perfect incomprehensible Sorkinese jibber jabber??

 

And they get together? And take all the sexual tension and love/hate out of the show? Remember the marriage on "Friends"?? Worst couple...ever.

 

Worst season ender......ever.

 

Sorkin hasn't just jumped the shark here, I'd throw in a couple of blue whales in the bargain. Move on, HBO. Move on. Unless you give us more Tamara and less Lisa next year!


Edited by Maruuk, 17 September 2013 - 06:30 PM.


#59 OFFLINE   phrelin

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Posted 17 September 2013 - 05:07 PM

Guess it depends on your sense of "romance."


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#60 OFFLINE   Maruuk

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Posted 17 September 2013 - 06:02 PM

Big cast shows like Mad Men and Boardwalk Empire and Newsroom are true budget-busters for networks, especially when you factor in the megabux the showrunners/producers (Sorkin/Weiner/Chase/etc) get. Networks can afford to make them because of the Honey Boo Boos and dancing and singing and chase and reality shows in general, which cost ten cents, relatively. Though pay channels like HBO and newcomer-to-series-streaming Netflix can subsidize them in other ways. "Girls" and "Real Sex" and "Enlightened" are dirt cheap. Netflix has a whole other biz model.

 

Bottom line: the profit margins on "Duck Dynasty" and "Sons of Anarchy" buy quality programming for the rest of us.



#61 OFFLINE   Maruuk

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Posted 17 September 2013 - 06:09 PM

Well it's great to have two complex characters in love. Just don't render their dialog and motivations so complex and self-defeating as to be literally incomprehensible!

 

The one moment I felt something for Will and Mac was when Will realized that it was Mac at the back of the room with the magic signs in that first ep. The two of them have never needed anything more than that to seal their love. The next 50,000 words between them left me nothing but cold. They've gradually deflated the power of that initial soaring moment into apathy.

 

What could have saved it would be simple. Have the Republican bee-yatch who Will had given permission to beat him up say snarkily on live TV, "And you're the very guy who said America isn't a great country anymore!" Then he replies, slowly, as we see Mac's signs in flashback at the back of the room...

 

"It isn't. But...it could be. Will you please excuse me?"

 

He then runs offscreen on live TV to take Mac into his arms and whip the ring out. Now THAT'S entertainment. That's a Frank Capra moment, not an Aaron Sorkin moment.

 

Instead, the "epiphany" that rekindled his ardor was about some confused pretzel logic Mensa moment so involved as to need a philosophy professor to parse it all out. Limp.


Edited by Maruuk, 17 September 2013 - 06:40 PM.


#62 OFFLINE   mrro82

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Posted 17 September 2013 - 06:32 PM


The insistence on getting fired was patently ridiculous, nobody in the media demands to be fired from jobs paying millions. Another bizarre absurdity.

It's called journalistic integrity.
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#63 OFFLINE   Maruuk

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Posted 17 September 2013 - 06:51 PM

Which a) Doesn't exist anymore and b ) If it did, wouldn't be expressed in this mass suicide of an entire newsroom. In fact, even the show corrected itself! In the end, everybody realizes quitting is an incredibly stupid thing to do! As it was incredibly stupid of the writers to suggest they would even consider it in the first place!


Edited by Maruuk, 17 September 2013 - 06:53 PM.


#64 OFFLINE   mrro82

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Posted 17 September 2013 - 07:29 PM

Which a) Doesn't exist anymore and b ) If it did, wouldn't be expressed in this mass suicide of an entire newsroom. In fact, even the show corrected itself! In the end, everybody realizes quitting is an incredibly stupid thing to do! As it was incredibly stupid of the writers to suggest they would even consider it in the first place!

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#65 OFFLINE   TomCat

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Posted 17 September 2013 - 07:44 PM

The two trivial pursuits were mind-numbingly absurd and time-wasters (the unsigned book and the Wiki Cambridge credit). Nobody acts like that, talks like that, or would be obsessed about those things in the middle of critical work. Crazy writing. It's almost like Sorkin's a drug addict. Oh that's right, he even admits it.

 

The insistence on getting fired was patently ridiculous, nobody in the media demands to be fired from jobs paying millions. Another bizarre absurdity.

 

The endless Sabbith cut-offs. Not funny, completely fake-looking, and a real insult to her rapidly developing character and as an actress as well.

 

...what was the point about Jim acting like a lovesick fool over skanky Lisa upstairs? Does he have to be in love with 3 women at the same time?

 

And why don't they write associate producer/booker Tamara Hart (Wynn Everett) more into the show??

 

She's totally gorgeous but just used as a background prop. Like the guys in the newsroom wouldn't be all over her!

 

 

Impossible to make any sense out of the whole Will/Mac insanely intellectual wank job.

 

I am finding it hard to find fault with that assessment. I am not as much in agreement with your stronger comments. A little tough on Sorkin; a great many of artistic types, including some of the most successful and enduring writers and painters and musicians from the last four centuries (not to mention a lot more of the unsuccessful forgotten ones) have had issues much more horrifying than Sorkin snorting a line or two every once in a while. Weed has recently become a Hollywood accoutrement among many successful actors and producers, and coke basically drove everything in the 80's. But true, even if he is the best writer out there (many disagree) not everything put on the page is a gem.

 

Just what about Lisa earns her the perjorative "Skanky". Please explain this for us. She seems pretty normal to me, and she has a right to be a little pissed at Maggie. I am puzzled that you seem to hate certain women so much for no apparent reason (it seems to be a pattern). Somebody must have hurt you really bad. At least we are starting to see a type that you seem to be OK with. Actually, all of those news chicks are pretty cute (and I would include Maggie if her eyes weren't disturbingly way too close together), but stand any one of them next to Sloan and they look like trolls by comparison. Sloan just seems to get more stunning every day. No one has those cheekbones.

 

But I honestly did not get what they were going for with Will treating Sloan so shabbily on air; that did not add up. Actually, a lot did not add up. But, bottom line, even the "worst season-ender ever" out of a universe of two, is still better than 98% of the rest of the drivel on the air.

 

You want to know what is really lame? The new format for this forum. I'm not sure it could be more of a downgrade than it has been, from the previous format. Must have got it cheap.


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#66 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 17 September 2013 - 07:55 PM

Which a) Doesn't exist anymore and b ) If it did, wouldn't be expressed in this mass suicide of an entire newsroom. In fact, even the show corrected itself! In the end, everybody realizes quitting is an incredibly stupid thing to do! As it was incredibly stupid of the writers to suggest they would even consider it in the first place!


Don't forget the entire premise of the show (and most of Sorkin's writing) ...
Sorkin's world doesn't exist. But it should.

Sorkin writes from the perspective of the way it should be done. In a perfect world when someone screws up that much they take responsibility for their part of the failure ... not find some scapegoat. You're right that in the real world the real world staff of a newsroom would look for the scapegoat to save their own skin. Wouldn't it be nice if principle ruled over self-preservation?

In the end the staff decided that the greater good was staying on the job and sacrificing their personal pride (all of the nasty stories that will come out in the suit) for the ability to make a difference. With all their faults they can still make a difference.

At least in Sorkin's world ... which we have been fortunate enough to be invited in to for a respite from our world.
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#67 OFFLINE   Maruuk

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Posted 18 September 2013 - 12:31 AM

Well the show spends a lot of effort to present a REAL newsroom with realistic people in it making real decisions as they do in the real newsroom world. This silly fantasy stuff out of the blue undermines that. The show could deal with a bit more grit and hard reality, not artificial situations designed to make heavy-handed moralistic poses.

 

But I get the Sorkin sell--right back to West Wing. Create a "realistic" world, then create a bunch of utterly fantastical events met with impossible nobility and courage and genius to create god-like characters with just the right amount of flaws. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. It gets silly a lot, as in "gimme a break" silly. But I do respect the emotion in that theme song that says "America may not be great...but it can be." They need way more of that in the show. Actual journalism as the show teases us with really is part of what can bring America back from the brink.

 

Now, these shows are fiction and the characters are designed to manipulate me in various ways. I, and you, are marks for HBO. They need to bamboozle us into liking the show one way or another. Sometimes with wit, sometimes with humor, sometimes with sex, whatever works, we need to be seduced, it's the oldest profession in the world. The characters aren't real people, the women for the most part are designed to be sexy and attractive. They are objects made of pixels shot at our eyeballs to effect a particular set of Pavlovian responses. They are no more deserving of consideration as actual living human beings than an ashtray or a toaster. The actresses would say they "create a character". Exactly. The characters are cardboard cutouts of people. Animated purpose-built mannequins. I can't offend a fake character. There's nothing offensive about insulting a mannequin. Or the character of Lisa who describes herself as "overweight, 30, stupid, a loser." in comparison to the younger, skinnier, cuter and vastly more successful women she finds herself in competition with. Lisa's not even real! I can say whatever I want about any of these fake characters. Actors are people. Characters are objects. They are supposed to be kicked around or worshiped as objects, that's the entire fun of it.

 

I do hope they come back to deal with actual huge, current, journalistically fraught issues like Snowden and the NSA etc. Be interesting to see what Will would do with all that. Not so much Sam Waterston. He just seems drunk or on drugs all the time, waving his hands around and screaming. Not sure what his point is as a character. Even the other characters just stare at him like, "What's the point of this guy?".


Edited by Maruuk, 18 September 2013 - 12:33 AM.


#68 OFFLINE   Bronxiniowa

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Posted 18 September 2013 - 10:24 AM

If he would have blurred the footage and changed the voice before showing it to the team it would not have been "raw footage". The team would have wanted to see the pre-blurred version (which they did see). They saw more than the final edited for air drop in clips.

All the questions that they should have asked before airing the story came up in this week's episode. It was a big "uh oh" moment for everyone involved. Everyone in the institution who each made a little mistake that added up to airing the story.

Big question no one asked was: "Does s/he have an ax to grind"? First rule when you employ a source you absolutely do not know. Of course, if the ACN news team had pursued this, they would have found plenty of axes in the woodshop, and the story arc would have melted away. But this sort of thing happens on every procedural. Real cops, lawyers, doctors, etc. don't do things like their TV counterparts.



#69 OFFLINE   Bronxiniowa

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Posted 18 September 2013 - 10:31 AM

Well the show spends a lot of effort to present a REAL newsroom with realistic people in it making real decisions as they do in the real newsroom world. This silly fantasy stuff out of the blue undermines that. The show could deal with a bit more grit and hard reality, not artificial situations designed to make heavy-handed moralistic poses.

 

But I get the Sorkin sell--right back to West Wing. Create a "realistic" world, then create a bunch of utterly fantastical events met with impossible nobility and courage and genius to create god-like characters with just the right amount of flaws. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. It gets silly a lot, as in "gimme a break" silly. But I do respect the emotion in that theme song that says "America may not be great...but it can be." They need way more of that in the show. Actual journalism as the show teases us with really is part of what can bring America back from the brink.

 

Now, these shows are fiction and the characters are designed to manipulate me in various ways. I, and you, are marks for HBO. They need to bamboozle us into liking the show one way or another. Sometimes with wit, sometimes with humor, sometimes with sex, whatever works, we need to be seduced, it's the oldest profession in the world. The characters aren't real people, the women for the most part are designed to be sexy and attractive. They are objects made of pixels shot at our eyeballs to effect a particular set of Pavlovian responses. They are no more deserving of consideration as actual living human beings than an ashtray or a toaster. The actresses would say they "create a character". Exactly. The characters are cardboard cutouts of people. Animated purpose-built mannequins. I can't offend a fake character. There's nothing offensive about insulting a mannequin. Or the character of Lisa who describes herself as "overweight, 30, stupid, a loser." in comparison to the younger, skinnier, cuter and vastly more successful women she finds herself in competition with. Lisa's not even real! I can say whatever I want about any of these fake characters. Actors are people. Characters are objects. They are supposed to be kicked around or worshiped as objects, that's the entire fun of it.

 

I do hope they come back to deal with actual huge, current, journalistically fraught issues like Snowden and the NSA etc. Be interesting to see what Will would do with all that. Not so much Sam Waterston. He just seems drunk or on drugs all the time, waving his hands around and screaming. Not sure what his point is as a character. Even the other characters just stare at him like, "What's the point of this guy?".

Oh, I'm not sure that every character is a caricature. I have known producers like Maggie Jordan, Don Keefer and Jim Harper, and on-air personalities like Sloan. And Charlie Skinner reminds me of Ben Bradlee, the real-life former executive editor of the Washington Post who was in charge during the paper's Watergate scandal beats.



#70 OFFLINE   Maruuk

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Posted 18 September 2013 - 07:39 PM

Oh yeah, didn't mean the characters were cartoons or exaggerated. Well, Charlie has gotta be weirder than Ben Bradlee (who could have been my father-in-law except for fate). Just that they're all fictional and it's just as valid to call a male character "that fat shmuck guy" as a female a "skank". There's nobody to offend.

 

I just didn't like where they took Will & Mac. I like how those 2 deal with electronic journalism in general, just not human relationships. Sorkin turned them into Sorkinbots. Nobody deals with love that way unless they're in an institution. But really the young love plot twists are ok. Hallie is growing on me. I like that Maggie has gone crazy. Sloane's always great. Lisa is kinda boring. Jim's really in love with Lisa??



#71 OFFLINE   phrelin

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Posted 19 September 2013 - 05:54 PM

Don't forget the entire premise of the show (and most of Sorkin's writing) ...
Sorkin's world doesn't exist. But it should.

Sorkin writes from the perspective of the way it should be done. In a perfect world when someone screws up that much they take responsibility for their part of the failure ... not find some scapegoat. You're right that in the real world the real world staff of a newsroom would look for the scapegoat to save their own skin. Wouldn't it be nice if principle ruled over self-preservation?

In the end the staff decided that the greater good was staying on the job and sacrificing their personal pride (all of the nasty stories that will come out in the suit) for the ability to make a difference. With all their faults they can still make a difference.

At least in Sorkin's world ... which we have been fortunate enough to be invited in to for a respite from our world.

 

Ah, idealism! It's sad we have to enter Sorkin's world to find it in journalism or politics.


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#72 OFFLINE   Maruuk

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Posted 19 September 2013 - 08:46 PM

Or even in any media. Sorkin is a rare holdout for Old Skool Americana, a kind of Frank Capra-meets-Norman Rockwell-meets-liberal hipster sensibilities. It's charmingly retro and deserves a spot on TV in this intensely cynical age.



#73 OFFLINE   RunnerFL

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 07:39 AM

It's coming back for one last season.

 

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#74 OFFLINE   TomCat

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 01:53 PM

... in the real world the real world staff of a newsroom would look for the scapegoat to save their own skin. Wouldn't it be nice if principle ruled over self-preservation?
...

 

I can tell you from first-hand that Finger Pointing 101 and Blame Placing 202 are the basic courses most journalists I have met excelled in, and they practice that every day, or at least whenever the waters get choppy.

 

But I think another season is a no-brainer, and my guess would be that talking Sorkin into more than one might be difficult.


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#75 OFFLINE   James Long

James Long

    Ready for Uplink!

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Joined: Apr 17, 2003

Posted 14 January 2014 - 06:19 PM

Trilogies work.
Welcome to DBS Talk - Let's talk about DBS! (The Digital Bit Stream)
DISH Network vs DirecTV: HD Channel List - DISH Network HD Capacity, HD Conversion and more.
DISH Network complete channel lists and lists by satellite location are in The Uplink Activity Center.
Unless otherwise noted, I speak for myself. Content is not controlled by DISH Network, DirecTV or any other company.




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