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The Newsroom

Discussion in 'TV Show Talk' started by TomCat, Aug 26, 2013.

  1. Sep 10, 2013 #41 of 107
    TomCat

    TomCat Broadcast Engineer

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    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).
     
  2. Sep 10, 2013 #42 of 107
    TomCat

    TomCat Broadcast Engineer

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    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.
     
  3. Sep 12, 2013 #43 of 107
    Maruuk

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    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.
     
  4. Sep 12, 2013 #44 of 107
    EdJ

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    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....
     
  5. Sep 12, 2013 #45 of 107
    TomCat

    TomCat Broadcast Engineer

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    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.
     
  6. Sep 12, 2013 #46 of 107
    Laxguy

    Laxguy Honi Soit Qui Mal Y Pense.

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    I looked, and all packages on the first page note it's bundled with Dish TV service....
    We country boys don't get no respect! </Dangerfield.>
     
  7. Sep 13, 2013 #47 of 107
    tsmacro

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    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.
     
  8. Sep 14, 2013 #48 of 107
    phrelin

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    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.
     
  9. Sep 14, 2013 #49 of 107
    James Long

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    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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  10. Sep 14, 2013 #50 of 107
    Maruuk

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    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.
     
  11. Sep 15, 2013 #51 of 107
    phrelin

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    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.
     
  12. Sep 15, 2013 #52 of 107
    TomCat

    TomCat Broadcast Engineer

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    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.
     
  13. Sep 16, 2013 #53 of 107
    phrelin

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    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:

    Though Jeff Daniels tweeted a couple of weeks ago that HBO had renewed "The Newsroom," this turned out to be premature; “We are excited about proceeding to a Season 3 and are continuing our conversations with Aaron about schedules," HBO said in a statement the next day. And Aaron Sorkin is indeed a very busy man, going through the most prolific and acclaimed stretch of his screenwriting career. Unlike NBC and Warner Bros. with "West Wing," this isn't a show that's going to continue without him, and it's an enormous time commitment for a guy who's beloved elsewhere and catching a lot of grief week in and week out for this show. I wouldn't be the least bit surprised that these delays are part scheduling, part Sorkin wondering if he needs the hassle.

    And parts of "Election Night, Part 2" played an awful lot like Sorkin wrapping up various bits of business in a neat bow in the event he chooses not to continue the show. Will and Mac hash out all their old issues and get engaged, Leona and Reese put the full weight of the company behind the "News Night" staff, Sloan kisses Don, and Jim brokers a peace between Lisa and Maggie. There was even a meta moment where Taylor invited Will to respond to the charges the show often gets in real life: that Will claims to be a Republican so he has easier cover to attack the right. (And let me remind you of the No Politics rule here; we're not going to get into the substance of Will's reply to that question, nor to the show's general portrait of Democrats vs. Republicans.)

    There are still personal stories for these characters Sorkin could tell in a third season and beyond (the inevitable Jim/Maggie pairing, for one...), but that episode felt like an attempt to give the characters, and the show, a happy ending.
     
  14. Sep 16, 2013 #54 of 107
    James Long

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

    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.
     
  15. Sep 16, 2013 #55 of 107
    tsmacro

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    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!
     
  16. Sep 17, 2013 #56 of 107
    TomCat

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    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.
     
  17. Sep 17, 2013 #57 of 107
    mrro82

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    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.
    Sent from the other side of the Milky Way with my S4.
     
  18. Sep 17, 2013 #58 of 107
    Maruuk

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    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??
    [​IMG]

    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!
     
  19. Sep 17, 2013 #59 of 107
    phrelin

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    Guess it depends on your sense of "romance."
     
  20. Sep 17, 2013 #60 of 107
    Maruuk

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    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.
     

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