THE NEWSROOM, “Amen” Episode Recap
Last week we discussed the idea of why The Newsroom was teetering on its own delinquency. This week I feel like the show reached a new high that it found by almost forgetting everything it ever wanted to accomplish with itself.
This show has been almost always about “speaking truth to stupid”, but what about an episode which was really about stupid speaking truth? Ignoring all of the actual news, which is what I feel we really should do with this show anyways, embedded in the episode and taking a moment to watch the character interactions we receive the first episode of the show to truly revel in its own lunacy and actually have honest human moments with these characters as well… WHICH IS WHAT WE WANT.
For the last month we’ve been watching the pairings of Will and Mackenzie as well as Jim and Maggie and somewhere in the middle we have Neal, Don and Sloan figuring in as well. This week however things actually happened with/to them that made me smile, laugh, cry and even gasp in ways that I love hour long TV dramas to do.
Will and Mackenzie have a great moment early in the show where they start to enjoy calling each other on their own crap. Will calling the “counting with her fingers” and Mackenzie calling the “he always cries during Rudy”, and who doesn’t cry during that movie, which not only creates a level of ease in the office – as well as for us the viewers – but also shows us that these two are slowly getting past their differences and past.
Jim and Maggie get to have a Valentine’s episode in which Maggie asserts her dominance over Jim (technically her boss in the workplace) by taking the territory of being the great friend via her demands for making Valentine’s day (PS. one of the worst days of the year) be the first good one for her roommate/friend that Jim’s seeing since he can’t have Maggie. It’s a lovely moment, but sadly it could never live up to the early reference to Broadcast News, one of my favourite films. Maggie makes a direct reference to it, talking about the scene with Joan Cusack running across the news floor to get her tape in in-time, and then we get to see Maggie not have that sort of scene but watch Jim running into doors in a very Broadcast News fashion because of Maggie’s excitement to have that scene. The comedy just works and makes me believe the moment.
Neal gets a push by actually giving us a bit more of himself, and indirectly explaining why he works in a newsroom and talks about Big Foot in a serious manner, as he helps in recommending and managing a freelance contact in Cairo, Egypt, while the revolution is happening over there. He, while fun in spurts, has been almost unknown throughout the show so far, and while this doesn’t quite fix that problem it does start the process of filling in a few blanks. His passion for the internet and social media has almost always left him outside of the realm of the big boys, other than shouting something popped up on the screen, in the show and I’m happy to see him playing a more integral role this week.
Otherwise the show remained at status quo. We had to sit through a lot of news segments that hindered characters as much as possible and when we didn’t we got a very grand gesture with high horse sitting Will McAvoy.