The Newsroom, “5/1” Episode Recap
Tonight I find myself in a dilemma that I’m not sure how to solve. My approach towards this show has always been, I hope, in a manner that I feel was more focused on characters and drama than fact. However, the show has time and time again decided to forget that it is a show and try its best to be the news. While I’m not ready to put Sorkin’s head on a spike for his overly utopian fantasy of what he wishes to portray the news as, I’m more ready to do that for that fact that he’s constantly subservient to that ideal of the news.
When all I had was the name of Aaron Sorkin and a quickly phrased response to a stupid question for an advertisement I was 100% game with the show. I was, and have been, willing to forgive so much about this show but now I feel I need to remind you all – Aaron Sorkin most of all. This is not a soap box. Yes you’ve found yourself in the powerful position of being able to speak to a wide audience about so much, but it’s not for you to tell us how to feel. It is not up to you to tell me that I’m supposed to applause with the same rousing response that I give as Batman and Bane battle to the news that was re-reported this week on The Newsroom.
This week’s episode drops any idea of story and resigns itself to complete self pleasuring and sentiment that can only be measured by the hate that is found on the other end of the topic. I could ask how the cheers that you could hear in the characters’ facial expressions (yes I know facial expression don’t make noise) were almost as sad as something really sad.
I honestly don’t know how to review this episode other than to call it an unmitigated disaster. Due to the heavy handed approach to the news of Bin Laden we’re left with almost nothing to hold onto about all of these characters that we decided to spend an hour with this weekend. With few small moments, namely Jim and Lisa breaking up, Will being high (which is without a doubt one of the worst errors of the show) and Charlie Skinner getting a strange anonymous phone call turning into a credible source. I almost feel that for the first ten minutes of the show (all spent at the party) were the best ten minutes of the show, because it’s all the small moments before we’re sent into this wave of crazed information and strained sentiment. Between watching one girl beat Jim blindfolded in Guitar Hero and Jim and Will playing an acoustic duet that’s what I wanted, everything else was just tiring tears that honestly I don’t feel.
No matter what show we’re talking about, from Community to Days of our Lives the only time it completely fails is when its creators fails its characters, and that’s what Aaron Sorkin did this week so hard that it hurt.