The Newsroom: The Complete Second Season (Blu-ray)

Posted in: Disc Reviews by J C on November 7th, 2014

(out of 5)



  1. Gino Sassani
    11/07/2014 @ 1:20 am

    I’m one of those who find it unwatchable…and no I haven’t confused the mission. I just don’t find it entertaining to be hit over the head time and time again by an ideology. I suspect those on Sorkin’s political side are even less tolerant when they are exposed to this kind of thing from the other side. Perhaps it’s Sorkin who doesn’t understand that his mission is not to cater to one lean…but to entertain. Judging by the recent election results, I suspect there’s no small number of folks who would agree.

  2. John Ceballos
    11/07/2014 @ 7:49 am

    Everything you said is totally fair. Well almost everything: I have absolutely zero interest in getting involved in a game of “Whose Side is Less Tolerant”…it’s impossible to prove, and there are no winners.

    I completely understand that most people “don’t find it entertaining to be hit over the head by an ideology”…though I might amend that to tack on the words “…that they don’t agree with.” 🙂

    Maybe I’m an odd bird. Scratch that: I’m *definitely* an odd bird, at least in terms of my TV watching. I watch A LOT of shows, many of which are “challenging” to various degrees. But I’m still pretty blown away by the fact that “The Newsroom” exists at all in its current form.

    Sorkin was coming off winning an Oscar and being nominated for another; he could’ve written the next Marvel movie, if that’s what he decided he wanted to do. (Or any other project where the mission was simply…”to entertain.”) Meanwhile, HBO was (and still is) one of the most visible and definitely the most prestigious channel in all of television. I imagine they can collaborate with absolutely any filmmaker/producer in Hollywod.

    So what do they do? They get together and decide to put on a show that is definitely going to tick off half the country! (Or, as you astutely pointed out thanks to the most recent election results, more than half the country.) It’s probably a little perverse, but as someone who watches a ton of comparatively mindless TV — a lot of which I thoroughly enjoy, by the way — I find that to be completely amazing.

    On a more basic level, I’ve always enjoyed watching people who are great unabashedly do the things they are great at…even when it hurts my soul. (In the mid-1990s, it was watching Michael Jordan rip the heart out of my Knicks teams.)

    As always, thanks for the comment, my friend.

  3. Gino Sassani
    11/07/2014 @ 12:56 pm

    All may be true. My reply is more to your dig that those of us who find it unwatchable are basically too stupid to understand the show’s mission. I’ve watched more television than you, trust me. I think I understand all of those points. I merely submit that you should have also questioned Sorkin’s understanding of his mission. As for HBO and all that. You notice his last film bombed and Newsroom is on its way out after only 3 seasons. Not quite the legacy of those great HBO shows, is it?

  4. John Ceballos
    11/07/2014 @ 4:05 pm

    Whoa, whoa, whoa. Nobody said anything about anybody being stupid.

    I’m actually glad we’re having this little debate because it’s a *perfect* illustration of how easy it is to fly off the rails when it comes to certain topics. (For example: I can’t believe you seriously think that I consider you to be anything close to stupid. Come on now.)

    What I was getting at is that almost all the noise from people who hate the show has nothing to do with the reasons why I personally love it. And those reasons are that I’m just a word nerd who loves playing around with the English language, and hardly anyone does that stuff better than Sorkin. Also, I’ve worked in a newsroom for almost all my professional career, so I find a lot of the interplay fascinating. “Aaron Sorkin telling me things I want to hear” is WAAAAAAYYYY down on the list.

    And as far as Sorkin’s understanding of his mission: I’ve watched that dude talk in interviews, commentaries, featurettes. For better or worse, he’s done what he set out to do. Also, not really sure what you mean about his last movie being a bomb. “Moneyball” more than doubled its budget worldwide and earned 6 Oscar nominations, including Best Picture and a Screenplay nod for Sorkin.

    I wish I could write a “bomb” that did all that.

  5. Gino Sassani
    11/07/2014 @ 4:22 pm

    Actually it was 75 Million on a 50 Million budget. After marketing that’s not really a hit. I do hope your newsroom is far more balanced than this one. Still disagree on Sorkin’s mission. It’s to entertain. Over half of his audience doesn’t feel entertained. When I went to school 50% or lower didn’t get you a degree.

  6. John Ceballos
    11/07/2014 @ 4:58 pm

    $110 million worldwide. (Overseas money counts, now more than ever actually…just ask any big movie that came out this past summer.) You can keep not calling “Moneyball” a hit if you like, but calling a movie that more than doubled its production budget a “bomb” is just wrong. (Plus, I doubt a mid-level drama like that had an enormous marketing budget.)

    And I hate to point this out, but by saying “I hope your newsroom is far more balanced than this one” you’re precisely proving the line in the review that stuck in your craw: unlike the place where I work, “The Newsroom” has absolutely ZERO responsibility to be balanced.

    Might it be nice if it were more balanced? Probably. Would it attract more viewers? Almost definitely. But, when you get down to it, there’s no actual obligation at all. Not every show is meant to attract 20 million viewers each week…especially a talky drama that doesn’t have any zombies.

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