This week’s episode of Newsroom, entitled “The 112th Congress” is unlike any other that has come before it. Okay okay, I know that this is only the 3rd episode so far in this series but the first two episodes followed a very defined pattern. The pattern was, more ore less, everyone discussing what would be on that particular evenings show. Then, we would see the airing of the show, Will would go home, and the episode was over. This week followed a completely different format. Not only did it cover one day in particular, election day 2010 (and the day after), but the show took us through a 6 week time span. In the course of that 6 weeks Will flat out attacks the Tea Party and it’s candidates and makes them look incredibly stupid. The network executives feel that Will, who has been fairly conservative throughout his career, is suddenly attacking conservatives. Has Will really started attacking conservatives from a liberal standpoint, or is he simply sticking to the facts? Charlie argues that he isn’t telling the story from the left, he’s telling it right down the middle and is happy to finally have a show he’s proud of.
Man oh man, I have to admit, Aaron Sorkin is really really freaking good at what he does. Television has to be his best format and it is hard to imagine him writing for something other than HBO where he has the freedom on speech and zero commercial breaks to work with. This episode was phenomenal, there is no other way to describe it. They did something completely different then they have done in the previous two weeks and it was awesome. Will’s attacks on the Tea Party are a sight to behold and I wish we would’ve had an actual news anchor doing what he did back in 2010 when this happened. Oh, and I almost forgot, how about Will’s apology at the very beginning? That was extremely well written and I feel that it does a perfect job of summing up the entire intention of his news program.
This week gave us a much more in-depth look at Don as a person. Up until this week it was hard to see him as anything other than a huge asshole, and then he drunkly confronts Jim after watching Will’s apology. Don says he could do the show that they’re doing and that he in fact would love to be a part of it. Jim tells him he can but then Don explains how he has a job to do. He has to bring up the ratings for the 10 o’clock news or else he is fired. Maggie is of course on his side as well, and just when we think that she and Jim are going to finally get together, Don swoops right back in. There is the moment of her panic attack though, where Jim flat out shows her why he would be such a better boyfriend then Don, but during this she tells him that he and Don should be friends. Yeah, we’ll see how that goes. I’m assuming Maggie was on the phone with her dad while she was outside, and then when she picks the phone the back up she says, “…that was him.” So she’s clearly telling other people about Jim but what exactly is she telling them? As much as this episode has humanized Don, I think we all can agree he is still mostly a prick and does not deserve Maggie at all.
While the show is going through the course of six weeks, we are constantly being shown segments of the meetings that Charlie is having with the network executives. I love Charlie. He is easily my favorite character in this series so far and this week he was absolutely hilarious. His open discourse for Reese is hysterical, and right in front of Reese’s mother too! It seems as though Charlie doesn’t quite have as much authority as we have been led to believe from the first two episodes. In fact, I would say it is pretty accurate to say he has about half as much authority as we were led to believe, or at least what I believed. I really hope that just because they lost the support of the Koch brothers doesn’t mean Will has to go back to his old “Jay Leno of news anchors” ways. I wonder if Charlie will tell anyone what is going on “upstairs” or if he will keep it to himself. I feel like he kind of has to say something, otherwise Will could be fired but if he does say anything then it will compromise everything they have worked for in the show. I guess we will just have to wait until next week to see what happens, and also what happens concerning Mackenzie and Will’s love lives.