thewrongkindofpc: ryan ross in dark glasses, in a car with a cat on his shoulder (Default)
[personal profile] thewrongkindofpc posting in [community profile] moreasthestorydevelops
Hey, so this is me poking around the internet to see if I can find some active, current Newsroom fans to babble at over this season.

I finally saw the first episode of the new season the other night, and I had the strangest feeling, where I could totally see, really feel, all the critical allegations against the show, could see exactly why people might think it was preachy, overblown and self righteous, but taken all at once, within the full package of the show, I ended up finding even those flaws largely really enjoyable?

It's like a cake--self-indulgent, very possibly not good for me (at least if we are operating under the assumption that NOT being a smug, righteous, wanna-be-intellectual-asshole is what is good for me), but DAMN is it satisfying.

I am not trying to bash this show--I just realized it might be starting to sound like I am, and that is incredibly not true, and I know this is SO not the place for that to be getting confused, but really, Sorkin? The scene where he reaches back through time to speak through Neal and warn Occupy Wall Street about why they would fail? MORE THAN A BIT HEAVY HANDED, NO?

I was really digging the greater inclusion of Neal this season so far, though. He and Sloan are definitely my favorites (though shhhh, don't tell. I am clearly very subtle), though not together--there were a few minutes last season when it looked like the show might be going to a Neal/Sloan place that really wasn't doing it for me. I am much more excited that it looks like we might get some Don/Sloan.

(I maybe ship Jim/Neal a whole lot, please don't judge. I love Maggie to bits but am not convinced that she and Jim are as ~MFEO~ as the show's trajectory would indicate, and I really love the idea that JIM HAS SUCH A THING FOR IDEALISTS. He has a definite type, that way, from Mac to Maggie straight through to Neal, who is the most idealistic idealist around. HE IS SO VERY MUCH MY FAVE.

That bit with "Has anyone talked to him?" after Jim RUNS AWAY FROM HOME and Neal's "He called me" made me waaaay happier than it should have, tbh.)

Anyway, this post is pretty much just to poke my head in, say hi, and see if anyone's down to be enthused about the new season with me. Hello! Anybody out there?

Date: 24 July 2013 05:25 pm (UTC)
erinptah: (Default)
From: [personal profile] erinptah
Well, I'm still watching, though "enthusiasm" is probably a stretch :/

I loved Mac's ten minutes of being hypercompetent in a high-stress situation, and just wish we could see her like that 100% of the time, instead of getting scenes where she thinks you can stop someone from opening their email by breaking a single computer.

Also, Sloan. Everything about Sloan. She's the anchor who's actually doing what the show wants us to believe Will is doing: fighting to tell the stories that really matter, even when it's politically risky. (Which makes the way Charlie gets away with insulting her, while adoring Will, even more awful. It doesn't matter how awesome and credible and thoughtful she is, he still gets to mock her for wearing a skirt.)

Will is more about saying ~edgy things for the sake of edginess ("Tea Party: American Taliban, amirite?") and then backing down and/or doing the politically-safe thing to compensate (letting the idea of unchecked US drone strikes go unchallenged). Liberals in his audience will get some angry rhetoric from him, but none of the solid facts and strong arguments they actually need.

The romances have yet to do anything for me. I don't think Maggie-and-Jim or Will-and-Mac are ~MFEO~, and the show keeps painting them as totally romantic without doing the legwork of showing us long-form scenes to back it up. (Come to think of it, Will is kind of a microcosm of the whole show in that way...)

So, yeah. I kind of want Sloan, competent!Mac, maybe Neal, and that guy who wouldn't let Reese Lansing into a meeting to ditch everyone else and go do their own show.

Date: 24 July 2013 09:46 pm (UTC)
erinptah: (rainbow)
From: [personal profile] erinptah
I wouldn't even call the relationships slow-burn. They're more like "fast-burn, then throw in all sorts of really artificial obstacles to compensate for the fact that you burned too fast." Like, Maggie constantly and loudly pushing Jim together with her roommate. (While from the beginning, Lisa is going "Jim, you like Maggie, don't you?" and Don is going "Is anyone else thinking Maggie is into Jim more than me?") Then Maggie and Jim actually kiss, but instead of breaking up with Don, Maggie accepts an offer to move in with him. Then Jim goes across the country, so he's conveniently not around when Don dumps Maggie. It's all so contrived :/

The dialogue is sometimes snappy and engaging, it's true. And, yeah, it has Sloan.

I'm both interested in and afraid of what they're going to do to "sorority girl." It was nice that they brought her back as a smart and driven character at the end, so she's not just a one-note "dumb blonde girl" joke who gets tossed away after getting the plot started.

On the other hand, your fears sound pretty reasonable; the way they show her to be smart and driven is (so far) largely "look, she's learned to idolize Will and want to be just like him." And Will still can't be bothered to learn her name. (If the pinnacle of her arc turns out to be "finally Will deems her worthy enough that he starts calling her by her name" there will not be enough facepalm in the world.)

Date: 31 July 2013 06:59 am (UTC)
erinptah: (daily show)
From: [personal profile] erinptah
I'm almost always up for more Newsroom discussion! Feel free to make new posts for new episodes, too, so other people will be more likely to join in =)

It's hard to be satisfying with Jim's storyline because it's so smugness-in-hindsight. Like, it was wonderful and satisfying and provided a lot of catharsis when the Daily Show and the Colbert Report were saying the same thing in real-time, because they were stepping up and calling it out. But at this point it's just safe, unimaginative gloating.

Also, the last two episodes have both had a pattern of "every other scene involves 2-3 characters rehashing the latest developments in one of the romance plots." Can't we just have Jim and Maggie doing further interesting things, instead of the umpteenth replay of the YouTube clip of the last interesting thing they did?

(And why on Earth is Maggie moving back in with Lisa at all? Lisa should have gotten a new roommate already. Even accepting that she hasn't, she should pass on Maggie and look for a different one now. It's not like there's a shortage of people who can't afford to live in NYC on their own.)

So fed up with Will. He's back to his "mission to civilize!" rhetoric, which would be annoying only in a minor way, except that last episode he was all "we report, we don't editorialize" on both the Troy Davis case and the subject of drone strikes. I'm no fan of the Tea Party, but they aren't in some special class of awfulness where their actions deserve callouts while the direct murders of innocent human beings don't.

I never saw The Social Network, but I would approve of this crossover.

Sloan continues to be wonderful. I love it when she gets to call out workplace harassment. (Although I would like it more if she didn't have to put up with the workplace harassment in the first place.) And I appreciated Don backing her up -- it's refreshing when they show that, in addition to not being sexist themselves, men should be actively calling out the sexism of their fellow men.

Neal is being interesting. Neal-and-Mac are being interesting. I...am not angry at that storyline in general, which is often the best I can say of storylines in this show ^_^;

If only Sorkin could have resisted adding "lol, those women, you know how they are about their shoes!!" jokes into the conversation.

And if only he could stop excusing everything his characters do. It's probably most obvious with Will and Charlie, but even here: it's obscene that Mac paid what for me would be three months' rent on a single pair of shoes. If Will mentioned that trait about a CEO he was arguing with on his show, it would be a sign of their corruption, excess, and disconnect with the vast majority of the country who are struggling just to pay their bills.

But on Mac, it's treated as cutsey. She's never going to have to do any serious introspection about whether it's a problem. She gets to joke "hey now, don't you insult my shoes, I take them very seriously due to being quirky and also A Lady," and we're supposed to think, aww, how cute! We may be mad about the economy but we're not going to get mad at you, because you are A Good Character who totally deserves $1200 footwear.

Ugh.

I...did not have a low proportion of rage-watching this episode, as you might have guessed ^_^;

Date: 2 August 2013 06:07 pm (UTC)
erinptah: Vintage screensaver (computing)
From: [personal profile] erinptah
Not counting the original incident as we saw it last season, we have Don playing the video in episode 1, then Maggie recaps it for Sloan, then recaps it for Jim, then recaps it for the woman who filmed it, then Lisa plays it for Maggie, then Jim plays it all alone. I guess, to be fair, they didn't seem to play it in episode 3, so they may be over it by now...

I like your headcanon alternate reading of the show much better than what we're actually getting.

Weddings can be horribly expensive, but to be fair, that's a big special occasion where you're celebrating a life-changing event and likely getting your whole family together. I don't mind the idea of people getting crazy-indulgent every once in a while. It's when it becomes a way of life that it gets ridiculous.

Don has been having some decent moments (setting aside the "suddenly, Troy Davis becomes a source of angst for all the white people in the newsroom!" subplot). Neal's been good. Sloan has continued to be crushingly awesome and criminally underappreciated. I'm still willing to watch for Sloan's sake alone.

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