I was recently stuck in a car with four friends, complaining about the heat and 4th of July traffic when we got on the topic of great TV shows. Game of Thrones, Homeland and Shameless were thrown out there, and then I brought up The Newsroom. Another person in the car agreed that he’s excited for season two’s premiere when the driver asked, “why should I watch it?” A simple question, with a less simple answer, but let me try to explain why this is one of the best shows on TV…
1. Aaron Sorkin’s writing is genius. If you even stop paying attention for a millisecond you’ve missed approximately 50 important details. In true Sorkin-style, the dialogue is quick and smart so you’ll never get bored. More importantly, it’s a show that makes you think so it balances out how many brain cells I lose watching Real Housewives.
2. Jeff Daniels was born to play Will McAvoy, anchor and managing editor of Atlantis Cable News’ (ACN) “News Night.” He’s self-assured, harsh and ungodly intelligent yet incredibly vulnerable and emotional. You never know what to expect from him.
3. The season one premiere may have the best opening scene of all time. I realize this is a bold statement, but it’s true. A simple question (cough, assumption, cough) launches it all – “Why is America the greatest country in the world?” Will’s answer, “it’s not,” and his full rant is incredible. If you don’t believe me, watch it for yourself.
4. You get a behind the scenes look at a newsroom – the stress, excitement and all the conflicting personalities that go along with it.
5. The Newsroom’s storyline means more now than it would have 10 years ago. With social media, online publications and blogs, news unfolds differently than it used to, which is a challenge for traditional media. The show focuses on high-integrity stories, credible journalism and why it’s important to not jump the gun and risk misreporting the news. You’ll wish the show’s fictional network, ACN, was real.
6. You get another look, and a fresh perspective, on major news events. The show premieres with the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in April 2010, includes Anthony Weiner’s unfortunate Twitter pic, the Casey Anthony trial, and ends with a NSA phone-hacking story (seriously, Sorkin, how do you do it?) in 2011. Season two will focus on the 2012 presidential election, Occupy Wall Street, and more.
7. It’s emotional. There’s something everyone can relate to. Example: Episode 7, “5/1” the day we found out Osama bin Laden was killed. As a viewer, I was automatically brought back to that night, watching President Obama make the official announcement just days before my college graduation. It’s pretty spectacular when TV has the power to transport you back to a specific moment in time.
8. Jim Harper is nerdy hot and the tension between Don Keefer and him for Maggie’s affection is ahhhh-mazing. The love triangles are half the show’s drama and some excellent entertainment. You’re never 100 percent sure who you should root for.
9. The cast is brilliant – Jeff Daniels, Sam Waterston, Emily Mortimer, John Gallagher Jr., Alison Pill, Thomas Sadoski, Dev Patel, Olivia Munn, Jane Fonda, Chris Messina…Do I need to keep going?
10. Season two premieres this Sunday. Good news – if you haven’t watched season one, you still have a few days to catch up. Now get to it!
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