Review: HBO’s The Newsroom

Disclaimer:  I consider myself to be a huge Aaron Sorkin fan.  I watched every episode of Sports Night when it originally aired – I still have each one of a VHS tape.  I’ve seen his movies and of course, also have a love affair with The West Wing, and wish in real life I could vote Jed Bartlett for President.

With that said, I also work in a real life newsroom.  I’ve been a news junkie my entire adult life and have been in or around newsrooms for the past 15 years or so, so I feel like this show was really something I would either LOVE or HATE.

And I was right – I’m in love.

I’ve read a lot of reviews critical of the show; “it’s not realistic,” it’s predictable,” and so forth.

I’ve watch the pilot episode twice now…and still…love it.

Some thoughts:

I’ve spent way too much time during the first episode trying to figure out which newsroom system they were using.  I’m guessing Dalet?  INews? If so – can someone please tell us how to color code the AP feeds? Because we could really use it.

I’ve had old newsroom systems that did this – which is helpful, and I loved that they really did bring the humor of the AP colors into the episode – a true inside the newsroom joke.

The storyline of the intern – turn assistant – turn Associated Producer.  TRUE STORY.  I’ve seen it happen! You would be amazed at some of the true stories in this business of where people started.  A real lesson in this: don’t get too caught up in business titles – you will most likely end up working for the secretary someday.

I felt the show was inspiring and some of the honesty in the show is a huge take away for newsrooms today.  Get the big news decisions out from behind closed doors and into the newsroom.  Have those discussions about what should be covered and how it should be covered.  Should the story include certain info? Do we trust our sources? Allow reporters to develop actual sources and don’t be so afraid of a lawsuit that you’re constantly under reporting topics.  Easy to say in an HBO drama – but so much truth to what is missing from newsrooms of today.

Unrealistic:

First and foremost – there’s no drinking. At all. Maybe 20 years ago, maybe still 15 years ago.  But that would NEVER happen today.  Especially drinking with the boss on the anchor desk? Please.  If there is a station like this that exists in American, please let men know and then hire me.

What’s Ahead:
Obvious love interest angles already seen on the first episode.  It will be interesting to see where that goes.

Interesting to see where they are going with the drunk boss plot.  And interesting to see where Jane Fonda will fit into this mix.

The first episode has swept me off my feet.  Now, let’s see if this will be a lasting relationship.

2 thoughts on “Review: HBO’s The Newsroom

  1. The Trouble With Technology Not that we expected to find out so soon why Mack and Will’s romantic relationship came to an end years ago, but writer/creator Aaron Sorkin lays it on us using the all-too-familiar modern-day calamity of the accidental “Reply All.” Mackenzie, bless her heart, just can’t figure out how to use her BlackBerry, and when she thinks she fires off an emotionally charged email to only Will, she unknowingly BCC’s the entire department.

  2. I’ve heard so much negative criticism towards the unrealistic aspects of the show’s portrayal of the newsroom, so it’s interesting to hear the opinion of someone who actually works in news review The Newsroom. I’m happy to hear you like it as much as I do! If you’ve been keeping up, you’ll know that the last episode strongly projected the message that this country is receiving information from sources that are only concerned with ratings, advertising and profits. I would be curious to hear your response on that! I was discussing the matter with a few Dish coworkers of mine, and we all agreed that there are some kernels of truth to that message. That’s one thing I love about The Newsroom; it has the ability to stir up conversation! All I know is I’m glad I upgraded my DVR to the Hopper that comes with heaps of recording space, so I know I won’t be missing an episode of The Newsroom, along with other brilliant series from HBO. Do you watch anything like The Wire, Girls or Boardwalk Empire. They are also worth checking out!

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