As promised, we’re going to quickly dip our toes into the somewhat toxic pool of The Newsroom analysis. Like with any review or analysis, anything we say is ultimately futile and inconsequential, because, in the end, it’s not going to change the way you feel about the show, and it’s certainly not going to alter Aaron Sorkin’s vision or persuade him to reconsider his writing style. But in the case of The Newsroom, anything we say, any argument we make, feels especially meaningless in the wake of all the criticism and (less so) praise it’s received. But, hell, let’s be a Greater Fool and try anyway.
Let’s just say out of the gate that we like the show, and while that might put us in the minority we stand by our verdict. But what’s interesting or pertinent to us is not so much that we like it – or if it’s “good,” assuming there’s some kind of objective rubric which can calculate a show’s quality (which there’s not) – it’s the question of whether or not the show is worth watching. And we think the answer is: absolutely. Doesn’t that fact that the show seems to be so reviled (or snickered at) in so many corners yet still watched obsessively indicate there’s something of worth there? Certainly, The Newsroom doesn’t garner the same level of propulsive minute-by-minute Twitter reaction on Sunday evenings as Breaking Bad (nor does it come close to the AMC show’s unanimous, breathless praise), but it’s definitely one of the most talked about shows, even if much of that talk comes with head shaking, finger wagging and head scratching. And if the show was bad, unrelentingly terrible, it wouldn’t have lasted, or at least the discussion would have quieted down. We can’t imagine that if Work It had not been canceled after one week the din about its repugnancy would have continued. We would have had our fun and then watched it fade away, nary giving it another thought. But with The Newsroom the debate continued for ten episodes, and seemed to increase as we approached the season finale. Clearly, people were entertained by the show. Which, we certainly concede, isn’t necessarily the same as enjoying the show.
More as the story develops…
We promise that we’ll watch Breaking Bad one day. We PROMISE (we already watched the first three episodes when they originally aired – and we liked them! – so we’re basically half way there). But it’s okay, because we’ve already seen Bryan Cranston – today’s popular search term – push drugs. The guy boasts a long history of drug use and/or dissemination, well before he shaved his head to become Walter White. Like when he knocked out Jerry Seinfeld with nitrous oxide (and took a hit himself). We all remember that, right? And just a year later, there he was, trying to turn the impressionable young American public onto Excedrin. Really, it’s just a short trip from Aspirin to Meth.
And before we can get to Breaking Bad we need to finish The Wire. But we won’t be surprised if we find Cranston working one of the corners there.
The Emmy’s were handed out three nights ago, and in the internet world that’s about the equivalent of a fortnight, and everyone who can say it better than me has already said it better than me. But, just to put it on the permanent record, and to get us ready for the impending fall TV season, we thought we’d follow-up with a few humble thoughts of our own, in concise bullet-point form:
- Loved the opening bit, even if it was somewhat of a rehash of 6-Bee‘s glee club rendition of “We’re Not Going to Take It,” a performance that we still giddily cue up on our screen on a regular basis (as well as an audio version on our iPod). But with Tina Fey, Jon Hamm, Joel McHale, Jorge Garcia AND Tim Gunn it was like the Ocean’s 11 all-star version of the original Late Night piece, and it truly demanded some freak out control. Our worlds colliding, but in an amazing way.
- Speaking of Jon Hamm, now that his comedic genius has finally been exposed to a wide audience (30 Rock is still critically adored but commercially ignored, his appearances in viral videos only legitimately reach a small segment of the online viewing public, and even two turns hosting SNL don’t necessarily make you a household name these days), can we start having him be funny full-time? He’s so gifted, and so natural, it honestly feels like a waste forcing him to be so stoic and dour and cold on Mad Men (and we know we sound like a broken record on this, but we’re going to keep bring it up until it happens. Or until Mad Men becomes a farcical satire. Maybe in season 5). Sure, he’s magnetic, sexy and mysterious on the AMC drama, but it’s when he’s allowed to do comedy that he truly lights up. But after being seen dancing like an idiot on HDTVs all across the country maybe someone will give him a chance to headline a comedy. Perhaps something in the Apatowian genre. I think that’s a hit.