We think it’s fair to say that Hurricane Sandy was deranged (happily deranged? that’s debatable), and while we regret the target that she chose – one so close to home – we’re happy that the worst is over and we’re now into the recovery and rebuilding process. It’s not entirely fair to blame the theme song to The Adventures of Pete & Pete for all this death and destruction and general disturbance but Polaris always seemed kind of bizarre, and “Hey Sandy” always seemed kinda mysterious, something about it that we couldn’t trust. With that in mind, we have today’s A Newsroom A Day, and with it, hopefully, we say “Later, Sandy.”
Don’t you talk back.
But we’re bound for better days.
We’re doing a bit of a Stephen J. Cannell tribute with this week’s A Newsroom A Day. We like to think he would be proud.
If Will McAvoy is Hannibal Smith, then does that make Charlie Skinner B.A. Baracus?
There is no middle ground.
We’ve been diligently posting remixed Newsroom opening credits over on our sister site A Newsroom A Day, and we thought we would be remiss if we didn’t share today’s entry here. We think this is our favorite one so far, although it makes us miss Game of Thrones oh so much.
And while we’re on the subject of Game of Thrones mash-ups, we’d also be remiss if we didn’t use this opportunity to point you towards this brilliant GoT meets Parks and Recreation illustration done by our very close personal friend Steve Ponzo.
And, sadly, winter is coming.
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…
Having wrapped up its first season this past Sunday, there was a lot to like about Aaron Sorkin’s The Newsroom. And a lot not to like. But we’re going to get to all (or some) of that in another post. Whether or not you liked the show, found the writing brilliant, whip-smart and incisive or hackneyed, cloying and self-indulgent, found the female characters to be hysterical, underwritten, overacted cartoons or relatable, well-rounded representations of women balancing breaking news with breaking hearts, there’s one thing about The Newsroom about which you can’t argue: the opening title sequence is really, really long. One minute thirty seconds long. Clearly, Sorkin was eager to take advantage of every additional minute afforded to him by cable, and, perhaps, we should be grateful that instead of another Will McAvoy soliloquy (a McAliloquy?) we’re offered a montage of Edward R. Murrow and Walter Cronkite and the unimpeachable giants of broadcast journalism set to the epic and strangely melancholy strings and piano of Michael Newman’s grand musical theme, and it seems as if every single crew member gets their name up on-screen in that 90 seconds. We immediately felt that this dramatic opening and score was the direct successor to Sorkin’s The West Wing, and that, perhaps, the two openings were interchangeable. And then we began to imagine what The Newsroom opening credits would feel like if those striking and symbolic images (and Jeff Daniels) were paired with some of television’s other memorable themes.
And, thus, A Newsroom A Day was born. Over at our new Tumblr, we’re making that idea a reality, each day presenting The Newsroom opening titles with a different – perhaps popular, perhaps not – theme song (which has proven much more difficult than presumed, mostly because the majority of themes – even the most campy, expository, interminable ones from the 80s – are no longer than a minute). We started with the genuine article, then followed up on our initial West Wing hunch, and today we bring you The Newsroom if it met one of our favorite furry visitors from outer space.
We’ll be uploading these remixes here as well, but perhaps not as regularly, so feel free to go ahead and bookmark that Tumblr page.
Good night, and good luck.
In our discussion last week about Community‘s upcoming move to Friday nights we confidently predicted that, despite swirling rumors, we saw no reason why Dan Harmon would not return as Community showrunner. Perhaps we should have been more precise with our diction. What we meant was that we saw no reason why Harmon would choose not to return. The idea that NBC/Sony would not bring him back never crossed our minds. So while we still stand by what we wrote last week we were shocked and dismayed (like everyone else) when we learned over the weekend that Harmon was replaced as showrunner and essentially fired from his own show (however, unlike everyone else, we read the news on our phone during a bachelor party in Chicago, after sleeping off the night before).
More: examining the body, looking for a motivation…
We just thought of this randomly one day, but let’s just say this is in anticipation of Sunday’s Girls premiere. At the very least, it gives us a coule extra tags.
Unbelievably, we’re about to enter our third calendar year in existence. It seems like just yesterday we were scrambling to put together our best of the decade lists (which makes sense, because we didn’t actually post one of those until this week). In 2011 we hope to be even more timely, on-point and just plain better. Until then, let’s try to end 2010 on a high note with our not-at-all anticipated Best Shows of the Year:
1. Community: This was an absolute no-brainer. Far and away Community was the most original, ambitious, rewarding, warm, funny, creative, fearless show of 2010. It was just a little over a year ago when the show delivered its holiday episode, “Comparative Religion” (featuring mustachio’d Anthony Michael Hall), and we began to feel then that the show was truly building towards something special. When Community returned in January of this year it began what should be considered one of the greatest runs of any comedy series in television history, playing “can you top that?” with itself from week to week. Solid episodes like “Investigative Journalism” with Jack Black, “Physical Education” with a nearly naked Joel McHale, and the truly superb Goodfellas tribute “Contemporary American Poultry” culminated in the single best episode of 2010 across the board, the paintball-splattered, action movie homage masterpiece “Modern Warfare” (we know that we’ve already proclaimed the greatness of this episode, but it’s worth doing over and over again).
Keep reading: More on why Community is the best show of 2010. And 9 other good ones…