Tag Archives: New York Magazine

America’s #1 Fake Real News Show: On ‘The Newsroom’

Will McAvoyAs 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…

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Filed under Analysis, Checks & Balances, It's Not Television, New Favorite Show, Other people's stuff

And Speaking of Ripping Us Off, Did Rolling Stone Rip Us Off? (What Was That We Were Saying About Jimmy Fallon?)

On Monday, for our Gratuitous Search Term Bait of the Day, we posted a couple Late Night with Jimmy Fallon clips and the photo of his recent New York Magazine cover, all below a headline referring to Fallon as “Mr. Sunshine.”  So imagine our surprise when the new Rolling Stone arrived in our mailbox yesterday with this cover:

We’re not sure what kind of black magic you employed to pull it off, Rolling Stone, but clearly you saw the post that we published extremely late on Monday evening and somehow rushed this cover to print in time to be delivered by Tuesday afternoon.  Fess up!  First Stephen Colbert infringes on our turf, and now Rolling Stone.  What happened to the rules of decorum for tweeting and journalism (in that order)?  It’s one thing to cop from New York Magazine (which we do from their Vulture blog all the time), but it’s a whole other thing to steal from us.

We guess chivalry IS dead.

(but go ahead and pick up the new issue, or at least read the article, because Fallon most certainly deserves all the attention)

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Filed under Gratuitous Search Term Bait, Internet Killed the Print Media Star, Other people's stuff, Rip-off

Meanwhile, Over On ‘Late Night’…

…Jimmy Fallon just keeps rolling along, delivering the best, most innovative comedy on the long side of midnight.  Adding to their already great pantheon of short videos, like “Late,” “6-bee” and “7th Floor West,” Late Night recently debuted the series “Suckers,” which simultaneously parodies/pays homage to Twilight, True Blood, Broadway and probably two or three other works that we missed (Vampire Diaries, maybe? Help us out).

Vodpod videos no longer available.

According to Bill Carter’s new book, The War for Late Night, when NBCU Chairman Jeff Gaspin phoned the Late Night brain trust – Lorne Michaels, Fallon, producer Michael Shoemaker – to inform them of the possibility of moving their show back 30 minutes to 1am, they acceded, with Shoemaker telling Gaspin “We love what we’re doing. Don’t worry about us.”  And that idea, that they love what they’re doing, is so obvious, and is also contagious.  Already somewhat left to their own devices at 12:30am, a move to 1am probably wouldn’t impact them that much, as long as they got to keep producing the same slick videos and playing the same silly audience games.  Whereas we argued in an earlier post that while Conan is changing the late night game by moving to basic cable, it’s Fallon who’s genuinely doing something different with his hour.  And for all the talk of the Team Coco and I’m with Coco web campaigns, it’s Fallon who has truly embraced new media (launching an online version of Late Night before debuting the broadcast show, hosting one of the best blogs on the net, as a couple of examples).  As he’s gone on record saying, Fallon doesn’t really care when his show airs, because his audience will find him on their DVRs or online.  Of course, if the product isn’t good, no one will watch, even if the show is readily available through several media outlets.  Luckily for Jimmy Fallon and Late Night, their product is real good.

And for more on the subject, you’d be a fool not to read this much more illuminating profile of Jimmy Fallon in this week’s New York Magazine.  He also graces the cover, adorably:

 

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Filed under Good Humor, Internet Killed the Print Media Star, Other people's stuff, Talkies