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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

‘Survivor: Redemption Island’ Finale: Pawn Stars

Our Redemption Island journey came to an end Sunday night, and while the home stretch of the season had been rather uneventful and predictable, if economical, we still had the chance for fireworks in the last two hours.  Would Rob complete what was unquestionably one of – if not the – definitive Survivor performances, winning it all in his fourth attempt?  Or, perhaps, would Matt fulfill his destiny and return from Redemption Island to become the Sole Survivor (if that was God’s will)?  Or would Mike, the lone remaining member of Zapatera, the double threat of soldier and Jesus lover,  reenter the game and lockup votes from his former teammates?  Or would Grant, the remarkable physical specimen, go undefeated down the stretch, the jury rewarding  his unparalleled athletic prowess with a million dollars.  Or, finally, would Andrea prove victorious in the final Redemption Island duel and surprise us all by going all the way to the end?  Well, there’s no way that could happen, right?

Wrong! But could anyone possibly stand in the way of Boston Rob???

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Filed under Analysis, Be careful what you wish for, Century 21 Reality, God Laughs, LOST, Masochism, Tribal Council, You Decide