We’re big enough to admit when we’re wrong, and we were dead wrong when we suggested earlier this week that Tom Hanks’s breathtaking slam poetry performance on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon was the grand finale to what had been a stellar week of appearances on talk shows and telethons. We don’t want to go out on a limb and say that he saved the best for last – because a) we don’t want to be wrong again, and b) we hope there’s still more to come (a visit to Good Day New York, perhaps? – but the self-proclaimed (and rightly so) living legend may have topped himself again last night, as he stopped by The Colbert Report to suggest a few affordable costumes for some good, old-fashioned Spooky Time Halloween Fun (but no Josh Baskin?).
[In an interesting twist, Colbert appeared earlier that night on the latest Office, as case of someone we adore popping up on one of our favorite shows, only to have the person we adore the most pop up on Colbert’s own show later in the evening. Sort of a Russian nesting doll kinda thing]
When will the government go ahead and declare Tom Hanks a national landmark already? That’s Day One stuff.
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…