Tag Archives: Will McAvoy

The (mc)A(voy)-Team

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?

 

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Filed under A Newsroom A Day, Jump Streets Ahead

11 Years Since (September)11: On Grief, Despair and American Flag Speedos

“Ain’t no shame in holding onto grief . . . as long as you make room for other things too.”

Reginald “Bubbles” Cousins, The Wire 

We wanted to keep this bright and sunny and cheerful and light on the 11th anniversary of the September 11th attacks, and heed the words of Bubbles (Season 5, Episode 9) by making room for Will Ferrell sporting an American Flag Speedo. Unfortunately, we just can’t find that SNL sketch in its entirety online, either because Ferrell reveals too much of his undercarriage to get past the Hulu censors or because this sketch is included on the Best of Will Ferrell and NBC wants to protect its DVD assets. Either way, our attempt to demonstrate some levity on such a somber day was thwarted. So, instead, we will revert back to holding onto the grief and commemorate this day – and the still lingering sadness and pain – with our original choice, Jon Stewart’s personal, emotional, gut-wrenching but still hopeful words to open the first The Daily Show following the tragedy.

So there ain’t no shame in holding onto grief. Just don’t hold onto despair.

This should be required viewing every year for everyone, and just proves even more that we  already have our Will McAvoy.

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Filed under Brilliance, Lady Holiday

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

Introducing: A Newsroom A Day

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.

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Filed under Slow News Day, We'll Get It In Post