Days, even months, before last night’s premiere of The Newsroom aired HBO, I was convinced that Season 2 was going to be just as fantastic (maybe even more) as Season 1. But to my surprise, others around me didn’t share the same sentiment. “I don’t know how Sorkin is going to make it better than Season 1,” they would say. It was a valid concern considering there was a lot of criticism surrounding the first season, and also because who doesn’t have that concern about a second season of a TV show?
But I knew what I was getting into. I knew Sorkin was going to blow us out of the water. I just didn’t think it would happen the moment the clock hit 10 pm on the season 2 premiere date. It was clear from the moment the *new* opening credits played, viewers were entering a completely different ballpark here. Yes, The Newsroom we all know and loved is back, but now it is more refined and well…better.
Here’s the lowdown on what went on last night:
The After Effects of A Bad Journalistic Move
The first episode of Season 2 is a series of flashbacks following the broadcast where Will McAvoy (Jeff Daniels) calls the Tea Party “American Taliban.” Not only was this new nickname a bad journalistic move, but essentially the starting point to more drama that will most likely be revealed later in the season. We do know so far that he and Mac (Emily Mortimer) are meeting with First Amendment lawyers about the events subsequent to this incident, which deal with a wrongful termination lawsuit surrounding Genoa. But we have yet to discover all of the details of what happened between the nickname and the lawyer meetings. At this point, it is only clear to viewers that Genoa is a term describing a secret military operation the News Night crew reported on that actually never occurred.
For now, we only see the after effects of the statement itself and the backlash ACN received. The first person to be affected is Reese (Chris Messina), who gets left out of the SOPA meeting. Then, Jim (John Gallagher Jr.), when he reaches New Hampshire to follow the Romney campaign and gets left off the bus by one of the campaign members. Finally, we see how it affects Will and Mac, which for now is only Charlie’s (Sam Waterson) executive decision to drop him from the network’s upcoming 9/11 Memorial Special.
This is only the beginning…
The Newsroom Love Triangle
I think I can get away with speaking for all Newsroom fans when I say that Sorkin left us all extremely disappointed when he revealed that Maggie (Alison Pill) chose Don (Thomas Sadoski) instead of Jim at the end of last season. I know I was totally frustrated, as I was rooting for them for 10 straight episodes. I mean, we all knew that there was something between them, and in the end they knew it too, why couldn’t Sorkin just stop there?
Well, I guess the answer there is to bring in more of a twist to this love triangle. This episode we saw that there is a clear awkwardness between Maggie and Jim, and the tension is so bad that Jim practically begged Mac to either fire him or send him to New Hampshire on the Romney bus for a few weeks. He leaves, and while he is gone he misses the “official” end of Maggie and Don, finally.
How did it end exactly? Well, remember in Season 1 when Maggie accidentally professed her love to Jim to a crowd of tourists on a Sex and the City tour bus? A YouTube clip has surfaced the internet of it, prompting Don to realize and accept what was really going on in Maggie’s head all this time. It was a breakup that was as amicable as it was awkward.
So the big question is… What will happen to Jim and Maggie and does Don still have a chance with Sloane (Olivia Munn)? I guess we’ll have to wait around to find out.
Neil’s New Story
Remember when thousands upon thousands of people invaded Zucchoni Park in New York City? Or the slogan “We are the 99%”? Yes, Neil (Dev Patel)’s muse moved from Big Foot to Occupy Wall Street this season, fitting the bill of something actually worthy of ACN coverage (Though Neil’s adorable geekiness when it comes to Big Foot is surely unforgettable).
Right now in the season, Neil is at the beginning stages. He only pitched the story to Mac and started going to OWS meetings. But we know Neil better than to just stop there. As if ACN needs any more trouble right now…
Other Favorite Moments
Will McAvoy humming Rebecca Black’s “Friday” while the boardroom temporarily crashed down is now one of my favorite Newsroom scenes. Oh, 2011. Also, Charlie’s scene with Sloane is inevitably hilarious. I hope really hope there’s more screen time between those two this season.
Also, I love the scene where Mac introduces Jim’s replacement to Will and Sloane barges in about drones. I first caught a glimpse of this as a sneak peek before the premiere, and it was still hilarious the second time around.
What will the fate of this news team be this season? I can’t even begin to describe how excited I am to find out.