TV Review: The Newsroom, Season Premiere

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Plot: In the midst of the Boston Marathon bombings, Sloan (Olivia Munn) learns that the company that owns the Lansings is threatening to sell ACN over a drop in ratings. Neal (Dev Patel) is sent over 2,000 classified government documents that detail the slaying of three Americans in Kundu.

When it was announced that Aaron Sorkin’s The Newsroom was returning for a short and final season, I wasn’t surprised. After a dreadful Season 2 and a subpar Season 1, it was clear that viewers were having a tough time getting on board. As much as I loved watching a newsroom in action, the show’s faults, particularly how Sorkin portrays all of the female characters, became increasingly frustrating.

Jeff Daniels in The News Room.
Photo Credit: Melissa Mosely/HBO

I was at the point of giving up when I heard the final season news, and with much hesitation, I decided to give it a final shot. If you were reading the site when I was covering Dexter, you know I’m the type of person who watches a show until it’s very end, no matter how terrible it gets. Dexter’s end was an abomination, but judging from the premiere, The Newsroom’s final season is shaping up to be quite the opposite.

The third season premiere, “Boston,” starts off by introducing our two main plot lines — the big ACN takeover threat and Neal’s illegal gathering of government documents. What’s great about these two storylines is that they both tie into two possible endings for ACN. On one end, ACN has the possibility of being sold, which puts all of our news anchors’ jobs in jeopardy. The other is a massive legal issue for Neal, which inturn can bring about huge problems for the company. Right off the bat, we know Will’s (Jeff Daniels) speeches about keeping ACN afloat are not going to be as effective as past seasons. The network is going down somehow, it’s just a matter of how each of these two plots will be responsible in taking it down.

Like last season, Sorkin mixed these two fictional plotlines with a real one, the Boston Marathon Bombings. In typical Newsroom fashion, the group is having a hard time being the first to break the story. This part of the episode was mostly uninteresting, until Maggie (Alison Pill) steps up to the plate. In the beginning of the episode, the group reluctantly had sent Maggie out with Elliott (David Harbour) to Boston for live coverage. During this time, Elliott has an allergic reaction from eating walnuts which forces Maggie to report live on their findings. Maggie, who has been known to the group and to viewers as a living, breathing mess, gets in front of the camera and blows everyone out of the water.

Scene from the finale season of HBO's The Newsroom.
Photo Credit: Melissa Mosely/HBO.

This could be Sorkin’s way of apologizing us for basically turning her character into an empty shell, but let’s not jump the gun just yet. It’s a nice start and it’s great to see more of a strong female presence in this episode. If this will last for the rest of the season is still yet to be determined.

Overall, I’m pleased with how Season 3 is turning out. I’m still a little uncertain about how the season will progress but I have faith that Sorkin will put this to rest in the proper manner. I am excited about the fictional plots that are clearly taking front and center but I am even more excited about which real-time stories will be used. Reflecting on those major events is what attracted me to this show in the first place and it is what I will really miss when the show comes to an end.

Rating: 7 out of 10

The Newsroom begins its final season Sunday night, November 9th at 9pm on HBO.

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Lauren Stern is the managing editor of Pop-BReak.com and is responsible for curating the site’s content. This includes managing the editorial staff, coordinating the content calendar, and assigning publishing dates and deadlines. She graduated Rutgers University with a degree in Journalism and Philosophy. She spends her free time searching for the best gluten-free food in the Tri-State area, playing with her dogs, and reading an insane amount of books. She tweets constantly about pop culture and social issues and hopes you follow her musings @laurenpstern.
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