The season finale of The Newsroom, “The Greater Fool,” only confirmed everything I expected from the Aaron Sorkin HBO offering after seeing the first episode. Sorkin's clear mission was to use the setting of a cable news network as the vehicle through which he would take-down people and groups that are an anathema to him (read: Republicans/Conservatives). But based on his impressive track record (The West Wing), I never expected The Newsroom to suck so much.
Sorkin’s straw-man arguments reached their zenith of ridiculousness when his avatar, Will McAvoy, labels the Tea Party the “American Taliban” while showing a dubious laundry list of their vices which do nothing to prove his case. I’m certain a fascinating series could be produced that effectively explores the Tea Party (and Occupy movements) that isn’t as laughably sad as Sorkin’s self-righteous attempt.
As I gave up bothering to argue the politics of the episode, I was left to judge the storyline and character development. And, as has been the case all season, both struck me as embarrassingly pathetic.
Of course, no one really expected Will McAvoy's firing by Leona Lansing to stick. But, the last minute reprieve Charlie devises whereby Leona is forced to confront her son Reese's phone hacking scheme was too convenient. I half expected Reese to breakdown like Col. Jessup in A Few Good Men and start yelling that he ordered "the Code Red." Charlie breaks Leona and Reese by producing an incriminating envelope which leads to Reese's confession. It turns out that the envelope only contained a recipe for beef stew. Please. Real ball-busters like Leona and Reese would have at least opened the damn envelope before blathering all the facts onto Charlie’s concealed recording device like a bad Law and Order episode. Wouldn't they?
As I said ten weeks ago, I hate The Newsroom.
- Don and Maggie are working into the night to build Will's hit piece on the Tea Party. Yet, Jim has time to waste taking a Sex and the City bus tour? And does anyone really buy the "Maggie screaming at the top of her lungs at the bus then suddenly seeing Jim" device? Sad.
- MacKenzie reveals in the finale that she was the one who held up those hand written signs Will saw at the back of the auditorium in the opening scene of the series. MacKenzie opens up her work folder to show him. So, if MacKenzie has had the same yellow pad in her folder for 15 months which, except for two pages, had no writing on it, was she only pretending to take notes all season?
- Best Tweet: "That awkward moment when you wake from a coma, see all your HIPPA rights have been violated and your ex starts assaulting you." @MissSpenyouth
- Just when I thought the Jim/Don/Maggie love triangle couldn't be more stupid, Sloan admits to having a thing for Don. Yaaaaaawn.
- People keep asking me WHY I waste so much time on a show I hate. Perhaps Darren Franich's Entertainment Weekly piece can answer that better than I.
"The Rise of Hate-Watching: Which TV shows do you love to despise?
...Hate-Watching” is NOT the same as a guilty pleasure. You wouldn’t tune in every week to hate-watch a really “bad” reality show — that’s a guilty pleasure. Generally speaking, hate-watching requires a TV series with high ambitions and features a certain amount of aesthetic perfection — Smash and The Newsroom are both glossy productions with talented actors — yet fails consistently and badly enough to make it compelling."
Sorkin Misogyny Watch
- Once again Mackenzie appears mechanically challenged when she accidentally unplugs Will's IV drip. Do those things really come out that easily?
- Will greets Leona Lansing (Jane Fonda) by saying her body still looks good enough to do a Playboy spread. Really? BTW, besides being an insulting misogynist, Sorkin is also an anachronistic misogynist. Maxim is the new Playboy. I'm just saying.