Everything Aaron Sorkin touches turns to gold.  He’s a fantastic writer who loves anything that screams ‘of the moment’.  The Social Network anyone?  And his latest project, television show The Newsroom is no exception.  While the first season has completed, I think we can safely assume that we’ll be in it for the long haul (let’s hope I didn’t just jinx it).

The Premise:

As a journalist student, unfortunately I have witnessed firsthand that journalism in the 21st century has turned to shit.  People aren’t reading the news, print media is dying, and everyone is turning to news they want to hear…even if it isn’t what they need to know.

Furthermore, as readerships decline, major news corporations are finding new ways, and new backers, to support them.  And as much as we’d like it to not be true, most financial backers (ie.  squillionaires) have political motivations.  And so, instead of having a ‘media watchdog’ we have news outlets that create news that often acts as political propaganda.  Fox News anyone?

So Newsroom centres around a popular cable news show, News Night, that decides to produce real-news.  Nothing candy-coated, nothing right-wing, left-wing, anything-wing, but news that people want, and more importantly, need to know.

Because, as anchor Will McAvoy puts it, the most dangerous thing is an ‘ill-informed electorate’

The Cast:

Jeff Daniels pokes up his head for what seems like the longest time as crabby anchor Will McAvoy.  With a salary in the millions and the fame to go alongside it, McAvoy is used to getting his way and proving his point.  Only thing is, with new executive producer MacKenzie on the team, it seems he no longer has control.  Saying that however, McAvoy also believes in the importance of news, and fights as hard as everyone else on the team at News Night to produce high-quality, informative news.

Emily Mortimer plays EP MacKenzie, and she is the driving force behind the change.  And while she is the leader in her field, at times she isn’t wanted.  Why?  Because she was in a relationship with Will…until she cheated on him.

John Gallagher Jr. plays Jim Harper, right hand man to MacKenzie, and all-around probably most perfect guy ever.  What’s that?  Yes, I may have developed a crush on him at some point in the series (episode one), despite the fact that he can’t get his shit together when it comes to his feelings for fellow worker, Maggie (Alison Pill).

Why You Should Watch It:

While there are aspects of Newsroom that scream I LOVE AMERICA, it also provides insight into a world that many people take for granted.  Furthermore, while there are office romances and the occasional unrealistic plot line, the essence of the television show in its portrayal of news in modern society is spot-on.

Overall the acting is fantastic, and there are particular lines that will make you laugh out loud (Jim Harper: “If I were a woman I’d spend all day kissing other women.  I don’t understand gay men or straight women”).

Lastly, Sorkin reaffirms his ability to commentate and produce entertainment based on current affairs through his use of real news stories that have been broken in the past 18 months.  And as a viewer, it always makes you feel a little more smarter when you know what’s been going on.

Check out the video below that highlights some of Jim’s best moments (without giving away the plot of course)

Have you seen The Newsroom?  What do you think?  Let me know!

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