The beauty of a network like HBO is that its foundation is based on subscribers and ratings (while nice) aren’t the only factor in play when it comes to determining its programming. On any other network, shows like Aaron Sorkin’s “The Newsroom” would not have a third season and it very likely wouldn’t have had a second one either; but this is HBO and tonight that second season wraps a group of episodes that many fans and critics have agreed were a step in the right direction.
Aaron Sorkin clearly has his share of critics, but the truth is he also has a loyal group of fans who will watch whatever he wants to work on. It’s those viewers that helped get “Newsroom” on the air in the first place and were very vocal about what needed to change over its second season. Sorkin listened; in fact Sorkin may have listened a little too much as he reportedly asked to rework the first two episodes at the expense of having the season shortened to nine episodes to make up the cost.
Whatever he did it worked and this season of “The Newsroom” was a fun ride filled with Sorkin-patented whitty banter, current events and a well-executed overarching storyline centered a botched news exclusive. This is the show Sorkin was probably envisioning last year, but wasn’t able to pull together at the time. That’s not to take anything away from the first season, but just to say you can see the areas that worked better than others.
Still people are going to hate-watch and take their shots at the Oscar and Emmy winning scribe and his cast as evidenced by the Twitter-verse which last night produced the following gems:
Turn on. Get angry. Fall asleep. -Me, with every episode of The Newsroom so far.” - @FilmDrunk
The website Funny or Die recently even released a spoof on the show in which a Jeff Daniels like panelists goes off on the premise that the series is the best one on TV, in a scene reminiscent of “The Newsroom’s” opening sequence last June. The difference here though is that the nearly five minute long bit highlights everything that’s both right and wrong with the drama.
Emmy voters already had their own initial say on the overall quality of the program when they decided to snub the show for a series nomination and only recognize the work of lead actor Jeff Daniels and co-star Jane Fonda for with individual nominations.
It stands to logic the second season will see a similar showing among Emmy voters as the group won’t really have the ability to add members to its elusive and exclusive Best Drama club until 2015 when award darlings “Breaking Bad” and “Mad Men” are no longer in the running. It’s a shame that’s the case as season two of “Newsroom” did what few shows on TV have done and actually learned from its first installments, which is something even the show’s detractors have to at least acknowledge.
“The Newsroom’s” second season finale airs tonight on HBO.