Aaron Sorkin’s new TV series Newsroom has all the makings of a promising show which delves deep into the behind-the- scenes drama at a news channel
News is not newsworthy anymore. How many times have we flipped through scores of news channels which believe sensationalism is paramount rather than a thought provoking story? It happens all the time. We live in an age where news breaks first on Twitter before it comes on news channels, majority of which are grappling with allegations of bias and twisting the facts. The integrity of the news industry as a whole is at stake and the question is whom do we trust at this hour. Sorkin’s brand new drama Newsroom, which is being aired on HBO, is about a news division which is trying to pull itself out of the quagmire of ratings and advertising to restore the honour which news channels once had.
The opening sequence of Newsroom is a classic piece of Sorkin’s writing. In an open debate, Will McAvoy (Jeff Daniels), a popular news anchor,is questioned why America is the greatest country in the world. Since he’s ridiculed as the “Jay Leno” of the news industry, thanks to his diplomacy, people expect him to give a cliched answer; however, his inner voice tells him to speak the truth. He rips apart the notion that America is the greatest country in the world and goes on to explain why it used to be one a generation ago. What follows is nothing short of a catastrophe back at his news network ACN. When he returns from a three week vacation, most of his staff is gone and his boss tells him that he has hired Mackenzie, whom he used to date three years ago, as his new Executive Producer. McAvoy makes peace with his new EP; however stipulates a clause in her new contract which empowers him to fire her at any moment. Right then, the team learns that there was an explosion in Gulf of Mexico and there’s an environmental disaster soon in offing. Mackenzie’s senior producer Jim Harper (John Gallagher Jr.) gets a tip-off from his sources that the problem could be bigger than it seems.
The first episode of Newsroom establishes the fact that Will McAvoy is struggling to keep up the ratings and desperately needs a good team to give his show a boost. Charlie Skinner (Sam Waterston), the owner of ACN Network, is keen on having McAvoy and Mackenzie as a team to rebuild the news division. Amidst all this, there’s an issue which might pose a big challenge as the series unfolds. Sorkin has embalmed most of his characters with a tad too much of idealism that it doesn’t really reflect the status quo of news channels. However, we can only guess what one of the brightest writers in the industry has up his sleeve. Newsroom is all about making news newsworthy once again. With Aaron
Sorkin at the helm of affairs, we can hope that it’s in good hands.
About the Author (Author Profile)
Hemanth writes primarily about Telugu cinema, although he finds inspiration from the works of filmmakers like Woody Allen. Apart from writing, he spends most of his time on Twitter discussing about cinema, travel and life in Hyderabad.