The final season of “The Newsroom” airs this Sunday on HBO. The show came out of the gates stronger than any other show I’ve ever watched. I’d rank Will McAvoy’s “America is not the greatest country in the world anymore” speech as one of my 10 favorite moments in TV history. Jeff Daniels hung meaty dong to a gigantic national TV audience and announced the show’s presence with authority.
It was a refreshing take on the state of “talking heads” journalism in this country and the political climate of the country itself. I thought it was going to be bigger than just a TV show. Then it started taking itself too seriously while trying to show the audience that it wasn’t taking itself too seriously at the same time. I still love the show, though. That’s just what Aaron Sorkin does. Look back at all of his work: “A Few Good Men,” “The West Wing,” “Sports Night,” “The Social Network.” Every single moment of dialogue is painted as the most important thing that’s going on in the world at that moment.
That’s the brilliance of Sorkin. However, with that brilliance comes the cheesy overflow that is the result of his writing. In my mind, they’re all great. If you don’t enjoy cheesy, you don’t enjoy Sorkin.
10. Mac Meets Sloan
Two women just trodding through the muddy waters of big media.
Jane Fonda is still a babe. When Charlie says, “We don’t have the trust of the public!” and then Leona goes, “Get it back!” I just get all warm and fuzzy inside.
8. “The Debate“
Look at ACN go, trying to change the flawed, nationally-accepted debate format. Unfortunately, they forgot that the RNC still has to sign off on it and Will goes off on each and every GOP candidate. Or, rather, the person pretending to be a GOP candidate.
Charlie realized Will needed a spark. That spark was Will’s ex. Mac comes in, guns blazing. She’s an idealist and tells Will that “we can do better.” Hell yeah, you can.
I mean, this was as cheesy as it gets, but this is about the most wonderfully cheesy moments of the show. I guess it was nice enough, but good lord, it came out of nowhere and was so unbelievably forced it makes me cringe or cry whenever I think about it.
After someone plagiarizes Sloan Sabbith’s signature in a book on economics, Don goes to great lengths to defend her honor. Sloan finds out that Don was the highest bidder on the book and repays him with an authentic signed copy of the book and a big old smooch.
4. “Don Quixote“
The roof gets blown off and Will, Charlie, and Mac all realize that ACN senior employees have been spying on and blackmailing them for months. Will leaps up from his hospital bed, decides to crusade against being forced to cover weak news stories, and decides to go after the Tea Party in an attempt to save the Republican Party. You go, Will McAvoy.
3. “Fix You“
Man, when Jim says, “she’s not dead yet,” my heart just leaps with foolish hope. It’s the kind of scene that makes the show great, but also so wonderfully cheesy. Everyone is scrambling to figure out if she’s dead, and Will and the crew refuse to bend when an exec tells them to run the story as if the congresswoman is dead. Oh yeah, “Fix You” by Coldplay is playing in the background, and it’s the best, dammit. “YOU’RE A FUCKING NEWSMAN, DON. I EVER TELL YOU OTHERWISE, YOU PUNCH ME IN THE FACE!”
2. “Crazy YouTube Guy“
This is our first taste of the dynamic between Will and Mac, and it is just the best. Sorkin, you guys.
I’ll maintain that the bin Laden episode of “The Newsroom” is one of the most exciting episodes of any show I’ve ever watched. The retrospective aspect of the show that was introduced in the first episode made it all too clear that at one point, the show would touch on one of the greatest nights in American history. The episode’s best moment is when Don attempts to get off the plane to get to work and is damn near detained due to laws that were enacted after 9/11. He’s about to go off on one of the pilots when he realizes that the story is much bigger than him. Don Keefer. Newsman..