Monday, July 16, 2012

Newsroom on HBO Episode 4 "I'll Try to Fix You"

A woman throws a drink in Will McAvoy’s face at a party.  Later on in the show, another women throws a drink in Will’s face in a restaurant. I always thought it would be so cool to throw a drink in a man’s face.  I don’t think I ever have.  (I once threw a bowl of fruit salad on a man’s head, but that’s a story for another time and place.)

All this drink-throwing is a bit overblown.  No once, but twice.  And in between, the staff of the newsroom throws drinks in MacAvoy’s face, but it is just a joke.  Good thing Will has a sense of humor.

Will is continuing his serial dating.  A new woman every day, but he can’t seem to connect.  Will is smooth and in command on air or in business dealings, but put him next to a woman in a social situation and he goes to pieces.  I know some men are like this, even highly successful news anchors, but the show is pushing it too far.

Will McAvoy reminds me of the real-life Keith Olbermann.  Strong, intelligent, capable, and given to rants, but not so much off camera.  I have never met Mr. Olbermann, but when I saw him unscripted on talk shows, he seemed awkward. (I once had a dream that I was on a date with Keith Olberman, but that is a story for another time and place.)

The rants! Alan Sorkin uses McAvoy as his alter ego.  McAvoy has a lot of petty peeves.  He doesn’t like gossip columnists who “takedown” celebrities, he doesn’t like silly reality shows about “housewives” and, of course, he doesn’t like political fools (i.e. tea party pols) the least little bit.  Sorkin can get away with these rants with me because I agree with him and I love to see McAvoy reflect my opinions.  However, some viewers may start to tire of these preachy moments; they are like badly done “product placements.”  It pulls you out of the show as you think “Here it comes again.”

And, now moving on to some of the other characters.  Does anyone else think cute and perky Maggie is starting to get really really annoying?  And McKenzie is an executive producer, but most teenage girls can handle their emotions better than she can. Her behavior is rapidly getting old.  In fact pretty much, every character on the show is grating on my nerves except for Leona (Jane Fonda’s character) who owns a media conglomerate that includes the news station.  Leona is the only character that rings true.

Despite all my complaints, the show redeemed itself in the last few minutes.  SPOILER ALERT: Stop reading here if you have not seen this episode yet.

I was wondering why there was no follow-up to Leona’s threat to fire Will, and then, BAM—I never saw it coming.  It seems like Will’s mishaps with women was getting him some bad press because his dates were accusing him of sexual harassment, drug use, and pointing guns at them.  It turns out Leona was behind it all of this bad press..  She was setting Will up to be fired on a “morals clause.”  This lady is tough.

I heard that the show is renewed for a second season.  Someone is going to have to "try to fix this show" or it won’t make it through the first season.