Thursday, August 9, 2012

HBO The Newsroom Episode 7 "5/1"

Once again the best thing about The Newsroom is the behind the scenes look at news in the making. This time it’s about the Sunday night when PBO got OBL. (President Barack Obama got Osama Bin Laden.)
It just happened that the whole newsroom staff just happened to be at a party at Will’s apartment. It just happened that Will had unwittingly indulged in a bit too much medicinal marijuana.  He was “baked”.  That’s a nice word—“baked.”  In my day, we said “stoned “or “wasted.”. “Baked” makes me think of sugar and vanilla and cinnamon and fresh-baked cookies in a kitchen that is still warm from the oven. 

The president of the News Division, Charlie Skinner, gets a call alerting him to be ready for important news about national security. The president will speak live in about an hour and a half. Charlie orders everyone to form groups to take the elevator to the street and to share taxis.

Everyone gets back to the newsroom, except poor Will. Somehow he ends up sitting in a taxi stuck in traffic. He gets there eventually and insists, baked or not baked, he is going to anchor the news that night.
Everyone wants to get the jump on this news so they are calling sources fast and furious. They finally learn that there has been a mission to get Osama. They want to break the story ahead of the president’s address, but Will wants to hold off.  He fears that reporting the story early could jeopardize the mission.   

Finally, just minutes before the president is to speak, Will discovers a text from Joe Biden (they are old buddies from way back) saying that the news is “reportable.” The text was sent 20 minutes earlier!  Will evidently was too baked to check his messages.  Nonetheless, Will is able to go on the air and “set the stage’ for the president’s address. He handles his anchor duties like the pro he is—even when he is “high as a kite” he is still the best in the business.
For some it is a somber moment of remembrance of the event of 9/11 But for most,it is night for exuberant cheering and celebration.  They are cheering in the newsroom.  They are cheering in the streets. They are cheering throughout the country. The show captures the excitement of that moment perfectly. It brings the memories flooding back to me—how I felt when I heard that news on that Sunday night, May 1, 2011.  

The most emotional moment of the show:  As the credits for the show roll, we hear the president’s words as a voice over. His voice slowly trails away. It just about brought tears to my eyes.

Runner-up for the most emotional moment of the show is a scene between Jim and Lisa. The earth could be shifting  on its axis, and the newsroom would still have time for sudsy romance. Earlier that night Lisa broke it off with Jim because she realizes that Jim “just isn’t that into her” and only likes her as a f*** buddy. But at the end of the show, Jim tells her, “Let’s hit reset” or words to that effect. “I want to ask you out on a first date.”  Lisa agrees to starting over. All together now: “Awwww.”  But really, it was a nice moment.
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