Premium cable TV--HBO, Showtime, Starz, etc. is my guilty pleasure. I watch too much. Now, I'll be watching even more as I give my reviews of various episodic shows. A list of the most popular reviews appears on the right side of page--check them out. If you'd like to follow by email, write your email address in the box below and click on submit.
Monday, August 26, 2013
HBO’s “The Newsroom” #17 “Red Team III”
The “A” Team
Jane Fonda as Leona Lansing on "The Newsroom"
Newsroom” finally brought the “A” Team into the writer’s room. It took 17 episodes, but with episode #207, “Red
Team III” airing on Sunday August 25, we at long last got an episode for
I swear the actors even looked like older. I usually
think of Maggie, Jim and Neal as high school students and Don and Sloan as
college students, but finally in this episode they looked like adults.
on MacKenzie’s face when she has to tell Will that she has proof that Jerry
edited the tape was the best acting in the entire history of the show. I think she should get an Emmy nomination for
Nonetheless, MacKennzee can’t stop with the hitting. She
shoves Jerry in an elevator. This time I
will forgive her. She had just found out that Jerry had doctored the tape that
the newsroom relied upon for their reporting. Her violence was totally
Here’s how it all went down. The Newsroom aired the story
about the sarin attack and they are standing by their story despite a lot of
pushback. Then, as I predicted there was the discovery of the discontinuity in
the footage of the retired general’s interview. MacKenzie has a casual
conversation with Will about the clocks on the screen in a football again and
later the idea comes to her to check the clock on the TV screen that appears in
the corner of the video-taped interview.
She discovers the discontinuity.
More evidence falls away in the scene with Charlie and
his Pentagon source. I’m sorry to say there is more hitting in this one. The
source had strongly hinted to Charlie that the story was true and even gave him
the manifest which suggested illicit chemicals were on board the plane. Now in
a parking garage, the two meet again, deep-throat style.
It turns out that
the source had a druggie son who was in the process of getting clean when he worked
as an intern at ACN. But then kid was fired (for cause) and returned to drugs. He
died within the year. The source blamed Charlie. When Charlie tried to explain the firing, the
source slapped him hard across the face. Charlie, realizing that this slap came
from a place of grief, just stood there and took it. (Also, this guy was huge—not a person anyone
would want to get into a fight with.) Charlie
learns that the source set Charlie up for revenge.
We also see other parts of the story fall apart. The U.S.
soldiers wore haz-mat suits because they were afraid that the enemy might use
chemical weapons on them. The Afghani who was tweeting live stopped tweeting
not because he was dead, but because his cell-phone plan was terminated for non-payment. They found out that the soldier who had been
present at the scene had traumatic brain injury which he had not revealed. A
symptom of traumatic brain injury is memory loss. Worse, MacKenzie re-watched the interview
with him, and realized that she had asked leading questions.
The newsroom is shell-shocked by the enormity of their
mistake. To make matters even worse, Jerry, the one person who deliberately
misconstrued the attack and was fired for it, has sued the company for wrongful
termination He claimed that it was a systemic failure, but he was the only one
fired. This is the "is-this-guy-the -new-poster-boy-for-chutzpah-or-what?" moment of the week.The lawyers have recommended a $5 million settlement.
In the last scene, Jane Fonda, who plays Leona Lansing, the
socialite owner of the newspaper, delivers an Emmy winning performance. It’s
another late night meeting in the executive dining room. Leona has arrived
directly from a charity gala. She’s wearing a beautiful gown and rocking it. Will,
McKenzie, and Charlie offer her their resignations.
Leona gives a powerful speech refusing to accept their resignations. Further, she refuses to pay the settlement to
Jerry. She vows to fight. She tells the Newsroom team that they “don’t earn her
a nickel,” but they “make her feel proud.”
It’s a magnificent speech that makes you want to jump to your feet and
This is what I have been saying for 17 episodes so far. Treat
this show as a serious drama and the show makes the A-List.
There will not be a new episode next week due to the Labor
Day week-end, but I think I speak for all viewers of the show when I say, “I
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