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Wednesday, September 11, 2013
HBO The Newsroom #18 Election Night Part 1
Are Your Ready to
Have Some Fun
by Catherine Giordano
Marcia Gay Harden on
HBO's "The Newsroom"
It’s election night 2012 in the newsroom, but everyone still
has plenty of time for their petty inter-personal issues on HBO’s The
Newsroom, episode 18, “Election
Night Part I,” airing on September 8, 2013.
Before Will begins prime time election night coverage he asks his panel “Are
you guys ready to have some fun?” We, the
viewers, are ready to have some fun too, but we don’t get any fun from this
We do get Rebecca Greenway, the ACN legal counsel, as “liquid
sex” and perhaps that is a little bit of fun. Marcia Gay Harden, the actress
who plays Rebecca tells the newsroom team that she is “liquid sex,” and she
does look quite the sex-pot poured into her low-cut tight-fitting fuchsia-colored
dress. Her excuse for wearing it is that a viewing party is being hosted by Reese
Lansing on another floor.
Sloan gives us a little bit of fun also. It seems a signed copy of her book sold at a
charity auction for $1000. Only problem is Sloan did not autograph it, and the
inscription written in German was supposed to read “Please enjoy this book,”
but actually reads, “Please shred this book.” Ha Ha.
Now Sloan goes into her “I’m-nasty-bitch-so everyone-had
better-do-what I-want-and-do it-now"mode. She grabs Neal and demands that he
track down the buyer and get the book back. Remember, it is election night and
Neal has a lot more important things to do. But Sloan gives him that fierce look that she
so often shows—the equivalent of a junk yard dog baring his teeth--and Neal drops
everything to do Sloan’s bidding. How does he find the time! MacKenzie has him working on getting Wikipedia to correct the name of her alma mater on their entry for her. These newsroom divas think Neal is there to deal with their petty problems.
When Sloan isn’t being a nasty bitch, she is acting like a
petulant child throwing a temper tantrum until she gets what she wants or
moping in a corner because things aren’t going her way. It’s not really fun to
You know what is really no fun to watch—Will and MacKenzie
endlessly rehashing their failed love affair. It may be election night, the
newsroom may have 500 races to report on, but they still have time to bicker
over who was the bad guy in the relationship.
I want to shout at my TV, “MacKenzie, let it go already, Move on!. You
cheated and lied and Will is never going to take you back.” During their
exchanges on this night, Will informs MacKenzie that he was a “good boyfriend.”
This is high-school stuff, and not at all funny or touching or anything else
The big issue on this night is that Jim and Margaret made a
wrong call in some minor congressional race. (It’s a wonder that is the only
mistake since these guys can’t seem to keep their minds on their jobs.) They
are debating whether to retract it or just quietly remove it from the scroll. Just
then, Charlie parades through the newsroom waving some papers. He informs the
team that in a very loud voice that he is holding the test that people who
apply for a job as a sanitation worker must take and he is giving it to the
first person who makes a bad call. (I know everyone is on edge because of the
Genoa thing, but really.)
Jim and Margaret decide not to retract. It is some minor
race and the statistician who is in charge of calling the race, says the race
it “too early and too close to call” and also “he will win.” The statistician
is a dignified middle-age Japanese woman, very prim and no- nonsense. It is sort of funny the way she keeps
repeating these two contradictory things with no explanation. It is ridiculous when Jim and Margaret
blindfold her with a sash from her dress and bring her into the newsroom. They want to talk to her, but the people who
call the race are not allowed to see the TV screens of the other networks less
they be biased by the calls made on other networks. Evidently, there are quiet
corners or hallways.
Charlie is still trying to resign. Leona, the head of ACN,
won’t fire him and he can’t quit or he will be sued for breach of contract. He
corners Reese at the party and he begs him to get his mother to fire him. Reese
said he has tried, but she won’t budge from her decision to hang tough. I like
Leona. She is often the only grown-up in
the room. She is fierce and she won’t let others push her around. Previously, she had been looking for an
excuse to fire Will, now that she has it, she won’t take it because doing so
would look like she was caving to outside forces.
Mackenzie wants to get fired too. Charlie, Will, and
MacKenzie all feel that they must be fired to restore credibility to the
network. Only will has the authority to
fire MacKenzie. She begs Will to fire
her. He won’t, and then he caves, and
tells her that when election night is over, she is fired. Maybe he realized he had enough of her pestering
him about their former relationship.
Taylor Warren, the former Romney communication director, who
was making Jim’s life miserable on the campaign bus, is back. She is on the
panel for election night coverage. It doesn’t make a lot of sense why a
Republican would dish dirt on another Republican to Margaret just so little
Maggie can one-up Jim, but Taylor does it. She tells Margaret that former
General Pratraeus, now head of the CIA is going to resign over an affair.
The next episode is the season finale. Only nine episodes in
season two, unlike Season one, which had 10 episodes. I wonder why? Maybe the writers are not having fun.
Are we having fun yet? No, we are not having fun yet.
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