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, December 15, 2014
The Newsroom #306 "What Kind of Day Has It Been"
The final word for "The Newsroom"
by Catherine Giordano
At last, The Newsroom,
is over. It ended, as it began, in a muddle .Actually, it literally ended as it began, with numerous flashbacks to the first
episode and prequel segments showing how the team all got together.
I was so tired of this show. I know you were too. My reviews
for Season 3 got far fewer views that my reviews for the first two seasons. Elsewhere
on the web, I saw the term “hate-watching” used in reference to this show. It
is an actual word that appears in The Urban Dictionary.
It means to watch a show that you hate precisely because you hate it.I think this series survived on
hate-watchers, although I will admit, some people apparently liked the show.
The unlikely plot of this final episode centered on the
return of ACN to its former glory. The former owner, Leona, meets with the new
owner, Pruitt, at Charlie’s funeral, and convinces him to endeavor to be the
best news channel on TV instead of the most profitable channel or the channel
with the highest ratings. (Yeah, that is going to happen—never in the real
world, but The Newsroom was always about
an idealized world.)
Pruitt takes Leona’s advice and makes MacKenzee the
president, replacing Charlie (who had a heart attack on the floor of the
newsroom and died in the episode #305). (See my review and recap, “Til Death Do Us Part”).By the way,
if you were sad about not seeing Charlie anymore, not to worry-- with the
flashbacks, he was a dominant force on the final episode. Also, it is revealed that Charlie was not
enraged that everyone on his staff was deliberately disobeying his orders; his
wife tells us that he secretly wanted
everyone to disobey his orders. He was only putting on a show for Pruitt. So no
one had to feel guilty that their insubordination got Charlie so angry that he
had a heart attack.
Neal is back. He just shows up in the Newsroom and takes
over the ACN website. He tells the insufferable Bree to shut the whole thing
down. The entire website is going to be revamped and restored to its former
Mackenzie is pregnant, having conceived the night before
Will went to prison. Will is all aflutter with the news that he is going to be
a father. Seriously, he was in dire need of a fainting couch.
We are not given any finality about Jim and Maggie. Jim is
Maggie’s boss, and he recommended her for a job as a field producer in DC. If
she gets it, she and Jim will embark on a long distance relationship which will
work out because Jim loves Maggie. Don is Sloan’s boss, and indications are
that their affair will continue as well. None of them has any qualms about the
boss dating his subordinate, and none of them seemed to have learned anything
from the Jim-Hallie breakup about the dangers of love affairs with the people
you work with even if it is only because you work in the same industry.
The emotional high point of the episode is when Will, while
at the funeral gathering at Charlie’s house wanders over to the garage and sits
in with Charlie’s grandson’s band. Is Will a news anchor who plays country
music on the side? No. Will tells us he is a musician who does news anchoring
on the side. (Funny, this is the first we have heard of Will’s interest in playing
and singing country music.)
It’s a real nice song called “How I Got to Memphis. It’s about
going home to Memphis. It’s a metaphor. It is supposed to symbolize how all the
characters got to where they are from where they were at the beginning of the
series. It is even explicitly stated that “Memphis” can be any place where you
feel at home.
The problem with “The Newsroom” is that it never knew where
its home was.Was it serious drama about
a TV newsroom giving viewers a behind-the-scenes look at the TV news industry?
That is a good show. I would have love-watched it. Was it a situation comedy
about the high-jinks and mishaps of the Newsroom cast of characters (like Night Courtwas for the courtroom or Scrubswas for the hospital)? That is a good show. I would have love-watched
that.Was it just a platform to
presenting ideas about politics? That is a good show. I would have love-watched
however tried to be all three of these shows at once. As a consequence, it was a muddle.