Tuesday, June 26, 2012

One Reason Why I Like The Newsroom...

Over the past few days, I've discussed the wildly polarized reaction to The Newsroom with several people, and I finally realized something - it's not that I think critics are wrong when they say Sorkin's portrayal of how the news is made is inaccurate or that his diagnosis of what's "wrong" with the news is off. It's that I can acknowledge that those are interesting and even important discussions to have, but while I'm actually watching the show, I can't really bring myself to care.

Really, the majority of shows I watch are about people doing their jobs - mostly lawyers, cops, and doctors. And I don't expect any of them to be particularly accurate. My differing levels of knowledge mean I notice inaccuracies more in some shows than others - my mom's a doctor, so I know enough about how hospitals work to know that virtually every hospital setting on TV is completely absurd - but that sort of thing doesn't really make or break a show for me. And in this particular case, it undoubtedly helps that I rarely watch cable news (except for BBC World Service, and Up With Chris Hayes), so I'm willing to accept that in the fictional world of The Newsroom, things work the way they say they do.

When it comes down to it, the subject matter of any show is not high on my list of criteria for watching. I watch shows that have writing I like and characters and character dynamics I find interesting. I particularly enjoy shows that revolve around groups of smart people who are very different or think they don't/won't like each other but who end up coming together to accomplish a goal. And given those criteria, I enjoyed every moment of The Newsroom pilot.


  1. Great comments! I completely agree with you. I don't really care about the accuracy of a show when all I want is to be entertained for an hour. The sound of seemingly intelligent people talking fast about something that seems important entertains me. I don't care whether they're really smart or whether what they're talking about it really important.

  2. I had no problem with the accuracy or not of the setting (watched it last night on YouTube), but I am concerned by Sorkin's sexism that I keep hearing discussed. Is it more than in his previous shows? Do I care? I think the big stumbling block for me right now -- besides the fact that I don't have HBO -- is that I don't like McAvoy.