The Newsroom – Sky Atlantic – Tuesdays 10pm
Polish up the brain cells. Ignore the critics – especially American journalists and media folk with an axe to grind; and even Brits who should know better but have an easy, world-weary cynicism they haven’t earned that makes them condescend to anything with a serious point of view that has the temerity to be entertaining at the same time.
The double length opener for Aaron Sorkin’s (West Wing, Social Network, Moneyball) latest series set in a TV Newsroom had drama, wit, style, humour and a blatant, unashamed commitment to the idea that people are not stupid, passive advertising fodder who can be lied to, deceived and manipulated into unthinkingly buying news packaged like popcorn and just about as nourishing.
Yes it’s slick; yes it’s idealistic. And yes its fast-talking articulacy needs attention and alertness. But Sorkin’s writing crackles; the casting already looks sure-footed and fits neatly drawn, interesting characters from the get go.
The opening set up scene was a gem: full of tension and promise of good things to come. The dramatic core of this first programme centring around a fictionalised account of the early hours of the BP Gulf of Mexico Oil spill had pace, excitement and authority.
As always folks – see and make up your own minds. For me, if Newsroom maintains the standards of the first programme, we have a superbly written, nicely played treat woven around serious substantial ideas and issues we all should care about.
I’m hooked. Roll on next Tuesday. Join me. It’s intelligent, articulate, thoughtful entertainment. And to those patronising, knowing journos and media types who say this is not really what a newsroom is like I say it’s not meant to be a po-faced documentary. And even in its heyday they used to say ER wasn’t what an Emergency Room was like either.
Filed under: Television