‘The Newsroom’ season 3, episode 1 review: A look back, and a look forward, at the state of ACN

We know that we are a little bit late in presenting this review of “The Newsroom,” and it is with that in mind that we are going to try to spend at least some of this article looking forward, while at the same time looking back at what the series did in the fast-paced, capable “Boston.”

Is there a show that caters more to personal taste than this one? We wonder. Personally, we feel like everything from the tone to the performances are refreshing, and we don’t see the same typical pratfalls or common TV tropes like antiheroes, rampant infidelity, or constant fear of character death here. Is it pedantic? At times sure, but we don’t mind a show whose characters aspire to something. If you have an idealist in the room, then some of that has to transfer over to everyone else.

The moral dilemma at the center of this episode was so simple, and yet also complex: Finding failure in finding the truth. In the wake of Operation Genoa, coupled with Mackenzie’s refusal to put information about the Boston Marathon on the air without being sure, ACN’s ratings dropped to fourth place. This prompted Will McAvoy to want to quit, just as a stream of major revelations rose to the forefront. Reece Lansing is in danger of losing the company to potentially his idiot half-siblings, while a story about government secrets from Neal may be a complete game-changer.

Unfortunately for Neal (played wonderfully here by Dev Patel), he unwillingly ended up breaking a law in the process by coercing a source to commit espionage, as he requested more documents to go along with the ones that were sent to him. Here is the quandary the network finds themselves in: There are huge stories within the material that they have, but are they willing to share these public and risk the legal ramifications?

The focus on the newsroom itself here was very much appreciated. We know that there are relationships on this series, but they don’t need to always be at the forefront. Sloan and Don obviously have something going on, and Will and Mac are preparing for a wedding. While nothing is there for Jim and Maggie right now, her becoming a last-minute field reporter in Boston was a tremendous step forward for her character, who has definitely been through quite a lot since the first season of the show.

“The Newsroom” is fast-paced, but also funny, poignant, and thoroughly satisfying. As we move into the next stage of the show, which includes more of Jim’s personal life and the return of Marcia Gay Harden to assist Neal, we could not be more excited, and also anxious to see how the story ties together. Grade: A-.

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