When “The Newsroom” premiered, we were one of the few critics who managed to see the light in the midst of what was a complicated series. There were some stellar performances, a sharp script from Aaron Sorkin, and the feeling as though the pilot could function as his very own mini-movie.
Whenever you have a pilot that strong, though, there is one question that comes as a result — what happens in episode 2? As we’ve figured out, it’s a problematic hour of television that has its endearing moments, but they come across in situations that you don’t expect to find in a drama of this level. While there were little problems with the introduction of Olivia Munn’s Sloan, the entire content of the episode with Emily Mortimer’s Mackenzie was unbelievable. Who in a news environment does not know the difference between emailing to an individual person on your phone and emailing to all? We just couldn’t buy a woman so intelligent being so hapless, even when it came to her desperation of trying to clear the air about whether or not Will ended his relationship by cheating on her. Instead, everyone eventually found out that she was the cheater, and it led to him (of course) getting infuriated and throwing the newsroom into disarray.
While the rest of the episode was pretty solid — especially a scene in which Will continued to host a news discussion on the air between himself and three people who had no business of being on television — this one character choice put a damper on the rest of the proceedings. If you are supposed to believe that Mackenzie is so reckless with technology, how can we put our faith in her to do a great job? Seeing Will’s program be a disaster in the second hour was also an expected choice — after some success in the first episode, Sorkin could not have us believe that it was going to be smooth sailing working with a new team.
Despite our complaints with this hour, there is still some amazing potential for “The Newsroom” to be a top-notch series. Sorkin is still one of the best writers in the business, and he has both actors and characters that are perfect for what he wants to do. Now, he just needs to find a way to keep the spirit of the pilot intact and realize their full potential on a weekly basis.
What did you think of episode 2? Be sure to check out our review of the pilot, and share your thoughts on this episode below!