You Must Watch This: The Newsroom (Ep 9-10)

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I realize that by now, the first season of The Newsroom has been wrapped up for about 2-3 weeks, so sue me (please don't), but with all the greatness we've been bringing you here at Opportunity Assassins, I figured it was ok to delay this because hey, I run this joint. So let's get on with putting a lid on the first season of The Newsroom and wrapping up the first series of "You Must Watch This."

Episode 9: The Blackout: Part II
Last we left the crew, the gang was pre-taping an interview with some bimbo about Anthony Wiener's wiener when the lights went out in the entire building. So when Will asks what they do if the power doesn't come on by showtime, Mac has her moment to rally the troops with her own version of the "Braveheart" speech (FREEEEEEEEEDOM!) when, in another fantastic moment of comedic timing right as she's wrapping up her speech...the lights come back on and Mac screams "Son of a Bitch!" Thankfully, the internet has provided us with this moment, so you can relive it (or live it for the first time if you still haven't seen this show.)

See? Genius.
The character focus in this episode is the relationship square dance between Jim, Lisa (Maggie's roomate, played by Kelen Coleman), Maggie and Don. I'm not so thrilled with the will they/won't they of this story because we all know they eventually will. On the upside, once again we're seeing the teeth on Sloan (Olivia Munn) as she continues to try to get the importance of the Debt Ceiling debates up above the prattle of the Casey Anthony/Anthony Wiener "stories." All the while, Sampat is trying to get the story on internet trolls by dragging Sloan's name through the mud on an economic message board. As a result, we get to see some more of the really great day/night transformations of Sloan's character when she goes from "awwe" to yelling at Sampat. The best part of the episode was finally seeing the reveal of what they all have been working for in a debate format. I, for one, would love to see the debates run that way instead of the kid gloves that our candidates are treated with on most occasions. Anyway, the episode ends with Sampat goading the person who made the death threat on McAvoy setting up the last episode of the first season.

Episode 10: The Greater Fool (Season Finale)
The finale starts off seemingly right where we left off, except we're now two months after the end of Ep. 9 after the article on McAvoy is printed in New York magazine. Will is discovered passed out in his bathroom after combining too many anti-depressants mixed with bourbon and painkillers. This lands him in the hospital where he threatens not to return to the show. In the mean time, we're still coming toward a resolution on the getting Will fired arc set up in Episode 3. We've got the NSA insider set up during the bin Laden episode who has evidence against ACN's parent company but isn't a credible witness due to his past indiscretions. Of course, nothing is ever easy as the screw is turned even further when it turns out that the NSA insider commits suicide later. It turns out, though, before he did he sent a message to Skinner dropping one of the last puzzle pieces in place. This motivates Skinner to go to McAvoy and bring him out of his funk by calling his detractors "pussy-ass coward-ass pussified pussies" and bringing a personalized Voter ID story to McAvoy's attention via his nurse.

This combination of Skinner's glorious phrase, the Voter ID story and the discovery that Mac's phone was apparently hacked to give TMI (the tabloid under the same parent company as ACN) half of a story on Will being high the night of the bin Laden broadcast, lights a fire under Will's ass and cues a montage set to The Who's "Baba O'Riley". The montage shows the team building the show that has been interspersed throughout the episode. One of the more humorous moments of the episode is when Maggie goes off on a Sex and the City tour bus that Jim just so happens to be on. Of course, Jim chases Maggie down, they kiss..blah blah blah and Jim's nice guy/burden of knowledge once more prevents them from finally hooking up. Oh yeah...McAvoy's report confirms what we all have known all along - Jesus is a socialist. Finally, we get to the moment this whole season has been working toward, the face-off between Skinner/McAvoy and Reese/Laona Lansing. No surprises here, the Lansings lose and McAvoy and Mackenzie go on and put together one of the best shows to date.

So where does this leave us for season 2? Well, Sampat is still looking for the person making the death threats against Will, which will take at least a temporary focus. Maggie's with Don and Jim is with Lisa even though they all know who should be with who. Will and Mac are still dancing around getting back together. We've circled all the way back to the beginning with Will hiring on the girl who asked the question that started this whole thing off as an intern, and touched back on several characters that I thought would just be forgotten. And probably my favorite part is that Terry Crewes is still McAvoy's bodyguard thanks to Sampat.

All in all, The Newsroom had an excellent first season. Do I still think it falls in the top 5 series of all time? No, but it could very well elevate to new heights with the second season. I'd still love to see more with Sloan's character because Olivia Munn plays her perfectly. While I agree with much of what Sorkin is saying with this show, I'd also like to see the Democrats held up to the same lens that the Tea Party is being burned with. I want less of the Maggie/Don/Jim triangle as realistic as those relationships might be (but I won't get that, for sure). Finally, I want more Skinner and his incredibly delivered lines. I'm really looking forward to Season 2 which will return AFTER the presidential elections, but I'm concerned how the show's tone might be tempered if Sorkin's boy, Obama, doesn't get re-elected as the Tea Party makes for an easy target right now.

For Opportunity Assassins, this is Jake signing off. Thanks for watching "The Newsroom."

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