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Vinny Ginardi: After hitting a rocky road in the middle, The Newsroom delivered three stellar final episodes to finish its first season.
The finale in particular provided a good balance of wrapping up some storylines while also handing out some to look forward to in season two. Unfortunately, some of the storylines that are being carried over are ones that have grown dry. In particular, it’s the love
triangle square pentagon. Really, it wasn’t complicated enough that we had to throw Sloan in there after there was no indication all season long that she was into Don? Really? It was initially refreshing that Maggie and Jim didn’t end up together because it felt predictable, but it’s much more frustrating knowing that the storyline is going to continue to be prominent in the next season.
That aside though, I was impressed with how the show concluded. As I mentioned throughout our discussions, I felt that The Neswroom needed narrative arcs (outside of the character relationships) that stretched over multiple episodes. We saw storylines created and continued over these last three episodes. Even more so in the finale, we saw plots and references to much earlier episodes reappear, creating a much needed sense of familiarity.
While it may be difficult to provide it consistently, the show (and most shows) is more entertaining when there is something at stake, such as we saw with Will’s job in the finale. Hopefully season two will be a consistently better show.
Mike Aurigemma: I continue to be so up and down on this show. There were times that I could not take my eyes away from the screen because it was so intense and had me entranced. Then there were a few moments that I had to look away because the show was turning me off.
I understand the Jim, Don and Maggie storyline and why the show needs it. I also understand why the show has the MacKenzie and Will plot. But there are times where I think it just goes over the top. Mainly the screaming fits that Maggie or MacKenzie have while talking to Will or just a bus full of people. Those are the only negatives that I can take from this show, but it normally brings me right back in.
I loved the power struggle that was going on between Charlie and Leona. The scene betweeneveryone at the table was incredible to watch. Both sides involved had to get their hands dirty and it was a great way to wrap up that storyline to finish off the season.
There will surely be some great moments ahead with The Newsroom, but I fully expect the love triangles and quartets to continue.
Michael: SLOAN AND DON OMIGOD! Yeah, that was out of left field. I can’t help but agree that the last thing the already convoluted love square needed was addition of Olivia Munn’s rocking bod.
This episode was a microcosm of all of the best and worst aspects of this show. On one hand, we got to see Jeff Daniels’ continue is pitch perfect performance but displaying an impressive range. The moment in the hospital when he decided to stay with News Night and starts quoting Don Quixote was one of my favorite of the entire season. It was a perfect mix of Sorkin and an actor who gets it. Same with the running “Camelot” bit. On the other hand we were reminded of the absolutely stupid fact that Mac did hold up two signs in the show’s opening and some over the top Maggie/Jim stuff. Here’s where the show, which I genuinely enjoy, frustrates me. Sorkin makes me care about all these love kerfuffles. I’m a sucker for them. I want Maggie and Jim to get together and their kiss made me extremely happy. I’m even more desperate for a Will/Mackenzie reconciliation because they have such amazing chemistry. But sometimes the execution of these plots just isn’t there. Things get a bit too shmaltzy and involve one too many scenes of Allison Pill screaming at a bus full of women who enjoy an atrocious show.
Despite everything I just said, I liked the finale. Will McAvoy, despite being a Republican, has become something of a hero of mine and I can always watch him do Will McAvoy things. This is a show that buries its flaws with fun performances, great monologues and an undeniable energy. Sign me up for another year.