‘The Newsroom’s’ latest season inspires again

By Josh Alfrey

The second season of Aaron Sorkin’s “The Newsroom” brings intelligent discussion and political commentary through high-octane dialogue performed by phenomenal actors.

“The Newsroom” is an HBO original series starring an ensemble cast led by veteran actors like Sam Waterston from “Law and Order” and Jeff Daniels from “Dumb and Dumber.” The show follows the lives of high-level journalists working for a cable news show on Atlantic Cable Network called “News Night” and starring Will McAvoy (Daniels). “News Night” is an easy-going news show with a lovable anchor who is only in it for the ratings.

Atlantic Cable Network’s news division president Charlie Skinner (Waterston) needs to hire a new executive producer for the show. With Will and Charlie on board, the news crew goes on a crusade against current American politics and journalists’ integrity.

“‘The Newsroom’ is doing for journalism what ‘The West Wing’ did for politics,” said senior economics major Jordan Wynne. “It is opening up the doors to a profession not many people are aware of.”

Throughout this season, Sorkin revisits problems that were present in the first season: Will is still coming to terms with not being Mr. Popular anymore and MacKenzie McHale is still apologizing for cheating on McAvoy while blogger Neal Sampat (Dev Patel) freaks out over a tweet. Minor conflicts like these tend to be rehashed throughout the season but never detract from the overlying story arcs.

In this second season, “The Newsroom” has begun fleshing out the supporting characters more. Being able to learn more about Atlantic Cable Network’s young economist Sloan Sabbith (Olivia Munn) has been one of my personal season highlights. Her relationship with old-fashioned newsmen like Skinner shows how youth can work with and learn from those before us and vice versa.

“The supporting cast works great together. I’m glad we can finally learn more about the personalities of these characters we’ve seen since the first season,” said senior communications major Andre Crayton.

Sorkin’s writing, while energetic, can often be preachy with a strong liberal bias. As the show covers past news stories, like the 2012 election, Sorkin has taken this opportunity to constantly berate the Romney campaign. While relevant to hard-hitting journalism, it comes off as snarky and crude. Sorkin is no stranger to being criticized for the verbose and romanticized verbal Olympics that is his writing.

I agree with Churck Barney from MercuryNews.com who said, “…I’d rather watch an energetic well-acted, provocative show that aims high and sometimes falls short, than one that doesn’t aim high at all.”

The second season of “The Newsroom” can come off strong but it’s well written, well put together and, more importantly, makes you think. It is a show with heart and brains that is worth checking out.