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Just watched the third episode. It was one of the dullest pieces of TV I've seen. It's pandering, patronising and obvious. Gonna give it another few episode, but if it doesn't get interesting sharpish, I'm out.

I'm half-way through it now, and the fact that I'm also browsing on here is an indication of what I think about it. It really is horribly patronising and so in love with itself. Plus the humour just doesn't work, it's far too forced. Jim and Margaret's "relationship" is painful to watch and I can't say any of the characters are in any way likeable.

It seems that there is going to be some recurring bits every episode, too - Charlie *is* going to threaten to hit somebody, Maggie is going to do something she thinks will get her fired...

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watched the first ep last night on sky and couldn't stand it.

it didn't feel like HBO, it felt like somebody on a main network trying to copy and make something clever and worthy.

all of the characters were hateful and irritating and speak in a way you only can with hindsight and a script.

it wasn't just bad but made me actively dislike it.

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Tough crowd...but I kind of see where some of you are coming from.

It is basically West Wing in a newsroom but I loved West Wing so I'm going to give this more of a chance. I thought the acting was excellent and, yes, it's total fantasy...but I quite like that too.

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I guess Sorkin is very much an acquired taste.

Much like in Studio 60, there is just this air of arrogance and - superiority? - about everybody in the main 'good guy' cast. Characters are just a little too smart or quick with witty replies and, as has been mentioned by others, they talk to fast for it to be natural. The premise, too, of using real news events is beyond smug; it's Sorkin saying "Hey, this is how it should have been reported!" And Daniels' "I was wrong speech," was painful.

But, and it's a big but, it shares another similarity with Studio 6 for me in that I can happily say I don't really like it, but at the same time I will still watch it.

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The key to enjoying it is to share some of the idealistic politics by occasionally nodding sagely and feel self-satisfied that you would fit right in with all the clever clogs liberals if you worked in a newsroom or politics...maybe even share a super sharp quip or two.

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Just watched the fourth episode.

I really, really don't get the hate for this at all. Granted the 3rd episode was weaker than the others, but I am loving this show.

Some characters could do with being a bit less stupid sometimes, but that's also what makes them seem more human (to me anyway).

I couldn't give two shits if it's not representative of how the news is made. It's spectacularly well written and acted television that so far has me thoroughly entertained with its idealism and wit.

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I think the problem is that The West Wing was a liberal power fantasy - liberals in government making tough liberal decisions and mostly landing on the right side of the argument (or the left, lol).

It's hard to make the same thing work when you're talking about a newsroom. It doesn't have the same gravity. And you can't shake the feeling this time around that Sorkin is writing arguments for himself to win.

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1) No-one talks as fast in real life as they do in a Sorkin show.

2) I would have rather had a second Studio 60 (which I loved) season than this. This seems like a considerable step down in characterisation and plot details.

I only watched the first episode last night, but this is a fair summary of how I felt. It is essentially an identical show to Studio 60, except Sorkin isn't as far out of his depth writing sort-of-real news compared to how he was writing sort-of-real comedy. But the rest isn't as good.

I'll give it another chance, probably.

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What a heartbreakingly disappointing show. There are so many good things about it, and seeing a news room in action is fascinating, but then it wades in with this horribly trite rhetoric, fantasy nostalgia and hamfisted music cues to remind you that it's just a liberal wank fantasy and everyone can be so morally superior because the writer has free reign. I think i'd actually prefer to watch a newsroom show about a disgustingly right wing ignoramus because then I could revel in the hate rather than feeling mildly embarrassed by being a right on lefty hippie

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I got 10mins into the second episode before binning it and the series link

its so oddly dated and just irritated me. I can take annoying characters if they are woven into great scenarios or dialogue but everything about the program seems to rub me up the wrong way.

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I think for such a new tv show, 4 episodes in and they've already got a soap opera of a love triangle going, inbetween talking about Don Quixote and gun rights that is.

The "will they, wont they" plot device is actually the centerpiece of 5 of the main characters just now. You've got Jeff Daniels and Emily Mortimers characters obviously but on the side lines you also got the same exact thing with Alison Pill and the boyfriend and then the other one who she really obviously loves. Its boilerplate stuff for such an acclaimed writer of Sorkins weight and that's even before you get into the rest of the criticism leveled at this show. The only conclusion I can come to is that characters feel like windowdressing for what is essentially a mouthpiece. A mouthpiece from one source and one source only. How we roar and feel a sense of elation as Jeff Daniels knocks down and destroys strawman after strawman. From the obvious evil overlords, fanatics and naive simpletons he has on his show to the women obsessed with gospip magazines to bigfoot its the politcal equivalent of laughing at the contestants on xfactor.

Nothing is lost or gained from easy victories like this, its just the writer spinning his wheels. Its less a tv show than a cult of personality and worst of all i'll probably keep watching it.

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I haven't got around to seeing the latest episode yet, but disappointing that it has already chosen to emphasise the cringe-worthy romances. Mortimer and Daniels have no chemistry together - they act more like spoilt siblings than former lovers. And Maggie and Don/Jim all suffer from personality vacuums, there's no depth to any of them. Maggie is the girl who you know will come good when she finds her confidence, Jim is the painfully good-guy who probably has a dark secret that'll come out at some point to threaten his relationship with Maggie and Don is just token boyfriend who has moments of good (to make us see why Maggie likes him) but generally is a bit of an arse (so we want Maggie to dump him).

Even if I turn out to be completely wrong about all of that, that's how the first 3 episodes have set things up for me and I don't really like any of the characters nor care for their situations. At least with Studio 60 I didn't mind Danny and Simon.

And yet like you boomeh, I'll still watch it too, purely because I don't like the characters - it means it's throwaway TV that I don't need to invest anything in.

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Despite me not liking this, I am oddly watching it every episode as I hear it gets good around ep 8. It needs to find a footing. I feel Sorkin is going a bit too mainstream after being accused of Inside Baseball with Studio 60, which I loved.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hang on, it's just fucking occured to me that the plot is exactly the same as Studio 60's. Sorry if i'm a bit slow on that one but I never watched Studio 60. I know all stories share some tropes but isn't this amount of reworking of old ideas just plain lazy? And why did they think it will work now when it didnt work then?

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COLDPLAY

Because we were talking about fixing you eariler on and now we're trying to fix you and so the singer is singing about fixing you you see and just in case you missed it we'll play it really fucking loud.

I think this was when I started actively hating this. All the previously cutesy characters now all running around, almost excitedly telling everyone that "shes been shot - IN THE HEAD" like in the the best/worst tabloid journalist fashion ever. Its supposed to be a reaction of heartfelt sorrow and surprise but just comes off as cynical opportunity. The tone turns super serious when just before it was buffoonish and ditsy, Coldplay starts mashing his keyboards and everyone's earnest to report the news, motherfucker. Aaron Sorkin makes sure to include enough shots of pissed off corporate dick heads in suits frowning at Jeff Daniels. Then where does The Newsroom direct the audiences emotions to? Is it of the tragedy itself? Is it the tragedy and the bureaucracy of reporting the news? I think that's what it was trying to do, but all it amounted to was an opportunity to say "we were right, you were wrong, so there". Its childish and boresome and kind of disrespectful to the whole scenario its painting.

Cant seam to find it on YouTube but remember a similar scene from West Wing where the president of Kundu is informed he cant go back to his country since a state of civil war has broken out? Its the same type of setup but one thats far more efficient at keeping the tragedy at the forfront of whats happening, and alongside is the plot device and motivations for characters to respond to but its so excellently woven in there it never feels manipulated for that single purpose. Its far and above what Sorkin is doing nowerdays, an obvious sign that he needs someone else to reign him in.

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I'm only up to episode 4, which is terrible. The Jim and Maggie stuff is painful to watch. Really, really bad, like watching 2 lovesick pre-teens but without the innocent charm. I'm just not feeling anything towards the characters at all; Daniels is ok in patches, but far too sanctimonious to be likeable, Waterston has calmed down from his shouty-shouty stuff but everybody else? They could be sacrificed and I wouldn't miss them.

But, as I've said before, I'm still watching it; I just don't know why. How is it doing in the ratings and what do the US critics make of it?

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So I've caught up now with all the episodes, and I just don't know what the hell I'm watching at times. The humour is very hit and mostly miss, the slapstick moments are awful, the Jim and Maggie stuff just gets worse and worse and I don't get why Don is still such a permanent fixture (other than the love triangle stuff), considering he was only meant to be there to hand-over to Jim. There's actually little depth to anybody, either - apart from Will, who is clearly the liberal to save us all and so powerful that his own parent company can't touch him. And the latest episode was horribly mawkish.

It's watchable, certainly, and some there are some snappy lines and punchy dialogue every once in a while, but as a character piece there's no development to these people, and for a satirical look at the news it just doesn't make the news quite important enough.

I am finding myself very drawn to Emily Mortimer though.

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