The Newsroom S2 Ep1 – First Thing We Do, Let’s Kill All The Lawyers

Welcome back, show! I didn’t love you wholeheartedly last season, but I wanted to. You’re looking more promising based on this first outing, so keep it up.

The flashback thing, when Sorkin does it right, can be brilliant. Thus far, I think it’s going well. We find out that NewsNight and everyone involved therein is being sued, and it has to do with a big story they reported that turned out to be false and had to be retracted. Of course, there’s also the minor issue of Will having gone on TV calling the Tea Party the American Taliban, which has oddly enough made some influential people rather angry.

I deeply appreciated the early scene in which Mackenzie smoothly and easily did her thing, editing an inaccurate voice-over on the fly seconds before it needed to air and telling everyone how to handle a sudden major equipment failure behind the scenes, thus saving the broadcast. It wasn’t boring, and it wasn’t an anvil, but it did clearly show that she can be competent (as opposed to last season, where we were repeatedly told). Then, of course, she turned around and accidentally insulted some ACN folks in D.C. over speakerphone. Win some, lose some, blahblah.

Also, yeah, what *did* happen to Maggie? Curiosity successfully piqued.

Also, yeah, what *did* happen to Maggie? Curiosity successfully piqued.

Since the hiatus has only left me slightly less tired of the Maggie/Jim/Don/Sloan storyline, I’ll limit my thoughts on it to this: I’m not surprised Jim would want to leave. I’m pleasantly surprised that Don has figured out so early on in the season, and he and Maggie are genuinely not right for each other. Don and Sloan’s chemistry together is excellent. Hey, and Maggie didn’t freak out even once in this episode!

I also enjoy how Will and Mackenzie have progressed. They’re not done being mad at each other, but I prefer their sniping when the point isn’t rehashing their ancient history. (So there’s just the fateful answering machine message left to discuss now, right?) They seem to understand each other better by now. Also, playing The Who on TV is always good, especially when it does thematically fit.

Neal’s Occupy Wall Street story is certainly better than Bigfoot. When it was actual news, though, I felt like they lost their point fairly quickly. So, let’s hope it’s not Neal’s only storyline this season.

I think this Genoa thing has potential, if only because it means not all of the focus of the show will be how our NewsNight crew reacts to 2011-2012’s news cycle (i.e., generally better than everyone else does). Marcia Gay Harden is great as the ACN-hired lawyer. I will definitely not mind her continuing to show up; no-nonsense lawyers who aren’t impressed by the main characters’ cocky answers may be a Sorkin trope, but it’s one I enjoy.

It's the raised hands that make it art.

It’s the raised hands that make it art.

Oh, and I was going to comment earlier on the re-tooled intro, but I think instead I’ll just snicker some more at Will singing “Friday” to himself throughout the beginning of the episode.

Looking forward to more! Let us know what you thought in the comments below.