The Newsroom S3 Ep1 – Boston

Charlie and Will preach against the rejoicing in CNN's bad choices

Well, The Newsroom certainly isn’t wasting any time as it comes back. Remember, this is the final season of this show and we only get six episodes – and I can already tell it’s going to go at breakneck speed until the end. I’m on board.

Late breaking news

A million years after the other networks, ACN finally breaks the story.

We open with Will and Mack planning their wedding. Thankfully, it doesn’t seem like this season is going to cram in any stupid relationship hijinx there. From that calm point, though, things get intense pretty fast: it’s the day of the Boston Marathon bombing. The fact that ACN reports last because they wait to be sure they’re accurate is noble, of course, and equally disastrous for their ratings. Once again, I enjoy Sorkin’s inability to write recurring characters as truly evil – Reese Lansing’s attempts to deal with the fallout from “doing the news well” while trying to run a successful business are quite sympathetic.

I enjoy that the News Night team continues to feel like a family. Will’s character still has to be shouty, and he is, but figuring out his stuff with Mack has also clearly mellowed him. Sloan and Don are still adorable. I cracked up at Sloan telling Don that she doesn’t mind that he’s dumb. (Maybe I shouldn’t have, but Don didn’t seem to mind.) Also, Elliot’s allergic reaction was a hilarious callback to C.J. and her “woot canaw” problem from The West Wing. The fact that it allowed Maggie to stand up in front of the camera and be 100% competent instead of a hysterical idiot was very much appreciated, too! And then you could feel Will’s pride as the camera came back to him from her.

I can’t forget to talk about Neal. His storyline this year will certainly be weighty, what with having committed a felony in the season premier. As others have pointed out, though, surely he should be smart enough to have at least thought about how dangerous the whole situation of classified documents was before acting. That’s a little too naive for him.

Also notable in this episode was the criticism of the kind of social media ‘reporting’ that went on in the aftermath of the Boston bombing. I feel like most of the criticism was very much justified – especially the scene that pointed out the horrible results of people on Reddit deciding the guilt of a random person, which led to death threats to the man’s family. It did stray once or twice into Sorkin’s familiar ranting about the internet, but it was much less heavy-handed than the show has been before.

The essential furnishings

So Will and Mack have moved into a new place together, but only furnished it with a TV so far. Sounds about right.

All in all, my main problems with this show seem to be less of an issue in the first episode, at least. The women are competent as well as funny, and the men are bombastic but not too over the top. Hallie, unfortunately, is probably still destined to be the losing side of a love triangle. However, at least neither she nor Jim were irritating this week (Jim was barely even present).

What about you? Does the season look promising to you, or are you over it?