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Here’s what you have missed on The Newsroom so far: newscaster Will McAvoy (Jeff Daniels) getting in trouble with the network for his explosive, investigative reporting; a variety of romantic entanglements; and a whole lot of current events from a fresh, contemporary, and retrospective standpoint.
Speaking of romance, the episode starts with McAvoy and former girlfriend and current executive producer Mackenzie McHale (Emily Mortimer) discuss and flirt over the former’s apparent lack of clear vision. The tension with these two has been building all season, continuously building up, yet is once again averted by Will mentioning his sleeping problems
Enter newbie character and doctor, played by David Krumholtz, who hopes to expand on McAvoy’s health problem and—cue dramatic music—death threat he received via the Internet.
This actually delves into an interesting discussion on the emergence of anonymous death threats that have targeted various celebrities as of late. Rebecca Black received death threats for an inconsequential song about gettin’ down on Friday. Bristol Palin received similar threats for expressing her opinion on President Obama’s new stance on gay marriage…obviously, a fictional character with a high profile would receive similar threats.
Now McAvoy is not only dealing with attacks on his character and relationship status by various gossip columns, he is also dealing with death threats due to his reporting style and stance on current events. Throw in the fact that his ex-girlfriend and love of his life is the woman running his show, I’m surprised that this guy doesn’t have a coronary or heart condition.
I feel stressed out just watching the show sometimes. Come on, HBO! Give the guy a break.
Cue the entrance of economics extraordinaire/potential model Sloan Sabbith (Olivia Munn) speaking Japanese and once again saving the day. So far all we know about Sloan is that she is a gorgeous genius, who managed to turn her Ph.D. in economics into a job as a newswoman.
Sloan is given the chance to fill in for another broadcaster, once again displaying her skill in Japanese. Unfortunately, she goes rogue on the recent Japanese nuclear crisis, which leads into a full-on shouting contest with various executives. Viewers are left with a silent Sloan, who is subjected to a suspension for her impromptu on-air actions.
I actually look forward to where HBO goes with her character. She’s witty, intelligent, and slightly awkward. She’s an intriguing character.
Due to the recent threats against Will—both physical and personal—Mackenzie forces the staff into a full-fledged investigation of McAvoy in order to prepare for any other potential attacks on his person or character. Hmm, I don’t possess any psychic abilities, but even I can tell that this is bad news bears.
And it seems I’m right, because the staff uncovers a past offer for a late night talk show that Will was offered in 2006. Yes, that was during the Will-Mackenzie romance that went awry.
Mackenzie, in true confrontational (yet clumsy) fashion, marches into Will’s office and proclaims that the offer meant he had no intention to marry her. In response, he unlocks a drawer in his desk and…cue dramatic music…produces an engagement ring from Tiffany’s. Something tells me we may or may not be seeing this ring again in the future.
However, in true Newsroom fashion, it jumps to another topic in quick succession. Will is on air talking about Rick Santorum’s stance on gay marriage. The discussion quickly turns hostile, but we are diverted into another extemporaneous moment between McAvoy and his new doctor in a quasi-psychologist moment. Some might find the jumping narrative distracting and discontinuous, but the narratives blend together beautifully and the spontaneous jumps portray the up-to-the-minute nature of the news.
We are left on April 12, 2011. I, for one, cannot wait to see what current events HBO decides to tackle next.
Here’s what you can look forward to next week: vague national security issues, which promise to be “history making.”
The Newsroom airs on HBO on Sundays at 10 p.m. EST.