The Newsroom: The Complete Second Season Blu-ray Review
I was a huge fan of the first season of ‘The Newsroom’ and although the second season drops a tad, it’s still a great show. HBO shows are fantastic at immersing you into the world of the characters and maybe the best part about ‘The Newsroom’ is its ability to put the viewer inside the world of a news team. The show doesn’t always work when it starts branching off into side plots, but since it always brings it back to the actual newsroom, it still manages to work as a whole.
The second season focuses on a blunder the ACN team makes early on. They stumble upon a juicy story of the government using chemical weapons and after doing all of their research and checking all of their facts, they air the story and it turns out their sources were either lying or wrong. And for a news team that was going against the grain in the first place and trying to focus on reporting the real news, this is a huge blow for them as they start to lose all credibility with their peers and with their audience. Most of the season revolves around this blunder and as the truth of the situation comes out, the show does a great job of making the viewer feel just as uncomfortable and nervous as the characters in the show.
But like the first season, the second season struggles with relationships. Jim and Maggie, Don and Sloan and now Will and MacKenzie are all in relationships and not only are they not needed, but they’re all put together rather clumsily. Jim and Maggie started in the first season, Don and Sloan seemed like they got together because everyone else had a partner and Will and MacKenzie were probably destined from the beginning. But the frustration with the relationships is that sometimes they distract from what makes ‘The Newsroom’ so great; the ACN team doing the news. That was a highlight of the first season and at times it seems to take a backseat in season 2.
As god as Jeff Daniels, Emily Mortimer, John Gallagher and Thomas Sadoski are, the star of the show is the writing of Aaron Sorkin. I realize he’s a divisive writer, with some people considering him the best screenwriter of our generation and others considering him a pretentious hack. I lean more towards the former and I always find his writing tight, witty and intelligent, even if it is at times familiar. That said, the actors in ‘The Newsroom’ deliver his words perfectly and their ability to talk fast and react appropriately is what really brings the show to life. I’ve heard complaints that claim people don’t talk that fast in real life, but I disagree; a high pressure situation involving a lot of intelligent people is going to lend itself to fast talking.
‘The Newsroom’ isn’t for everyone. It can be pretentious at times and the drama between the characters can be mind-numbing, but it’s worth toughing it out for the flashes of brilliance the show gives you. When ‘The Newsroom’ clicks, it’s as good as anything on television and I can’t help but think that if it had more time, it would have found its stride and could have really taken off. As it is, the show only has 6 episodes left and that’s just not enough time for the ACN crew.
Video: ‘The Newsroom’ looks stunning on Blu-ray. HBO continues to deliver perfect video on their Blu-rays.
Audio: The audio is equally impressive.
Commentaries on four episodes: An impressive group shows up for commentaries on four episodes, including Aaron Sorkin, Jeff Daniels and Olivia Munn among others. They offer some great insights into the episodes and it’s clear everyone involved with the show is fond of their work.
Inside the Episodes: Each episode features a brief featurette that goes behind the scenes and discusses the making of the episode.
Deleted Scenes (3:57): Only two scenes, but if you’re starving for more ‘Newsroom’, these are worth a look.