Sunday, August 12, 2012

PREVIEW: HBO's THE NEWSROOM ("The Blackout Part I: Tragedy Porn")

Aaron Sorkin's THE NEWSROOM continues its first season Sunday, August 12 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on HBO.

In the episode titled "The Blackout Part I: Tragedy Porn," NEWS NIGHT refuses to lead with a pair of sensational stories, which causes ratings to plummet – and forces Will (Jeff Daniels) and Mac (Emily Mortimer) to abandon their principles in order to lure viewers back and shore up the network’s bid to land a Republican debate. Will auditions an unlikely scribe, Brian Brenner (Paul Schneider), to write an all-access profile; Sloan (Olivia Munn) chafes over her lack of air time to report on a critical financial crisis; Charlie learns the identity of an NSA whistleblower; Neal (Dev Patel) pitches an internet sting.

Watch a sneak peek below.

A favorite with viewers, news anchor Will McAvoy has found a safe niche with bankable ratings on his 8:00 p.m. flagship cable show, NEWS NIGHT. Numbed by success, McAvoy has become stoic, complacent, cynical – content not to rock the boat as he delivers the nightly news straight down the middle of the road – dialing it in as he avoids ruffling feathers with anything resembling politics. What fire he still has, he reserves for the cutting sarcasm and general unpleasantness that earn him no fans with his news team.

In a literal blink of an eye – or perhaps an optical illusion – McAvoy is catapulted from apathy to engagement when a spontaneous outburst leads him to tackle the principles of American patriotism in a public forum. Surviving the professional fallout from his unexpected tirade following an enforced vacation, McAvoy returns to work to discover that most of his staff has jumped ship for another show and is forced to work with several new team members brought on board during his absence.

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1 comment:

  1. I loved this episode! It was the strongest of the season so far, with just the right mix of comedy and drama. Though it’s been eight weeks it’s still hard for me not to imagine Will McAvoy spouting off some of Jeff Daniels’ dialogue from Dumb&Dumber. I wish they would once and for all get the misogyny out of their system, as this is the one aspect of the show that bothers me on a weekly basis. Though it’s gotten better, the fact that some of it still remains, even in “The Blackout: Part One”, is a bit of a bummer. Now I wasn’t able to watch the show Sunday when it aired, but one of my coworkers at Dish tweeted me a link to the new episode at, where I was able to check it out on my iPad for free. Olivia Munn’s performance alone will warrant a re-watch. Her character is my favorite so far; seeing her go from the comedy she did with Attack of The Show to this more dramatic fair has been pretty cool to see. Anyway, great review, and I’ll check back with you next week to see what you thought of the conclusion.