The Newsroom is back, even though I don't think anyone actually likes it except for Sorkin, everyone who makes decisions at HBO and maybe Jeff Daniels. It has promotional art that looks like a bad Christian rock album, a slightly less pretentious opening credits sequence (but it's still pretty pretentious), a slew of journalists serving as "consultants" to add some credibility and the exact same bunch of completely unlikeable characters it's really hard to care about. Also, Dr. Dr. Sloan and Jane Fonda, who are great. Also sometimes Don.
Will has recovered from last season's ego battering and ulcer problems just in time to screw something called "Genoa" up and require a high-powered lawyer played by Marcia Gay "Didn't You Win An Oscar? What Happened?" Harden to fix it. But we won't know what that is just yet! First we have to go all the way back to August 23, 2011, where AWM is persona non grata everywhere because Will called the Tea Party the "American Taliban" last season. They're even having trouble lining up guests for the big 9/11 anniversary special, so Charlie pulls Will off of it. This makes him sad and Mackenzie angry, but there's nothing they can do about it except allow a weird military analyst to espouse the benefits of drones against goat herders. That weird military analyst, by the way, will be what causes Genoa to happen. In another episode.
Meanwhile, some random guy we don't care about breaks his ankle while covering the Romney Republican nomination campaign (remember – this is IN THE PAST, so Romney doesn't have the nomination yet) and Jim, still hung up on useless horrible Maggie, takes his place in New Hampshire to get away from the cause of his broken heart. Some guy named Jerry covers for him and brings in his favorite military analyst, because of course none of Will's regular employees would be capable of bringing such a liability onto the show.
Also, Neil finds out about Occupy Wall Street weeks before it even happens and thinks it's going to be an amazing and as big as Arab Spring. So he goes to a planning meeting and tells one of the organizers that he supports her cause and gives her advice that we know she won't take. It probably sounds a lot like to advice people give to Sorkin to try to make his show better that he also does not take.
Finally, after two weeks of being a good boyfriend, Don finds out that Maggie has feelings for Jim via a Youtube video of her annoying a New York City street and a busload of tourists and dumps her. He's pretty nice about it, too, probably because he's looking forward to getting with Dr. Dr. Sloan.
Oh, and Maggie screws up a fact check and Mackenzie doesn't know how speakerphones work.
Welcome back to Season 2 of The Newsroom! It's been nearly a year and I still can't figure out what HBO sees in this show. Maybe it'll be better now? I'm hopeful, but I wouldn't bet on it.
Ooooh, look at these opening credits now! I think they are trying to be less self-important than last season's, but they are not. But I am pleased to see the meeting pastries get a cameo. Also, some idiot spilled his coffee on his desk in excitement. It was probably MacKenzie.
We open on Will being his AWESOME sassy self and calling out Marcia Gay Harden's assistant for typing "Geneva" in his computer instead of "Genoa." When Marcia Gay Harden is impressed, Will tells a "joke." Marcia Gay Harden doesn't like jokes. Or rather, she doesn't like "jokes." Will's joke, I must remind you, was not funny. Maybe next season Sorkin gets some comedy consultants to go with along with those journalism consultants. And maybe also a Marcia Gay Harden consultant to show us the best use of Marcia Gay Harden because this is not it.
Anyway, Marcia Gay Harden tries to tell us what's going on but all I can hear is "nerve gas" and "war crime" as she and Will talk over each other. Marcia Gay Harden might be a high-powered lawyer who pays attention to detail, but she gets so flustered by Will's hilarious retorts that she calls it "Geneva" and then lets out a, "Fuck me!" To which Will asks her male assistants, "Well? Would one of you fuck Ms. Halliday, please?" "That was a little funny," Ms. Halliday admits. But it wasn't.
They get down to business, and Will says tells the lawyers that ACN ran "the story" and then retracted it. But not because the DoD told them to! Because, I'm guessing, they were wrong. All will be revealed. Next week.
Maggie suddenly enters with a head of short red hair to update Will on Romney's latest movements (REMEMBER, GUYS: This takes place IN THE PAST so Romney still hasn't gotten the Republican presidential nomination or lost it all or gone on that log flume ride at Disney yet. I think. Wait, no, this takes place in the FUTURE of THE PAST which is still the past but not as much. So Romney is the nominee but the log flume is still yet to be. Got it). She leaves, and Marcia Gay Harden wonders what happened to Maggie's hair. Right? Will's answer: "Women try things." And then, "She went to Uganda" and "it got real very fast," and she hasn't been the same since. I can't tell if he's "joking" or not, but this seems like something Maggie would do, except replace "Uganda" with "outside."