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The team still need more Casey Anthony to get the debate. Lisa's only friend pimps her out to ACN, which involves a visit to Lisa's workplace you'd THINK would alienate her further (past the point where Maggie revealed her secret to a news organization for her own gain). But no, Lisa is (among other positions) a stand-up girl and she agrees to be interviewed. It doesn't go that great.

Will shows the RNC reps (including Adam Fucking Arkin, ladies and gents) their mock debate. Shockingly, the RNC don't cotton to Will absolutely skewering the half-statements the "candidates" are allowed to make.

A flower delivery outs Don as a "we were on a break" kind of boyfriend. Maggie convinces Lisa to give Jim another chance and, because Maggie's ideas usually work out well for Lisa, she agrees.

Sloan agrees to be the object of Neal's faux-trolling; he gets his foot in the door but finds he needs more to establish himself and get his super icky and wholly inconsequential story to fly.

Comments

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marymary
Aug. 22nd, 2012 05:08 am (UTC)
Though I am still enjoying this show more than enough to keep watching... I must admit that when I was listening to the opening theme, it occurred to me that it's my favorite part of the show. That's probably not good. :)

I don't have many notes. That's probably not good either.

HATED:

Mac's ridiculous "miracle" speech. I just don't believe she's an exec producer at the top of her profession.

Neal hearing Sloan would be personally hurt by her involvement in the story he's purusuing, and then doing it anyway. Don't buy it.

The whole dress shop scene. I wrote, "Sorkin has finally written a scene John Gallagher Jr. cannot deliver."

Abortion? WHAT? ...WHAAAT? I'm still so confused, but I don't care enough to try to figure it out.

Will's pants. Not funny.

Mac "losing it." See above.

LOVED:

Jim is delivering a long speech, trying to convince Lisa to go on air. Lisa starts glancing at Maggie. She interrupts Jim and addresses Maggie: "Will and MacKenzie are counting on you?" I thought that was really well-written and well-delivered.

Neal, on the trolling. "After two hours, I had economics PhDs typing in all caps."

Charlie: "When Don says 'Eat me,' that's usually the end of the conversation.
tomfoolery815
Aug. 22nd, 2012 01:37 pm (UTC)
I wrote, "Sorkin has finally written a scene John Gallagher Jr. cannot deliver."
Well, if the objective was to present Jim as temporarily having no inner monologue, then ... mission accomplished. :) I did enjoy when he said "ELEVEN THOUSAND DOLLARS?" Maybe I will out myself as bourgeois by agreeing with Jim that it must be a status symbol to pay that much for a single article of clothing ...

Abortion? WHAT? ...WHAAAT? I'm still so confused, but I don't care enough to try to figure it out.
I think they (Maggie, and then Will and Mac) thought that Lisa would just stick to the talking points they left for her, that this was their chance to ennoble rolling around in the tabloid mud with Nancy Grace. What they did not count on was Lisa seizing the moment to talk about women having no alternative to carrying an unwanted pregnancy to term. And of course, since this is in the Sorkin universe -- a place I do love to visit, and will continue to -- this prompts an anti-abortion person to vandalize the place where Lisa works. Because that's what people who disagree with the good guys do. /dismay

Will shows the RNC reps (including Adam Fucking Arkin, ladies and gents)
He's just awesome at whatever he does, isn't he? He even made a white supremacist compelling on Sons of Anarchy. (I know that sounds hard to believe, but he's Adam Fucking Arkin :)

their mock debate. Shockingly, the RNC don't cotton to Will absolutely skewering the half-statements the "candidates" are allowed to make.
Sorkin's overt liberalism can be difficult to defend, but I do like the idealism behind this idea. There should be real debates, with the candidates in both parties being made to answer follow-up questions. But the cynic in me recognizes that neither the RNC nor the DNC is interested in anything other than the joint press conferences Jed Bartlet complained about.
tomfoolery815
Aug. 22nd, 2012 01:49 pm (UTC)
Will's pants. Not funny.
Yeah, I hear you. I think this is why Sorkin thinks the criticisms of his female characters aren't valid, because he has the male characters doing pratfalls and looking ridiculous. Regarding that scene specifically: If there had just been the conversation with the tailor/wardrobe guy about the pants, it would've been fine. That's funnier to imagine than actually see.

But seeing Will over Mac's shoulder at the climactic moment just seemed like ... well, if Mac's impassioned defense of Will served only to set up Will's pratfall, are we to take Mac's argument seriously? It's too bad, because that was a nice speech Mac gave about Will's willingness to change his mind.

Jim is delivering a long speech, trying to convince Lisa to go on air. Lisa starts glancing at Maggie. She interrupts Jim and addresses Maggie: "Will and MacKenzie are counting on you?" I thought that was really well-written and well-delivered.
I agree, Mary. Kelen Coleman did a really nice job there. I also thought that she and JGJ were very good in the scene in the makeup room.

Neal, on the trolling. "After two hours, I had economics PhDs typing in all caps."
I thought Olivia Munn and Dev Patel were great in that scene. It had many of my favorite lines:

Neal: I said if I can balance my checkbook, why can’t the government balance its budget?
Sloan: Mary, Mother of God, am I sick of that insane analogy. Balancing your checkbook is to balancing the budget as driving to the supermarket is to landing on the moon!

Sloan: You're going to see an emotional response on my face and a physical response directed at yours.
tomfoolery815
Aug. 22nd, 2012 02:12 pm (UTC)
From Sepinwall: Way too much of Mac appearing to be a completely insane person in front of the entire staff (even if she was also presented as being right throughout the episode).
Emily Mortimer has done a lot of yelling in the middle of that newsroom this season, hasn't she? That's on my Season 2 wish list: No instances of Mac acting crazy in front of the staff.
marymary
Aug. 22nd, 2012 02:39 pm (UTC)
And of course, since this is in the Sorkin universe...this prompts an anti-abortion person to vandalize the place where Lisa works. Because that's what people who disagree with the good guys do. /dismay

Exactly. I thought that was a leap, and then there are a lot of police hanging around and then Lisa and Maggie call Jim (??) and then Will shows up? IDK, something seemed way overplayed there.

I did understand that the point was that Lisa went off-book and they had to dial it back. I just thought the abortion thing was really wedged in there.

...I do like the idealism behind this idea. There should be real debates, with the candidates in both parties being made to answer follow-up questions. But the cynic in me recognizes that neither the RNC nor the DNC is interested in anything other than the joint press conferences Jed Bartlet complained about.

Absolutely. I loved the idea, until I saw how Will executed it. And then I still loved it, but realized it was absolutely ridiculous of them to think this demonstration would sell the RNC. With staff as candidates and Will being Will, it felt like an utterly unfair fight -- one where all the candidates would end up looking stupid. Some organization might love that -- the RNC, not so much.

If there had just been the conversation with the tailor/wardrobe guy about the pants, it would've been fine. That's funnier to imagine than actually see.

Completely agree. The conversation was really funny! Will hopping on one foot INTO THE NEWS ROOM...what's the scenario, he started putting on his pants as he walked out of his office?

Neal: I said if I can balance my checkbook, why can’t the government balance its budget?
Sloan: Mary, Mother of God, am I sick of that insane analogy. Balancing your checkbook is to balancing the budget as driving to the supermarket is to landing on the moon!


I liked that too! And that Neal used that to set her up for a strong reaction. I liked everything between Neal and Sloan EXCEPT the fact that Neal went forward with the trolling given her concerns. (And I must say I didn't expect such a Catholic exclamation from Sloan, but ok. :)

That's on my Season 2 wish list: No instances of Mac acting crazy in front of the staff.

Mine too! :)
edgeriffic
Aug. 22nd, 2012 11:07 pm (UTC)
Mac's ridiculous "miracle" speech. I just don't believe she's an exec producer at the top of her profession.

I found the speech clunky, but I did like the timing at the end when the lights came back on. Even though I saw it coming, it still made me laugh. I like that the blackout lasted so briefly, just like in real life when you get all geared up to "persevere" and then it's...over. I liked that Sorkin called it Blackout part 1 and 2 and then it was only a 20 minute blackout---showed a sense of humor and willingness to play with expectations a bit.

Charlie: "When Don says 'Eat me,' that's usually the end of the conversation.

Hee. Really loving SW in this role. But my favorite part of this exchange was OM's delivery, "Me?" -pause- "Fuck you." The delivery of all three elements was brilliant---the pretending to be excited at "Lil' old me being considered?", the pause, and then the FU. Lovely. Loving OM lots and lots too.
marymary
Aug. 23rd, 2012 03:04 am (UTC)
edgy I agree with everything. And I hadn't thought about the comedy of the tiny blackout titling both eps -- that is good, you're right. :)

I think OM, JGJ, Tom Sadoski, Sam Waterston and Dev Patel are my favorites. Wait, who does that leave? :)
tomfoolery815
Aug. 23rd, 2012 03:32 am (UTC)
But my favorite part of this exchange was OM's delivery, "Me?" -pause- "Fuck you." The delivery of all three elements was brilliant---the pretending to be excited at "Lil' old me being considered?", the pause, and then the FU. Lovely. Loving OM lots and lots too.
Great breakdown, Edgers! When you get smart, funny and smokin' hot in one package, well, that's a special day.

Did you guys see her on Jimmy Fallon earlier this summer? She added Allison Janney's willingness to look silly for a laugh to the mix. In other words, I have a new addition to the long, distinguished list of Tom's Celebrity Crushes.

Edited at 2012-08-23 03:59 am (UTC)
anatolealice
Aug. 23rd, 2012 11:43 pm (UTC)
I'll have to rewatch as I was so tired, I fell asleep a few times, but my favourite bits were Neal and Sloan. Especially (quoting Mary)

Neal, on the trolling. "After two hours, I had economics PhDs typing in all caps."

HEE! It was just hilarious listening to his very methodical system for becoming a troll. It made me think of Margaret's outrage over the calorie count of the muffins. I think he could've incited war faster on a diet website and saying the opposite of whatever prevailing truth the group believes, people there are already on the ledge (I know, I spend enough time on those sites myself)

When the blackout happened I thought 'ooh, just like sports night' and I was sorry it ended so fast. I liked Mackenzie's plans, even if I wasn't keen on her.

ETA actually 'wasn't keen' is an understatement. Mackenzie has been really, really annoying me. I find her really whiny and she makes Maggie look super professional.

Edited at 2012-08-23 11:49 pm (UTC)
tomfoolery815
Aug. 24th, 2012 04:50 am (UTC)
It made me think of Margaret's outrage over the calorie count of the muffins.
Ha! That's a great comparison, Anabelle. :)

And now, I present, the Sam Waterston Newsroom Anger-o-Meter. Brought to you by "his best buddy Mr Bourbon:"


Jeebus, the formatting here sucks.


http://www.vulture.com/2012/08/video-the-sam-waterston-newsroom-anger-o-meter.html


Sorry for all the edits.

Edited at 2012-08-24 04:53 am (UTC)
edgeriffic
Aug. 24th, 2012 10:28 pm (UTC)
Oh, and I meant to say a general hello. I got behind in watching as August turned out to be my first all-out busy month in about a year :-)

Got caught up last week, watched three in a row and then last Sunday's a few days later. Kinda fun to see them all at once. Did not like the one before the bin Laden, liked the bin Laden one a lot, and was pretty happy with the 2 blackout episodes. Looking forward to the season finale and whatever is in store for next season, hopefully with some improvements. Would be lovely to see this series hit a classic second season stride.

I think OM, JGJ, Tom Sadoski, Sam Waterston and Dev Patel are my favorites. Wait, who does that leave? :)

Hee. Well, actually, it leaves three of the top four billed actors out, which is telling. I agree with your list, TS being the biggest surprise for me. As has been noted before, he and TPTB have done a nice job of making his character have layers. I like OM more and more as we see more of her on screen.

I love Alison Pill as an actress--she's so appealing and has done a lovely job in other roles I have seen her in. But hard to love Maggie when all I want to do is shake her, hard. ;-)
marymary
Aug. 25th, 2012 12:17 am (UTC)
General Hello back to edgy! Ever since...whenever that was you were in Chicago...I can't tell you how lovely it is to be able to imagine the "in person" you when I see your comments. :)

I love Alison Pill as an actress--she's so appealing and has done a lovely job in other roles I have seen her in. But hard to love Maggie when all I want to do is shake her, hard. ;-)

I have no trouble believing that. It reminds me of my experience with Sophia Myles. She was on this show called Moonlight. People I trust implicitly told me "Oh, she'll be great...she was in this, and this and this..." But I haaaated her in that show. She just dragged the whole thing down. (Not that AP is doing the same thing, not at all...) But I think it was just a terrible match between SM and the role. And I think she was "out of her accent" which sometimes really does get in the way.

Could be just a bad match between AP and the role. Or bad writing for Maggie, or bad direction. YMMV, of course.

edgeriffic
Aug. 25th, 2012 03:05 am (UTC)
I can't tell you how lovely it is to be able to imagine the "in person" you when I see your comments. :)

Me too! It makes me happy to have merged RL Mary and online Mary!
(See below reply to Tommy for the full story of my visit that I think I declined to tell you and Gatz that night....)
tomfoolery815
Aug. 25th, 2012 01:00 am (UTC)
I thought I was going to meet In-Person Edgy this summer. /Disappointed Tom

I have found Maggie less irritating in the season's second half. (Character, not actress.) She has a great angry face. I liked her, also, in the dress shop scene. Especially when she banged on the window to urge Jim to Stop. Talking. :)
edgeriffic
Aug. 25th, 2012 02:57 am (UTC)
I thought I was going to meet In-Person Edgy this summer. /Disappointed Tom

Aw, I feel bad about this, and being the mature person that I am, have been avoiding bringing it up! :-)

It's kind of a good story though (as in lots of crazy family stuff plus serendipity via social media), so I'll tell it, even though this might not be the appropriate place:

We were in Chicago last October, for the first time in many years, for T. (aka Mr. Edgy) to run in the Chicago marathon with his brother, R., who lives in Burr Ridge with his lovely but crazy wife and three teenage kids. Because of an unresolved family feud, there was all sorts of drama leading up to the visit, and for a while it looked like G. (aka not-so-little-anymore Edgy) and I might not go, so I kept putting off emailing Keytus folks to make plans. We made a fairly last minute decision to all go, and were "allowed" to stay at the house even though N. (crazy s-i-l) had apparently vowed never to have us in her house again. By then I felt funny reaching out to Keytus on such short notice, and, if past visits were any indication, I knew we would be somewhat stuck out in the 'burbs and I didn't want to be at the mercy of having to ask N. for rides, or to deal with her reaction to us calling a taxi or renting a car.

Anyway.

T. and R. had planned to stay at the Chicago Hilton the night before the marathon, so as to be close to the start of the race and not have to deal with driving in at the crack of dawn, finding parking, etc. We had assumed that everyone else would be heading in on marathon morning to see the race, and that G. and I would ride along. But, it turned out that N. had no plans on going, and refused to let her kids go either. And, she didn't want R. staying at the hotel. So in essence, G. and I got kicked out of the house, to stay at the hotel with Mr. Edgy. I was more than a little pissed but what are you going to do? I wasn't kidding about the crazy part, in case you were wondering. :-)

Ok, here comes the silver lining: We got to the hotel and were hanging out in the room waiting to hook up with T's cousin E., also running in the marathon. I was perusing Facebook on my phone and saw a post from Gatz, saying that she and Mary were seeing a show in the theater district, which I thought was right near my hotel. A few quick messages back and forth, and they ended up meeting me at the hotel after their play, and we had a lovely time drinking and laughing and telling tales.

So that's how I ended up seeing Gatz again and meeting Mary for the first time (yay!), but not meeting Tommy or other Chicago-area k-kids. (boo!)

Someday we will be there again and with any luck will not be staying with the crazies! Or, I'll just come on my own. Until then, I do wish it had all unfolded differently and that I'd gotten to meet you, Tommy!

Edited at 2012-08-25 03:01 am (UTC)
anatolealice
Aug. 25th, 2012 06:55 am (UTC)
Yikes, what a drama! How could anyone say they didn't want you in their house again? Crazy! I'm glad you got to see Mary and Gatzy, I heard from them that it was great catching up with you :-)

marymary
Aug. 25th, 2012 02:09 pm (UTC)
Ha ha oh my gosh, honey, I didn't think! I didn't even realize I was essentially saying, "Remember that time edgy came to Chicago and didn't see anyone but me and gatz?" Sorry! /o\
edgeriffic
Aug. 25th, 2012 04:53 pm (UTC)
No worries, and no reason for you to have known! I'm glad to have had the chance to explain to Tom --I was just being a ninny to have avoided the topic!

It was fun way to meet, and so great to meet you and talk.

tomfoolery815
Aug. 25th, 2012 06:03 pm (UTC)
That? Is quite a Chicago adventure. Crazy in-laws; what can you do, right? I'm glad it had such a good ending, Edgers! Thanks for sharing.

Actually, I had gotten the impression, perhaps mistaken, that you were coming to Chicago this summer. Next time, then. :)
edgeriffic
Aug. 26th, 2012 02:57 am (UTC)
I had hoped to come out when Anabanana was there this summer but I had a conflict with the dates. One of these days....
edgeriffic
Aug. 25th, 2012 03:10 am (UTC)
I have found Maggie less irritating in the season's second half. She has a great angry face.

This is true. I actually do like the character at certain points, and really WANT to like her all the time.

Hmmm. I'm so schizophrenic about this show. Or perhaps wishy-washy is the correct term? I feel like every point that's made I agree with, even when they are contradictory.

I have some thoughts on this but I think I'll save them for the season finale post-mortem.



anatolealice
Aug. 25th, 2012 06:57 am (UTC)
Hmmm. I'm so schizophrenic about this show. Or perhaps wishy-washy is the correct term? I feel like every point that's made I agree with, even when they are contradictory.

Hee. I really like the show but there are also things that annoy me. But they aren't stopping me watching whereas with something else I'd just switch it off. Maybe it's because it's so familar? And I feel like it was written for us?(he's sure not writing for the masses). And it's not like anything else on TV.

A flower delivery outs Don as a "we were on a break" kind of boyfriend.

I laughed out loud when I read this. I've watched 8 seasons of Friends in about 6 weeks.


Edited at 2012-08-25 07:02 am (UTC)
tomfoolery815
Aug. 25th, 2012 06:12 pm (UTC)
A flower delivery outs Don as a "we were on a break" kind of boyfriend.
I laughed out loud when I read this.

It made me smile. Excellently referenced, Mary. :) (Pi-VOT!)

I really like the show but there are also things that annoy me. But they aren't stopping me watching whereas with something else I'd just switch it off. Maybe it's because it's so familar? And I feel like it was written for us?(he's sure not writing for the masses).
Yes to all of this, Anabelle. It's familiar and therefore comfortable; it feels as though he's writing for the Sorkin devotees -- who know that he does things a certain way, including things some of us don't like, but watch anyway because we love the high quality of the writing. Not once, despite the problems I have with the show, have I considered not watching.

And it's not like anything else on TV.
With the possible exception of The Daily Show or The Colbert Report. For me, anyway; those are the shows besides this one that primarily entertain me, but secondarily make me think about the real world outside the show.

In contrast, Breaking Bad is a much better show, no flaws whatsoever, but the only real-life thought I have about is "Don't decide to start making and distributing crystal meth." :)
marymary
Aug. 26th, 2012 06:37 pm (UTC)
Some points in here you will agree with.

Too snarky, but then it is TWoP. :)

http://www.televisionwithoutpity.com/telefile/2012/08/twop-10-things-well-miss-about-newsroom-season-1-hbo.php
marymary
Aug. 26th, 2012 06:50 pm (UTC)

Thomas Sadoski interview in Interview:

http://www.interviewmagazine.com/culture/thomas-sadoski-the-news-from-the-newsroom#_

Notes:

1. TS is primarily a theater actor.

2. TS is very smart and thoughtful and sweet. He seems like Don without the annoying parts, which is often what you want in your RL actors, right?

3. TS and AP have played a couple FOUR TIMES. Which made me chuckle out loud -- I find them so badly matched I figured it was just one of Sorkin's missteps in this show.

4. "We're not trying to lecture the media on how it should be doing its job or lecture people on who they should be voting for...." Well darling you might not be, but Aaron sure is!
tomfoolery815
Aug. 27th, 2012 01:32 am (UTC)
Thanks, Mary! TS seems like a good guy.
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