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Elinor, Tues and I are watching. Elinor is all caught up, Tues needs to watch this week's, and I've only seen the first episode of the season thus far.

Are you watching?  Any thoughts? Better than last season?  worse?  the same?  Like any of the new characters?

--I enjoyed Marica Gay Harden's character's few little displays of a sense of humor in the first ep
--sad that they speeded up the theme song, will have to adjust

Comments

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hooloovoo_42
Jul. 30th, 2013 08:14 pm (UTC)
Nope. Still not interested! I really feel sad about this, but I couldn't make myself like any of the characters and I feel that the overall premise is too similar to every other Sorkin show, yet missing something that they all had.
marymary
Jul. 30th, 2013 09:00 pm (UTC)
Hi, edgy! Yes, I'm watching. I even thought about coming over to start threads, but I've been traveling and will miss (time-shift) 3 of the first 5 eps, I think, so I thought I'd be a bad mod. :)

I'm way less bugged than last season. Ha, not a great review, right? I think the things I disliked (general female idiocy) were so glaring that this is what I was looking for. On that score, better. And Will is even WAY less strident than last season, so well begun for me.

I like the campaign context. I like the Occupy Wall Street/Neal storyline a lot. I'm prematurely horrified about Africa and Maggie, but might be a really interesting character shift for her. (Though if they kill Gary Cooper I'm going to rage.)

I'm currently shipping Don and Sloan pretty hard, so that's fun.

The only thing that's bugging me so far is Jim and .. is that Meryl Streep's daughter? Well, that's what I'm calling her. I really hate the hate-turns-to-love trope. So if Jim and Streep Jr. end up together, I'm going to be mad.

I SO AGREE about the theme. I love it so much and, in fact, I had read that they DIDN'T change the theme so when I heard the remix I was sad. But if you watch the end credits, they play the original version. :/

THANKS for starting the conversation! :D
tuesday_suit
Aug. 3rd, 2013 02:30 pm (UTC)
I'm currently shipping Don and Sloan pretty hard, so that's fun.

Me, too. I just saw the scene from last week with Don taking apart his chair. "I'm delightful." HA!
tomfoolery815
Aug. 3rd, 2013 04:51 pm (UTC)
"I'm delightful." HA!
Another example of a great line, delivered perfectly.

Also? Hey Tuesy. :)
tuesday_suit
Aug. 3rd, 2013 06:24 pm (UTC)
It was the delivery that made it art.

Also? Tommy!
tuesday_suit
Jul. 30th, 2013 11:54 pm (UTC)
--I enjoyed Marica Gay Harden's character's few little displays of a sense of humor in the first ep
--sad that they speeded up the theme song, will have to adjust


Yes to both of these - especially the second one. Well, I like the visuals in the new credits, but preferred the music in the old version. Oh, well.

I'm prematurely horrified about Africa and Maggie, but might be a really interesting character shift for her.

Me, too. I've been wondering about it since the premiere, but in the last episode I saw (from July 21), she and Gary got the okay to leave, so maybe we'll find out soon. I need to watch Sunday's episode.....
marymary
Jul. 31st, 2013 02:05 am (UTC)
hi doll! :D
tuesday_suit
Aug. 3rd, 2013 02:29 pm (UTC)
Mary!
tomfoolery815
Jul. 31st, 2013 03:52 am (UTC)
I'm enjoying this season a lot more so far. It feels less like Studio 60 at its worst and more like TWW, especially the second episode with its strong echoes of "Take This Sabbath Day." Maybe Sports Night is a better comparison, but maybe not. It's about a TV production team, but its lofty-mindedness makes it much more akin to TWW.

I like the Genoa story unfolding in this quasi-flashback fashion. We know Marcia Gay Harden is there because things have gone bad, but we don't know how (at least I haven't figured it out). I like Hamish Linklater's role much more than Grace Gummer's (yes, one of Meryl's daughters).

(Though if they kill Gary Cooper I'm going to rage.)
He had such a great line in the most recent episode, didn't he Mary? It's in the scene where they're talking about the medications he and Maggie have been prescribed for the Africa trip. It's been established that Maggie takes a different one because she's (incredibly) fair-skinned, and he says "I don't have fair skin ... I have soft skin." Chris Chalk's delivery was utterly delightful.

I'm enjoying the Don/Sloan dance, too. They're a much better match, in so many ways, than Don/Maggie.

I find myself waiting for Jim's Romney adventure to end. This part of it -- reporters not challenging candidates, as they should -- is verging on anviltastic.

I SO AGREE about the theme. I love it so much and, in fact, I had read that they DIDN'T change the theme so when I heard the remix I was sad. But if you watch the end credits, they play the original version. :/
I think the change to an uptempo version of the theme was a good move. (ducks) It speaks to the change in the way they seem to be going about things this season, IMO. A little less pretentiousness couldn't hurt a Sorkin show. ;-)


Edited at 2013-07-31 03:55 am (UTC)
elinorigbe
Jul. 31st, 2013 09:47 am (UTC)
Brava, Edgy for starting us off.

I'm way less bugged than last season. Ha, not a great review, right? I think the things I disliked (general female idiocy) were so glaring that this is what I was looking for. On that score, better. And Will is even WAY less strident than last season...

I agree. Even Mac seems more mellow. And Maggie seems to have grown up amazingly fast. I loved her exchange with Mac about the particulars of the African country she was campaigning to go to. She had all the answers, without stumbling.

Well, I like the visuals in the new credits, but preferred the music in the old version.

I liked both the visuals and the music from the first season. Evocative of an era of fine news reporting, Edward R. Murrow and all that. And the image of Telstar zipping through space seemed quite perfect. I haven't yet gotten a handle on the images in the new credits, what they represent. Perhaps with time they'll be clearer.

ETA: Greetings, Thomas. I dallied so long writing this that you snuck in behind me with such cogent comments. Especially about the pace of the theme music reflecting the change in tempo of the episodes.



Edited at 2013-07-31 09:54 am (UTC)
tomfoolery815
Aug. 1st, 2013 09:59 pm (UTC)
Hello, Elinor!
kaprin02
Jul. 31st, 2013 01:41 pm (UTC)
I am watching as well! I'm posting from my phone, so I can't really quote anyone, and I think I want to go back and watch again (I was distracted while watching eps 2 & 3).

I agree that I like Don/Sloan. I did last season, as well. :)</p>

I also liked last seasons opening credit music better - but Tommy makes a good point about using the uptempo version. Maybe it'll grow on me.

More later, after I've watched again. :)

elinorigbe
Aug. 1st, 2013 05:27 am (UTC)
Hi, Kappy. I watch each episode at least twice, and often again before the next one airs. Sometimes, on the first watch, I'm so compulsive that I rewind and play a scene again, if I feel I've missed some point of dialog. When I think back to how I watched TWW the first few seasons, well, all the seasons but the last one, really, before I "got focussed" and discovered TWoP, and this stellar group; it's like night and day. Well, I didn't have even a VCR at first, much less a DVR, so re-watching was not an option., but it was sort of throw-away entertainment. I mean, I loved it more than any other show I had ever watched, and thought about it a lot from one week to the next, and certainly over the summer between seasons (especially that first one!), but I didn't obsess about it like I'm doing with this new show, maybe because I couldn't. Technology has completely changed my viewing habits.
marymary
Jul. 31st, 2013 04:13 pm (UTC)
and he says "I don't have fair skin ... I have soft skin." Chris Chalk's delivery was utterly delightful.

Tom (Hi! :) I didn't even remember that until you quoted him! Yes, that was great.

I think the change to an uptempo version of the theme was a good move

Haha no need to duck on my account. :) I do think the whole staccato thing sounds more "newsy." And I hadn't thought about the pretentiousness, but I guess that's true. Still like the old one. *pouts*

They're a much better match, in so many ways, than Don/Maggie

Yes, they really are. Weird, cause I believe Allison or Thomas said in an interview that those two have played love interests several times onstage. I just think it's a VERY weird match. She looks 12 and confused, and he looks 40 and always in command. Don and Sloan have great chemistry and Jim is sufficiently frazzled to make a match with Maggie. So...I guess well cast, Show.

I loved her exchange with Mac about the particulars of the African country she was campaigning to go to.

Yes, I agree. If the intent was to show her growth, they're doing a good job. (Hi, elinor!)
tomfoolery815
Aug. 1st, 2013 09:44 pm (UTC)
Hi! :)
marymary
Aug. 8th, 2013 02:30 pm (UTC)
HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
tomfoolery815
Aug. 8th, 2013 05:41 pm (UTC)
Thanks, Mary. :)
amycurl
Aug. 1st, 2013 02:10 am (UTC)
Oh, pouting Mary!

#loweringthetone :)

/drive-by



marymary
Aug. 1st, 2013 03:23 am (UTC)
I will assume any affect you want, dear! <3 Come back!
tomfoolery815
Aug. 1st, 2013 09:49 pm (UTC)
She looks 12 and confused, and he looks 40 and always in command. Don and Sloan have great chemistry
That's just it. Her frazzled nature, in contrast to Don's steady composure, makes me wonder why he would ever have been interested in her. Especially when Sloan was available, you know? Accomplished, composed, looks exactly like Olivia Munn. Dude, come on!

Jim is sufficiently frazzled to make a match with Maggie.
Right. When he's indicating he's really into her, it computes. Plus his boyishness is a better match for AP's girlishness.

So...I guess well cast, Show.
If that was the plan all along? Well done, ABS!
elinorigbe
Aug. 4th, 2013 12:24 am (UTC)
Plus his boyishness is a better match for AP's girlishness.

I think another thing that they each have is a sincere belief that they are doing a great thing, that the news broadcast should be as honest and honorable as it can be. Perhaps a little naive, but very idealistic. In Don, I see a more practical approach, less starry-eyed and more pragmatic.
tomfoolery815
Aug. 4th, 2013 01:47 am (UTC)
In Don, I see a more practical approach, less starry-eyed and more pragmatic.

Well, Elinor, he was characterized last season as a "practitioner of the dark arts." :)
tomfoolery815
Aug. 1st, 2013 09:59 pm (UTC)
Speaking of Olivia Munn -- which I could at great length, but will not :) -- I also like, and believe, her portrayal of Sloan's awkwardness around Don. She's convincingly short on social skills.

I'm prematurely horrified about Africa and Maggie
I loved the shot at the end of the first episode. Will, outside the conference room, waiting for Mac, then the camera pulls back further to Maggie and that hideous haircut. (I believe it's intentionally a bad makeover; can we agree that there are hairstyles or looks that only a select few can pull off?)

but might be a really interesting character shift for her.
They have established that she can play that one note, haven't they? :)
elinorigbe
Aug. 4th, 2013 05:58 pm (UTC)
then the camera pulls back further to Maggie and that hideous haircut.

I didn't even realize it was Maggie, until you pointed it out. This has got me thinking about what the significance is of her sitting there, waiting. Is she waiting for Mac too, or is she there because Will is there, sort of in the mode of Margaret's saying to Leo, "I go when you go" ?

And this made me think about the relative relationships in the newsroom, work-not-romance-related. IIRC, in the first episode of the first season, Maggie told Will that she was his new assistant, but I don't remember that being stressed very much after that. We got caught up in all the romantic stresses, and the actual work give and take got shoved to the back burner. At least I didn't follow it very well, as pre-occupied as I was in trying to adjust to all the other problems that I was having with the show.

I am looking at this scene now with different eyes, wondering if she came back from Africa so damaged that she is back to being just Will's assistant, instead of the newswoman she was striving to become at the end of season one and the first few (back-flashed) episodes this year. On the one hand, she seems to have grown enormously, calmer and more professional, but there she is, sitting on the floor across from Will.

I can't help comparing it to the struggle that Donna Moss waged against being just Josh Lyman's assistant, especially after her return from Gaza.
tomfoolery815
Aug. 5th, 2013 04:51 pm (UTC)
The haircut is explained in the episode which premiered last night, Elinor. I don't want to spoil anybody just yet; I will give it a couple of days.
elinorigbe
Aug. 5th, 2013 06:06 pm (UTC)
Yeah, saw that. And I gotta say, it's growing on me. I thought she was stunningly beautiful last night. And what a change in her demeanor! Fantastic acting/transformation job by AP. I'll say more when everyone has watched.

But I must repeat, it's wonderful to get back to appointment TV with this show. Last night I came in from the garden at 6:45 to turn on the TV, so I wouldn't miss a minute of it. I haven't done that since TWW ended. And it's fantastic not having to suffer through commercial breaks in the action. So, yeah, HBO... worth every penny.

Edited at 2013-08-05 06:10 pm (UTC)
tomfoolery815
Aug. 7th, 2013 10:07 pm (UTC)
Season 2, Episode 4 -- Unintended Consequences
OK, it's been nearly 68 hours since the episode first aired.

SPOILERS AHOY

Well, now the haircut makes perfect sense.

For a second or two, when it wasn't obvious who'd gotten shot, I thought Mary was going to have to follow through on her threat to rage. :)

Fantastic acting/transformation job by AP.
She was quite good in this one, I do agree. There's obviously an opportunity here for the character to change, and I think for the better from an entertainment standpoint, i.e., make her into a more compelling character.

Meanwhile ... I enjoyed the succession of people enlisted, without success, to apologize to the OWS woman. I especially enjoyed how Sloan and Don couldn't help themselves in finding her annoying.

The sequence with Charlie chewing out Elliot and Don for saying the name of Perry's ranch was great, too.

DON: Elliot wrote it ...
ELLIOT: Oh, fuck you.
DON: ... and I approved it.

I can't reproduce from memory what Mac said as she came in, but I loved it, and Don's response along the lines of "I didn't hear you, I fell asleep in the middle."

Edited at 2013-08-07 10:07 pm (UTC)
tuesday_suit
Aug. 8th, 2013 11:58 pm (UTC)
Re: Season 2, Episode 4 -- Unintended Consequences
Well, now the haircut makes perfect sense.

Um, yeah. I knew that when she made a connection with that kid, it wasn't going to end well.

Meanwhile ... I enjoyed the succession of people enlisted, without success, to apologize to the OWS woman. I especially enjoyed how Sloan and Don couldn't help themselves in finding her annoying.

YES. Thank goodness that was funny - the episode needed some funny to prevent me from wanting to step in front of a bus at the end. Or in the middle.

I can't reproduce from memory what Mac said as she came in

"Upon which was painted a derogatory epithet for an African-American."

I can. ;-) ETA: But I watched that scene like 25 times.

Edited at 2013-08-08 11:59 pm (UTC)
elinorigbe
Aug. 8th, 2013 06:17 pm (UTC)
Well, now the haircut makes perfect sense.

I was expecting (dreading) a more personal ordeal, along the lines of her having been kidnapped, or raped, especially after what Will said about her in the first episode. Either of those events could have strung out the time line. I don't know if we knew how long she was gone, until this episode.

i.e., make her into a more compelling character.

Oh, yes, more please. I love this new Maggie, where as I only accepted the old one as a foil to Don.

Edited at 2013-08-08 06:31 pm (UTC)
tomfoolery815
Aug. 8th, 2013 09:58 pm (UTC)
I was expecting (dreading) a more personal ordeal, along the lines of her having been kidnapped, or raped
Me, too. The previews for this episode didn't dissuade me from that speculation.
tomfoolery815
Aug. 9th, 2013 05:06 pm (UTC)
Season 2, Episode 4 -- Unintended Consequences
Um, yeah. I knew that when she made a connection with that kid, it wasn't going to end well.
ITA, Tuesy. Wasn't there even a slow-mo shot, or a long close-up, of him early on? As if to tell us "Yes, he's adorable and yes, something horrible is going to happen regarding him before the top of the hour."

YES. Thank goodness that was funny - the episode needed some funny to prevent me from wanting to step in front of a bus at the end. Or in the middle.
It was Hungover Josh, followed by Flirty With Joey Josh to offset the incredibly heavy death-penalty discussion, yes. :)

"Upon which was painted a derogatory epithet for an African-American."
I can. ;-) ETA: But I watched that scene like 25 times.

The Focus is strong with this one. :)
elinorigbe
Aug. 10th, 2013 06:07 pm (UTC)
Re: Season 2, Episode 4 -- Unintended Consequences
Wasn't there even a slow-mo shot, or a long close-up, of him early on? As if to tell us "Yes, he's adorable and yes, something horrible is going to happen regarding him before the top of the hour."

His fate was written in his eyes, in his worried gaze.
marymary
Aug. 11th, 2013 02:39 am (UTC)
Finally saw the episode! I really liked it.

I can't reproduce from memory what Mac said as she came in, but I loved it, and Don's response along the lines of "I didn't hear you, I fell asleep in the middle."

Yes, and this episode definitely had the funniest dialogue of the season.

I especially enjoyed how Sloan and Don couldn't help themselves in finding her annoying.

Yes! I loved that -- Neal trotted out everyone on the team and none of them could fail to antagonize the OWS woman.

I also loved Sloan's response to the request to go meet the OWS woman, after having seen Titanic. Something like. "I need you." "That's all you ever need to say." The episode was full of really funny throwaway lines like that. And Don being told he was the last resort, but insisting he was saving the day. Lots of great Sorkiny dialogue there.

Also loved Neal hugging that new producer whose name I can't remember. I have a huge soft spot for Neal - they better not fuck with him. More.

I knew that when she made a connection with that kid, it wasn't going to end well.

Yes, that was pretty heavy.

For a second or two, when it wasn't obvious who'd gotten shot, I thought Mary was going to have to follow through on her threat to rage. :)

I had hope when Marcia Gay Harden's character laughed about Gary's name and said, "I look forward to meeting him." Cause no way she wouldn't have known that he'd died.

Though I loved the episode, I arrrghed out loud when Streep Jr. entered the pool area because I saw that kiss coming a mile away. That entire relationship arc was WAY TIRED, SHOW. Though I did like her calling herself "the rebound." :)
elinorigbe
Aug. 12th, 2013 01:36 am (UTC)
... and this episode definitely had the funniest dialogue of the season.

Some of the funniest lines were less than throw-away, they were almost invisible. I especially loved Maggie's "Yeah, I looked at that one but I needed a bigger ballroom..." which was stepped on by Harden getting back to serious questioning.
marymary
Aug. 12th, 2013 03:03 am (UTC)
Yes! That was a great line. :)
tomfoolery815
Aug. 11th, 2013 04:03 am (UTC)
Yes, and this episode definitely had the funniest dialogue of the season.
ITA, Mary.

And Don being told he was the last resort, but insisting he was saving the day.
Sadoski is the funniest of the bunch, I believe. Aside from Waterston, but I suppose that's a given. :)

I also loved Sloan's response to the request to go meet the OWS woman, after having seen Titanic. Something like. "I need you." "That's all you ever need to say."
Olivia Munn is really funny, too. Yet another reason Don and Sloan are a much better couple than the rest. ;)

Cause no way she wouldn't have known that he'd died.
Ah, yes! Good point.

I arrrghed out loud when Streep Jr. entered the pool area because I saw that kiss coming a mile away.
Yep, anviltastic. But I am happy to have received my wish: Jim is, apparently, done on the campaign trail.



Edited at 2013-08-11 04:04 am (UTC)
elinorigbe
Aug. 11th, 2013 08:33 am (UTC)
Olivia Munn is really funny, too.

She has a wonderful deadpan way of delivering lines, especially when she's looking at the computer screen when she says them, instead of at the person she's talking to. I think all the performances were top notch this week. The plot and dialog were better, too, but the actors really shone. It's as if they are all finally getting to know their characters. Starting with ABS.

Which is what Jeff Daniels said last month on Chris Matthews' show.
edgeriffic
Aug. 12th, 2013 01:54 am (UTC)
Closing this thread and opening another specific to episode 2.5...
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