If you haven’t read my review of The Newsroom Season One, feel free to click here and check that out. Also, if you haven’t seen it but want a verdict, don’t fret as this review and the Season One review are both spoiler-free.
Season Two of The Newsroom feels like a big departure from Season One, but not in a bad way.
There aren’t many new characters to talk about, though I will touch on the one new and important one, along with a couple I missed in my initial review. In Season Two, Jim is on assignment so they get Hamish Linklater to the temporary Associate Producer of News Night. You know right off the bat this guy is going to be bad news, and the show doesn’t try to make him likable, but has a really nice style of making him feel relevant. I didn’t mention Jane Fonda in my review of Season One because I wanted to see her more in this season, but regardless, she is incredible. I know she was nominated the past two years for Guest Appearance Emmy’s, but I don’t remember if she’s won yet…
One of the things I really liked about this Season is one of my complaints from Season One. In Season One, I thought that Dev Patel’s character Neil and Tom Sadoski’s character Don didn’t have much to do, but in this season, their importance is felt, and I love that Aaron Sorkin improved upon the last season character wise.
One of my complaints with this season though is how character-driven it was. There are two kinds of shows from my stand-point: plot-driven shows and character-driven shows. Ultimately, Breaking Bad was a character driven show, that character being Walter White, and the plot was impeccably written to go along with his character. My point is, the first season felt very plot-driven with strong character stories still going on, but this season felt primarily character-driven with a lot of set-up, and only plot payoff at the end (which I’ll get to). Example: the first episode or even couple episodes Will, the main character of the show, didn’t feel that important, or more specifically, he didn’t feel significant, which almost defeats the purpose of the first season.
However, the set-up pays off in an unbelievably awesome way. The last four (especially) or even five episodes of the season were extraordinary in terms of plot. This season did what I assumed it would do, and make-up a news event or two instead of being entirely real-world based. And there was one episode where there are explicitly real-world based items flashed through from 2012. It was such a quick scene that if you remember those things happening, you know where the show is going, but the writing makes you feel like you don’t, and that’s something I find so interesting about this show.
The direction of Season Two is probably the only other thing that’s a bit off in my eyes, and it correlates with the small writing issue. I don’t know if there was or not, but it almost feels like Aaron Sorkin was busier on that Steve Jobs script this season and let someone else be the showrunner. It just feels like there was a bit of a different direction, but in a way that was still really neat.
So Season Two is very different from Season One in terms of plot and how developed the characters were, and despite a lot less rapid-fire, the dialogue is still edge-of-your-seat worthy. The few issues I had with this season were nothing that I couldn’t overcome, and though I still like Season One a bit better, it doesn’t change the fact that I’m really excited for Season Three in November, and it’s a set of episodes I can’t wait to watch again.
I am interested to see where the show goes next especially, because this season’s finale felt like it was a series finale and not a season finale… Pulling a Community, I guess?
So have you guys seen The Newsroom? If so, what’s your favorite or least favorite season. Again, the commentary on this show is so mixed, I’d love to hear your guys’ thoughts down below! And as always, thanks for reading guys.