The Newsroom wasn’t as warmly received by many critics as you might expect from the Emmy Award winning writer of The West Wing. Possibly it was because this behind the scenes format would be familiar to Sorkin fans who had enjoyed Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip and Sports Night, and this new show seemed inferior by comparison, in particular to the woefully under exposed Sports Night. The characters seemed incredibly familiar, like they had just been plugged in from other shows but in the end, the show seemed to find its voice.
There were also accusations that it was ‘preachy’ which does seem strange given the nature of US cable news. Also did you see The West Wing? Others said the show was sexist with female characters defined by the men in their lives or the characters simply being a series of quirks and screw ups. It was of course possible to read the show this way, provided you ignored the fact that the male characters had fairly similar qualities.
Much can be forgiven in any first season. Most shows take around ten episodes to find their true voice. That’s more noticeable in a 13 episode season, but there was some powerful and intelligent writing to be found. Expect some tweaks for the second season with cast additions including Marcia Gay Harden, Patton Oswalt and Constance Zimmer.
The Newsroom returns on HBO on July 14 2013 and later that week on Sky Atlantic