5-sentence review of The Newsroom pilot

Season 1, Episode 1: “We Just Decided To”

5. “The Newsroom” is a love story for both in the “His Girl Friday” sense and in a deeper, more meaningful affection for what television news could and should be without shouting partisan talking heads spewing catch phrases at top volume.

4.¬†Jeff Daniels is magnificent as terse news anchor Will McAvoy, who spouts off at a journalism conference and creates a career-damaging viral video that allows his ex-lover Mackenzie MacHale (Emily Mortimer) to take over McAvoy’s show as executive producer.

3. As always, creator Aaron Sorkin writes terrific dialogue that flows out of characters’ mouths in idealistic speeches that say exactly what people want — and need — to hear but are also too perfect to ever actually be uttered by someone without a script.

2. The temptation, especially by someone who works in a newsroom, is to review “The Newsroom” as if it were a documentary and then note deviations from reality, such as the fact nobody shouts in newsroom anymore, that McAvoy’s boss Charlie Skinner (Sam Waterston) would be in AA if he drank that much and that McAvoy calling an Indian staff member Punjab would almost certainly result in a trip to human resources.

1. But “The Newsroom” is fiction and Sorkin as created something with as great promise: Just as “The West Wing” made politics seem noble and human amid sordid scandal, perhaps the this show can pull the same trick with the equally reviled trade of journalism.

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