Whether you love it, hate it, or love to loathe it, you’re probably well aware that HBO’s The Newsroom returns to TV screens on our side of the Atlantic this evening.
If you’re a big fan of the show then you won’t need much convincing to tune in tonight, but if you’ve yet to discover the charms of Will McAvoy and the team at ACN, or you’re feeling a bit iffy after watching season one, here are 10 reasons you should most definitely grab the remote:
1. It’s written by Aaron Sorkin
Best known for A Few Good Men, Moneyball and, of course, The West Wing, Aaron Sorkin is pretty much universally accepted as one of the greatest screenwriters of all time. He wasted no time in laying down the foundations in season one, incorporating his trademark snappy dialogue and witty retorts. He’s given us a show that’s both topical and funny, even if it did leave both audiences and critics divided by the end of it’s debut run. Nevertheless, Sorkin has an all-star cast behind him, and the teaser trailers for Season 2 are deliciously dark. Is it really so surprising that we’re looking forward to the show’s return?
2. It’s all about how people deal with the news
A show about a newsroom? How entertaining can that be? Very, as it turns out. The Newsroom not only deals with the problems associated with running a news business in a world where everything is available for free on the internet, it also takes us back through some of the most interesting news stories of our time, and asks how our news broadcasters deal with them. Phone hacking and the assassination of Osama Bin Laden were just some of the big stories the team dealt with in season one, and we couldn’t help but cheer on Will McAvoy, and his crew of producers as they threw caution to the wind and reported the news of the day as opposed to talking about which celebrity were hitting the headlines. Of course it’s overly dramatic – if you really want to know what happens in a newsroom go sit in one for a day.
3. Season two is far better than season one, or so the critics say
Season One was the kind of show you could love and hate-watch (yes, that’s a thing) in equal measure but season two has been getting some really decent reviews from the US critics. That’s got to count for something, right?
4. Jeff Daniels
The Newsroom wouldn’t be The Newsroom without Daniels’ Will McAvoy, the Republican newscaster with some ‘liberal leanings’. Sorkin’s West Wing was often derided as the Left Wing because of its outright liberal tone, so making his main character a Republican was an interesting move. Of course Will tries to keep personal preferences out of the debate at work, and he doesn’t hold back on the Tea Party or right wing politics on air. It certainly makes for rather interesting viewing, and even earned Daniels his first Emmy nomination.
5. The Love Triangles
Sloan and Don, Maggie and Don, Jim and Maggie, Will and Mackenzie; There’s enough sexual tension in that newsroom to keep everyone happy. Will Jim ever get a look in if Maggie and Don figure out how to make their warped relationship work? Can Will ever forgive Mackenzie? What would it take for Neal to actually get himself a steady girlfriend? Why can’t Don leave Maggie and get with Sloan? It’s all up in the air at the start of season two, and plenty of viewers are eager to see who ends up with who. Sure all it takes is a Sex And The City tour to sort these things out.
Dev Patel is something of a scene stealer when it comes to this show. Tech whizz Neal is always on the money when it comes to what’s happening online and the viewers can’t help but love him in spite of his hilarious lack of tact.
7. That Snappy Dialogue
We’ve already mentioned that Aaron Sorkin is known for his witty retorts but they most definitely deserve their own spot on the list.
8. Jane Fonda
She appears so rarely that we sometimes forget she’s there, but Jane Fonda does enough in five minutes to establish herself as the undisputed queen of The Newsroom. The veteran actress gives a masterclass each time she takes over the TV screen, and we quite frankly couldn’t imagine anyone else in her shoes. You might want to cover the kids’ ears before watching this clip though.
9. Sloan Sabbith
Who knew Olivia Munn could bring a sassy, sexy economist to life on screen? Sloan proves that there’s more to your stereotypically ‘hot’ girl than meets the eye, and throws in enough snark to keep the humor coming at the same time.
10. It’s about to become incredibly relevant
We really can’t say much without spoiling season two in its entirety, but there’s one massive storyline that has become ridiculously relevant in terms of current affairs.
Honourable Mention: Charlie Skinner
Academy Award and Golden Globe nominee Sam Waterston doesn’t have anything to prove but his Charlie Skinner is, without doubt, one of the best things about this HBO series. You can see why he’s got a Screen Actor’s Guild Award, and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
The Newsroom returns to Sky Atlantic on Monday September 2nd at 9pm.
Words: Conor Deane-McKenna and Sarah Doran