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Flix Fix: 'The Newsroom' comes back strong in second season

By Carolina Astrain
July 24, 2013 at 2:24 a.m.

Charles Skinner (Sam Waterston), ACN's news division president, speaks with MacKenzie Morgan "Mac" McHale (Emily Mortimer), the executive producer of News Night in "The Newsroom."

IF YOU LIKE

If you've already seen "The Newsroom," then check out some of these other shows and movies with similar themes and undertones. Know of anything that would be a good addition to this list? Shoot me an email at castrain@vicad.com or tweet me @carolinastrain. I'd love to check it out.

• "His Girl Friday," 1940

• "Broadcast News," 1987

• "Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman," 1993-1997

• "The Paper," 1994

"Network," 1976

• "Citizen Kane," 1941

Source: Internet Movie Database

When the first episode of "The Newsroom" was released via YouTube, many of my journalism colleagues approached the show with restrained, doubtful enthusiasm.

And for good reason.

But after going through the first crush of episodes on HBO GO, it was hard to stop watching.

In its second season, "The Newsroom" comes back with a strong, fast-paced storyline tapestried by Tripoli drone strikes, a budding Occupy Wall Street movement and a high-profile lawsuit the show's network is trying to drudge itself out of.

The show's main character Will McAvoy (Jeff Daniels) starts off the season faced with push-back from the Republican party for referring to the tea party as the American Taliban, a remark which won him points among his co-workers and executive producer/ex-girlfriend MacKenzie McHale (Emily Mortimer).

If you're unfamiliar with the show, the first season builds up to News Night's rebirth as a news show that "matters" and works to keep the "bad guys" accountable for their actions.

I put those words in quotes simply because as a journalist, I'm honestly undecided and uneasy about the liberal, righteous slant the show offers.

But despite its frothiness, I love watching Aaron Sorkin's witty repartee between characters behind the glamorous and seductive sheen of blue-blooded cable.

And of course like any newsroom or political drama, the important stuff is laced with crippled relationships, damaged friendships and intense rivalries.

It isn't quite as riveting or heart-stopping as ABC's "Scandal," but it sets the pace for the genre.

The most fun I have watching the show is going back almost a year later to events that actually occurred in the news.

After the first few minutes of the first episode, McAvoy is told by Charlie Skinner (Sam Waterston) he is going to be pulled from the 9/11 anniversary coverage.

A crushing reality for America's Most Loved Anchor who, as viewers later discover in episode two, was actually the breaking news anchor when it happened.

This is probably my favorite moment in the second episode.

The board operators - arguably some of the most unsung heroes of broadcast news - flip through the footage of when it was first reported, and meanwhile, McAvoy is in the background behind the studio's windowpanes watching his past flash before him.

Nostalgia can be a hard pill to swallow, but Sorkin makes an awful good drink of it with "The Newsroom."

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