In true conquering fashion I watched the entirety of Newsroom in one very recent weekend. I had heard glowing reviews and Breaking Bad-level enthusiasm about HBO’s recent addition and was very eager to see if the show was buzzworthy or just buzzZzzZzz. (As in boring and making you want to fall asleep. Get it? Did you see all the “ZzzzzZ”?)
ANYWAY, I was floored. This was my first taste of Aaron Sorkin and it was almost better than the Cumin Lamb Noodles at Xi’an. Almost. The level of writing and acting going on would give the fab five Olympic gymnasts a run for their money if the fab five olympic gymnasts were actors and writers.
I got completely sucked into the world of ACN and was one hundred percent invested in the ups and downs of News Night 2.0. That said from episode numero uno, there’s been something that’s bothered me: The Jim and Maggie sitch.
Now, I love a good romantic comedy as much as the next gal. I, like The Darkness, believe in a thing called love. But while I’m not sure about The Darkness’s take on Jim and Maggie, I don’t believe in it so much.
All shows need some sort of romantic pairing to keep people interested, and Sorkin wasted no time in introducing the characters on Newsroom that would fill those shoes. Almost as soon as we met Jim, his boss Mac was pulling him aside and ordering him to like Maggie the same way she’d order him to research nuclear waste drops in Tunisian JC Penny’s. So, with one shot of Maggie’s blond locks flitting around, some romantic music, and a close up on Jim, we as the audience were supposed to assume the two were in love. We were also supposed to be invested in their love working out for the whole season. Just like that.
I’ve been in love, I know what it is, and I didn’t need Sorkin to show me. Not sure if that Foreigner reference worked out, but what I do know is while all aspects of Newsroom are brilliantly crafted and earn every ounce of my unwavering mental and emotional attention, this one could have used more work. Love isn’t something that happens just cause someone else tells you to feel it, and I as a viewer have a hard time believing that Jim and Maggie would be so into each other so quickly.
Subsequent episodes do a great job of fleshing out and supporting their attraction to one another, however this is a smart show for smart people and I think there could have been a less ham-fisted way to exhibit their romance’s beginning. I would kill for the chance to see a scene highlighting their first flirtation, cause I’m sure like the rest of the show, it would knock my socks off. Unfortunately, what we got instead was an unsatisfying act of exposition delivered by a character who isn’t Jim or Maggie.
Needless to say, I’m excited for Newsroom 2.0 and where it takes these two crazy kids. The rest of the first season handled their relationship in a real life way where they were never available at the same time, even though they both wanted to ditch their zeros to get with each other. The scene where Jim is talking Maggie out of her anxiety attack is so good in so many ways. More of this please! More where you build the understanding in me of what they feel for one another without saying, “Jim. Boy. Maggie. Girl. Boy like girl. Go!”
But ultimately, what do I know? Other than I’ll be a loyal viewer of season two and Tunisia probably doesn’t have any JC Penny’s.