Monday, December 1, 2014

Wedding Night on The Newsroom

It wasn't quite the wedding we were expecting (or maybe not expecting but at least hoping for), but at least Will and Mac made it to the altar (at least metaphorically - although the completely out-of-character introduction of a religious ceremony certainly added a charming touch to the episode!). 

Meanwhile, the central story (from which we keep getting distracted by too many subplots) has everything going very, very wrong for Will, who has indeed (as he wondered at the end of the previous episode) turned out not to be too big to jail. But at least will admits he is morally conflicted by the issue at hand - unlike his smug, self-assured colleagues. Will at least grasps the concept that citizenship may rightly make higher demands than journalist ideology should be allowed to. but he remains trapped in the emotional and interpersonal dynamics that ideology has created for him. So he goes to jail. But not before getting married in a rushed ceremony that at least confirms that Will and Mac really do seriously love each other.

On the other hand, Jim's excessively smug journalistic ideology and general contempt for the tastes of the larger public lead to the inevitable break-up between him and hallie. There will be no wedding bells in Jim's future if he keeps behaving this way with every girl he gets involved with. Unless, of course, he and Maggie get together again! Maggie's head has figured Jim out, but it remains to be seen whether her heart can ever completely cut him loose. (Personally, I think she would do better with Jack, but sadly that doesn't seem to be the show's plan.)

Don and Sloane, on the other hand, really are an attractive couple, and one wants to wish them well. But the stupid subplot about them and ACN's new HR VP was just that - stupid. It was also a time-consuming distraction from the serious stuff going on in this episode.

Besides Will's being cited for contempt, the serious stuff was the ongoing battle to save ACN as a news network. And there the ultimate personification of ideological smugness is Charlie, who displays it all with gusto in his hapless quest to keep the news division from falling into the hands of an eccentric buyer, with quirky new ideas, whose wealth is, of course, the only lifeline for the network's survival. (That's unless at the last minute Leona and Resse can still somehow pull of the miracle everyone is hoping against hope for!)

Maggie had earlier accused Jim of living in King Arthur's world. In fact, the real world of King Arthur was much more morally ambiguous. But anyway the actual world which Jim and Charlie inhabit mentally (and would so much like to live in physically) is more like Edward R. Murrow's (and again actually a somewhat ideologized image of that world). But it is a world which went away a long time ago, and which frankly might just as well be Camelot (King Arthur's Camelot, not the faux 1960s version), for all its relevance to today's media world.

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