Aaron Sorkin and the Return of 'The Newsroom'

The Newsroom Returns to HBOIn the last forty eight hours I have watched a ridiculous amount of network and cable news. I have seen anchors fumble, cameras pan wildly, and emotions escape from people who are usually incredibly stoic. As viewers of the news we only see what is presented to us. We don’t see what it takes to research or verify the story. We don’t see the chaos in the control room or the relationships happening in the break room. We see the final product.

Aaron Sorkin, creator of The Newsroom, wanted to bring audiences in to the world of journalists and breaking news. He wanted to show they were more than talking heads without a connection to the stories they read every night. To Aaron, The Newsroom “is journalists as cowboys in white hats.”

Season two of The Newsroom begins tonight. The show, which chronicles actual events, will pick up in August 2011 and the season will follow all the way to election night of 2012. This means you should expect story lines on Occupy Wall Street, the killing of Trayvon Martin, the Benghazi consulate attack, as well as lots of election coverage.

If you haven’t seen an episode of The Newsroom it is not too late to jump in. It’s probably too late to watch all of season one before season two premieres tonight, so here is a quick recap:

Will McAvoy is a national TV news anchor who is caught up in the ratings game. He then has a bit of a snap and decides he doesn’t want to care about the ratings race anymore – he just wants to deliver the NEWS. In the midst of this bit of a meltdown MacKenzie McHale, his ex-girlfriend, returns and is hired to be his producer when his old producer, Don, is promoted. She loves the idea of ditching the typical manufactured news stories and encourages Will to change. MacKenzie gets things rolling by promoting adorable and very earnest Maggie (who is dating Don) as well as bringing with her the super cute Jim Harper. And of course, wouldn’t you know Maggie and Jim = sexual tension! Sloan is a woman who reports on economics and she and MacKenzie have some great and quirky female bonding moments. So they start to change the way the network does the news and people freak out.

Huffington Post has a fantastic and detailed catchup of season one of The Newsroom if you have time for more specifics.

It’s Aaron Sorkin so expect big speeches, complicated and exasperating characters, and lots of idealism. Will you be watching?

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