I’m glad to say that things have changed. A good friend has enlightened my TV world and bought me the first season of “Newsroom”. This a spectacular show, with a fantastic cast, and a dynamic storyline. It depicts a world that I can actually care about because it is grounded in real-world events. The series started with a bang- high stakes and a strong message right off the bat. This sent the world of news anchor, Will McAvoy, into a tail of chaos and change. The characters feel real, with real problems, emotions, and faults. This authenticity made it easy to care about the characters after only a matter of minutes. In my opinion, that’s the key to good TV: if the audience cares about the characters, they will care about the show.
Primarily written by Aaron Sorkin, “Newsroom” is about a popular news anchor, who got that way by not bothering anyone. Will McAvoy, played by Jeff Daniels, didn’t take sides or present a strong opinion; he was as likable and plain as white bread. Until one day, at a conference, a young college girl asked the question, “Can you say why America is the greatest country in the world?” He tried to deflect the question, but upon seeing his ex-lover and former co-worker in the crowd, some residual passion for the news bubbled up inside. He shocked the crowd by says America isn’t the greatest country in the world. He went on to create a glorious speech, slapping down hard facts about the reality of the condition of today’s America, how much America achieved in its past, and explained how being informed was the key to that success.
I grew up watching CNN and CBC news with my dad after school. Sure, I might have prefered cartoons, but I grew to appreciate being informed on global events and understanding a bit about the real world. As I get older, the quality of TV news diminishes and becomes more of a ratings race, overrun with corporate agendas. This degradation of journalism, is part of the reason I have lost much faith for television news, but this show has shone a new light on the way news could be delivered and inspired me to reconsider a career in journalism. THAT is what I call good TV.