Last month, I wrote a piece -- click
-- on the kerfuffle among TV critics about the premiere of HBO's
Aaron Sorkin's attempt to reimagine cable-TV news.
As a big fan of Sorkin's writing style, I gave it a chance and kind of liked it -- but I had only seen an episode-and-a-half.
To be fair, I did skip the subsequent Jane Fonda episode. Life's too short for Jane Fonda. But last Sunday, I started to watch, filled with hope and optimism. I lasted 15 minutes.
Yes, the show takes place in 2010, but hearing news anchor Will McAvoy (Jeff Daniels) opine about his fear of the scary, scary
(yeah, people who wear funny hats, carry flags, pick up their own trash, and then go home at the end of the day to feed the kids dinner, are downright terrifying) and how reality TV is destroying our civilization (apparently, he's never watched
"Ice Road Truckers,"
"Rocket City Rednecks,"
and all of
) made me roll my eyes.
Worse yet, it was no fun to watch.
I concluded, as I said
, that "The Newsroom" is a very silly show about people who take themselves very seriously. If done well, that can be any number of sketches on "Monty Python's Flying Circus" -- especially the
"Ministry of Silly Walks"
-- but when the writer of the show also takes himself very seriously, it becomes a crashing bore.
Toward the end of the next installment of the biannual Television Critics Association Press Tour, which launches on Saturday at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, HBO is presenting a panel on "The Newsroom," with Daniels and Sorkin.
Considering how many TV reviewers have strong opinions about "The Newsroom," and have continued to debate about it in blogs, in print and on Twitter, I suspect it might be as much fun as the panel at the last TCA about ABC's "2 Broke Girls" -- click
for a rundown of that fiasco.
Keep your eye on Twitter between 2 and 5 p.m. Pacific time on Aug. 1 for live coverage from TV reporters in the International Ballroom.