Idealistic is perhaps the best word to describe the HBO political drama that takes audiences inside the workings of a fictitious newsroom.
The Aaron Sorkin-penned show gives a behind-the-scenes look of the CNN-like Atlantis Cable News network as it battles to distinguish itself as the leading source in answering hard-hitting questions, regardless of what the network’s advertisers may think.
As a working journalist in the broadcast industry, I’ll admit my bias towards “The Newsroom.” I love the show. It may give my friends and family an exaggerated idea of what my work life is like, but it also exemplifies the ideals of why I became a journalist and for what the profession strives.
Each episode focuses on a news topic that occurred throughout 2012, such as the president’s announcement of Osama Bin Laden’s assassination and the shooting of former Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. It weaves through how each event was covered in the media and then the ideal way of how it could have been covered, as demonstrated by our ACN news team.
As well written as the show is, Newsroom will seem familiar to Sorkin fans as it falls in line with the writer’s other television ventures. The behind-the-scenes formula is all too familiar to that of “Sports Night,” “The West Wing,” and “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip.”
In one episode, Sorkin even plagiarizes himself, reusing Robert Herrick’s poem “To The Virgins, To Make Much Of Time” to inspire one character to pursue a love interest. Sorkin used the poem once before for the same reason in a West Wing episode.
Much like the dialog-heavy series, season one’s home video release has bonuses more centered on informative features than game-like interactions.
Audio Commentaries: Five of season one’s 10 hour-long episodes include audio commentary. My stance on this standard feature has always been the same — it’s for nerds (myself included). Hear straight from the horse’s mouth what the cast and crew think as you go through the episodes. What’s really great about this feature is that commentaries are usually recorded long after the season has ended. So sometimes, which is the case here, you might get to hear a little about what’s ahead for the show.
Deleted Scenes: Though they don’t offer much new insight, the deleted scenes are enjoyable. They certainly won’t clarify anything for you, but just give you a little bit more face time with some of your favorite characters.
Digital Copy: The Blu-ray/DVD combo package also includes a digital copy, making it easy for you to take your favorite episodes with you on all your portable devices.
Inside The Episode: An HBO series standard, these recaps are of Sorkin giving his insight into each episode, helping better understand the reasons behind the developments of the characters and plotlines.
Mission Control: This is an especially wonderful feature for anyone that’s ever done set design for a high school play. Take a start-to-finish look into the show’s newsroom from the design to the building, and even get a look into its practicality.
The Rundown: The season one roundtable discussion features cast and crew members much like the audio commentary. As such, a lot of what is said does overlap, but it still provides an insightful look at the show.
Overall, Newsroom season one’s features are an insightful complement to Sorkin’s masterfully-crafted series, offering up some of the finest in television entertainment.