The Newsroom returns Sunday, July 14 and it’s still must-see TV. If you somehow haven’t tuned in yet, here are 5 reasons why you need to.
1. It’s an Aaron Sorkin show
Is there really any doubt that Aaron Sorkin is one of the best TV and film writers of our generation? He’s won numerous Emmys for his previous TV series, namely The West Wing, which earned a record nine trophies in its first season. That series also earned a Peabody Award. Sorkin won the Humanitas Prize three times, for The West Wing and Sports Night. On the big screen, he took home an Oscar, Golden Globe and BAFTA for penning the feature film The Social Network. His way with language is unlike any other. If you’re a Sorkin fan, you should be tuned into The Newsroom. And if you’re not a fan, this show will make you one.
2. Jeff Daniels has never been better
Daniels was a Golden Globe and Tony nominee before he signed on to play ACN anchor Will McAvoy in The Newsroom, so he already qualified as a heavyweight. Yet this is as good as we’ve ever seen him. From that now well-known monologue in the opening moments of the pilot, he’s been on a tear ever since. Daniels has the fire to sell every one of Will’s speeches or uncompromising on-air interviews, as well as the comic timing for the lighter moments, and just the right amount of world-weariness for us to believe that Will has been a newsman as long as we’ve been told. He is definitely the star of the show.
3. Thomas Sadoski
On the flip side, The Newsroom‘s most pleasant surprise has been theater vet Thomas Sadoski. His character, former News Night executive producer Don Keefer, started as that guy we wanted badly to punch in the face. Yet by season’s end, we watched Don unfold into that guy that we could understand and were kind of rooting for. All credit for that goes to Sadoski, a Tony nominee who’s a mostly fresh face to TV folks (aside from some Law & Order guest appearances and an eight-episode stint on As The World Turns). He’s cutting when called for, but also turned what could’ve been a one-note jerk into a full portrayal of a man who’s jaded, under pressure and yes, prone to causing friction with others. It’s pretty clear why Don is a series regular when he could’ve been written off a long time ago – because Sadoski is that good.
4. The guest stars
The Newsroom has attracted some pretty wonderful guests over its first season. Jane Fonda and The Mindy Project‘s Chris Messina have recurring roles as mother and son network executives who serve as the show’s primary antagonists. Other visitors have included Jeff Daniels’ God of Carnage co-star Hope Davis as a scheming reporter, Numb3rs star David Krumholtz as Will’s therapist, and action star Terry Crews as Will’s bodyguard Lonny. In season two, you’ll see Patton Oswalt (The King of Queens, Burn Notice) as a new network VP, Grace Gummer playing an embedded reporter, and Marcia Gay Harden (Law & Order: SVU) as ACN’s new defense counsel.
5. It’s a show with something important to say
The Newsroom caused quite a stir upon its premiere, and with good reason. It’s a TV show that’s unafraid to call the popular media out for how it does or does not conduct itself. Its characters have strong opinions and aren’t scared to express them. The West Wing is almost universally beloved by the media for its idealistic point of view about government. Yet we’d argue The Newsroom is as important, if not moreso, for its point of view on the media. It’s worth watching to raise the level of debate about the state of journalism in this country. Whether you agree or disagree with what Will and his co-workers say, it’s a show that got us talking, and not just watching.
The second-season premiere of The Newsroom is Sunday, July 14 on HBO – and you can click here to watch episodes from season one now or add them to your Watchlist for later.