Will McAvoy (Jeff Daniels) and his crew returned to HBO with “Newsroom” “First Thing We Do, Let’s Kill All the Lawyers” on July 14, and the newscaster is once again learning the price of doing business.
When the season two premiere opens, Will is being interrogated by a lawyer for AWM about some Genoa scandal. But to tell that story, McAvoy, as well as MacKenzie (Emily Mortimer), need to back up 14 months and start at the beginning. That beginning goes all the way to August 23-24, 2011, right after Will called the Tea Party the “American Taliban.”
“The chips have fallen,” Leona (Jane Fonda) says, and that – surprisingly – is putting it nicely. Her son Reese (Chris Messina) has been restricted from attending an important hearing because of the “Taliban” comments, and everything else seems to be going downhill too.
And all of that is happening against a backdrop of pseudo-commentary on real news events. The “Newsroom” season two opener touches on everything from rebels taking Tripoli, to the Dominique Strauss-Kahn accusations. Then there’s Jim (John Gallagher Jr) escaping to cover the Romney campaign, just so he doesn’t have to interact with Maggie (Alison Pill). Neal (Dev Patel) also has a story idea that is just getting started too: Occupy Wall Street. Then there’s Sloan (Olivia Munn), who keeps demanding coverage of “drones,” and it frankly makes her seem like a blithering idiot.
Speaking of, the episode “First Thing We Do, Let’s All Kill the Lawyers” succeeds in making most of the girl leads somewhat of a blubbering mess. Similar to last season, MacKenzie has a less-than-shining moment when she accidentally voices her opinion about Washington while they’re on speakerphone. And Maggie just seems foolish in her attempt to be “friends” with Jim since she’s still, stupidly, with Don (Thomas Sadoski).
Fortunately for Maggie, her relationship status changes – although only after Jim goes out of town – once Don receives an email from Maggie’s cousin with a link to a youtube video, “Another New Yorker Loses It.” It shows her wonderfully impassioned speech to Jim on board the “Sex & the city” tour bus. And just like that, finally, Don and Maggie are over. But considering how horribly Maggie handled Jim after that speech, don’t go looking for them to get together, yet.
Plus, as the session with the lawyer shows on “Newsroom,” Maggie is going to have bigger issues to deal with this season, namely, what the heck happened to her hair after her trip to Africa?
The other simmering storyline is what the lawyers are talking to Will about in the first place: what happened with the Genoa coverage?
Since Jim high-tailed it out of New York, a replacement from DC came up. And that replacement, named Jerry (Hamish Linklater), puts a guy named Cyrus West (Benjamin Koldyke) on the drone panel, who has some issues on air – and not just because Will refuses to interrupt him. But Cyrus has another story, one that he claims makes careers and ends presidencies: a black op named Genoa.
So if one of the reporters never broke his ankle, then Jim would never have joined Romney, Jerry would have never showed up with Cyrus – and ACN would never be in this mess.
This is just the beginning of “Newsroom” season two. Chances are, Will McAvoy will be feeling the effects of doing business – and not just because he won’t be doing 9-11 anniversary coverage – for a long time coming.
What did you think of the HBO drama’s return to TV? The show airs on Sunday nights at 10 p.m. EDT.
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