“From hell’s heart I stab at thee; for hate’s sake I spit my last breath at thee, HBO’s The Newsroom. -Herman Melville
Is The Sorites Paradox applicable to emotion? For the purposes of argument, let’s say that it is. Let’s say that every emotion can be thought of as a mound of sand on the infinite beach of the emotional spectrum. The greater the emotional intensity, the larger the mound. Say that on this beach hate is a massive dune, comprised of billions of tiny grains of hate sand. If you were, one-by-one, to remove a single grain from the hate dune, at what point would it cease to be a hate dune? At a thousand grains of hate sand? Fifty? One? When would said hate dune reclassify as a distaste heap, an enmity hump, a hillock of disdain? Would it reclassify? Or would it instead persist in its hate dune-ness, to greater and lesser degrees, in greater and lesser volumes? Further, would a hate dune be uniformly comprised of hate sand, or a blend of detest sand, abhor sand, etc sand? Who knows? These questions may not have answers. In the end, the only certainty I hold is that, on my own personal emotional beach, there is a hate dune for HBO’s The Newsroom, and it is the size of Olympus face-fucking Mons.
The Newsroom Season 2 Episode 2: The Genoa Tip
Cue “Coffee, Clocks, and Paperwork.” Jim is on the Republican Primary trail in New Hampshire, learning that Mitt Romney don’t share no bus. Luckily, our generation’s Karen Fillapelli is there to ensure that Mitt Romney does share yes bus. As soon as we’re done wondering if Mitt Romney is going to win the election we’re going to start wondering if Jim and our generation’s Karen Fillapelli will become romantically involved. Until then, I will be watching the below gif, trying to imagine anything more beautiful.
Alison Pill is sleeping at the office because Lean In. Enter Sloan fresh from Equinox, because Lean In. They rehash all the YouTube ex machina business from
the ninth circle of hell last week and decide to go on a side quest to track down the girl who posted the YouTube video of Alison Pill confessing her love for Jim because Jim used to date Alison Pill’s ex/new roommate and this is real life and put a bullet through every part of my body.
*Watches gif again*
Time Elapsed: ~3 minutes. Hate Index: 9 out of Hate
New Jim is info dumping Mackenzie about his “Genoa Tip.” According to HIMYM Don, the United States military used sarin gas on fifteen civilians in Pakistan. This is the incendiary piece of news that the entire season revolves around. Fifteen fictional civilians in Pakistan. I suppose the actual Afghani wedding that we killed with a drone strike had scheduling conflicts. Sigh.
(And real talk: Wasn’t this the lone opportunity for the asinine central conceit of The Newsroom (fictional coverage of actual events) to be used engagingly? Isn’t this show, in theory, supposed to right the wrongs of the conglomerated news media? So why not then fictionally report on one of the actual, grossly underreported atrocities that the United States perpetrates all the time? Why invent an atrocity that pales in comparison to actual atrocities? Because that would make the show watchable? Or if not watchable, interesting? How do I apply to get drone struck? End real talk.)
Mackenzie and New Jim discuss “The Genoa Tip” for an hour, and by discuss, I mean shush each other over and over again. It’s as if New Jim just told Mackenzie he caught Obama 69ing with Justin Bieber in the Oval Office, only worse. There’s enough shushing in this scene to silence every preschool classroom for the next century. Eventually Alison Pill’s forehead enters the room, effectively ending the conversation.
Time Elapsed: ~10 minutes. Hate Index: 88 out of Hate.
NASA has informed the News Night team that the world will stop spinning if Will McAvoy cannot report on the tenth anniversary of 9/11. To reinforce this, Aaron Sorkin treats us to a flashback to Will’s first time on the air, which was…on…wait for it…wait for it…drink a gallon of ammonia…wait for it…9/fucking/11. (mhm.)
Actual backstory written by adults: Will McAvoy was originally the legal correspondent for News Night. On 9/11, every other news anchor at the GLOBAL NEWS CONGLOMERATE was stuck in an airport. Bowtie tapped Will to fill in, for sixteen hours, with almost no broadcast television experience. Rising to the occasion, Will McAvoy saved America from the terrorists, because he bleeds cheeseburgers and recites the Preamble to the Constitution in his sleep. End backstory.
And how does Sorkin relate this backstory to the audience? By having two never-before-seen characters watch the video of Will reporting on 9/11, for no reason, of course/duh. And, and, and do they ever watch Will McAvoy like they’re watching God birth the universe out of His God Vagina.
Time Elapsed: ~((&^%%&%* minutes. Hate Index: DNE out of Hate.
Back at the studio, Alison Pill and Sloan have triangulated their Androids and tracked the girl who posted the YouTube video to a laundromat in Queens. They take the R to Queens and find her immediately since she’s holding a cell phone and also INFERENCE. Also YouTube girl writes Sex & The City fan fiction (Team Aiden 4ev), and she’s looking to expand her brand. An excellent scene of Twitter bartering ensues. Sloan tweets @ the girl. The girl removes the YouTube. All is not lost.
Don is best friends with Troy Davis. He builds a Troy Davis Wish Board. I am moving on.
Alison Pill says this line of dialogue to another person: “Can you think of anything about Africa that would be relevant to Americans?” Neil attends an Occupy Wall Street protest and is arrested for unlawful deployment of a plot device. Will McAvoy watches the 9/11 anniversary broadcast from his penthouse apartment, Googling why I hate him. Life imitates art; life isn’t fair.
Time Elapsed: ~40 minutes. Hate Index: So Much of out Hate.
Record scratch: The YouTube wasn’t taken down, and Alison Pill’s roommate knows EVERYTHING. GIRLS B-roll footage ensues.
INT. BLOOM’S APARTMENT – GREENPOINT – DAY
“I don’t care if you’re doing you. I’m doing I and I’m doing me and I’m my own journey.”
“Why doesn’t my boyfriend like me?”
CUT TO BLACK.
Will McAvoy busts Neil out of jail with a flurry of habeas corpus puns. They hit up The After at The Newsroom cardboard bar set, where McKenzie pours a drink in Will’s lap, points to the News Night crew, and says, “They would walk into fire for you.” I write, “Me too,” in my Moleskine. Troy Davis dies. The Newsroom lives. There is no justice.
Time Elapsed: Eternity. Hate Index: Hate out of Hate.
We are all Will McAvoy. Good night.