The Newsroom: “Election Night Part 1” Season 2 Episode 8 Review

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Here’s the ultimate problem with this episode and this season…we’re all as tired of Genoa as the characters seem to be, and The Newsroom does best when it sticks to the news.

Election night gave them ample opportunity to do just that, but we’re still stuck on Genoa. The controversy over resignations, Don being named in a separate suit…it all detracted from what could have been riveting election night coverage. The best part of the actual broadcast, which inexplicably included Taylor, was actually when Sloane announced the elephant in the room…that Will had reported on Genoa and it wasn’t even true. It was just the adorable gaffe we’ve come to expect from Sloane, and it gave some much needed comic relief to the episode.

The other comic relief came from an unexpected source: Reese Lansing. His riff about his conversation with his mother was perhaps the most enjoyable he’s ever been.

Another thing about this episode I loved was a small but very classic moment when Charlie shows the crew that the entire world is envious of America’s elections. It’s just the vintage Sorkin touch that this episode needed, that this season’s been yearning for.

There was one scene this week that, while it was a waste of time, I admired. On actual election night in actual November 2012, Fox News’ Megyn Kelly walked the audience from her news desk back to their decision room where the elections are called in order to prove Karl Rove wrong after an on air meltdown. This off the cuff backstage reporting was absolutely riveting television. Elliot attempted to do the same this week, giving a walkthrough of News Night’s decision room, but it was decidedly less riveting. I just felt the need to point out that I appreciated where they were going with it.

Basically the most important thing that occured tonight, Newsroom plot wise, was Will firing Mackenzie. After more annoying fighting over the state of their relationship and their breakup six years prior. We’ll have to see where that stands next week, but somehow I doubt it’s going to stick.

The most important thing as far as real world news plots go was Don and Maggie stumbling upon the General Patraeus scandal. Obviously after Genoa Charlie is hesitant at the least to report anything negative about the military, and his frustration was very genuine.

This episode was quiet, slightly boring, but I feel like it was an appropriate set up for what will hopefully be a much more eventful finale. After this season, The Newsroom needed an under the radar but well structured episode. Grade: B

By: Meghan Coan

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