Monday, May 27, 2024

HBO “Newsroom” Returns: Ironic Nod to Occupy Wall Street As They Take to Streets


On Aaron Sorkin’s much improved “The Newsroom,” Occupy Wall Street is in its nascent planning stages. The show picks up in Season 2 in summer 2011 as OWS is getting itself ready for Zuccotti Park. In real life, OWS revived on Sunday night as well with protests all over the country over the Trayvon Martin verdict. In New York, protesters marched from Union Square up the east side to Harlem. You could watch them on livestream via something called Timcast promoted by Vice magazine. A thousand or so protesters dissipated to a few hundred in the blistering night heat and humidity. Still, it looked pretty bad.

And the coincidence of “The Newroom” was ironic, especially since on the show HBO parent TimeWarner is mentioned as a corporate evil. This season should be good. Already guest stars Jane Fonda, Chris Messina, Marcia Gay Harden are kicking ass. And the core cast seems a lot more revved up, especially Dev Patel as Neil (who’s going to get into the OWS stuff). And Tom Sadoski seems like he’s going to more assertive and distinct.  Still loving Emily Mortimer, and worrying that Alison Pill’s character will go to Uganda and have a Lara Logan-like experience. Sorkin sneaks in a funny reference when he has Marcia Gay Harden say Pill looks like “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.” Rooney Mara opened Sorkin’s “Social Network” and played the tattoo girl.

Newcomer Hamish Linklater, meantime, is brought up from the network’s Washington division to fill in for Jim (John Gallagher Jr) who goes to cover the Romney campaign. Linklater plays Jerry Dantana– called “Dantana” and a reference to the real Dan Tana, formerly of the famed West Hollywood eatery. (Yes there was a TV series years ago starring Robert Uhrich I think as Dan Tana.) Jerry gets a tip on a secret Black Ops mission called Genoa. That tip will soon turn “The Newsroom” inside out. Sorkin has come up with an “umbrella” story that looks captivating. I can’t wait for more. And so much dialogue! Wow! More than on
“The West Wing” and the opening monologue from “The Social Network” combined!

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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