I’m not sure what pacing guide this show is using, but we’ve miraculously made it to 2011 in the Newsroom. Maybe Sorkin realized that some HBO shows are on their fifth season with only about a year having passed *cough*TRUE BLOOD*cough* and that was really frustrating. And, since Sorkin doesn’t have fairies to blame for a time-jump, we’re just going to accept that it’s now New Years. Okay? Great.
That being said, this episode was pretty decent. It still had its issues – and believe me, I will get to them – but there was also a lot to like. First up was my favorite part of the episode. That’s right – Neal. He’s on some Big Block of Cheese Day-esque rant about Big Foot being real. Obviously that’s a news story that Will needs to cover. Neal is so passionate about revealing Big Foot to the unassuming masses that he pitches the story to Will at the office New Years party (after all of his coworkers laughed in his face about it). Will quickly shuts Neal down. Poor Blue Diamond. Sometimes it’s hard to tell who’s the biggest nerd in the office (it’s usually Neal, looking mighty fine in his seemingly vast collection of cardigans. Maybe he could do a web-series with Schmidt from New Girl about them?). Oh, and bonus points for Neal getting a girl! Double extreme bonus points for her having a stint on Parks & Rec as Tom’s girlfriend, Lucy, the bartender from the Snakehole lounge. (Dare I say she has a type?) (Sidenote: Minus bonus points for her having dated Tom Haverford first.)
At the beginning of the episode everything is bright and shiny what with the office party and all. Everyone is looking fierce, especially Maggie. She and Jim are all flirting and cute. But guess what? Don’s here! He’s a wee bit drunk, admitting “Men have cocktails, Carrie Bradshaw has drinks.” Not quite, Don. I’m going to take that as you admitting to being a girl. A girl who is in the mood for some relationship sabotage! Don wants to set Lisa, Maggie’s roommate up with Jim. Maggie is not happy but she STILL seems dense enough to be the only one in the office not aware of her feelings for Jim.
Don’s hoping that Jim and Lisa start off the new year with some nice onomatopeia. This is the exact moment that I said “Oh, shit!” and realized that Lisa is totally the one that was on the phone with Maggie when Jim was working her through her panic attack and being unbelievably adorable. That would explain why she lies about going out with Jim again. Which she totally does and thus Maggie must, MUST air her personal issues in the office. She just looooves attacking Jim. And yet, Jim is handling this perfectly. Get your head out of your ass, Maggie! God, she keeps making me SO MAD but I’m so into their relationship and I really want it to happen and all I can think is that Don is SUCH a dick. Long story short, he was the one that revealed Jim and Lisa were onomatopeia-ing behind Maggie’s back. Seriously, everyone in the universe knows about her feelings for Jim except for Maggie.
Across the office Will is having a rough go of it because Mac brought a date to the party and is having him pitch a story. Will, obviously, is not pleased. But Sloan’s trying to be a normal person and help out, but of course sends him in the direction of a gossip columnist. She is actually the worst person in the building. She’s writing a “take down piece” which sounds as ridiculous as it is. It’s about the Real Housewives which… don’t get me started on. He doesn’t like it, so he decides the best course of action to lecture her. She points out he’s being hypocritical that he just took down the Tea Party. I hate this woman as much as Will does, and it’s not that I disagree with him, per se, but I don’t like that the show is only pointing out the faults of women.
I completely understand Will’s rampage against Reality TV. I get it, because I have a lot of the same feelings. But broadcasting it about, on a mission to “civilize” and calling women bitches because they like reality tv isn’t okay. God, show, you were doing so well. All you need is to tone down the Maggie shit-fits and make Will a smidge less of a misogynist and you’d really have something. Alas…
The good thing about Will and his dopey mission?
Which reminds me, more Will and Sloan, please. Especially if Sloan is the cause for Kathryn Hahn guest-starring. And not just Kathryn Hahn, a gun-toting Kathryn Hahn. She makes puns about guns and is generally awesome. Even her reaction to Will smacking the gun out of her hand is awesome. Oh, but she’s batshit and has an expose about Will’s womanizing ways published in a gossip rag. Which brings us back to…
That fuckery from last week with the roundtable discussion that was yanking Charlie around. It’s come back to bite everyone in the ass by Jane Fonda’s doing just what she promised, making a fireable offense.
Stories we missed last year: Obama trip spending in India, Obama not trying to ban all guns, bigfoot, etc. Story of the episode was the January 8th shooting of Arizona congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was shot. Once again, the news aspect of the show and the drama around it, are the best part of the hour.
One thing is clear. If I’m going to keep watching this show, I should probably read Don Quixote. What did you think? Do you like the recurring Don Quixote references? Was this episode up to snuff or are you tuning out? I only work part-time, so you should hit me up about the Newsroom, Parks and Rec, or any other show over on Twitter, where I am a regular @MollytheGhost.