Back in 2000, Tarsem Singh directed a film called “The Cell“, in which actress Jennifer Lopez leads the audience into the mind of a serial killer in an attempt to locate a missing woman. HBO’s “The Newsroom” is a lot like “The Cell”, if instead of a murderer the audience were dragged into the narcissistic, self-indulgent mind of the show’s creator, Aaron Sorkin, without any means of escape.
Aside from the show’s cliched scenes involving office karaoke outings and characters with secret crushes that just almost barely but don’t get revealed is a no-holds-barred game of “listen up, stupid” where Jeff Daniels recites well known liberal talking points whilst acting like he’s blowing the lid off some unreported conspiracy. HBO’s marketing team has been hard at work promoting Season 2 with a nonsensical teaser campaign involving cactus and Jeff Daniels’ giant fucking head.
My distaste has nothing to do with the show’s political sentiments, some of which I agree with, some I disagree, and has more to do with television’s love of punditry and having some dickhead project their anger at me for ratings. Ironically, while the show attempts to take down talking heads like Nancy Grace (which was brilliant, I’ll give them that), the show embodies the kind of nasty, agenda-driven, politically saturated garbage that it is supposedly holier than.
Last week, Magnolia Pictures released “Evocateur: The Morton Downey Jr. Movie”, which examines the life of
Robert Downey Jr’s father the television talk show host who helped turn traditional television journalism into a bunch of caustic spitfires–
I’m watching this movie for two reasons:
- To live vicariously through his smoking
- In hopes of seeing him dowsed with a fire extinguisher during ‘Piper’s Pit‘
The media landscape is now so riddled with these kinds of personalities it’s difficult to figure out which ones are engaging in performance and which ones are legitimately crazy. Personally, I always had a soft spot for Wally George (seen here battling punk rockers Rebel Rebel), but feel free to share your favorite angry prick in the comments if you feel so inclined.