Cue “Coffee, Clocks, and Paperwork.” The “Daddy Issues” app on Will McAvoy’s Blackberry is malfunctioning, so his estranged dad is blowing up his cell like whoa. This efficiently eliminates all confusion about who the recipient of shoddily-telegraphed death on The Newsroom will be this week. (RIP Daniel S02E04-S02E04.) In fact, the amount of pathos packed into this episode is so overwhelming that Aaron Sorkin could barely muster the finger strength to title it. So we have The Newsroom S0205: “News Night With Will McAvoy,” a title that’s as emotionally raw as it is awfully and consciously unimaginative. It’s like when a band self-titles an album late in their career to reinforce how they’ve reclaimed their original band-ness. “We’ll just title it Weezer again!” My next Newsroom recap will be simply titled “Recap” — then you’ll know how much business I really mean.
Olivia Munn’s ex-boyfriend leaked naked pix of her to TMZ, inciting the rage of Chris Messina. Chris Messina pays three “graphic experts” to prove that it is actually Olivia Munn in the naked pix. He’s like, “I paid three ‘graphic experts’ to run naked pix diagnostics and their nipple scanners confirm it’s you, so there.” And Olivia Munn is like, “I know. I’m me.” So that scene ends.
Time Elapsed: ~5 minutes. Hate Index: 7 out of Hate.
Emily Mortimer makes her first of fifty empathy excursions to Will’s desk. “BBM your dad, Will McAvoy,” she says, “You never know when he might die in the name of a cheap ploy for emotion.” It’s super affecting, and I’m just about to cry when Dev Patel bursts into the studio and says, “I need to talk to you about Twitter!” I’m beginning to believe that this is the unofficial subtitle of every episode of this nonsense festival. The Newsroom: I Need to Talk to You About Twitter: A Teleplay in Infinity Acts, by Aaron Sorkin.
Real talk: There is so much Twitter on this show! What crazrs were to Entourage, Twitter is to The Newsroom. Or as Will McAvoy would put it, “@me: crazrs : Entourage :: twitter : Newsroom. Plz RT.” There are two Twitter subplots in this episode alone. According to my math, that is approximately fifty more Twitter subplots than any show ever needs, especially when they’re alongside the Man-Stuck-Under-Building-Prank-Call subplot and Whatever-Don’s-Story-Line-Was subplot (I refuse to write about either, I went to college). There’s the woman who tweeted about Will McAvoy blowing her off at T.G.I. Friday’s, and there’s Emily Mortimer’s ludicrous deduction of the Rutgers bro’s vague tweet about coming out on live TV. It’s just so much Twitter! By the last scene I was genuinely surprised that Will McAvoy’s dad didn’t live-tweet his death.
Time Elapsed: 10 minutes. Hate Index: 238 out of Hate.
Alison Pill is testing her IQ (why not?) on myhighIQ.com, a fake website designed by the same fake company who provided TextTV for The Canyons. She teases Jim for making out with Not-Maggie (Not-Alison-Pill). “How could you make out with a girl who writes for HuffPo?” -Alison Pill. “First valid question in the history of this show.”-Me. Jim snaps back, “Shut up, Alison Pill. You’re an alcoholic.” And Alison Pill is like, “I know. I’m me.” So she’s an alcoholic now.
Thus we arrive at the chronological anomaly of Alison Pill’s hair. I’m not sure if my timelines are in order here, but if Alison Pill gave herself the Bowie haircut after she returned from Africa, and this episode is set after her return (see Jim asking Gary Cooper, “How long did it take you to straighten out after Africa?”), how does she have the Bowie haircut in the Genoa depositions that are set in the “future”? Her hair is normal Alison Pill hair here, right? Does she re-cut her hair into the Bowie for the depositions? Is she wearing a wig in this episode? Is Alison Pill’s hair a time jumper slicked with Continuum Transfunctioner Oil?! Probably. Click for accompanying diagram.
Time Elapsed: ~15 minutes. Hate Index: Much out of Hate.
What else happens? Oh, right, Olivia Munn and Don sit on the floor of her office for thirty minutes.
Time Elapsed: ~45 minutes. Hate Index: So Much out of Hate.
A secret agent visits Charlie Bowtie to advise him against reporting on The Genoa Incident, since “America would lose any claim to moral authority around the world.” Natch. That FINALLY ought to relinquish America’s claim to moral authority around the world. “Don’t worry, Courtney Stodden’s grandpa-husband, I got this.” -The Genoa Incident. This prompts Charlie Bowtie to relate an anecdote to Emily Mortimer about his college a cappella group, The Whiskey Sodas, and that inspires Emily Mortimer to refuse to allow the Rutgers kid come out on the air, and that inspires– WHAT IS THIS SHOW EVEN ABOUT?!
Olivia Munn tracks down her ex-boyfriend and kicks him in the scrote, marking the second week in a row that someone has kicked someone else in the scrote on The Newsroom. The concentration of scrote-kicks is approaching a level where I wouldn’t be surprised if, after every Newsroom scrote-kick, Weeman and Preston ran through the News Night studios in their underwear.
Then Will McAvoy’s dad dies and he gets sad. (RIP Poppa McAvoy S00E00-S00E00)
Time Elapsed: Eternity. Hate Index: Hate out of Hate.
We are all Will McAvoy. Good night.