Monday, July 23, 2012


The Newsroom's Most Recent Crimes Against Women

Things Women Can't Do:

1. Be responsible enough to use heavy glass doors without putting innocent male faces at risk.
2. Subtraction without using their fingers.
3. Really get Rudy.
4. Understand economics.

Things Women Can Do:

1. Be petulant about Valentine's Day
2. Strip-o-grams
3. Say: "I could have been a doctor, but I didn't go to medical school or anything."
4. Attractively explain economics in such a way as to suggest that Sorkin does not, actually, understand financial regulation.

Oh, and then there was a slow-clap moment with swelling music in which everyone gets all "O Captain! My Captain!" over the extremely wealthy male protagonist using some of his extreme wealth for good, as all the underlings make tiny gold offerings of their own.

74 Comments / Post A Comment


Oh man, did you ever do one of these for The Walking Dead?

sudden but inevitable betrayal

@Kristen Things women can't do: Keep an eye on Carl.

Is It a Hat?

@Kristen I keep hoping for one on Breaking Bad! For now, I keep scrolling through the thousands of comments on the AV Club...


@sudden but inevitable betrayal Things Carl can't do: Stay in the goddamn house.

Kate Kane

@sudden but inevitable betrayal No one can keep an eye on Carl. Dammit, Carl.


@Kristen THIS:
"Hi, I'm Carl! No one's supervising me!"


@Kristen /anything useful in a zombie apocalypse

Things women can do: adulter (?), awkwardly put hands on men's crotches, cook


@Kate Kane That kid is too damn old to keep wandering off like that. My 3-year-old nephew only had to touch the stove once to figure that shit out, and there weren't even zombies wandering around.


a pretty good one@y


AND YET I KEEP WATCHING IT. Damn you, glossy and over-sensationalized montages of last year's biggest news stories!


I'm so grateful for your recaps of the terrible-ness in this show. After watching the first 5 minutes, my boyfriend and I yelled "eeeeewwww!" in unison and vowed to never waste our time watching this show again (as in, our time is better spent watching "Workaholics," which is not time well spent). Still, I'm a little curious, so these help to satisfy that curiosity.

sudden but inevitable betrayal

@xxAnniexx Trade you? My boyfriend thinks it's soooo good. Barf, barf.

Emma K@twitter

@xxAnniexx I've only watched 5 min of Newsroom and Season 1 of Workaholics, but I'm pretty sure Workaholics is time MUCH better spent (I bet Newsroom doesn't have wizard raps).

Beatrix Kiddo

@xxAnniexx You should read Emily Nussbaum's scathing review of The Newsroom in The New Yorker. It was enough to put me off Aaron Sorkin forever (exception: re-viewings of The West Wing).


@sudden but inevitable betrayal Hahah aww I'm so sorry! My boyfriend does has questionable taste in many things, such as Batman video games. Ugh, boyfriends, amiright?!


@Emma K@twitter The only thing that killed me more than that Wizard Rap was when Ders and Adam chose to stop their poolside brawl on account of their boners. Also, do you love Blake? Because I LOVE Blake.


@Beatrix Kiddo I can't wait, thanks for the tip! That thing with him calling a reporter "internet girl" was beyond hilarious, and left me hungry for more ridiculous Sorkin-isms!


@xxAnniexx But... the Batman video games are really good? I mean, if you're talking about the Arkhams, and I'm more familiar with Asylum.

Video game taste only really becomes questionable in my mind when one declares love for Madden and/or the endless stream of identical and mediocre FPS games.


I'm stuck on whether Sorkin was equating the news dude's beating with the attack on Lara Logan. Either way, I'm not ok with it.


@rbrtposteschild I can't say for sure obviously, but this isn't the first time he's done a storyline like this (see: Sports Night episode 'Mary Pat Shelby'), so I would say it's more likely just a case of Sorkin ripping himself off again.


That clapping at the end made me SO MAD. How is WILL the hero? He's an extremely wealthy guy who spent what is to him not that much money doing what a decent human should do. The Egyptian reporter is the one risking his life. Blargh.


I got into a mini-Facebook spat (ugh) because I said that The Newsroom was kinda sexist because all the ladies are like, BOYS EEK and EMAILS HOW DO THEY WORK. And then this acquaintance of mine wrote this very long rant about how she is A Feminist and she would never like something that's sexist, and she likes The Newsroom, therefore, it is not sexist.

Circular logic! Agggh!


@Lemonnier The only one who gets "news" stuff, apparently, is the economist, but Sorkin LOVES to remind us that she's totally social awkward (although I don't see it...).

Escapade Dunfree

@Lemonnier SO MANY facebook friends who I normally think have decent opinions have been going ape for The Newsroom. I felt like I was taking crazy pills to see all these rave reviews when watching the show just made me annoyed. I even asked a few who had effusive statues if they could articulate why they liked it, in case I really was missing some crucial perspective, and NOT A ONE of them responded.


@Lemonnier but in all seriousness. EMAILS. how DO they work???

Escapade Dunfree

@redheaded&crazie The answer's miracles, right?

Springtime for Voldemort

@Lemonnier Wow, she sounds much like when guys say "I'm A Feminist. I even canvassed for the ERA!! That thing I just said couldn't possibly be sexist, because I'm Not A Sexist."


@redheaded&crazie Magnets, bitch!

Sorry. Watching this show is so infuriating and I always sitting there thinking, "Why am I watching this garbage and not just basking in post-Breaking Bad awesomeness?"


@redheaded&crazie I want to say SORCERY, but then, in keeping with the Sokinweltanschauung, I might be burned as a witch!

M.r. Johnston@facebook

Something else women can do – undercut Secretary of State Clinton by remarking that it’s actually still her husband who pulls the REAL diplomatic strings.

The whole show reminds me of a Mr. Darcyism: “you delight in expressing opinions which are not your own.” It seems that the intrepid screenwriting team of Sorkin/Yago has decided that certain views are “right” without much understanding why or how. "Sophistry in a phrase so neat you can't see the loose end that would unravel it.” IE the opposite thing from good journalism. IE free speech is dead and Citizens United and corruption and the Koch brothers and, oh, it’s brave and generous and safe to like, pay ransoms to unstable military groups because they always come through blah blah blah Coldplay.


"Blah blah blah Coldplay" is the new "drops mic"


My husband and I have taken lately to explaining everything with "Something, something, something, science."


@NeverOddOrEven Our solution to every problem is "can't we just... blahblahblah... reroute them?" from Frisky Dingo.


@NeverOddOrEven It works, bitches!

The Hyperbolic Julia Set

@NeverOddOrEven 30 Rock's "....for Science reasons"


This one's worth a read too: http://www.thedaily.com/page/2012/07/21/072112-wknd-coquette-unsolicited-aaron-sorkin-zzswipedownzz/


@Amphora <3 the coquette


In the realm of things we can't do, you forgot "balance a checkbook!"

Also, fun fact I read on the internet today (which I haven't verified), the actress who played that stripper is apparently Sorkin's ex-girlfriend.

Finally, in the end...was Will supposed to be the coach? But that doesn't make sense...so was he Rudy? That doesn't make sense either! I guess I don't get it because I'm a woman.

Rookie (not the magazine) (not that there's anything wrong with that)

@Inconceivable! I'm pretty sure that Sorkin would have NOTHING going on if he didn't have ex-girlfriends to rely on.

How he hooks them in the first place? No idea.





@Interrobanged This, right here, is reason #1 I'm glad I'm not watching this freaking show.


It's sort of weirdly ironic that I read this with Buffy episodes running in the background. Joss Whedon is by no means without his problems, but sheesh, the contrast is striking. And by "striking" I mean "unspeakably depressing".

ETA - also, I can never see or read about a dramatic clapping scene ever again without picturing Student Chang starting the slow clap. I'm not really upset about that at all. It helps with shit like this.


@KatPruska Yea, I'm rewatching The Sopranos right now, so seeing how lame HBO's programming is these days kind of makes me want to weep. I mean, The Newsroom, True Blood, and Game of Thrones? (The second season of GoT was unspeakably horrible. The first one was pulpy fun, kind of like True Blood only True Blood has had the opportunity to get exponentially worse).

The Hyperbolic Julia Set

@KatPruska Yes! I'm a forever Joss Whedon fan, and agreed, he does have his problems, but FIREFLY, YOU GUYS! I saw this on the internet and did not attempt to verify it but presumably when asked why he wrote strong female characters he responded "Because you're still asking that question."


Someone please tell me if people are watching this ironically or for realsies?

Nicole Cliffe

I am SO EXCITED for it, every week. I get snacks, I get drinks, I snuggle in, and then I gutturally berate Sorkin for a full hour, while taking notes I barely understand the next day.

Emma K@twitter

@JessicaLovejoy Seriously, this is when I could really use a sarcasm font on the internet. I keep reading on fb that it's SO GOOD and after watching 5 minutes of the show on youtube I'm just gonna assume it's ironic admiration cuz yuck.


@Nicole Cliffe Is this what they call a "hate-watch"?

Springtime for Voldemort

@JessicaLovejoy I'm mostly hateshipping at this point, but there's some good fantasy in there. I watch because I really like the *idea* of what this show could be, and what Alison Pill/John Gallagher Jr. could be, but then I also enjoy ripping it to shreds the next day. Plus, I mean, you do get the community aspect when a bunch of other people hateship it with you. (Luckily, almost none of my friends are giving this show much praise).

I'm pretty sure Sorkin has me captive simply because it's airing in summer.


@Nicole Cliffe "Gutturally berate" is such a winning phrase.


@Nicole Cliffe I love the list but you should really post the notes in raw form too. They sound perfect.


@VDRE Yea, just scan them so that we can all try to decipher them. That sounds kind of extremely fun.


@JessicaLovejoy I'm watching it for realsies, and I like it in the same way I like His Girl Friday. guess what: socially awkward, attractive, and really smart makes perfect sense to me. I have friends who are incredibly successful professionally but walk LITERALLY into doors and are idiots about men. broadcast journalism? an incredibly unbalanced workplace when it comes to gender, both before and behind the camera. representing things as they are and not as they should be doesn't strike me as a crime.

shoot me, I also love banter. sure, it has its corny moments, but I like corn. I relate to the women on this show.

and I teach feminist theory, for fuck's sake.


@JessicaLovejoy In it for the long haul, baby. Hollow bones! Bellicose Jeff Daniels! Loving it.


@Lucia Martinez I'm so glad I'm not alone on this...stuff can be highly entertaining despite being kinda icky when you think about it too long...

Mary McKenna@facebook

@Lucia Martinez & @Heather@twitter
My reaction to the show is similar. I enjoy the show and I find the characters adorable, even if I don't identify with them personally. The portrayal of women doesn't strike me as stereotyping so much, because I find the characters are all presented as being very quirky as individuals. I mean, I deeply dislike and get offended by lazy stereotyping of women, but that's not what I find here.

RK Fire

Judging from all of the coverage, I'm just waiting for someone to tell me that one of the characters actually says "I would've done [X] but I couldn't because of my PMS/lady problems/issues with down there." Sorkin is just, what, two steps away from doing that?


@RK Fire or all at once! "...because of my PMS lady problems down there."


@RK Fire "Oh, no! My period!" *crashes plane*


Wee-eeell, to be fair, the person explaining economics was a women.

Nicole Cliffe

But so badly and with zero nuance.

Springtime for Voldemort

@tatianaberg@twitter True, but then it was undercut when MacKenzie asks Will if he knew Clinton repealed Glass-Steagall, and he dismissively says that everyone knows that. Then it sorta implied that Olivia Munn had to get 15 years worth of education to catch up to what "everyone" (read: Dudes) knows, since if she's so educated, she should really be doing a better job of explaining all this. Sorkin could hire someone to maybe help him out with that part, but seeing as how he just fired all his writers, and is Sorkin...

Yankee Peach

The MacKenzie character is the undoing of this entire series. If Sorkin had made Sloan the don't f**k with me EP and Mac an Economics ditz/savant, we might have the makings of classic television. But ... counts on her fingers ... really?

I'm not even going to discuss the unbalanced, stalker-y roomate who somehow got past security in a NYC skyscraper to go Valentine's Day Postal in the newsroom, because it makes me way too stabby.


I refuse to spend any more of my time watching this pile of poop, but I will continue to enjoy these write ups!

LE Correia

You guys are silly for discussing these scripts as if they are scripts and these characters as if they are characters. Sorkin dialogue is just free verse about skyscrapers and headsets, rhythmically talk-sung by an overeducated chorus of Naiads.

It sounds beautiful and it calms my dog down and I DVR it every single time.


I'm afraid to ask, but what is there to "get" about Rudy? Besides the fact that you should be watching "Friday Night Lights" or "Remember The Titans" or (get ready to cry into your beer) "Brian's Song" instead?


I've been gleefully hate-watching for the first few weeks, but Episiode 5? That's when I clicked "close tab." Worse than the sexism, the terrible acting, the stilted direction, and the suffocating self-righteousness is just the unbearable tediousness of it all. SO BORING.

Mrs. Coach McGuirk


Pseudo Pseudonym

@Mrs. Coach McGuirk This! Also, what millionaire wants to deal with depositing all those checks for $5 that the twenty-somethings gave him? It was like they lined up for the salvation army santa of kidnaping -- put a dollar and some pocket lint in the can so we can get this team building exercise finished before happy hour ends.


So on the most recent episode they mentioned Broadcast News and I realized how much more I'd enjoy watching that instead.

If it weren't for my massive crushes on Alison Pill and Dev Patel, I would be so done. Also, that opening sequence with all the Important Anchors deserves a better show.


@Poubelle Yes! I actually just watched Broadcast News (for the first time -- it's on HBOGo) and was like, this is everything The Newsroom wishes it could be. Then I watched this week's episode, and heard the reference, and realized, OMG Sorkin doesn't even GET that he's not as good as the movie (because no one's meta when they're failing at something, right?)!


Ooh! Do this for Political Animals! It got all kinds of praise but it's really pretty bad.

Kit Love@twitter

So Sloan on the show knows nothing about economics? Honestly, so they have 2 ditzy girl characters. Just because they wrote the characters that way doesn't mean it's a statement as to how all women are. You're reaching...nice try.

Post a Comment

You must be logged-in to post a comment.

Login To Your Account