The Newsroom: Season 3

The Newsroom: Season 3

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The Newsroom is gone after only three seasons, and I'm sad to see it go.
 
Sure, the series was melodramatic. In each episode, there was always a scene where heavy strings swelled on the soundtrack to announce An Important Moment. Sure, show runner Aaron Sorkin writes long, sanctimonious speeches about integrity and truth. And yes, there are too romantic subplots getting in the way of the main storylines.
 
Despite those flaws, The Newsroom was always entertaining TV — funny, exciting and smart. It made audiences think about the morality behind the media presenting today's issues, from campus rape to American espionage laws. The rapid-fire dialogue was often scintillating and powerfully delivered by a top-notch cast (including Jeff Daniels, Emily Mortimer, Olivia Munn and Jane Fonda). The Newsroom was never shallow; it aspired to something greater than mere entertainment, though its attempts were sometimes clumsy.
 
But enough of the eulogy. How is this box set?
 
First, it's thin. There were only six episodes in season three, and there's only one audio commentary here. Sorkin, co-writer Scott Rudin and director Alan Poul talk about the details in the final episode but reveal disappointingly little about their writing process or the overall character arcs. Far more rewarding are the "Inside the Episodes" in which Sorkin explains the creative decisions behind episodes in short, four-minute featurettes. Those are worthwhile watching.
 
Otherwise, that's it. The first three episodes are focused and riveting, but the final three lose momentum — the finale, especially, which relied too much on flashbacks and tied up the characters' storylines too easily.

(HBO)