The HBO series The Newsroom, brought to you by Academy award winning producer, Aaron Sorkin, is returning for its second season this Sunday.
The first season, starring Jeff Daniels, Emily Mortimer, and Alison Pill was set in 2011. Sorkin's hindsight biased look into the news was a clever way of portraying the year's momentous events such as the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, Egyptian revolution and overthrow of the President Hosni Mubarak's regime, the nuclear disaster following the earthquake an tsunami in Tokyo, the death of Osama Bin Laden and the U.S. debt-ceiling crisis.
After the first season, some criticized the way Sorkin portrayed historical events using the real news, calling his tactics "exploitative, or at the very least, jarring." As TV.com wrote, "It's one thing when his characters are leaning into the Tea Party extremists or tabloid news. It's another when it's Gabrielle Giffords or the architect of 9/11."
We'll see if Sorkin uses the same tactics in this new season, which will pick up where the show last left off, covering the period from August 2011 to November 2012. The episodes will capture news events including the Occupy Wall Street movement, Trayvon Martin, drone strikes, Benghazi and, of course, the primaries and general election.
Season one brought in mixed reviews. According to the Daily Beast, by the season finale “In Defense of The Newsroom” editorials became almost as common as “Why The Newsroom is a Disappointment.” They even went so far as to say The Newsroom became "infamous for its legion of hate-watchers." According to the Philadelphia Daily News, the show is "both wonderful and terrible.”
Those who denounced Sorkin's creation did so most likely because they held the producer responsible for TV series The West Wing and films Moneyball, A Few Good Men, and The Social Network to extremely high standards.
Despite some allegedly flawed "proportion and execution" and some episodes that "indulged speechifying to the near exclusion of drama," The Newsroom also revealed some "vintage Sorkin" and earned a solid reputation. Roughly 2.3 million viewers tuned in for both the season premiere and finale, signaling that it seemed to amass a "solid core audience who either love the show as-is or perhaps are at least willing to stick with it as it finds itself," according to Vulture.com. Plus, after factoring in HBO repeats, video on demand and HBO Go, viewership reaches about 7 million per week.
Perhaps Sorkin fleshed out all the kinks in his first season and will showcase the genius screenwriting we all know he is capable of. Jeff Daniels called season one a first draft. Despite the first season's goal of getting to know the characters and figuring out how to write for them "coming into season two, it's like we own it," Daniels said.
Check out the trailer for the highly anticipated season season here.