I’m behind on television shows as usual because I only watched the fourth episode of The Newsroom’s third season yesterday night, which ended with the sixth episode about a week ago. What a moment to savor at this point, with the fourth episode closing with business worries, a wedding and jail. Before I move on, I want to stop.
After Tuesday morning’s roaring GDP and a massive news day with non-stop filling in of breaking news briefs and making phone calls, the eve of Christmas eve in Chelsea was surprisingly calm. Few were out walking in the drizzling rain and many shops closed early. A few art galleries left the lights on, adding to the silence of the moment with a large drawing of a wave frozen in place, and, a few doors down, a life-size figurine of a woman hanging onto a chandelier in dim blue light. All were poised to move, but fixed.
Time stands still when the last few minutes of episode four are left with no dialogue and only human emotions set to a soothing rendition of “Ave Maria.” The moment is beautiful because it’s ahead of something tragic, for the new couple and for journalism, and mostly for Mac. In this episode she’s not the sharp news producer she has so far appeared as. When faced with a troublesome news source, her company’s financial struggles and a federal lawsuit against her husband-to-be, Mac is overwhelmed. She gets frustrated. “Why can’t we win?” she asks.
From that moment to the wedding, nothing is sentimental because there’s something greater at stake—journalism, the government and jail. Many critics say Aaron Sorkin is too hard on “soft” news sites such as Vulture and that his characters are too similar to each other. The critics also pick at his portrayal of women. Forget those forever controversial topics for now. The Newsroom deals with struggles unique to journalists in a very relevant way. As someone still working through the “hard” journalism world, I appreciate every bit of the show because it illustrates the pain and the satisfaction of getting the facts right — first.
Let’s stay in the five minutes of Ave Maria bliss, maybe linger into the moments when the new couple heroically walk out to meet the police, and stop the show before the hands separate and the handcuffs snap on.
All is calm. All is bright.