13 January 2004 | squarest4
Thank you CBC!!
Let me be the first to say: The Newsroom is BACK, and darker than ever!
I've only seen the first episode, so I won't say much, but this premiere felt darker than all but the last few episodes of the original series. The original series was always black, but had a playfulness to it, and a certain charmingness about the characters; this new reinvention of the show carries most of the same issues and style, but is more unrelenting and comically depressing (and recasts all of the 'fun', 'quirky' characters). yes, I would even say they have taken it so far that it is no longer comedy, it's pure pain---but it in a good way! The Newsroom at its best achieved a kind of satire that made you fearful of seeing the characters as real people, and yet being forced into moments where we saw their saddest and honest humanity coming out (in the most crushing and embarassing and despicable ways); this entire first episode hit me with it again and again, at its most painful when Jim calls George Findlay practically in tears, and George could care less ...this is satire that dares you not to keep the safe comical distance (that even great satire usually makes use of), this is a *personal* satire that makes you bleed from the ears. I can't wait to see how far Finkleman takes this.
This said, I would be much more interested in seeing a totally new series from Finkleman, in a more open and more blatently surreal style.
Also, check out the insane and chaotic new series "This is Wonderland". I'm not sure if they can sustain it, but the pilot was ...different (and is one of the most de-centralized, self-destructive, frantic, infuriating narratives I've ever seen! almost every plot point collapsed in on itself and our heroine achieved essentially NOTHING!). It indeed manages to turn a court comedy/drama environment into a fairy tale world, and is about as unconventional and offbeat as it is possible for a court show to be these days. By way of comparison, the pilot would be best described as Ally McBeal on acid AND speed.
With this and an unexpectedly brilliant season of Da Vinci's Inquest (i was not such a fan in the past, but this season is something else), I'd say that CBC seems to have an almost violent level of energy this season!
(Schedule-- The Newsroom 8:30 Monday; Wonderland 9 Monday; Da Vinci 9 Sunday)