The Newsroom Recap: Heavy on the Heartache, Light on the News

For this show to flourish, both the characters and Aaron Sorkin need to dial back the personal problems.

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As the episode ends, the disastrous broadcast is used as a vehicle to further the romantic plotlines. Senior producer Jim Harper falls on his sword for Maggie—but chooses to lecture her on her lack of "courage" years ago in college, instead of her current lack of professionalism. A drunken Maggie, drowning her sorrows after her mistake, breaks up with Don (a producer who has left Will's show for another broadcast) over his lack of support in her struggles. But rather than let a pining Jim pick up the pieces of her whiskey-soaked heart, she vows to make up with Don.

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In our other subplot of the night, MacKenzie and Will blur the lines of a personal and professional argument, one that ends in MacKenzie giving Will a professional ultimatum about buying into her plans for News Night. As MacKenzie sulks in the corner of the bar, Will phones MacKenzie, and dramatically lifts her spirits by side-stepping their personal issues and telling her he's "in" for her new approach.

As bright as the future looked both the fictional News Night and real-life The Newsroom in last week's premiere, it only takes an hour (or an episode) for everything to come crashing down. When the characters (and Sorkin, for that matter) decide to focus more on the professional side instead of the personal, the crew at ACN (and viewers) will see what quality programming can look like.

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