The News­room

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Television -

Mon­day, 8.30pm, SoHo A di­vi­sive new pro­gram strug­gling to live up to its hype, The News­room blath­ers on as its fourth episode airs tonight. It’s a sta­tion New Year’s Eve party — that’s right, these TV peo­ple take their work very se­ri­ously — and the di­a­logue is so trite and point­less it prob­a­bly would have been cut from Ally McBeal. Poor old Jeff Daniels, as Will McAvoy, an­chor and manag­ing ed­i­tor of fic­tional cur­rent af­fairs pro­gram News Night, is in a funk in his of­fice. So with an ex­ple­tive on his lips, at five min­utes to mid­night, he gets up and bar­rels up to the near­est pretty woman. Of course she’s a gos­sip colum­nist. Oops. Mean­while the staff nerd is work­ing at his desk, nerdishly re­sist­ing the fri­vol­ity around him, while the se­verely un­der­used Dev Pa­tel as Neal, who writes Will’s blog, makes a nui­sance of him­self as he tries to con­vince ev­ery­one Big­foot is real. Oh, and then there’s the trio of staff who watch on as the an­chor and the gos­sip colum­nist rather pre­dictably go at it. Neal doesn’t notice that his boss’s head is cov­ered in cham­pagne just thrown by the of­fended woman. He in­tro­duces his girl­friend to his freshly mor­ti­fied boss and im­me­di­ately starts bang­ing on about Big­foot. Are they kid­ding ? Next day Will is called to see Char­lie Skin­ner (Sam Water­ston), the net­work’s news division pres­i­dent. There’s a scan­dalous gos­sip piece about the in­ci­dent in the New York Post, sug­gest­ing that Will was grop­ing the woman at the party in a drunken

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