Thursday, August 30, 2012

what does an anchor do - it hooks you.

life after house m.d. was bad.

thank you for the moment of silence, now it's high time i wrote about something else.

yes, well, living in a country with no free press sucks. don't give me that moronic argument of  "there's no such thing as free press"; yes, i know, but i'm talking about levels of spineless slavery press that native english speakers merely brush with their "oh good, it's not us"/"meanwhile, in" bad anecdotes.

where was i. oh, yes. living in a country with no free press sucks. not only one has to go some considerable lengths in order to get a close-to-reality grip on what the hell is going on in one's own country, but the unparalleled amount of disinformation, unprofessional behaviour, incompetence and, frankly, bos taurus waste matter that the media industriously keeps throwing on said lengths could discourage even the most audacious truth seeker.

everybody dreams of a news channel or a newspaper or a news website or something that would present the news. for a brief period of time, i think romania had it. romanians caught a glimpse of what real journalism is all about. but, of course, a big bad wolf came and huffed and puffed.. and the script is well-known.

being an idealist is hard in this day and age. being an idealist with inside information on how life really works is harder. and it's downright impossible to keep that idealism if one works in certain domains, like advertising, politics or press. understand my surprise when i found a tv show that pummels all these three fields from the inside. i was absolutely bedazzled.

i'm talking about the newsroom. an hbo series that has just ended its first season of 10 marvellous episodes. with a jeff daniels like i've never seen before, an aaron sorkin that probably works on his masterpiece (in my opinion, the show has only two low points that can easily be disregarded: the opening theme and the soundtrack), a well-chosen cast and an out-of-the-park screenplay, the newsroom got me ensnared. it's the quixotic approach to a territory of ever-running windmills (direct references to be found in the episodes), it's the realistic personal stories, it's the alert humour ("i do not have subpoena power", "nobody's thoughts and prayers are with the fire"), it's the coverage of real and recent events (deepwater horizon oil spill, killing bin laden), it's the cojones that these characters have, it's the "not a moment too soon" thought that springs into one's mind while watching it. it's the fact that the world needs this show to be true so bad, it's like living in sudan and having a monsoon season. it's the freakin' last stand at the gates of mordor. it's epic. there are some moments in this show that one does not simply view or watch, but feel in one's gut, as they go up and bring a genuine lump to one's throat. and, surely enough, they leave one with an urge to punch a hole in the ceiling as one delivers one's battle cry.

those who know me are painfully aware of the fact that i'm not easily surprised, excited or impressed. very few things get me on my (in)tense side and even fewer make me literally jolt. well, this series is one of them. only specific music in specific moments gets me this kind of goosebumps.

there's a massive amount of commentary and opinion to be found on this show. not so staggering, the media coverage is carefully dosed and mixed, as the barricades are often just not climbed, mainly because the newsroom really hits where it hurts. these guys know the soft spots are many and none is spared. however, the irony of the situation is not lost on the viewer: for a show of such quality and panache, this is probably the smartest thing to do for a media that's torn between sponsors, ratings and quality: don't really talk about it.

so, there it is. i will not post any trailers. it's unnecessary, the show trails itself: almost any scene from any episode can successfully be presented as a trailer. here are three scenes, watch them. all of them. then go for the whole nine yards.