[WARNING: The following story contains spoilers from Sunday's Season 2 finale of HBO's The Newsroom. Read at your own risk.]
Depending on who you ask, The Newsroom will be back for a third season on HBO. But you might not have guessed that from watching the show's Season 2 finale.
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The finale focused primarily on the "News Night" team reporting on the 2012 election in the shadow of the huge failure of the false Operation Genoa story, but before the episode ended, nearly every other ongoing plot thread from the season (and series) was tidily wrapped up in a seemingly happy ending...
Even though Hamish Linklater's character on The Newsroom is at the center of the season's slowly unfolding disaster known as "Genoa," the actor has a hard time accepting his character as a villain.
"He's just a true believer who thinks he's on the side of the angels, and that's why he does what he does," Linklater tells TVGuide.com of his character, Jerry Dantana. "But what was great was that they didn't push me into twirling my mustache or being sort of an obvious bad guy."
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Shortly after Jerry came to New York to sub in for Jim (John Gallagher Jr.), he received a tip about "Operation Genoa," a mission during which the United States allegedly used sarin gas on civilians while extracting two captured Marines...
When Aaron Sorkin's cable news drama The Newsroom returns for its second season Sunday, things will look a little different.
"We broke one of our own important rules," executive producer Alan Poul tells TVGuide.com. "In the first season, we said there are no fictional news stories. ... We did very well with the 'What's the breaking news story going to be this week?' template, but we had some concern that would get a little bit old. [But] if we had one story that could serve as the through-line on which we could still hang our current event stories, that would give this season an essentially different character."
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Enter "Operation Genoa," a story about a military scandal that could "make careers and end presidencies." There's just one problem...
The Newsroom returns to HBO for its sophomore season in mid-July, and the team again finds itself dealing with the fallout from unfiltered, politically incorrect statements made by hotheaded anchor Will McAvoy (Jeff Daniels).
This time, Will has likened the Tea Party to the "American Taliban," which has sparked rage among Internet commenters and earned "News Night" an official condemnation on the floor of the House.
Aaron Sorkin is well aware that critics had a lot to say about The Newsroom's first season. Whether he plans to do anything differently with regard to the many complaints is a different story.
"As far as criticism goes, there was a lot, so it would be hard to address this and not that," Sorkin, the show's creator and executive producer, told TVGuide.com at Sunday's PaleyFest panel. "There are plenty of TV critics I respect, and I read them and I think about what they're saying. But when it comes time to write, you really got to go in and do your thing and not have too many voices in your head."