To know Olive Kitteridge is not easy. Many would likely argue it's not worth the risk of being exposed to her harsh, judgmental New Englander's scorn. Suffer fools gladly? Not this curmudgeonly math teacher who, when her husband insists she's not depressed, snaps back, "Yes, I am. Happy to have it. Comes with being smart." Prompting her long-suffering son to wonder, "Is that why you're so mean all the time?"
And yet, in HBO's oddly moving and melancholy-shrouded two-night adaptation of Elizabeth Strout's Pulitzer-winning novel Olive Kitteridge (Sunday-Monday, 9/8c), a remarkable Frances McDormand makes Olive a fascinating, tragicomic study in human stubbornness, contrariness and contradiction....
Jeff Daniels, The Newsroom
[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.
Jeff Daniels: The Newsroom has been renewed
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...
Jeff Daniels, The Newsroom
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."
Carla Gugino, Emily Mortimer
"The first rule of being a female journalist," political reporter Susan Berg (Carla Gugino) tells a younger female colleague in the third episode of USA's miniseries Political Animals, "[is] if you s--- where you eat, don't cry about it. ... You want to be taken seriously? Take yourself seriously."
This single line of dialogue makes it clear that there's a much-needed crossover episode hidden in the summer TV lineup. Could Susan please take a temporary consulting gig in New York and talk some professional sense into the women of The Newsroom?
There aren't enough words. Except in the world of Aaron Sorkin, where there are always enough, maybe too many, as the Emmy- and Oscar-winning maestro of the hyper-verbal aria (The West Wing, Sports Night, The Social Network) aims his sights back on TV with the exhilarating, exasperating and often sensationally entertaining The Newsroom. (It premieres Sunday at 10/9c following summer hit True Blood.)
Jeff Daniels storms out of the glass-walled conference room for the fifth time in 25 minutes. Apparently, Nancy Grace can do that to a man. Take after take, her Southern-fried commentary on the Casey Anthony murder case has been blaring on multiple television monitors around the set of a TV newsroom, and her "Oh, God, will you look at that" attitude is more than Daniels' character, Will McAvoy, can bear.
McAvoy is a veteran anchorman unraveling before our eyes on The Newsroom, Aaron Sorkin's new HBO drama about...
Emily Mortimer, Jeff Daniels
In an early scene of HBO's new Aaron Sorkin drama The Newsroom, a college student asks the show's hero, Will McAvoy, why the U.S. is the best country in the world.
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It's a vapid question, to be sure, but Will's mean-spirited answer — he says simply that it isn't, and then rattles off a withering, Sorkinian litany of statistics about literacy, life expectancy and infant mortality that prove his point — is both electrifying and kind of depressing.
Will (Jeff Daniels, in his first TV series role) is a moderate Republican cable news anchor whose show, "News Night," has succeeded in the ratings because Will has played it safe, journalistically speaking. (One critic calls him the "Jay Leno of news anchors.") When we first meet him, he's in a rut, and his staff, none too impressed with his very public tantrum, has decided to seek other employment....