For those blistering the season finale of HBO’s The Newsroom I say just hold on a minute.
Among the show’s fans there are those who rooted for love to win and move Will McAvoy towards MacKenzie McHale.
Perhaps more viewers were hoping that the news execs would not be relieved of their duties over the duplicity of a raging and now fired producer, Jerry Dantana.
Because it all rolled out that way, is it fair to say that it makes others squeamish and screaming it is unrealistic? Of course and it is precisely because we have come to believe that happy endings, at least those that are written into popular culture’s film and television dramas are more fiction than non-fiction.
Aaron Sorkin made a stand for hope without promising the fairy tale ending. For the moment, there is peace. What happens thereafter is open ended, in many ways it mirrors what occurs after people get married.
At the wedding, it’s all cake, champagne toasts and promises to love, honor and cherish. Down the road may be divorce lawyers, but for that moment and for some thereafter the promises are true.
Using the assertion of popular author Jedidiah Purdy and his book, “For Common Things”, Charlie Skinner made the case that ACN’s principled execs were committing noble professional suicide when it wasn’t necessary.
“He (Purdy) talks about cynical times. People having terminal irony with a steady refusal to hope and care openly. Sound like us?” Skinner asked Will. Charlie went on and painted a picture of why he was switching his reflexive position about resigning for the good of the public.
A hot lead to the soon-to-break David Petraeus affair-resignation story was tossed aside on election night 2012 in favor of one that related to a candidate’s duplicity, which the News Night senior folks agreed was more relevant, although not as sexy or able to state a case for the network’s ability to break a big story that was correct.
The point — ACN aired the false story of Operation Genoa only after vetting it two or three times longer than anyone else and ultimately, the responsibility for the mess lay at the feet of the now disgraced and vengeful producer Jerry Dantana.
Use the facts you know, Skinner insisted and stop forcing the issue through the prism of mob rule. You can end your own suffering.
It was then that Will McAvoy had his very obvious “Duh” moment.
Poof! McAvoy decided that he need not continue to torture MacKenzie McHale and ultimately himself for her romantic duplicity of some six years prior. He was his own emotional jailer.
The Tiffany engagement ring still in the desk drawer was retrieved and a proposal was made and accepted. At the same time, Jim found compassion for Maggie and helped convince her to spring herself out of her own horror story of guilt over the death of the African boy.
Over on the Sloan Sabbith side, her search for what she thought was a bamboozled auction bidder led her to Don Keefer, who was the misinformed buyer of her book. That relationship got launched with a public and very large smooch in the control room.
Suddenly, it was catching as Leona allowed son Reese to make the decision about accepting the resignations of Charlie, Will and MacKenzie. Somehow Reese came around to the same position as Leona and her oddly sexy company lawyer Rebecca. No one will put a gun to the head of the Lansings and ACN.
All were spared and the cable network hunkered down to fight Jerry Dantana to the death, embarrassing anecdotes made public be damned.
A rom-com ending had been unleashed except it wasn’t. What comes after the turnaround in decisions is real life, just like the marriage follows the romantic wedding.
Don’t feel guilty for loving the happy ending, because it’s not the end.
Read more about The Newsroom on TVRuckus. Image: HBO/The Newsroom