Aaron Sorkin’s somewhat polarizing cable drama about the drama that goes on behind the scenes of a cable news network, The Newsroom, is back for season 2 on July 14, and according to a new sneak peak video that takes us behind the scenes of the show, a few big changes are on the way.
As the video above shows, the show will spend the entire season focusing on a deposition for a wrongful termination lawsuit. Now, that sounds just… riveting, but there’s also mentions about Neal’s fascination with the Occupy movement and Jim’s departure to cover the Romney campaign during the 2012 Election, so one would imagine that there will be plenty of flashbacks throughout the season.
Often accused of slightly ripping himself off during The Newsroom‘s debut season, the decision to use the “deposition device” may open Sorkin up to more of the same criticism.
After all, flashbacks and the inquisition by Reese (Chris Messina, who looks to be back in some way) of Charlie (Sam Waterston) lead us through the story in the third episode of season 1, “The 112th Congress,” and as they did then, images of Leo testifying before Congress in the “Bartlett for America” episode of The West Wing come to mind when one ponders what this season of The Newsroom may look like.
One could also recall Kari Matchett’s multi-episode arc as a lawyer collecting a deposition from Matthew Perry’s Matt Albie character for a sexual harassment suit in Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip – another Sorkin creation – if one wanted to mention another comparable, and that is to say nothing of the Sorkin scripted film, The Social Network, and its deposition scenes.
The bottom line is: Sorkin loves lawyers doing lawyery things, perhaps because it mirrors the confessional and allows for reflection and revelation. He also likes “Will they/won’t they” relationship stories, and The Newsroom has two or three of those, though one (Will and MacKenzie) seems to be stuck in the same place, with Will (Jeff Daniels) still holding a grudge against MacKenzie (Emily Mortimer) for her past infidelity, while the other (Jim and Maggie) seems to be in jeopardy as Sorkin promises that:
“Maggie, episode by episode, is going to lose everything.”
Since Maggie (Allison Pill) was pretty much written as a proverbial train wreck, she’s going to be incapable of keeping it together in the face of adversity, and the Don vs. Jim thing clearly weighed heavily on the character. With Don (Thomas Sadoski) seemingly en route toward a relationship with Sloan (Olivia Munn) and Jim (John Gallagher Jr.) escaping the office to run away with a campaign, one has to wonder how Maggie will respond.
While it’s unfortunate for Maggie, Jim’s move to field reporting may actually be the most interesting tidbit from the video. Though Sorkin had long departed by then, some of the best post-Sorkin episodes of The West Wing happened in seasons six and seven when the show took Josh (Bradley Whitford) out of the White House and put him onto the campaign trail.
This, obviously, isn’t the same thing, but seeing a campaign unfold from a reporter’s perspective could be a nice change of pace and a direct link to the campaign that will certainly loom large for this show about cable news, current events and, apparently, conference room tables.
The Newsroom returns on July 14th on HBO.