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6/25/12

7 Reasons Why the Pilot of "The Newsroom" was Great...4 of Them Involve John Gallagher Jr.

It happened you guys…it happened!!!

Aaron “God of Everything Television and Movies” Sorkin’s The Newsroom finally hit the TV waves after months of hype. And while some reports are already dogging it – *ahem*, The New Yorker – I enjoyed what I saw. In fact, regardless of future episodes or even the overall fate of the show, that was easily one of the best pilot episodes I have ever seen.

And that is just the television side of me…my not-so-subtle Theater nerd was L-O-V-I-N-G every minute of it. The entirety of the show can be summed up as Aaron Sorkin (who has had a smash-hit or 5) meets modern-day news/journalism culture (which I studied in college as apart of my PR education…hence, I j*adore) with a teaspoon of theater (no further explanation required). Count me in!

Allow me to put out some talking points for your water cooler chat today.

-- Sorkin knows how to WRITE! And create full-fledged characters. And have these extensive whip smart, fast-paced scenes of dialogue that plays up the intelligence of the audience. And incorporate elements of modernity to wink at the iPhone using, 140 character tweeting, YouTube journalistic audience that has developed in the last four-ish years. Basically, Sorkin can do no wrong.

-- Also, did anyone have a drinking game going every time a theater reference was made? If you did, you probably got a good buzz going by the time the 75 minutes were over. We’ll get to casting in a minute, but the Annie, Man of la Mancha and The Merchant of Venice references are much appreciated coming from this theater blogger. Because theater is not referenced enough in the mainstream and considering Smashs utter mediocrity and Glee’s now raging mediocrity, we will take it in any well-written venue we can get it.

-- Oh, The Newsroom…you didn’t think we would notice, did you? That little voice of the un-trained oil inspector was none other then Jesse Eisenberg. Yes, THAT Jesse Eisenberg, who played Mark Zuckerberg (and received an Oscar nomination for his performance) in Sorkin’s The Social Network. Oh, we noticed…and we liked it for its utter randomness and the show’s mum ness (as of now at the least).

-- Casting was also on-point…because if Sorkin misfired on anything, the world would shift out of its equilibrium and go barreling towards the sun. Jeff Daniels was surprisingly good as the jaded news anchor. Emily Mortimer was fabulously British and bitchy; I could watch her read chair assembly instructions. On the theater side of things, Thomas Sadoski, who was last seen originating the role of Tripp Wyeth in Other Desert Cities, was pitch perfect as the unintentional, douschetastic antagonist. Alison Pill was also on Broadway not too long ago, as was Johnny Galls…this show can make superstars out of its ensemble, which is making my overprotective blog father kick-in and want to wrap the ensemble in blankets and stick them on a Broadway stage somewhere eight times a week. Oh, impulses…

John Gallagher Jr. is giving a stern pose.
Like a boss.
-- John Gallagher Jr. walked in…AND FELL FLAT ON HIS ASS. Talk about a DVR moment; I already watched it 3 7 10 26 times. Tumblr GIFs and memes for days…thank you Aaron Sorkin for that moment in our lives. I’ll add you to my list of muffin basket recipients.

-- And WOW, lovely readers…how great was Johnny Galls? His last three Broadway outings had him reveling in teenage angst or adult degeneracy…and yet, in a stroke of casting genius, there he was all suited up and polished looking (and not in the “suicidal,” metaphorical “I want to cut a bitch” kind of way a la American Idiot). He brought his A-Game playing that fast-talking, hyperactive, occasionally awkward senior segment producer…and lets get reals here: he wouldn’t be John Gallagher Jr. if there was not some awkwardness. Or a whole lot of it, either way…I approve. As I tend to do when it comes to anything Johnny Galls.

-- Lastly, the John Gallagher Jr. and Dev Patel instant-bromance was pretty epic, no? Not as epic as John Gallagher Jr. throwing down and winning at everything, including shutting down Thomas Sadoski’s character. But still, Spring Awakening meets Slumdog Millionaire is something I never thought I would be saying. Now, I am hoping for the two of them to perform an acoustic, interpretative version of “Jai Ho (You Are My Destiny).” HBO and Sorkin? Ratings extravaganza; let me tell you. Besides, it is hard to shake the idea of Gallagher Jr. flirting with his sister from Pieces of April Alison Pill, so his brewing bromance with Patel and his already established working relationship with Mortimer’s character interest me way more.

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