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"Ohhhh, Mister McAvoy!" - Blather. Rants. Repeat.
A Møøse once bit my sister ...
captainsblog
captainsblog
"Ohhhh, Mister McAvoy!"
Earlier today, on schedule, I worked my way through a third of the second season of Aaron Sorkin's drama The Newsroom. Totally coincidentally, I had a theme song and a cast pop into my head from years gone by, and I watched, for the first time in almost 40 years, the series premiere of Lou Grant on Hulu.

Plenty of compare-and-contrasts to report.

"Cophouse," the 1977 Lou Grant series premiere, presented a single straight-line "story" that the Trib was working on, with a B-story about the journalistic ethics of police-beat reporters and a lot of exposition about how Lou wound up in LA after his virtually unmentioned prior history in television. "Unintended Consequences," the 2013 Newsroom fourth episode, continued multiple arcs from the first three, told in present-day and flashback formats, about three primary stories- one domestic about the Romney campaign, one foreign about an alleged incident near the Afghan/Pakistani border, and a third in the heart of Africa- and leapfrogged all of them around the main characters from Season 1, the Occupy Wall Street movement, and a multitude of personal storylines involving the ACN reporters themselves.

In 2013, we need a bigger scorecard.

Lots of parallels, though.  Both newsrooms focus on an antihero, each immediately answerable to a superior named Charlie (played by Mason Adams in Lou Grant and by Sam Waterston in The Newsroom), and ultimately accountable to the dowager owner of their press-slash-bandwidth of their generations (Nancy Marchand of the Trib and Hane Fonda of AWS).  Each newsroom has its share of internal drama, but in the end, and by the end, each needs to do whatever's needed to make sure that The Story wins out over The Crap.  In 1977, it was cophouse reporter Driscoll taking a call on the big white phone; last Sunday, it was Neil taking a punch to the gut.  In both cases, the stories moved forward- as they will always do.

I've had my fill of Lou for now after that 43-minute fix. One can take only so many leisure suits and 70s-boat automobiles in the background.  I just hope that Sorkin stays true to the same principles and ethics over the next eight weeks as he plays out his much more complex plate of spaghetti.

And Maggie? Despite cutting and coloring your hair, you got spunk. I HATE spunk.

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