There was a moment in last season's finale of HBO's The Newsroom when Will McAvoy, the bombastic TV anchorman played by Jeff Daniels, shot forward on his hospital bed and bellowed to a co-worker "I don't think I'm coming back!" He was talking about his return from a drug-induced bleeding ulcer to the cable newscast over which he presides, but weary viewers, impatient with the preachy prattle that passed for the first season of Aaron Sorkin's Treatise on the State of the American News Media, could have been forgiven if they hoped he was musing about the fate of the show itself.
After viewing the pilot and several subsequent episodes, I found Aaron Sorkin's "The Newsroom" to be full of brilliance -- inspiring, funny and wonderfully acted. But the show, premiering tonight (6/24) on HBO, has taken a critical drubbing from coast to coast, accused of such ills as being "intellectually self-serving" (Time) and "crammed with incessant gibber-jabber" (The Washington Post). Well.
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