It started off ranty, but not in an interesting way. In an America-Is-No-Longer-Great way, an unoriginal message meant to spark...outrage? Shock? A slow clap? It didn't help that Jeff Daniel's delivery was too fast (yes, I understand how Sorkin writes, and this was faster than usual) and filled with spittle.
Quickly, he lost me at “sorority girl,” a jab at a blonde, sheepish college sophomore at the microphone who asks a dumb question. Apparently running out of material - or, as I’m sure it would be spun, harkening back to the opening scene - there is yet another sorority girl joke at the end of the episode. It must be that all news anchors have college girls on the brain.
When he shows back up in the newsroom, his intern-turned-assistant is also blonde, bubbly, lets her producer boyfriend walk all over her, and her wide-eyed cliche couldn’t be saved by the newsworthy information she stumbles upon at the end of episode, casting her as the character to root for.
Even the main character, Emily Mortimer playing the executive producer, is a mess. She is, as proclaimed by network boss, supposed to be "the best in the business” but every moment of strength and healthy manipulation that we see is erased when, in the last moment of the episode, she cries.
Towards the very end - when the staff has pulled off a successful and stressful news night - the network boss orders a low-level intern to tweet out a bunch of stuff and she stares at him dumbly and says, "I only get 140 characters."
This is when I threw something at the tv.
The few scenarios I've just described? Those were the only women. Not a strong one among the bunch. Oh, I'm sure that the characters will develop over the season. I've been told that the best women characters haven't been introduced yet. But if this is our starting point? I'm dismayed.
To recap: there were really only two women characters. They both cried. For a moment I misjudged and thought I was watching something from the Mad Men-era. But no. The Newsroom is set in 2010.