Just watched this weeks episode on my DVR.
The base episode wasn't bad. But yes, the writing was over the top in many, many places, but I have seen similar things in my own station so they are not out of the realm of reality. And yes, when things tank in the newsroom, they TANK, BIG. There is no in between. You either have a great show, or you want to hide you head and die. I have seen too many days like that in my stations newsroom. Yesterday was one of them! The 5pm started out by bad and never recovered. The 6pm show was pitch perfect. You never know. My wife made the comment that after watching that episode, she is exhausted by trying to keep up with the dialog at the pace it is delivered. No one talks that fast in a newsroom. But the content of the dialog isn't bad.
I am glad to see that Mackenzie is growing a pair. That is what EP's do. They lead and let you know what is right and what is wrong. They set the tone, if not the rundown for the newscast. Of course, Mackenzie is no Leo McGarry, not that I have seen so far, but she is getting there. And yes, EP's do put anchors in their place at times. Remember a lot of the words that come out of an anchors mouth someone else wrote. There isn't enough time in the day for an anchor to write all the words delivered in a newscast because the news comes in at all hours of the day. An anchor (or managing editor) worth their salt finds the best EP they can and get the hell out of the way! Will knows that and is doing that. Charlie Skinner knows it. That is why he hired Mackenzie behind Will's back and then told him, I am the boss and this is how it is.
While the Maggie "faux pas" does happen too frequently (maybe not for THAT reason) of booking a guest and they back out, you usually know from the start who you can count on when you call. You normally don't cold call a big "get" in a vacuum. You work your way up. Now I know for the sake of the story they needed drama. OK. Over the top, but the basic premise is solid. Guests will back out for all kinds of reasons, including not liking the host/show or more than likely cold feet and they usually don't give you much time when they do and so you have to scramble and sometimes the replacements are not very good or not the exact fit for the story and the interview suffers. Having interviews go down the toilet like that one did, does happen more often than you think though, but more at the local level and not the national. Will handled it pretty well, but Sorkin just couldn't help himself going over the top with Will. Good anchors, local or national will know how far to go with a guest before it is time to bail. It usually doesn't take the producer to make the call. When a producer sees an interview going down in flames like that one, they are already moving on to the next story, just waiting for the right time to bail not whining and apologizing over the IFB to the anchor. You will have more bad interviews than good. That is the way it works, particularly at the local level. And then on the rare occasion you just get an interview that doesn't work at all, like in the episode, you just bail after the first or second question and move on. It just gets too painful to watch to the audience. Before the interview after the wife and I saw on the Kalideo preview multi monitor in the control room the guests in the boxes, we were shouting to the screen, "Move on! Nothing to see here!" because we knew this was agaring in HARD! Good bookers don't let that happen or they never become "good bookers" in the first place. We did laugh though, knowing of times when we had both (she works in a newsroom too) had seen the same thing happen at our jobs.
I can name people I have either worked with or work with now that could fit any character so far introduced in the show. The background work shows even if the writing is over the top. I am in for the time being. It is a good laugh to me.
Sidenote: There was a mention of the newsroom computer software the "show" is using and it was Avid I-News. And they even called it I-News on camera. It also looked on the, now PC computers, (I didn't see any Macs this week) on the desks either I-News or a look-a-like for it. I didn't hear any alarm bells this week like last weeks which were the alarm bells of I-News. It is a nothing factoid but a little "Inside Baseball" that at least they are trying to make the environment as close as possible. Like the Miranda Kalideo preview multi monitor in the control room. Not sure the size. Could be the 32 input or could be the 64 input off of a router. Got several of those along with several Evertz VIPA versions at my place. Know them well!)