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November 21, 2014 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily, 2014-11-21

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Friday, November 21, 2014 5A

The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom Friday, November 21, 2014 - 5A

Irrelevent'Newsroom'

ByALEXINTNER
DailyArts Writer
This season of "The
Newsroom" almost didn't
happen. HBO spent months in
negotiations
with Aaron B
Sorkin The
("The Social
Network"), Newsroom
who finally Season 3
agreed to Premiere
return for
six final Sundays at9 p.m.
episodes. The" HBO
announcements
came after
a problematic season with
too many boneheaded and
frustrating moments to make up
for the truly special ones. Sorkin
often has trouble reigning
himself in, loading the dialogue
with pretentious, broad claims
about politics and America.
While the final season premiere
is a bit more controlled, "The
Newsroom" still gets lost in the
big statements.
"The Newsroom" follows
the inner workings of "News
Night with Will McAvoy" on
the fictional network ACN. The
premiere picks up after the
Genoa incident wrecked the
program's reputation with them
getting a chance to "do the news
correctly" during the week of
the Boston Marathon bombings.
In the premiere, the staff tries to
figure out what happened on the
day of the attack itself and the
manhunt that lasted for a week
after.

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portrayal of stories like Munn, "Attack of the Show")
e is what "The Newsroom" discovery of a potential hostile
best. It's sometimes takeover of ACN's parent
ght thrilling to watch company would both have a
characters maneuver much greater impact. Those
h situations like covering are both gripping ideas on
rorist attack in Boston. their own; however, by forcing
Sorkin's dialogue isn't all the season's framework
on platitudes and into one scene, they lose their
e-top philosophical significance.
ngs and focuses instead In the premiere, Sorkin
-paced problem solving, couldn't shake one of the
ates each sequence to a problems that plagued the
higher level, as evident series in its first two seasons.
first few moments when Throughout the episode, he
figuring out exactly what tries to make statements about
ed so they could launch what makes quality journalism,
eir coverage. and those claims don't always
resonate. He couldn't help but
bring in the John King mishap
and show how his heroes don't
Sorkin too pass along the report because
iterested in they couldn't corroborate it. He
also appeared to be flummoxed
~oraliZ over how stories spread over
the Internet, bringing in and
dismissing Twitter coverage
and other forms of online
rmixed with the Boston journalism at many points
ne was some shoddy setup during the episode.
season to come. Sorkin These plot contrivances make
his story so that there are "The Newsroom" frustrating.
45 second hints dropped There's a version of this
hout the premiere, and it program written by Sorkin that
ws up in the final scene. could be one of the best shows
ast sequence. essentially out there. However, Sorkin
d a full episode's worth is too interested in the grand
rylines in about seven statements to worry about
s. It's a strange choice for coherent setup for the season.
and it doesn't quite pay That's the problem with trying
ere's a way to structure to tell an ambitious story; if you
ifferently so that both allow yourself to go too far into
(Dev Patel, "Slumdog the truisms and lose some of
aire") committing the basics, you end up making
age and Sloan's (Olivia television that loses its meaning.

A lot of sun action goin on here.
'Missing' navigtes
pat nd present

New Starz drama
springboards off
strong main cast
By MATTHEWBARNAUSKAS
DailyArts Writer
Starz's new eight-episode
miniseries "The Missing,"
produced by BBC One, opens
with Tony.
Hughes A
(James
Nesbitt, The Missing
"The Series
Hobbit") Premiere
in a French Saturdays at 9 p.m.
pub as he Starz
stares at a
young teenager. He proceeds.
to ask the-kid how ;old he is.
"Thirteen," the boy says. The
boy's mother looks back with
apprehension. "I'm sorry, I
have a son his age," Tony tries
to reassure her.
However, Tony's son Oliver
(newcomer Oliver Hunt) has
been missing for eight years,
and a puzzle bridging the
} past and present begins to
unfold. Alternating between
the initial disappearance of
Oliver eight years prior and
Tony's renewed search in
2014, "The Missing" lays its
pieces expertly in its premiere
episode "Eden."
Visually, "The Missing"
immediately captures the
dynamic between flashbacks
and the present. The past is
rendered in bright colors, a
vibrant life for Tony, his wife
Emily (Frances O'Conner,

"Al.") and Oliver. As soon as
Oliver goes missing, this ideal
vision gives way to darker
tones. The present, with muted
colors, seems sapped of life
and happiness for any of the
characters. The welcoming
French town of Chalons du
Bois becomes an isolating
place for the characters that
return to it.
Nesbitt is fantastic as a
man grasping for straws in
his search for a needle in a
haystack. Nesbitt's joy in the
opening flashbacks gives
way to panic then transforms
to quiet desperation in the
present day. His situation is
described by retired French
detective Julien Baptiste
(Tchdky Karyo, "The Patriot?%
"Tony is in Chalons duonBois
because there he can believe
that his son is not gone -
that somewhere he is now 13
years old and playing football
and starting to think about
girls." As he wanders through
the French town, Tony is a
small, lost man dwarfed by
the mystery around him and
overwhelmed by the fanatical
belief that his son is still alive.
While Tony holds onto
the past, others try to move
forward. Emily seems to
have started a new life with
Mark Walsh (Jason Flemyng,
"X-Men: First Class").
However, Oliver's specter
is a shadow over her and its
hold on her is worsened as
she becomes aware of Tony's
search. Although Julien
discourages Tony from going
any further when he says,

"This isn't good for you," he
slowly finds himself climbing
down the rabbit hole again.
Tony's obsession is a black hole
that draws others in no matter
how much they try and escape
it.
Written by Harry and Jack
Williams ("Roman's Empire"),
"The Missing" skillfully
handles its interlocking past
and present. The mystery
around Tony's search begs the
question "What will happen?"
as Tony is joined by Julien to
follow the one lead he has.
Meanwhile, the state of the
characters in the present
asks, "What happened?" Both
questions are equally enticing,
and the secret of Oliver's fate
serves as the focal point -
but just as intriguing are the'
reasons for Tony and Emily's
separation and the origin of
Julien's limp. "The Missing"
drops hints in the present
around the initial investigation
eight years ago that naturally
lead to curiosity about what
went wrong, while events and
details from the past echo
hauntingly in the present.
The title "Eden" captures
the sanctuary of happiness
for Tony's family in the past
that is ripped away suddenly.
While in the present, the new
gardens that people have made
are in danger of being torn
down by Tony's temptation to
find the truth. "The Missing"
is a visually and cerebrally
engrossing series whose
answers may destroy any
semblance of safety left for the
characters' past and present.

'Getting' hilarious TV

By HAILEY MIDDLEBROOK
DailyArts Writer
As a general rule,hospitals
are serious places. In the public
imagination, they're cold
and sterile,
with their
fluorescent-
lit hallways, Getting On
blanched Season 2
walls and Premiere
wards that Sundays,
radiate a 10:30 p.m.
paranoid vibe
of impending H B
doom -
warranted or not. It's no suprise
that a hospital, with its literal
undertones of life and death,
is one of Hollywood favorite's
backdrops. In today's long-lived
medical dramas "House" and
"Grey's Anatomy," hospitals
are morbidly glamorous,
with beautiful nurses and
brooding doctors who perform
miraculous procedures by day
and enjoy Scotch by night, all
while looking irresistible in
latex gloves.
What do these shows lack?
Well, quite frankly, a reality
check, because hospitals are
awkward spaceswithoutscripts
on how to act. While death is
often glamorized on TV, the
dark reality is that death simply

happens - usually not due to an
erupted vein in a simultaneous
brain-heart-kidney transplant,
but rather by an old fart justi
kicking the bucket. So where's
the show presenting hospitals
in their unglamorized glory?
Enter "Getting On," HBO's
version of the British show
of the same name, a darkly
comedic series following the
day-to-day happenings in a
geriatric hospital ward. The
show premiered in November
of 2013 with a short six-
episode season. Despite its brief
airtime, the series stirred up
enough critical praise for it to
be renewed for a second season,
withtheravingconsensusthatit
captured the unfiltered reality
of the hospital and its irritable
patients and exasperated
workers, addressing the futility
of life ina darkly comedic way.
The core crew is back this fall
for season two, made up of fast-
talking Dr. Jenna James (Laurie
Metcalf, "The McCarthys"), a
greedy and egotistical doctor
who likes to use her patients
for her own research purposes;
Dawn (Alex Borstein, "Family
Guy"), the emotionally unstable
head ward nurse who is
victimized by Dr. James; Didi
(Niecy Nash, "Reno 911"), a
grossly underpaid nurse who

is probably the most competent
and empathetic worker in
the ward; and Patsy (Mel
Rodriguez, Gommunity");
the new, sexually-confused
supervising nurse romantically
linked with Dawn, whose
modern ideas clash with those
of Dr. James.
"Getting On" continues to
follow the working lives of the
crew with zooming close-ups a
la "Office Space," a wink at the
irony of a hospital being more
similarto acorporateworkplace
than a dramatic stage. The
geriatric ward of Mt. Palms
Hospital is dull, run-down and
overwhelmingly depressing, as
if someone drained all the color
from the walls, the croaking
patients and their caregivers.
In such a morbid place, with
death literally knocking on the
door, black humor is the only
way to process what's going on.
Season two promises the
same bleak humor that made
the first season stand out - a
unique blend of situations that
are at once horrible and weirdly
moving. "Getting On" is the
kind of show that makes it both
hard to laugh and hard to cry,
where doctors aren't heroic and
patients aren't sympathetic. It's
sickly, darkly and disturbingly
funny because it's real.

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