“The Disillusionment of Barack Obama” There comes a time when idealism is betrayed; when we are prone to a sense of disillusionment. It happens to leaders and common folk alike. It causes self-reflection. It is capable of epiphany. I believe such…
by Stephen R. Ganns •
Season 2 Episode 4 “Unintended Consequences”
Comment: Allison Pill and “Daniel’s Story”
Note: Daniel was a young Ugandan child that Ms. Pill’s character befriended
I don’t like Aaron Sorkin. I don’t like the fact that Mr. Sorkin and HBO were blatant shills for the Democratic Party during the 2012 election cycle. I don’t like either’s conceit for what they “believe” America is all about. I didn’t like the first season or its premises—mainly delivered lugubriously by a Brit (although Emily Mortimer is a terrific actor non-the less). Alright, I got that off my chest and by the way–that isn’t the central point of my comment anyway.
Ok: Aaron Sorkin is easily Hollywood’s reigning best writer; much to my chagrin! Oh, I didn’t mind liking “A Few Good Men” or “The Social Network” or even some episodes of “The West Wing”. But, I never thought the “Newsroom” could replace “Dexter” or “Homeland” in my bill of fare. It irks me that it has—I’m actually mad at myself over it. But here’s the rub: Season 2 is getting extremely good—and I say this advisedly.
Which brings us to the point: Episode 4 was rare in its writing, directing and acting. The script was quite frankly perfect and the production and editing were equal to the task. One would need not change the performances of the actors to improve them—a good barometer of the quality.
So: who is Alison Pill anyway? Had you asked me, I would have said she was probably one of the cast members of a “Chainsaw” movie or a “Scream” sequel—perhaps even one of those dreadful 90’s practice session banal peons to teenage life or some such. However, every once in a while something is offered up as a true art form.
Ms. Pill’s portrayal of Maggie, a news producer who travels to Uganda to cover some unknown crisis (the nature of which we could guess) was simply stunning as was the writing and the interplay between her character and that of Marcia Gay Hardin. The group of lawyers that flanked Ms. Hardin provided the exact amount of silence and expression which created a realism not often seen on TV.
So it is: that I’m resigned to believe Ms. Pill–along with Ms. Hardin and Mr. Sorkin–deserve awards for this Episode 4. There are other writings and summaries out there on the net that have maligned this episode from their viewpoints in the petty weeds of the story or perhaps it’s only symptomatic of misplaced humanity.
Think about it. I have no vested interest in siding with Mr. Sorkin. But I just did—dammit!