Serial (Killer) Stuff: Run

thenewsroom

Run was the second episode of the third and final season of The Newsroom. 

If you had noticed, we are made up of people who like movies; an understated fact is that we don’t have much time to watch TV, which actually implies that we are not really fans of television (current, past anything). The time invested in something as a TV show is more than what we can risk.

Although we would like to be surprised with something like The Newsroom, brilliantly written and acted, each episode stands firmly on its own feet and doesn’t depend on cliffhangers. The fact that The Newsroom is written by Aaron Sorkin also tilts it in our favor.

It is like if you have started seeing the Newsroom, you can simply pick any episode from any season and there would be very little loss of juice.This is probably because of the themes the Newsroom chooses to address and how it is connected to our current world.

‘Run’ is about ethical dilemmas. A pair of millennials are trying to buy out ACN because it is not profitable. Should they buy it out and invest in something lucrative or stick on to the news division because of the ideals it stands for?

Neal Sampat(Dev Patel, who is our second favorite on the show) wrestles with his conscience and an overbearing lawyer in the matter of revealing a source who has leaked government documents. Should he reveal the source and protect himself or should he protect the story itself?

Associate producer Maggie Jordan overhears a government official spilling out what he shouldn’t on a train from Boston. Should she make her unauthorized recording into a sensational story or not?

There are other accessory moral dilemmas happening to other characters through the course of the show, but the biggest question that the staff of Newsnight face is to ultimately follow up a story or not.

The story here is of course the documents jointly unearthed by Neal Sampat, which is internally consistent with the theme of this episode but it is also a question that the members face every time they sit down for a story in editorial meetings.

Newsnight is of course Sorkin’s retelling of the King Arthur myth, a band of  knights at the round table racking their brains on a looking question, something which is directly referenced in this episode; but we can see the editorial meetings themselves as a round-table meeting of knights (although a round table is not involved, literally). But each Knight has their own quest, while their collective quest remains in motion.

Take something from the past, run with it and leave enough threads for the future; each episode of The Newsroom does this, but ‘Run’ from season 3 is exemplary as evidence in how to write a perfect episode, while not being too suffocating, but by being fun all the way through.

The fact that the Newsroom doesn’t solely depend on the ‘what will happen next’ but focuses on ‘what is happening now’, this is a great achievement.

As to how the characters work their way out of their dilemmas, you will have to watch the show.

Inspired writing inspires easy imitations, The Laureate, as we would like to think is the Sub-urban Chennai print version of Newsnight, of course we don’t deal with earth shattering revelations such as government document leaks and such.

Serial (Killer) Stuff is an occasional column which comes about when we occasionally watch TV

 

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