Tuesday, January 6, 2015

The Newsroom - Don't go breaking my heart

Since the end of December 2014 my heart has been empty, not my whole heart but at least the part of it dedicated to excellent tv-series. All because of one new discovery; The Newsroom on HBO.

 Jeff Daniels is more than fun and laughter with Jim Carey, not that there is anything wrong with being funny but Daniels character in this series is pretty far from Harry in Dumb & Dumber. In The Newsroom Daniels play the part as news anchor Will McAvoy. In the series we find a lot of talented actors, like Sam Waterstone, Emily Mortimer, John Gallagher jr, Dev Patel, Olivia Munn, Thomas Sadoski and Jane Fonda. Combined these people make an excellent team on screen.

I know I came to this party fashionably late, but that meant I could watch a bunch of episodes - I could practically have my own Newsroom marathon if I wanted to.  News, loyalty, romance, drama and friendship - the series had all the ingredients to turn out great. Too bad for me because it was a magnificent series, and just when I started watching it the final and third season was almost over. So I was able to catch up to the last season pretty quick. After watching the finale episode I felt pretty much like The Newsrooms own producer, Mac, in one of the episodes:

BRING THIS SHOW BACK!! And yes, for me it is important to shout it out in capital letters.

News Night

Newsroom takes us behind the screen of News Night, the flagship news program on the fictional cable network called Atlantis Cable Network. I loved to get a peek behind the camera, to see all the preparations done ahead of a news program, how one chooses what to give airtime, what is of greatest importance for thousands and thousands of viewers. Today important news might not be aired because some celebrity acceidentally flashed a boob, drunk to much,got married, got pregnant and so on. This is not what is important to know, what goes on in the world is of greater importance, what goes on in your local community, in your state and in your country - what someone wore to a party shouldn't be considered of greater importance then things that actually makes impact on our day to day life and our future. Is real news journalism a dying art? Let us hope not, then a lot of bad people can get away with bad deeds is no one is watching and reporting what they see and hear.

The show balances the news with corpeate politics as well as the employees private life. I like that balance, and I do believe it is necessary to forge a good bond with the viewers. All in all this is a smart and clever series which will make you think(you know just like a good book). Many of the cases reported on News Night is in fact real and most of us will recognize several of them even if we are living in other countries then USA(many people have heard of the Boston Marathon bombing, and perhaps that the real trial starts these days, and about Edward Snowden).

Why this show is being cancelled is beyond me(even if I understand the word MONEY). So I would like to recommend this series to everyone out there, it is wonderful drama on an important subject - a subject that has holds a lot of power over all of us.

From this moment on, we'll be deciding what goes on our air and how it's presented to you based on the simple truth that nothing is more important to a democracy than a well-informed electorate. We'll endeavor to put information in a broader context because we know that very little news is born at the moment it comes across our wire. We'll be the champion of facts and the mortal enemy of innuendo, speculation, hyperbole, and nonsense. We're not waiters in a restaurant serving you the stories you asked for just the way you like them prepared. Nor are we computers dispensing only the facts because news is only useful in the context of humanity.
Will McAvaoy in The Newsroom.
I only have one negative remark on the show, and that was the season finale. Most of the feedback I have read is unanimously positive, people feels that the ending was perfect. I however disagree, it felt a bit too easy, like cheating and the soul of the show was missing for me. Perhaps my vision was blurred by the loss of new episodes from the pen of its creator Aron Sorkin. Not to worry there was no loose threads, so if you hate that you will get closure in the final episode. On a positive note the series ended in a way that makes it possible to start back up again should that ever be an option. Although sadly it does not look like that will happen. This is the first series I've ever seen that made me want to just start over from the first episode when the last one ended :) I am sure the second time around will be just as interesting.

What?! You do not wish to watch this series?
Then my friend there is little left for me to say, forget it I will let Charlie Skinner(Sam Waterstone) do the talking for me:

Have you watched The Newsroom?
Let me know, drop a line in the comment box below.

Note for book lovers: Don Quijote is of great importance for the series and its creator read more about that here.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Book shopping can cure mood swings - graphic novels

I was recently in a bit of a bad mood and decided that shopping some books might make happy girl. 

The theme for my shopping basket was, obviously as you can see from the picture below, graphic novels. A world I am none too familiar with. I was thinking that I would love to add more titles, not for buying right now, on my ever growing wishlist.

I love lots of things but superheroes, things that makes me laugh and strong female heroines(like in e.g. Castle Waiting, vol. 1 by Linda Medley and Giants Beware! by Jorge Aguirre, Rafael Rosado). What I do not like is the stuff with very graphic violence like in say Sandman. I have only read Vol. 1 Preludes and Nocturnes.

Can you recommend me some good graphic novels that might or might not fit the bill?

My shopping basket:

Monday, September 29, 2014

Historical novels put things in perspective

I am currently listening to a historical YA called In the Shadow of Blackbirds written by Cat Winters. It is a historical novel with paranormal elements; spiritualism and spirit photography, set in October 1918 during WWI and the Spanish flu.

The Spanish Flu was very contagious and often the outcome was deadly. The disease killed about 5 percent of the world's population. In the Shadow of Blackbirds some numbers were mentioned putting it into perspective:

They buried their gauze-covered noses in the San Diego Union, and one of them felt the need to read the October influenza death tolls out loud. "Philadelphia: over eleven thousand dead and counting - just this month. Holy Moses! Boston: for thousand dead." The use of cold statistics to describe the loss of precious lives made me ill. I crossed my fingers and hoped that Portland wasn't a big enough city to mention. Hearing the death toll up there - worrying about my father in that crowded jail - would have probably killed me. "New York: eight hundred and fifty-one in just one day - eight hundred and fifty-one! Can you believe that?"

851, 851, 851 - that is a lot of people, so many destinies, so many loved ones being left behind in a difficult situation and grieving. 851 was, according to le Internet, the record for an American city - a record I am guessing no city would ever like to be the holder of.

In 2014 we have diseases spreading and killing a lot of innocent people, some in areas where culture and traditions makes the spreading of the disease worse. The difference from the past is that in 2014 we have easy access to fast communication and transport. The medical expertise of the world can work together in a very different way to get important information across, to share findings and other information from their research. We have internet, we have telephone and we still have snailmail to name a few important tools for communication. A great many of the world inhabitants are being told about the importance of simple hygienic measures such as just washing ones hands properly. In 1918 one might be informed that eating a lot of onions anding keep raw potatoes in ones pocket might help prevent the disease.