Perhaps it is the first realization in the many the lie ahead that we once lived in better times. Not too long ago we sailed a quest for knowledge, a quest that would end as the world of convenience took over. It was a time where we went out for drinks and pursued thought rather than Google every quick answer for a posed question. It made us stronger in the world of intelligence, but now social media has made us more artificially comfortable.
The is definitely showing in the political theater that is the American primaries. Sound bites and shock value have replaced substance, while the level headed fight for airtime over those that have edgier Twitter posts. We were better than this…
Never have I found a show that more resembles my views on this than my recent discovery of the, since cancelled, show, The Newsroom. From the opening scene, my wife and I were hooked, finishing the entire series over a long weekend and beginning it all over again as we speak. It puts you right on the cusp were real news was killed by social media, ushering in the demise of intelligent reporting. It was not the fault of the reporters, but the audience that did this. Being correct became more important than truth and civility collapsed in an era where internet news had shortened attention spans.
The Newsroom successfully captures this transition and lets one experience the time through some of the best writing I have ever seen on a TV show. It was a period in life that I enjoyed embracing technology to compliment my lifestyle rather than to replace portions of it. It was a point when the Blackberry was sexy and perfect in every single way, not fighting for relevance among phones that lack character and depth… NOT TO MENTION KEYBOARDS!!! (a sidetone: after watching the series, I have converted back to my Blackberry Classic and must admit there is peace of mind and calmness that comes with embracing a phone that is only for calls, texts and emails).
The video in this post is the opening scene (located here) of the first episode and encapsulates the essence of the entire series in eight minutes of writing, acting and visual perfection. Go have a watch and if you like it, check out The Newsroom on HBO or Amazon Prime. It might make you miss the time of great media enough to pursue making it great again.