Thursday Movie Picks - TV Edition: Journalism

 

This week's TV Edition at Wandering Through the Shelves was suggested by the lovely Getter of Mettel Ray and is a theme after my own heart. Journalism. If you've been around here for a while you know how much I love media based on this. At the end of the day, I love a good mystery and films that revolve around journalism are always about getting to the bottom of a story and that always feels like a mystery. Here are three TV shows that I love that feature journalists

1) The Newsroom


I loved this show and was gutted when Aaron Sorkin chose to can it after three seasons. I know it's not very fondly remembered. A clip of it's worst scene is frequently circulated on social media even though I don't think it's a good representation of the show at all, but I thought this was great. Sorkin's fast pased dialogue works well in a news setting.

2) Sharp Objects

I adored the novel and Amy Adams did a wonderful job of bringing hot mess express Camille to life. It's part murder mystery, part working your way through trauma and I'm always interested in this. This was an excellent mini series.

3) The Morning Show

I watched the entire first season in a few days and I'm just hooked. While I took issue with the film's season finale, it reminded me a lot of The Newsroom and the acting is wonderful all around. The only downfall is I'll actually have to pay for an Apple TV subscription when it comes back for season 2. 

21 comments:

  1. AND I'll have the same ones, 3 for 3.. I kind of regret this theme now as it felt so limited to me. :D

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  2. I've heard great things about The Newsroom but all I've ever seen of it are clips of Jane Fonda tearing it up as the tough Leona Lansing.

    Likewise I've heard good things about The Morning Show but I don't have Apple TV so that's out.

    Sharp Objects-Amy Adams-EWWWWW!

    I found three (two interrelated) that look at different aspects of journalism-magazine, TV and newspaper. They all had distinctive opens as well which sort of ties them all together.

    The Name of the Game (1968-1971)-Publisher Glenn Howard (Gene Barry), “People” magazine reporter Jeff Dillon (Anthony Franciosa) (before that publication existed) and editor of “Crime” Dan Farrell (Robert Stack) all work for magazine giant Howard Publications. Described as a “wheel” show at the time with the three main leads in rotating stories that dealt with everything from industrial espionage to fanatical hippies committing mass suicide to corruption in sports and everything in between. Though the men very occasionally appeared in one of the others episodes they were all tied together by Peggy Maxwell (Susan Saint James) the editorial assistant to each man. In the opening credits each star’s name would appear in small type and multiply until forming a portrait of each.

    Mary Tyler Moore Show (1970-1977)-For seven seasons Mary Tyler Moore turned the world on with her smile as the independent and single (a rarity at the time) Mary Richards, associate producer at WJM News in Minneapolis. She works for the gruff but good-hearted Lou Grant (Edward Asner) along with head writer Murray Slaughter (Gavin MacLeod), dim bulb anchorman Ted Baxter (Ted Knight) and two faced “Happy Homemaker” Sue Ann Nivens (Betty White). Outside the newsroom she had a cozy efficiency apartment where best friend Rhoda Morgenstern (Valerie Harper) and dizzy landlady Phyllis Lindstrom (Cloris Leachman) frequently popped in for chats and humor. Similar to the first show the star’s name appears as a single line in the credits before multiplying as the iconic theme song plays. You would need a truck for all the awards the show won.

    Lou Grant (1977-1982)-After nearly the entire staff is fired from WJM Executive Producer Lou (Edward Asner) relocates to L.A. to become city editor for the Los Angeles Tribune newspaper. Aided by reporters Joe Rossi (Robert Walden) and Billie Newman (Linda Kelsey) and overseen by publisher Margaret Jones Pynchon (Nancy Marchand) they pursue topical stories each week. One of the rare shows where a character from a comedic show transferred to a dramatic one successfully (Asner won Emmys for both Best Dramatic Actor and Best Supporting Actor in a comedy). The show won 13 Emmys in total. The opening credits show the life cycle of a newspaper from a tree being felled through printing, delivery and finally a piece of it being used to line a canary’s cage!

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    1. I've seen parts of Mary Tyler Moore! That was on Nick at Nite a lot when I was a kid, but it wasn't one of my favorites. I haven't heard of your other two picks.

      I wish The Morning Show wasn't on Apple TV, the only reason I have it right now was because you get it for free if you buy a new Apple product so my time is limited lol.

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    2. With so many things being on pay networks now it's tough for the old commonality of viewing to take place. It makes things that shouldn't be very niche. Basic cable is bad enough I'm not paying for dozens of other networks, there's nothing I want to see that bad.

      Like all shows MTM is best started at the beginning to get the rhythm of the relationships but the writing is so good you can catch a random episode and still be entertained. MASH is like that as well.

      It's a bit surprising and too bad that Lou Grant doesn't seem to get rerun very often. It was a terrific show and really showed how talented Ed Asner was. That he was able to transfer a character that was a teddy bear with a gruff but cuddly exterior and translate him just enough that he remained recognizable as that person but somehow different in very serious situations is a tough tightrope walk but he did so seamlessly.

      The Name of the Game was a high sheen, very glamourous show but also would probe unusual areas. It was also like many of those 60's shows a breeding ground for rising talent on both sides of the camera. Steven Spielberg, Steven Bochco among many others wrote or directed episodes and Orson Wells, Boris Karloff, Donald Sutherland, Peter Falk, Frank Sinatra and just about every recognizable face of the time or decades after appeared in one of the episodes.

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    3. It is, and I laugh at networks like CBS All Access that think I'm going to pay for their standalone streaming when they should just put their things on regular CBS.

      I agree about catching a random episode of MTM and still being entertained. Out of my Nick at Nite viewings, it think the only shows I feel confident in saying I saw ALL of them are The Brady Bunch, Happy Days, and The Wonder Years. The rest were always just randoms here and there.

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    4. I'm sure I've seen all of The Brady Bunch multiple times, first when they were shown (I was just a wee little one at the time) and then when my sister's kids watched them and again when their kids did!

      I also watched Happy Days when it was originally on and I can attest that The Fonz was HUGE! I met Henry Winkler years later when I was managing a Borders and he came to do a signing for the kids book series he wrote. I don't want this to come across the wrong way because it was a positive experience but I would say he was professionally nice as opposed to being warm and approachable. He was there to do a job and being pleasant was part of that but when he was done he was done. With the crowd of kids and their parents though he was tremendous.

      I liked The Wonder Years but I wasn't a regular viewer like I was with the others. I haven't seen him lately but I like Fred Savage as an adult actor.

      It might sound weird to say now but I think I'm spoiled by not having cable when I was younger. By that I mean if it was on TV (and your antenna picked up the channel!) whatever was shown was available to you. Ya you had to suffer through commercials and be home at the right time since you couldn't record anything but it didn't cost a fortune to watch the freaking boob tube.

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    5. Nah, I'm the spoiled one, I've never not known cable. lol I had it growing up, and I've always made a point to keep it as I moved out on my own. We recorded a lot of things on VHS back in the day too.

      Happy Days always makes me laugh, especially when I see "jump the shark" being used. I remember watching that episode as a kid and being like.....wait what?

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  3. I've only seen Sharp Objects and liked it very much.
    Would love to watch the Morning Show one but doesn't seem possible right now.

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    1. I'm surprised over how much I like the Morning Show as I didn't read a lot of positive reviews on it when it first came out.

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  4. I've seen some of Sharp Objects as I do love the way Led Zeppelin is used in the show and that ending. HOLY FUCK. The Newsroom is a show I also saw a bit of as that "America Isn't the Greatest Country" speech feels more smacked on nowadays than ever.

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    1. I think it would've been really interesting to see that show cover the Dumpster Fire administration. Jeff Daniels' character was a republican but none of the other mains seemingly were.

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  5. Is that Dev Patel in the first gif? I've never even heard of that show!
    Absolutely desperate to watch Sharp Objects after reading everyone's picks today.

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    1. It is! I really liked it, it was cancelled ahead of its time because Sorkin is a baby lol.

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  6. You got me. I haven't seen any of these.

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  7. I'm so depressed Flynn didn't just write another novel and made a remake of Utopia which is apparently awful :/

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    1. I can't wait for Flynn's next novel, whenever that will be.

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    2. Apparently she's doing a Hamlet retelling. It's part of a series of books that reimagines Shakespeare's plays with other authors taking on the other plays.

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  8. Of course I have t seen any of these but I’d like to see them but when I get to see it free. I kind of find it sad that so many tv shows are on places that one must pay and the. There are only 9 or 10 episodes. I grew up with antennas, not the best viewing even when you put tin foil on the ends to bring the channel in better, but we got some great tv shows and the season would be 20 or so episodes.

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    1. Oh I know. The amount of streaming services is frustrating. I think FX is the only channel on basic cable that I watch shows on. Everything else is HBO or streaming.

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