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Tara Ariano

S03.E04: Contempt

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She is American , probably dual citizenship. But Sorkin does not care much about the "usual". In the West Wing he made the President a NH Catholic descendant of the Pilgrims, or something.

 

Bartlet was the son of a Protestant man who descended from Pilgrims and an Irish Catholic woman.  The children were raised Catholic.  Assume the Mchale's had a similar story

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And yet: I hate the work on this show with only one exception (see farther down). And I very much do not like what they do to Mac (or Sloan this season), and hate what they've done to darling Allison Pill.

 

I agree with you about Mac and Maggie but not Sloan. In this episode I thought (again) that Sloan's hair looked fabulous. It was absolutely perfectly cut (although it's a little longer than the first 2 seasons) and framed her face to perfection. If that isn't Olivia Munn's off-camera hairstyle she really needs to consider it.

 

IIRC, Mac's father was either the British ambassador to the U.S. or the U.N., and that's how she came to be born in America. So whatever her mother was, her father was definitely British. She can be Catholic if that's what Sorkin wants her to be, but after  2 1/2 seasons without a single reference to her (or Will's) religion, for him to throw in that she's  a 'devout Catholic' just seems odd. Similarly, Mac suddenly seems to be using the fact that Will has an Irish heritage to explain his stubbornness. I would more likely attribute it to the fact that he's a Nebraska farm boy. It's much more in line with his backstory up until this point.

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Ack, double post. Nothing to see here! Apologies.


Doesn't Dire Straits in Two Cathedrals count? :). (My fave).

I adore "Two Cathedrals" (and still remember those final scenes). I just question whether it can be looked to as a trend when it comes to Sorkin's writing.

I think Sorkin has a lot of verbal and stylistic habits, many of which certainly can and should be called out upon. But the venom reserved for the "Ave Maria" here just felt weird to me. It's a regular choice for weddings (so I felt its use here was believable), and the show actually went out of its way NOT to choose an operatic performer.

Edited by paramitch

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...was i really the only one on Jim's side in that argument? Hallie is a whiny, reactionary brat who uses the "old media vs new media" complaint every time Jim doesn't like what she's doing. to call a piece admittedly written when she was pissed off "real journalism" is ridiculous. girl should just get a livejournal, not a job in the journalism field.

 

 

as you can tell, i'm not a huge Hallie fan which saddens me bc i actually quite like babyMeryl. 

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...was i really the only one on Jim's side in that argument? Hallie is a whiny, reactionary brat who uses the "old media vs new media" complaint every time Jim doesn't like what she's doing

 

 

You weren't alone.  I don't usually like Jim--I have always preferred Don because he felt more like a real human being.  However, I felt for him in the scene on the terrace.  He was drunk and just fucking done.  Also, I found it interesting that he was completely self-aware that he knew he could get out of appearing like a dick, by going with the "hey, you invaded my privacy" defense.  But, that's not what bothered him the most.  Ultimately, they're going with the Maggie/Jim thing, so they needed a reason, but, if there was no Maggie, Jim just didn't trust Hallie. 

 

My favorite part, I was right with him on this one, is Hallie using the technology against him.  He's like, it's not the fucking device!  Amen, man.  I love going online, I love Twitter, but sometime I just wish some people would just get over, oh, the technology.  How many times are they going to update the IPhone?  It reminds me of running out a network series, did Law and Order really need 20 seasons? 

Edited by sunflower
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I adore "Two Cathedrals" (and still remember those final scenes). I just question whether it can be looked to as a trend when it comes to Sorkin's writing.

I think Sorkin has a lot of verbal and stylistic habits, many of which certainly can and should be called out upon. But the venom reserved for the "Ave Maria" here just felt weird to me. It's a regular choice for weddings (so I felt its use here was believable), and the show actually went out of its way NOT to choose an operatic performer.

 

I get it.  I was referencing the "cue musical montage" bit, not Ava Maria, cuz to me, that screamed the "Two Cathredrals" ending.  And I love Dire Straits so much, I could probably make an argument for Brothers in Arms being a religious song...!

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Aaron Sorkin makes two nice, talented actors play out idiotic relationship fights no professionals would ever actually have, and it's not okay.

Read the story

 

If you read the story in that link upthread...you see that Sorkin made another "dig" at Page Six (interesting given the info in the article) when Sloan said "Page Six wouldn't say it if it wasn't true". 

 

Even if I was willing to look past him being a jerk about "page view bonuses" from last week, him acting like Hallie wasn't doing true journalism because she was writing an op-ed, just strikes me as the snobbish thing ever.

 

This struck me because, if you think about it, Season 1 was largely one big Will McAvoy op-ed on what was wrong with the tea party.  He just happened to be presenting it on "old media" (his nightly broadcast) instead of on a "new media" blog.  And Jim was totally on-board. So his self-righteousness is exhausting, and it's making a character I initially liked through season 1 and most of season 2 unbearable. 

 

I love Don. I love Sloan. I love DonandSloan.  I think someone mentioned this somewhere before, but I would totally watch a spin-off with Sloan and Don and Charlie. And you can bring on Reese and his mother as well. Reese is another one I've done a 180 on. Hated him in season 1, but grew to find him "bless his heart" endearing in Season 2 (especially the "my mommy won't let me" speech in the finale).  Now... I genuinely love him as well.

 

In this episode I thought (again) that Sloan's hair looked fabulous. It was absolutely perfectly cut (although it's a little longer than the first 2 seasons) and framed her face to perfection.

 

Agree.  I thought she looked gorgeous in this episode. 

Edited by loriro
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Meanwhile: I don't get the "Sorkinism" descriptions for the "Ave Maria" close like they're some huge cliche. I mean, it's certainly a movie mainstay, but not from Sorkin (see also 28 Days Later, Alive, Muriel's Wedding, Prizzi's Honor, Needful Things, The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly, Clockwork Orange, etc.) Yet I've never seen Sorkin actually resort to this and I've watched all his shows. It certainly doesn't seem to be his go-to move on a scene (cue classical musical montage, etc.). So for me this scene is just not something he's known for or something he tends to resort to. At least anymore than anyone else. (I do give Sorkin points for going to a gentler, less formal rendition of the piece -- it was almost casual and folksy yet still pure and lovely. I thought it was a good choice.)

I never said Sorkin has exclusivity on this. I do think he does put some thought on what music is going to play during (usually the end) of certain episodes. To me, this is a Sorkinism, but it could be anyone-ism as well.

Since he said that he wanted Ave Maria, and he initially wanted an opera singer, until the director pointed him out in he direction of the woman who is singing in the episode...

I do remember a few TWW episodes, I am bad at titles though. One song that comes to mind is New York Minute and I remember a long discussion about the song in relation to the episode. And Hallelujah, another one that generated a lot of discussion on Sorkin's music preferences.

I do think he resorts to music quite often, with a purpose. I don't always know the purpose, but I think he has one, in his head.  

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Meanwhile: I don't get the "Sorkinism" descriptions for the "Ave Maria" close like they're some huge cliche. I mean, it's certainly a movie mainstay, but not from Sorkin (see also 28 Days Later, Alive, Muriel's Wedding, Prizzi's Honor, Needful Things, The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly, Clockwork Orange, etc.) Yet I've never seen Sorkin actually resort to this and I've watched all his shows. It certainly doesn't seem to be his go-to move on a scene (cue classical musical montage, etc.). So for me this scene is just not something he's known for or something he tends to resort to. At least anymore than anyone else. (I do give Sorkin points for going to a gentler, less formal rendition of the piece -- it was almost casual and folksy yet still pure and lovely. I thought it was a good choice.)

 

 

This is not Sorkin's first use of the Ave Maria.  In S1 of The West Wing, Josh was obsessed with the piece in "The Crackpots and These Women".  He asks CJ if she's familiar with it and CJ responds that of course she knows it as she's Catholic.  

 

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Wasp = white Anglo Saxon Protestant. Isn't that what you've been saying?

I could have sworn it was Mac, but whatever. Again: name can mean nothing at all. I know some Jewish people who have irish last names, because dad converted. I

The point is. That there's zero reason she shouldn't be catholic. Protestant really is not a default. Maybe because I'm Jewish I just don't see the world that way. A character can be Jewish, black, etc without it being a very special episode or something. There's no reason she can't be catholic and since the wedding is the reason that it came up we haven't found out until now. No we haven't seen her go to church. We also haven't seen her brush her teeth or buy shoes, and yet her teeth look white and she's not barefoot.

I don't find it distracting, or unrealistic, or out of left field, or a bad story choice that she be catholic anymore than if I learned she had flat feet or dyed her hair or was missing a toe or any number of other things realm people have in life that matter but do not define them.

It is NOT a writer making a mistake. it's the viewer or reader who presumes in the absence of information a backstory that fits his or her world view.

And obviously it is in dispute, since I'm disputing it. I don't need all the facts. They aren't in dispute. We haven't had them all. When they are given, whats to dispute? There are a lot of things we don't know about many characters. This is not the same as saying facts are I dispute.

Eta: I am Jewish and have catholic second cousins. My first cousin married a catholic woman and the kids are raised catholic, he's still Jewish, this is not uncommon at all. As for devout, don't know what sorkin means but to say that anyone who has sex is not devout writes off basically all versions of Judaism and Christianity and I don't know too many people over 30 and un married who fit that. YMMV.

Also if it's will saying she's devout. It means what it means to him,,, which could just mean she wants a priest and won't feel married without one.

Edited by lucindabelle
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However, I felt for him in the scene on the terrace.  He was drunk and just fucking done.  Also, I found it interesting that he was completely self-aware that he knew he could get out of appearing like a dick, by going with the "hey, you invaded my privacy" defense.  But, that's not what bothered him the most.  

 

My favorite part, I was right with him on this one, is Hallie using the technology against him.  He's like, it's not the fucking device!  Amen, man.  I love going online, I love Twitter, but sometime I just wish some people would just get over, oh, the technology.  

this. so much this. as much as i love Neal, it's my big pet peeve with him as well. technology is not the be all end all, people. i can't tell where Sorkin is coming from on that point, either. he has these INCREDIBLY pro-technology characters present, but they are consistently mocked by Jim, Mac, Charlie etc. 

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Wasp = white Anglo Saxon Protestant. Isn't that what you've been saying?

No. I've been saying that it's odd to toss out that Mac's Catholic with no explanation. If Will had gone to a rabbi and said Mackenzie was a devout Jew who wanted a traditional Jewish wedding ceremony, it would have seemed just as strange to me. Protestant would have seemed less strange, just because of the little history we know about her, but that's only because it fits an historical mold. Until now, based on her behavior, I'd have thought she wasn't religious at all. Each detail in a story is created and a deliberate choice. Sorkin chose to make Mac Catholic for a reason. It could be a dumb reason like he just felt like it. It could be a personal reason like he really loves the pageantry of Catholic weddings. Or it could be a plot-driven reason like she's going to grapple with abortion in the next episode. But the facts of the story need to make sense in a way real life doesn't need to. When the writer makes a strange story choice, we can overlook it if it doesn't matter, sure, but it can still be a strange choice.

I don't find it distracting, or unrealistic, or out of left field, or a bad story choice that she be catholic anymore than if I learned she had flat feet or dyed her hair or was missing a toe or any number of other things realm people have in life that matter but do not define them.

With no explanation, I'd find all of those things to be distracting, bizarre story choices as well, especially if they were dropped in at the eleventh hour and contributed nothing to the plot.

We also haven't seen her brush her teeth or buy shoes, and yet her teeth look white and she's not barefoot.

Right. Which means she brushes her teeth and owns shoes. (We actually have heard her talk about her shoes a lot.) How she appears is story evidence of who the character is. That's why the fact that Emily Mortimer is British and kept her accent for the role had to be written into the story. With no explanation, much of the audience would have spent three seasons wondering why the hell a British woman was running an American newsroom. It's also why when Reese's never-mentioned siblings became a plot point at the end of the series' run, Sloan spoke for the audience and said, "I didn't know you even had siblings until just now."

As for the rules of Catholicism, you're Jewish. OK. My entire family is made up of fallen Catholics. Sex only inside marriage is a cornerstone of Catholicism. It's so associated with the Catholics that it's almost a cliche. It's not that ANYONE of ANY religion who has sex outside of marriage isn't devout; it's that a "devout" Catholic wouldn't. Mac could be a lapsed Catholic. She could identify as Catholic and never go to Mass. She could not adhere strictly to the catechism. She could just think Catholic Churches are pretty places for weddings. Maybe she likes the music. We have no idea. What we do know is that she's never acted Catholic at all, just like she doesn't act Jewish or Muslim or French or Peruvian or like she has a club foot or is missing a toe or grew up on a commune or hates her parents. For people who know what Catholicism is, the fact that she's suddenly Catholic is like...what?? I realize that most people don't know, however; like England, America is a predominantly Protestant country. And so that's why I agree with the poster who said that Aaron Sorkin probably just likes the trappings of Catholic weddings so he decided that's who Mac would be.

Edited by madam magpie
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To me, it's not a surprise that Mac is Catholic, it's that Sorkin says she's a devout Catholic. Say what? This kind of character detail is usually manifested pretty early for a main character, let alone at three seasons in, 2 or 3 episodes from the end. After all, I know what school she went to, her romantic history, and even what's in her "go bag." And being a devout Catholic - or devout Jew or Muslim, etc., - is different than just being born Catholic. If it's something important in your life, then it's part of your story. I agree with the poster that said that Sorkin probably just wanted a dramatic wedding scene, with Ave Maria in the background, so making Mac a devout Catholic was just his excuse to carry this out.

ETA: madam magpie - I agree with your post and was trying to write something similar at the same time.... And a trivial point, but I just wanted to add that actually we do, in fact, know what shoes Mac buys (something the other poster brought up) - that was my point in mentioning the go-bag, as Maggie pulled out a pair of Loubitons from Mac's bag on the train ride back from Boston, laughed, and said "what am I supposed to do with these?". So there's a little character detail about both ladies.

Edited by LotusFlower
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I must agree that it's the 'devout' that gives me pause with Mac's Catholicism. I immediately thought of how Bartlet's Catholicism was presented on The West Wing. In the pilot alone he was described as being deeply religious, who spoke at the church of prominent Christian leader Al Caldwell, who opposed abortion morally even though he had no intention of legislating against it, and who knew his Bible forwards and backwards. Throughout the show his religious devotion and knowledge was reinforced time and again and was a major part of the character. The same cannot be said about Mac, which is fine, but that's why describing her as devout feels like an eleventh hour addition to the list of character traits.

I did enjoy the rendition of Ave Maria though and found it appropriate for the ceremony.

As random and ultimately useless as the HR plot ended up being I still got a kick out of Don's behavior so I appreciate the laughs.

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However, I felt for him in the scene on the terrace.  He was drunk and just fucking done.  Also, I found it interesting that he was completely self-aware that he knew he could get out of appearing like a dick, by going with the "hey, you invaded my privacy" defense.  But, that's not what bothered him the most.  Ultimately, they're going with the Maggie/Jim thing, so they needed a reason, but, if there was no Maggie, Jim just didn't trust Hallie.

 

I think I would have felt more for Jim had he not already been a pretty big jerk to Hallie over the past two episodes.  I agree that Jim doesn't trust Hallie, which would destroy the relationship, but I think more importantly, he not only doesn't seem to respect her, but he comes off as someone who actively believes that he is a better person than she is.   

 

And while I realize it's a tenet of journalism that the reporter should not make themselves the story, wouldn't a major network anchor having to go to jail for contempt be a huge story that would get massive media attention?  Shouldn't there have been some kind of large media scrum at the courthouse watching Will get arrested?  Or did they show that, and I just missed it?    

Edited by txhorns79
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I find it hard to feel sorry for Hallie since she is consistently doing things that hurt or embarrass the characters I like.  Her tweet, her outing Will about the WH dinner hypocracy, and most of all, exploiting her relationship with Jim for a story reeks of selfishness.

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When Charlie went on his diatribe about how he doesn't want to expand news, he wants to narrow it, all I could think was, "Good God, Sorkin doesn't have a clue that this is why real journalists hold tv news people in contempt and find them legendarily shallow."

I really want to take all of these characters onto the terrace and toss them off the side (Aaron, you lead the way). Even Don and Sloan, the two I find least hateable -- they have known HR is after them for days/weeks, yet not only do they have couples photos still posted on Instagram, Don has to slip Sloan a paper note with his password -- through a third party -- so she can delete them? They can post photos on Instagram but don't know how to send a text or a PM? Until Sorkin can figure out how this technology that scares him so much works, he needs to write only period pieces set before 1992.

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Sex only inside marriage is a cornerstone of Catholicism. It's so associated with the Catholics that it's almost a cliche. It's not that ANYONE of ANY religion who has sex outside of marriage isn't devout; it's that a "devout" Catholic wouldn't.

 

 

Speaking as a devout Catholic raised in a family of devout Catholics and raising her own children as devout Catholics, I can promise you that we don't measure our devoutness by whether someone waited until marriage.  The cornerstone of our faith has nothing to do with sex.

 

I thought the Ave Maria was beautiful (and, yes, someone sang it at our wedding) and fit with the montage perfectly.  I actually love those moments, and I think he does them well.  He has a good ear for the song that will cover a lot of scenes and emotions.

 

I do find Aaron's interest in the Catholic faith . . . well, interesting.  He gets things wrong about it, but I don't have a problem with learning now that Mac is devout.  She is portrayed as someone who is ethical and moral in her life choices.  She makes mistakes, as everyone does, but she is a good person who tries her best.  The fact that I didn't see her with rosary beads and a scapular doesn't make me think her being outed as a devout Catholic is suddenly out of left field.

 

Edited because grammar is always good.

Edited by Crs97
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Odd think to stick on.  But ok.

 

I thought his explanation made sense.  Everyone expects HR people to play it straight laced and he just wanted to screw with some people.  They kind of deserved it.  They were screwing with him too.  

 

It was odd and implausible, actually like the great majority of this episode and season.

Speaking as a devout Catholic raised in a family of devout Catholics and raising her own children as devout Catholics, I can promise you that we don't measure our devoutness by whether someone waited until marriage.  The cornerstone of our faith has nothing to do with sex.

 

This.  Additionally, you don't have to be in the pew every Sunday in order to want to be married by a Catholic priest.   It's your family, your culture, and your tradition.

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I did enjoy the rendition of Ave Maria though and found it appropriate for the ceremony.

 

Hearing it for over 6 minutes as a backdrop made my ears bleed.  I hate that baby-voiced singing style, especially applied to Latin.  Blerg.

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Speaking as a devout Catholic raised in a family of devout Catholics and raising her own children as devout Catholics, I can promise you that we don't measure our devoutness by whether someone waited until marriage.  The cornerstone of our faith has nothing to do with sex.

Really?? Because every devout Catholic I know takes the sacrament of marriage very, very seriously; even some of the non-devout ones do. A more liberal (I don't mean politically) Catholic friend who lived with her fiance and then tried to get married in the church was asked by her priest in the pre-marriage counseling to pray on the fact that her living situation was going against God; she ended up with a secular ceremony because she felt like...yeah, her lifestyle was not following Catholic teachings, and it would be hypocritical to get married in a Catholic ceremony. Another was told to live separately before the wedding and do a reconciliation first. My point is not that they kick you out or don't let you get married if you live together, but that choice does contradict some of the church's main teachings so it's not just, "Let's live together before we get married, no big deal" either, which IS what Mac and Will are doing. Nothing Mac has done so far on this show even remotely looks Catholic to me; being ethical isn't a uniquely Catholic trait or teaching. It's also not evidence of a character's Christianity or even of being religious. I call someone "devout" who fully dedicates him or herself to living by the church's teachings; he/she likely makes mistakes on occasion, but that's not the lifestyle.

Edited by madam magpie
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When Will was talking with the priest, I had the impression that they knew each other well and had many conversations about religion.  I initially interpreted the scene as Will is devout, and he was saying Mac was in a tongue in cheek fashion.  Sorkin's interview made clear that wasn't true.  

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Hi gang, I'm going to ask everyone to take a deep breath before replying. Let us please remember this is a fictional show and none of it should get any of us so worked up we insult each other. Also, maybe we need to agree to disagree on the "what a person of X religion acts like, talks like, looks like" etc. and remember that everyone has a valid opinion and it's also ok to disagree without becoming rude or going for a personal attack. Thanks.

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Doesn't Dire Straits in Two Cathedrals count? :). (My fave).

or Hallelujah in the episode Posse Comitatus of The West Wing

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I'm genuinely curious - do NY Times journalists also write about fights with their boyfriends as subject matter for their articles? (I don't read them much). And with how often she writes impulsively, I'm not sure I'd trust her with a professional pen.

 

In the Sunday NY Times Magazine, there is a weekly column entitled "Modern Love".  And while usually the pieces there are journalistically excellent, they sometimes do seem based upon fights with significant others.  However.....I still can't stand Hallie.

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terrymct said:

 

 

This.  Additionally, you don't have to be in the pew every Sunday in order to want to be married by a Catholic priest.   It's your family, your culture, and your tradition.

 

So true.  And without any pronouncements, judgments, or lectures on what is or isn't 'good Catholicism' (since I haven't been to mass in a gazillion years) I will never forget a conversation I had with my French Basque father many years ago.  He'd left the Church (capital C) as a twenty-something over a dispute with his parish priest over a pet turkey (and no, that story isn't interesting enough to share...)  But he seemed to be sort of looking for some faith community, or something, so I suggested that he check out some denominations and see if it worked for him.  To which he simply replied "Once a Catholic, always a Catholic."  It's your family, your culture, your tradition, just as terry said.

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Hi gang, I'm going to ask everyone to take a deep breath before replying. Let us please remember this is a fictional show and none of it should get any of us so worked up we insult each other. Also, maybe we need to agree to disagree on the "what a person of X religion acts like, talks like, looks like" etc. and remember that everyone has a valid opinion and it's also ok to disagree without becoming rude or going for a personal attack. Thanks.

Thank you!!  Its almost 2 pages of religion discussions.  I thought it was odd when I logged on this morning and saw we were already at 2 pages....now I know why

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I love this show and I adored the wedding, but....

 

don't these people have a news show to produce? Can the entire staff just leave the office all day and a show still miraculously airs?  Especially when your anchor will be in jail by airtime?

 

Another scene that took me out of the episode: when Hallie just shows up because she still has her security pass. Really? In this day and age of tight security, and with a workplace that deals with classified documents, no one thought to ask the fired employee for her pass when she left?  C'mon, Sorkin. You could have figured out another way for her to get in to see Jim.

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I do think he resorts to music quite often, with a purpose. I don't always know the purpose, but I think he has one, in his head.  

 

I think his purpose is clear.  To illicit emotion from his audience.

Point in fact, the episode where they reported on Gabby Giffords getting shot.  That specific episode solidified my love for this show because of that ending to "Fix You" from Coldplay.  I hate Coldplay and their whiny bullshit crap songs more than words can adequately express....but that song is now on my iPod.  It makes me cry buckets.  And using it in that episode with the dialogue and the circumstances (Mac screaming she fucked everything up, Will telling Charlie to tell Fiona to go fuck herself, Will telling Don he was a fuckin news man and if he ever said otherwise to punch him in the face) was genius in my eyes.  It was the final piece in solidifying this news room as a team and a family.  They were in it together.  I don't consider myself a sap but all I could say after that episode ended was "Holy shit."

Not even hearing about Giffords shooting the day it happened illicited the kind of emotion that episode did.  And that, to me, is what TV is there for.

Edited by CaughtOnTape
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don't these people have a news show to produce? Can the entire staff just leave the office all day and a show still miraculously airs?  Especially when your anchor will be in jail by airtime?

 

I wondered about that too, particularly when everyone appeared to just be hanging around the court when Will was informed he was going to jail.  It is odd that people who presumably have to put together a new show every night have so much time to stand around doing nothing. 

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 Additionally, you don't have to be in the pew every Sunday in order to want to be married by a Catholic priest.   It's your family, your culture, and your tradition.

I ask this in a sincere way, not argumentative, because I honestly don't know - besides being married by a priest, how does one live a devout Catholic life? For ex. in Judiasm, if you're devout, you keep kosher and observe the sabbath, for starters, as opposed to Jews who aren't really religious, but might still follow jewish traditions on events like holidays or weddings or funerals.

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I am not devout, but my grandmother was.  She had 11 children and her husband died when her youngest was 10.  She took in washing during the Depression, and she didn't have a washer dryer.  Bottom line, she didn't have a lot of time on her hands.  But she walked to Mass every day at 5am, in all kinds of weather, and it was over a mile away.  On Good Friday, to observe the cruxifiction of the Lord, she made sure everyone in the house was quiet and respectful - no talking or laughing during the time when Christ hung on the cross.  To her, a Catholic had to be married in the Church by a priest for it to be a real marriage.  (But when my aunt fell in love with a Protestant, they were married in the rectory and she never held it against them - she didn't use religion as a weapon).  

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Reese's face, the entire episode, was one that had defeat written all over it. He seems a better person than in the season's past. But I still don't understand how, in the two part finale from the previous season, he could have gone from wanting to fire Will, Mac, and Charlie to keeping them and standing up for them all in the same night. I guess only Sorkin knows that himself.

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In the first season he was recorded saying that he hacked Mac's phone, then when they found out that the recording had been erased they were in the middle of Genoa, so he probably thought that it would not be a good idea to mess up with the main team.

When they threatened to resign he went for a walk to clear his head and he was pissed with Dantana, so he decided to stand by the team.

He is evolving. I didn't like him at all but now I really, really like him

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Actually, I and many people would define "devout" in Judaism differently. I know loads of people who keep kosher and shabbos who don't consider themselves devout. So I totally agree that it's not something anybody can say with certainty about their religion, as demonstrated clearly here in this thread. ETA: when my father died I said kaddish every day for a year and went to minyan every morning. I don't consider myself devout. Observant and devout are not necessarily the same thing...

 

Also, WilsonCat, thanks for bringing up "Modern Love." I mentioned it at first but it seemed to get lost. My point is, essyas about one's personal life are NOT New Media. they are most assuredly "old media." Speed of publishing is new, I suppose, but I would guess Hallie has a copyeditor and doesn't get to post without someone reading it, sicne she had to pitch her ideas in the first place. It is not her personal blog.

If we wanted to see the dangers of "new media" she should have been at least doing a podcast, or at least a video blog. But an essay?

nah. Being online is not the definition of "new media." Most print journalism is online these days.

Edited by lucindabelle

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Hallie and Jim, I never understood why they got together in the first place.  I don't know how they stayed together so long. These past two episodes with all the arguing I wondered why they weren't broken up yet.  I hope they stay broken up for good, their whole relationship plot has been boring at best and annoying most the time.  Why is she there at all?  Why were we tortured with them this long?  I didn't like either of them in this latest argument.  Please stop with this plot!

 

Word to a million. Jesus Christ, I do not care about goddamn Hallie and Jim. I do not care about them as a couple AT ALL. Every time they were on screen, I was screeching "fucking break up already! Just stop TALKING at each other. Fuck!"

 

If I cared at all about Mackenzie and Will I might have enjoyed the wedding, but I don't. Also, I don't buy Jim and Don ring-shopping together.

 

I entertained myself by pretending that they were posing as a couple.  ;) 

 

.I thought his explanation made sense.  Everyone expects HR people to play it straight laced and he just wanted to screw with some people.  They kind of deserved it.  They were screwing with him too.  

 

I get that this was played for zany antics and all, but it was such a ludicrous and unbelievable story that I couldn't even understand how it was happening. It just screamed "this is just meant to be some fun for the fans" that it took me right out of the show. And to have the reveal that Sloan disclosed their relationship already? What the actual fuck? And that an HR guy would do something so categorically unprofessional boggles my mind.

 

...was i really the only one on Jim's side in that argument? Hallie is a whiny, reactionary brat who uses the "old media vs new media" complaint every time Jim doesn't like what she's doing. to call a piece admittedly written when she was pissed off "real journalism" is ridiculous. girl should just get a livejournal, not a job in the journalism field.

 

 

as you can tell, i'm not a huge Hallie fan which saddens me bc i actually quite like babyMeryl. 

 

I thought Jim was a colossal dick in their apartment. I didn't see anything wrong with her writing about Plan B based on her personal experience with it. I truly did not get the "Penthouse" comment from Jim at all. I don't understand why she didn't break up with him then and there. But then she had to go and write about her boyfriend and leak shit about her former coworker. God, I just hate everything about Jim/Hallie.

 

Another scene that took me out of the episode: when Hallie just shows up because she still has her security pass. Really? In this day and age of tight security, and with a workplace that deals with classified documents, no one thought to ask the fired employee for her pass when she left?  C'mon, Sorkin. You could have figured out another way for her to get in to see Jim.

 

Oh, God. I had to pause to rage at that. Hell, I don't even think they need the pass itself....aren't those swipey things? Couldn't they just have de-activated it so that she couldn't swipe into the building? I was relieved when Jim finally figured out that the girlfriend he doesn't trust is in the same room with 27,000 classified documents in it, and said they had to leave. But, HE LEFT IT UNLOCKED??!! WTF?? And on a related note, can someone please explain to me why the classified documents are being kept in a GLASS WALLED OFFICE?

 

And, oh goody, they're banging the Maggie/Jim gong again. *shudder*

 

I thought it was hysterical to see Charlie checking out all these music students from Juilliard. Shouldn't those rooms be sound-proofed?

 

So, you're already in trouble with the US Gov't for obtaining classified documents. What to do? Why let's just pass it along to someone else and use Mac's personal stationery to make sure that everyone is aware that she passed along said classified documents to another reporter. Couldn't Mac go to jail for that? Is she hoping to get 'his and hers' suites at the prison?

 

But, of all the ridiculous shit that took place, I think the most laughable for me was that the singular chapel at the court house was free on an hour's notice. ;) Don't they also need a marriage license?

Edited by NoWillToResist
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Don't they also need a marriage license?

 

Mac said they'd get a waiver from the mayor's office.

 

So, you're already in trouble with the US Gov't for obtaining classified documents. What to do? Why let's just pass it along to someone else and use Mac's personal stationery to make sure that everyone is aware that she passed along said classified documents to another reporter. Couldn't Mac go to jail for that?

 

My feeling is "no." If I'm understanding correctly, the reason Neal's in trouble is because he told Lily how to steal more documents. The reason Will is in trouble is because the govt has the receipt for the computer Will gave Neal the credit card to buy. That looks like Will and Neal were in on telling Lily how to steal more documents together. There's nothing linking Mac to that event, so at worst, she might be threatened with contempt if she refuses to give up the source, same for the woman at the AP. But there's legal precedent for that on the side of the reporter, if I'm remembering the Pentagon Papers scandal correctly. Plus, once the story is published, the DoJ loses a lot of its leverage and credibility because the public and Congress (presumably) will start clamoring for information and hearings. For Mac and the AP woman, Lily is like Deep Throat. They didn't do anything except get handed the information; it's Lily who commited a major crime by revealing the documents. It also may be that the woman at the AP doesn't know who the source is (she just has all the documents), and as far as the govt is aware, neither does Mac.

Edited by madam magpie
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I don't often play the nitpick game, but yes, Hailey having a functional ID card meant that someone in IT or building security had seriously screwed up. I make video games at my office--a much less risky endeavor than cable news--and we deactivate those door keys pretty much AS the employee is having the Talk.

They better bring Neal back soon.

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i worked at a college, and same thing- the second a student was even SUSPENDED, much less expelled, that ID was deactivated. major goof on their part.

 

also, i want to clarify that the fight i'm talking about (where i was firmly on Jim's side) was the one of the roof. i do think when they were arguing in the apartment that Jim went straight into pretentious dick mode, as he is wont to do. but i also think he was already done with her at that point, he was just too much of a pussy to actually end it. 

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City hall wedding but it was in some church with some trappings of some kind?

 

And what was the business with the other buyer?  How did them talking about her potentially buying ACN give her leverage to buy Halifax, whatever that is?

 

Is Pruitt suppose to be based on some real life tech billionaire boy wonder?

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Word to a million. Jesus Christ, I do not care about goddamn Hallie and Jim. I do not care about them as a couple AT ALL

 

Agree 100%. They are taking time away from the fabulousness that is Sloan and Don and Will's weary but strong journalistic integrity. Love the fact that some nice old media journalist gets to break the story.  If I never see Hallie again, I am happy.

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City hall wedding but it was in some church with some trappings of some kind?

City Hall Chapel. My City Hall does not have a chapel, but I live in a shit hole of a town. And that was a big chapel

 

So, you're already in trouble with the US Gov't for obtaining classified documents. What to do? Why let's just pass it along to someone else and use Mac's personal stationery to make sure that everyone is aware that she passed along said classified documents to another reporter. Couldn't Mac go to jail for that?

No. She is passing information that she was going to air not because Will is in jail but because of the ACN negotiations. And the woman who got the documents is publishing information that was delivered to her and she has no knowledge of the leak.

No journalists or media organization was ever punished for publishing wikileaks documents or what Snowden revealed

The government wants who leaked information, the pressure on the press in for that information. That's why Will said that his time in jail is coercive, not punitive.

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Okay, as a long-time New York City resident, I have to confess that I was shrieking with laughter at the idea that there was this enormous hushed chapel space at City Hall that Mac and Will could populate with musicians, a priest, a trellis with flowers on it, and a wedding party.  Ha!  More like a desk in front of a harried civil servant with 30 other people in line.  But then I read this from the NYC Clerk's Office website (and yes, I have too much time on my hands):

 

The new 24,000 square foot ground-level space, significantly larger than the current space, features a new line-management system that tells customers their wait time; fourteen computer kiosks for online application processing; one-stop windows for service instead of multiple windows; credit card processing (replacing the need for money orders); large restrooms with vanities and full-length mirrors; refinished and decorated chapel space; an area to take photos in front of a backdrop of City Hall; a branch of the City Store where fresh flowers can be purchased, as well as other sundries such as disposable cameras, film, costume rings, and NYC merchandise. The wedding chapels feature artwork on loan from the Brooklyn Museum of Art and the City Hall backdrop was supplied by Duggal Visual Solutions. Literature in the new Marriage Bureau will be available in English and Spanish. Customers can also speak to clerks in their preferred language using a telephone interpretation system available in 170 languages. The design and construction of the project cost $12.3 million.

 

Go figure!  It would have been fun to see Mac and Will checking the "line-management system" to find out their wait time.  Could they ask for an emergency line jump based on imminent arrest?  Or we could have had Don and Will buying a costume ring and matching his-and-hers "I got married in NYC!" T shirts.

 

Business Sloan is one of my favorite parts of the series. I would have bought the company on her sales pitch. 

 

I did enjoy Sloane's Working Girl references though.  Sloane is the only part of the show that doesn't make me want to put my head through a wall.

 

I love Don. I love Sloan. I love DonandSloan.  I think someone mentioned this somewhere before, but I would totally watch a spin-off with Sloan and Don and Charlie. And you can bring on Reese and his mother as well. Reese is another one I've done a 180 on. Hated him in season 1, but grew to find him "bless his heart" endearing in Season 2 (especially the "my mommy won't let me" speech in the finale).  Now... I genuinely love him as well.

 

Yes, yes and yes.  Sorkin, PLEASE pitch all of this to cable TV.  I want to see these characters over and over.

 

I don't often play the nitpick game, but yes, Hailey having a functional ID card meant that someone in IT or building security had seriously screwed up. I make video games at my office--a much less risky endeavor than cable news--and we deactivate those door keys pretty much AS the employee is having the Talk.

HR Guy was too busy stalking Sloan and Don and forgot to reclaim Hallie's security pass.  

 

Jim:  You're a pretentious douche.  I hope that in the season finale you get detailed to cover the Kardashians full-time.

 

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Nothing says romance like a time management system that tells you how long you have to wait. It's why I get misty in the butcher section of the grocery store.

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Mac said they'd get a waiver from the mayor's office.

 

 

I...don't even understand how that's a thing. I mean, sure you can have a service and go through the motions, but if you don't have a legal marriage license, how are you married? How do you plan on using the whole "can't testify against my spouse" plan?

 

And what was the business with the other buyer?  How did them talking about her potentially buying ACN give her leverage to buy Halifax, whatever that is?

 

I think the lunch with Sloan and Charlie just inspired her and she went looking for a news channel/network on her own.

 

And while I'm sort of speaking about Charlie...how is he still employed? Or, for that matter, alive? Shouldn't he have had about thirty thousand heart attacks by now? I am usually amused by his outbursts but I can't imagine any in-coming employer putting up with his shit. Pruitt should totally fire his ass. Don't like my plan for your company, which I just saved? GTFO.

 

No. She is passing information that she was going to air not because Will is in jail but because of the ACN negotiations. And the woman who got the documents is publishing information that was delivered to her and she has no knowledge of the leak.

No journalists or media organization was ever punished for publishing wikileaks documents or what Snowden revealed

The government wants who leaked information, the pressure on the press in for that information. That's why Will said that his time in jail is coercive, not punitive.

 

I think the fucking massive red EYES ONLY and whatnot would have tipped off even a rookie journalist that these docs were not ones which were released with consent by the gov't, never mind a veteran journalist. But regardless...Reese killed the story because Pruitt's lawyers indicated that the government would sue the fuck out of them for airing it, basically bankrupting them. So, why would any other agency take that risk?

Edited by NoWillToResist

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I think the fucking massive red EYES ONLY and whatnot would have tipped off even a rookie journalist that these docs were not ones which were released with consent by the gov't, never mind a veteran journalist. But regardless...Reese killed the story because Pruitt's lawyers indicated that the government would sue the fuck out of them for airing it, basically bankrupting them. So, why would any other agency take that risk?

 

Because it's not really a risk for them. The reason it's a risk for ACN is because Neal taught Lily how to steal govt documents more effectively and Will gave Neal the money to buy the computer he used to commit that crime. No one else did that. Handing a reporter classified documents is a criminal act for the whistle blower because he/she signed a contract with the govt not to disclose classified information. The reporters signed no such contract. They could be on the hook for not revealing their sources, but that's an iffy crime and, in that case, legal precedent is on the side of the reporter. Neal is different because he actually commited a felony; Will is different because he looks complicit in that felony. So the govt has more leverage with both of those guys to try to get them to crack and give up the source. That's why Will pointed out that his jailing was coercive; the govt was using imprisonment and threats of worse charges and longer imprisonment to coerce him into revealing the source. Mac, the AP reporter, Gary, etc. had nothing to do with the felony. Mac does know who the source is, but she's the only other one and the govt doesn't know she knows.

 

I...don't even understand how that's a thing. I mean, sure you can have a service and go through the motions, but if you don't have a legal marriage license, how are you married? How do you plan on using the whole "can't testify against my spouse" plan?

 

They'd get a waiver for the waiting period for the license. City hall could then issue the license immediately, and they could get married. That's my understanding.

Edited by madam magpie
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