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PHOTOGRAPHY

THE NEWSROOM- the Complete Second Season

DVD Review by David Blackwell

DETAILS: 286 minutes (13 episodes on two discs), two audio commentaries, alternate ending for episode 13, 3 music videos, behind-the-scenes featurette

STUDIO: Goldhil/CBC/Morningstar Entertainment/100 Percent

RELEASE DATE: 2-14-2006

DISC 1- AMERICA, AMERICA/ DEATH 1, GEORGE 0/ PUSHY MONEYGRUBBING COSMOPOLITAN RACISTS/ AN ENORMOUS WASTE OF TIME/ ANCHORS AWAY/ ONE OF US/ NEVER READ SYMPTOMS/ THE FIFTY

DISC 2- SLOW LEAK/ REALITY STRIKES/ THE BRITISH ACCENT/ SAY CHEESE/ THE SECOND COMING

THE NEWSROOM is one of the most brilliant comedy series I have ever watched. When I found out when the CBC was making more episodes 7 years after the first season, I waited for the day when my local PBS Station (KSPS). After finally watching season 2 just months ago (after waiting over a year for it to arrive on KSPS), I waited for the third season to come (it is currently airing on KSPS and the third season arrives on DVD in April). The second season is just as good as the first. George Findlay (Ken Finkleman) is as arrogant as he ever was. Jim is still the self-absorbed anchor. The satire has turned into dark comedy.

Jim gets a job as an anchor in New York only to deported after being caught with an underage prostitute while in another one he insults a guest he is supposed to interview. In another episode, everyone thinks the Muslim working in the newsroom may be a terrorist. George will say anything to a woman to sleep with them. He is unchanged. George handles the situation of a suicidal co-worker all wrong that leads the person to fake a news story and try to commit suicide after his girlfriend drops him. THE NEWSROOM is the type of show that delivers laughs when needed while taking a look at the characters and today's issues. Ken even takes a jab at religion. This show is his masterpiece and I'm glad it returned for a second and third season after so many years.

VIDEO: 1.78:1 (Non-Anamorphic Widescreen)

The colors are good and image detail is sharp, but the big disappoint is that the episodes shot in 1.78:1 are Non-Anamorphic. The only Anamorphic episode is when you play THE SECOND COMING with the alternate ending. The episodes being Non-Anamorphic could be something that wasn't done at the CBC Home Video's end and Goldhil is just distributing the set down in the USA.

AUDIO: English 2.0 Dolby Digital

Subtitles: English Close Captioning

Dialogue is clear, but the sound mix isn't remarkable. Season 2 has close captioning as the packaging said (season 1 didn't have CC despite what the sleeve art said).

SPECIAL FEATURES: Ken Finkleman is moderated by Rob Einright for DEATH 1, GEORGE 0 and SAY CHEESE. Ken has lots to say and provides a wealth of info on the episodes and the series.

The alternate ending for episode 13 (THE SECOND COMING) is just a little too over-the-top. IN THE NEWSROOM: BEHIND-THE-SCENES OF THE NEWSROOM has interviews with cast and crew as they talk about season 2. Karen Hines comments on how Ken has been slipping in more of Karen's real personality into her character (Karen) and everyone says how it is to work with Ken. Also included are three music videos for songs included in the series.

FINAL ANALYSIS: Despite the episodes not being anamorphically enhanced, the second season of THE NEWSROOM is comedy that blows away all of the American comedies and just as good as the best of British comedy. This Canadian series is for those who want strong comedy and sometime prefer their comedy dark.

this review is (c)2-27-2006 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission (except for excerpts and a link to the review). Look for additional content at http://enterlinemedia.livejournal.com and send all comments to lord_pragmagtic@hotmail.com