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PHOTOGRAPHY

THE NEWSROOM Season 3

DVD Review by David Blackwell

DETAILS:  138 minutes, audio commentary, behind-the-scenes of the animation for Learning To Fly, previews

STUDIO: goldhil/ Morningstar, 100 Percent/ CBC

RELEASE DATE: 4-11-2006

DISC ONE: ONE DUMB IDEA/ DIAL G FOR GRISTLE/ LOLITA

DISC TWO: LATENT HOMOSEXUAL TENDECIES/ BAGHDAD BOUND/ LEARNING TO FLY

Season 3 of THE NEWSROOM was too short, but it continues the look at the life of news director George Findlay as Ken Finkleman uses that character he plays to attack many things like the big amounts of money sitcom writers make if they have a hit series in the USA (ONE DUMB IDEA). Also death occurs off screen yet again in DIAL G FOR GRITSLE and LATENT HOMOSEXUAL TENDECIES. Karen finally faces up to George and tells him what's on her mind after he steals the idea for her thesis to use to speak at a college (LOLITA). As always, Jim Walcott's past comes back to bite him as George uses Jim's life to bring him down from being a made-up hero when Jim is kidnapped by rebels in Kabul (BAGHDAD BOUND). The big departure for the show or right on target since Ken likes to experiment with the series as he went along is what may be the final episode of the series, LEARNING TO FLY. This finale episodes uses some animation processes used in movies such as WAKING LIFE and A SCANNER DARKLY. It is also closest to the storytelling style of season one's MELTDOWN Part 3.

If the third season is the last for THE NEWSROOM, I will miss one of the funniest series that ever came to TV. I'll miss George (Ken Finkleman) never becoming a better person as he will always be the bastard he is. It's blend of dark comedy to attack today's news and culture is something you would never see on big network TV in the USA. It's an import from Canada's CBC that plays sometimes on PBS stations here.

VIDEO: 1.78:1 (Non-Anamorphic Widescreen/ letterboxed)

Image detail is good, but I wish they would enhance the episodes for widescreen TVs since it is shot in a widescreen format.

AUDIO: English 2.0 Dolby Digital

Subtitles: English Close Captioning

Dialogue and all sound is good. No complaints.

SPECIAL FEATURES: The audio commentary for ONE DUMB IDEA is with Ken Finkleman and (Globe & Mail columnist) Russell Smith. It is the best commentary for THE NEWSROOM DVDs yet. While they don't talk about the episode, they talk about the series and characters while sometimes getting wildly off topic as they joke around. Also on the first disc are trailers for TRUDEAU, THE LAST CHAPTER, CHILLY BEACH Season One, and H2O.

The extra on disc two is a behind-the-scenes look at the animation processes for LEARNING TO FLY showing all the layers, green screen work, and storyboards. In a way, it is almost a pre-animated version of the episode minus the opening and closing minutes.

FINAL ANALYSIS: Season 3 may not be as good as the first two seasons of THE NEWSROOM, but still the show is miles above many other series on TV today.

this review is (c)6-3-2006 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