Early last week, The Social Network screenwriter Aaron Sorkin drew ire when, during a press conference for his suuuuuuuuper serious new HBO drama The Newsroom, he referred to Globe and Mail reporter Sarah Nicole Prickett as "Internet Girl," a diminutive as ignorant as it is demeaning — The Globe and Mail, for those of us south of the Canadian border, is a newspaper, like the kind of newspaper that gets printed on paper and delivered to your house by a kid on a bike or a weirdo in a van. Just in case you didn't anger-etch Sorkin's full quote on the inside of your eyelids, it goes a little something like this. HIT IT:
"Listen here, Internet girl. It wouldn't kill you to watch a film or pick up a newspaper once in a while."
Sorkin's brush-off is not only offensive to a professional journalist like Prickett, the world of media (which, by the way, Sorkin is writing about so he should know better) and womankind, but to those of us who actually are Internet Girls.
While he was wrong in his labeling of Sarah Nicole Prickett, Sorkin is right about one thing: Us Internet Girls are unarguably stupid and uninformed. The Gulf Oil Spill? What's that? Did it appear in the latest Maru video? Is there a Ryan Gosling meme about it? Me no know! Me dumb! Why aren't we talking about Girls? I'm a Jessa! Or maybe I'm a Hannah! Hahaha, LIPDUBZ.
Because Sorkin thinks of Internet Girls as a group of ignorant dummies who couldn't possibly understand his ratatat dialogue (ouch, our brains) or deep references (who is Don Quixote? Was he a Hunger Games tribute?) enough to give his dickish, middle-aged and very white male protagonists the respect they deserve, we've decided to demonstrate our reverence in our own silly, stupid Internet Girl way: By recapping The Newsroom without actually watching The Newsroom, using Internet sources like blogs, Twitter, Facebook and our own sparkly imaginations as our only guide through Sorkin's masculine, complex and vewy scawy world. Hopefully, Sorkin will like it so much that he'll give me my very own lesson in high-fiving.
The Newsroom [Full disclosure: I watched the pilot so that I would know who the characters are] takes us all the way back to 2010 when the news cycle was broken (Will McAvoy, head anchor of Sorkin's fictional News Night, has now fixed everything, which is why, in 2012, the news is perfect). Luckily, Will (played by Jeff Daniels) and crew, despite delivering years of neutered journalism, are back to fix it, but, roh-no, it is not going to be easy. Signing on as executive producer is the beautiful, worldly and smart (though not nearly as smart as Will) MacKenzie McHale. (If you are counting, that's three Macs: McAvoy, Mackenzie, McHale.) She and Will used to date until she broke his heart and became a war journalist — in fact, she is the reason that Will has been a shitty anchor and human being for the past several years. Don't mistake her as an Internet Girl, though, because she understands the web as much as she understands how to walk without knocking something over, which is to say not at all (but more on that later).
MacKenzie, or Mac, gets hired without Will's knowledge and, boy, is he steamed. So steamed, in fact, that he gives up $1 million from his yearly contract for the right to fire her basically whenever he wants. It goes without saying, Will is a very chill guy who makes good choices and deserves our respect. Anyway, Mac is back on the team and, despite being an all-over-the-place nutjob, she is a very good executive producer. In fact, she improves the ACN nightly news her very first time up at bat with the help of her producer — played by the guy who [SPOILER ALERT] kills himself in Spring Awakening — and Maggie, the recently promoted assistant producer who — tee hee — doesn't even know how to work a telephone. Dev Patel (of Slumdog Millionaire and Skins fame) is also there lending a hand, though he is certainly too brown for a producer credit or for his boss to even notice.
BUT THAT WAS THE PILOT. We will now begin recapping episode 2 (which I have not watched). Are you tired yet? Internet Girls are known for getting sleepy when reading things.
Last night's episode, from what I gather from my right-wing uncle's angry Facebook feed, talked a lot about the controversy surrounding Arizona's draconian immigration laws. Remember that? Probably not — it was a full two years ago, after all, and immigration has since been solved. Hot off of their sexy coverage of the BP oil spill, the News Night team is feeling pretty good about themselves — so good that Will, known in the past few years for his grumpiness, even orders them a party sub. "A party sub," says Don, Will's former EP, as he adjusts the puka shell necklace that's barely visible through his loosely buttoned shirt. "Cronkite used to buy his team party subs. It's a news tradition, but Will hasn't done it in three years. Not since..." His eyes trail to Mac and the rest goes unspoken. Not since Mac stomped on his heart. It's subtext, guys.
Unfortunately, the team's new confidence is unfounded and they totally bomb the broadcast. "AW, NOES," Mac yells, accidentally knocking a bunch of posters over. "IMA LOSE MY JOBZ AN GENIUZ WILL IS GONNA B MAD AT ME." (In the mind of an Internet Girl, Mac talks like a Lolcat.)
Mac wasn't the only one to fuck up, though. Maggie is also to blame, having bungled the pre-interview so badly that one of News Night's guests walks before the show airs. Good one, Maggie. Now, her boyfriend, who also happens to be the puka shell-wearing former EP, thinks she's a total fucking idiot and the guy who killed himself in Spring Awakening has to cover for her and also wants to have sex with her. Speaking of sex, Maggie tells a story about hiding under a bed while two people fucked to demonstrate her lack of courage. Lack of courage? Admit it, Maggie — you a freak and you know it.
Um, let's see. What else did Twitter have to say? Something about an email? Oh, I guess Mac, who is smart enough to have won a Peabody or two, is also too stupid to send an email to the proper recipient. When she tries to confront Will over the ol' electronic mail, writing something like, "Derp, remember when we boned? SOWWWWY," she ends up emailing the entire office. ADOYOYOYYY.
Last, but certainly not least, Mac brings another woman aboard the News Night deck (there are only so many men to clean up these women's messes, MacKenzie) in the form of Olivia Munn's Sloan Sabbith, a (according to Wikipedia) financial analyst. And why does Mac, a lady in her own right, hire Sloan over, say, a male financial analyst? Let's borrow her words: "The thing is, they're not going to have your legs." Cool sisterhood, Newsroom!
Does that cover the entire episode? Probably not, but what more could you and Aaron Sorkin expect from me? I am an Internet Girl — you're lucky this recap wasn't just a series of Severus Snape gifs.
HBO's ‘The Newsroom': Aaron Sorkin's Woman Problem [The Daily Beast]