Are you watching The Newsroom? Okay, so you’re probably not, but you totally should be. It’s on HBO, but probably available now or soon wherever else far cooler and more technologically savvy people find TV shows (Netflix and the like). And it’s the best show I’ve seen in a long time, maybe ever.
Sure there’s been a lot of criticism about it. Some people say the characters, particularly the female ones, aren’t very well fleshed out. Others think it’s political opinion rolled into a TV show. And there are those who see an over idealized workplace filled with people who live in a dream world and stand on their soapbox berating us, the viewers, with their beliefs. Yeah, I think that about covers the negative press.
Here’s the thing. Perhaps some of the criticism is true, but I don’t see it even though I tend to think I can detect such issues with TV shows easily. Call me naïve, say I’m drinking the Aaron Sorkin Cool-Aid, which I can pretty much assure you I probably am, but I love the show. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, watching Sorkin’s movies and TV shows cause me to fall in love with words and made me certain, absolutely certain, that I want to be a writer. I even unabashedly loved Studio 60 and I’ll never understand how Moneyball didn’t win more Oscars. So going into this show I knew I was likely going to love it unless it was in a different language or something.
I love these characters. I love that they’re flawed but still want to do their best. They want to make the news and by proxy the world a better, more informed place. They don’t and won’t always succeed; the point is that they try. I’ve never felt like the characters, females included, were off in any way that didn’t make them seem more real, like human beings. I only spend the hour wishing they were my friends, hoping one day I’ll have amazing people like that surrounding me in the workplace and life in general. I want to work with them, celebrate their victories, mourn their defeats. Watching makes me want to stand up and cheer.
Instead of feeling hammered by opinions, I respect their opinions, even if I sometimes disagree. I want to hear what they have to say, to learn from them. Much like I’ll never forget the opening scenes from Studio 60, the sequence from a few weeks ago about the Gabby Gifford’s shooting with my favorite Coldplay song in the background will never leave my mind. It was a beautiful piece of television.
It makes me laugh and cry and scream and keeps my attention for a full 60 minutes. Each episode is a masterpiece, leaving me on pins and needles waiting to see the next. Give it a try, maybe you’ll enjoy it as much as I do. I’m going to keep writing to see if I can create something as great as this one day soon.
Until then, I made pesto, a whole lot easier than television genius. It’s quick and simple to make with a few ingredients, including some fresh herbs, perfect for the season. I took the pesto, which is best eaten nearly as soon as it’s made, mixed it with some orange juice and zest, chicken stock, wild Alaskan king salmon, and traditional Shirataki noodles, which have no calories (oh, yeah, you read that right NO CALORIES)! It was an amazing dinner that was crazy quick to put together, leaving me with more time to watch TV and write. A girl couldn’t ask for more.
- ½ cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves
- 1 cup loosely packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
- 2-3 tablespoons walnuts
- 6 cloves garlic
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 recipe pesto, above
- Juice and zest of 1 orange
- ½ cup low or no sodium chicken stock
- 1 bag traditional Shirataki noodles
- ½ pound cooked wild Alaskan king salmon
- Make the pesto. In the bowl of a food processor, process walnuts, garlic, and pepper until finely minced and almost a paste. Add basil and parsley and process until it is fully incorporated into the paste, scraping down the bowl as necessary. Drizzle in the oil with the processor running. Process until fully combined. This makes a thick pesto; if you want it to be thinner, add more oil.
- Make the pasta. Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat. When hot, add the pesto and chicken stock. Stir to combine and start reducing. Add the orange juice and zest. Continue cooking until the sauce is bubbling and thickened. Add the salmon and noodles, prepared according to bag instructions, cooking until heated through. Serve immediately.