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HBO Gives Middling to Poor Reviews of 'The Newsroom' a Strange Makeover in Print Ad

Photo of Beth Hanna By Beth Hanna | Thompson on Hollywood July 24, 2012 at 4:33PM

Misrepresentative review quotes being used for film or TV show ads is nothing new. HBO is the latest to climb on the bandwagon of strategically placed ellipses with its ads for Aaron Sorkin's "The Newsroom," a show receiving mixed reviews at best.
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Jeff Daniels in "The Newsroom"
HBO Jeff Daniels in "The Newsroom"

Misrepresentative review quotes being used for film or TV show ads is nothing new. HBO is the latest to climb on the bandwagon of strategically placed ellipses with its ads for Aaron Sorkin's "The Newsroom," a show receiving mixed reviews at best.

Forbes points to a recent Hollywood Reporter two-page spread for the show, which is wallpapered with seemingly glowing praise. Some of the quotes are pulled from rave reviews, but others don't exactly match the tone of the original articles. Perhaps most blatant is the use of Salon's Willa Paskin's words "captivating, riveting, rousing," which technically appear in her review of the show, but couched this way: “The results are a captivating, riveting, rousing, condescending, smug, infuriating mixture, a potent potion that advertises itself as intelligence-enhancing but is actually just crazy-making.”

Somehow "condescending," "smug" and "infuriating" didn't quite make HBO's zig-zaggy cut.

A quote from Times' critic James Poniewozik was also liberally used, and the reviewer took to his Twitter to call out the premium cable channel: "Irony alert: HBO promotes its drama abt journalism by blurbing my NEWSROOM pan to sound like a rave."

"The Newsroom" currently has a tepid 57 on Metacritic. My TOH weekly episode reviews of the show are also mixed, check out the latest one here.

This article is related to: HBO, The Newsroom, Television, TV News, TV Reviews


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.