'The Newsroom' Returns Sunday With These 7 Pieces of Old News

While The Newsroom certainly does its best to dig into its two-year old ripped-from-the-headlines plot points, the problem is that we've all had the luxury of timely comics and commentators tearing these stories apart in our collective recent memory. Unlike Mad Men's take on the news of the 1960s, which offers a renewed perspective thanks to the breadth of history between now and then, The Newsroom feels like a trawler gurgling along the Mississippi, trying to dig up new life when we've just managed to bury it and move on. When Season 2 starts on Sunday night, we can start looking forward to (or start avoiding, depending on your take) these seven old news bits.

All The (Old) News That's Fit To Print

While The Newsroom certainly does its best to dig into its two-year old ripped-from-the-headlines plot points, the problem is that we've all had the luxury of timely comics and commentators tearing these stories apart in our collective recent memory. Unlike Mad Men's take on the news of the 1960s, which offers a renewed perspective thanks to the breadth of history between now and then, The Newsroom feels like a trawler gurgling along the Mississippi, trying to dig up new life when we've just managed to bury it and move on. When Season 2 starts on Sunday night, we can start looking forward to (or start avoiding, depending on your take) these seven old news bits.

McAvoy's Big Mouth Strikes Again

It's nothing new — even in the scope of 2011 U.S. politics — that the Tea Party stirs rashly negative opinions in the hearts of politically-minded folks. Claims of racism and bigotry have followed the movement since its inception, so the fact that in Season 2, the famously outspoken Will McAvoy calls the Tea Party "The Taliban of America" is about as surprising as the fact that Amanda Bynes thought throwing a bong out of a 12th story window was a logical solution to her drug bust. Image: HBO

On the Road Again With Mitt Romney

Alex Wong/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Remember how Mitt Romney occupied our televisions for two years prior to losing the election to President Obama? Of course we do. How could we forget. But we can all agree that for both Romney supporters and detractors, hobbling down that memory lane isn't exactly going to be pleasant. However, this season The Newsroom sends Jim Harper into the depths of the Romney campaign in its 2011 form. Ready, set, yawn.

'Fifty Shades' of 'Sex and The City'

What's cable news without a little nonsensical pop culture thrown in? In Season 2, Maggie finds herself face-to-face with the author of a Sex and the City fan fiction novel, and despite her pride, she must kiss the ring of the unbelievably successful "writer." Yeah, we were all annoyed when Fifty Shades of Grey (which was, of course, Twilight fan fiction) sold more copies than toiled-over novels by literary greats like Dave Eggers and Zadie Smith. Oh please, can we re-live that horror? Image: Flickr

There Was Once This Little Thing Called Occupy Wall Street

David McNew/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Look, I understand that the format of The Newsroom decries that the program takes on big news stories of recent years passed, however, being forced to "rediscover" the movement that consumed every network, front page, home page, and Twitter trending topic for months and months of our lives can't help but feel patronizing. Good thing that uncovering OWS is Dev Patel's big story line at the start of Season 2.

Troy Davis' Execution As Character Development

By the time Troy Davis faced execution by lethal injection in September 2011, the man had been through 20 years of hell. He was convicted of murdering a police officer in 1989, but in the 20 years that followed, supporters including President Jimmy Carter and Archbishop Desmond Tutu worked to overturn the verdict. It was widely believed that Davis' was innocent, yet the courts rejected all appeals and Davis was executed while many wept over the death of a man who, by many accounts, appeared innocent. Salon's

Willa Paskin points out that in Season 2 of The Newsroom gives Thomas Sadoski's Don a lengthy speech about Davis, but that it makes the show appear as "some semi-offensive lecture series that uses poor, dead, probably innocent men to try to make fictional TV programs appear high-minded." There-in lies a major problem with The Newsroom's format — and the reason every big news story will be accompanied by Twitter zingers that begin with "Next season, on The Newsroom." Image: Flickr

Cable News, You Miserable Old Bastard

Season 2 also finds a way to insert news that's a little more recent than 2011 by pulling pieces of the current state of cable news' decline into its fictional story lines. The major issue heading into the first few episodes of The Newsroom's sophomore effort is the fact that News Night ran an incorrect story claiming the U.S. Government gassed a civilian population. It's about 28 steps past CNN's recent Boston Bomber and Obamacare flubs, but it opens up News Night, and cable news in general, to a big (tirelessly traversed) question: What's wrong with the cable news model? Image: CNN

Walter Cronkite, Edward R. Murrow, and Will McAvoy?

When all else fails, why not draw on all the old news we can collectively remember?How about not. One of the major complaints about Aaron Sorkin's news show series was its incredible sense of self-importance. So, what is the fix in Season 2? Well, they simply change up the credits to draw comparisons between the greatest moments in journalism history and McAvoy. Talk about riding on a high horse. We're just going to go watch Good Night and Good Luck a few hundred times to recover from this wildly presumptuous comparison. Image: Warner Independent Pictures