Hate watching: the act of watching a television show that you actually can't stand, but watch out of a mixture of morbid curiosity and self-loathing.
There's no show on the air that quite fits the definition of hate watching quite like Aaron Sorkin's polarizing HBO drama The Newsroom does. Week in and week out viewers find themselves asking important questions like, "Why the hell do I continue to torture myself with these miserable characters, inane plot lines, and jumpy pacing?"
Last week's episode provided us with the wildly offensive, instantly infamous laundry scene and while Sunday night's new episode didn't provide us with something quite as staggeringly stupid (the bus scene was awfully close, but we'll get to that) it did give us a whole new slew of "Wait, tell my again why I'm still watching this show?"
Here, in no particular order, are the 12 most annoying moments from last night's episode of The Newsroom, "Willie Pete":
1. Will's jab at his ex-girlfriend and current work colleague MacKenzie: "You're not as cute as you think you are." Never forget ladies, if you spurn Sorkin, you will never stop paying for it.
2. Case in point: Charlie Skinner's line about Nina Howard, "God didn't give her humanity. That's why she's a gossip columnist." Now, Hope Davis' character is no doubt meant to be ruthless, but as blogger (no, not the b word!) Mandy Stadtmiller will tell you, there's something much deeper going on here and that knock was likely intended for a real-life target. That's two weeks in a row now!
3. "Snark is the idiot's version of wit and we're being polluted by it," cried the absolutely humorless Will McAvoy.
4. The painful, continual evolution of Maggie from actual human being to a crazed deer in perpetual headlights that barges into work meetings to freak out about drug side effects.
5. Don makes the claim that book agents "beat their wives". Come again?
6. MacKenzie orders that a story about the Conrad Murray trial beginning be buried deep in the broadcast, preferably during the commercial breaks. Look, most of us agree with Sorkin on this sentiment: that bottom of the barrel celebrity news doesn't deserve to be at the top of the news, let alone take over, but those stories are part of the news cycle, period, and they are rarely ignored.
7. Turns out, MacKenzie doesn't like celebrity news or actual news, as she shoots down and mocks the Occupy Wall Street movement. Or, as she calls them, "the Pajama Party." She cries that they "royally f**ked up" (it's amazing how much magical retrospective insight these characters seem to have about current events) and that their protests cause her to ruin her shoes in the rain. See, the real victim here was the one percenters. Oh, and women love shoes!
8. Though not quite as publicly humiliating as Maggie's series of meltdowns, Jim's Jerry Maguire-esque "Who's coming with me?" speech for the greater good of journalism on the Romney campaign bus was just as ridiculous. His tirade is the sort of thing that's reserved for muttered conversations between fellow frustrated journalists who also wish the machine wasn't broken, but realize they have to do the best with their resources. I'm not saying he's wrong (in fact, he was very right to feel frustrated and want to break the cycle) but Jim going on this Norma Rae crusade which gets him and his two followers kicked off the bus in the middle of nowhere (as if that would ever happen) just felt like a fantasy daydream sequence instead of reality. It's stunning how noble every single person at ACN is.
9. Not only did Nina save Will's old voicemail and listen to it 100 times before deleting it, she had it memorized verbatim. So, to catch you up to speed, women worry about their shoes and get obsessive about their exes. Who says Sorkin doesn't know how to write women fairly?
10. Because he has to be a curmudgeon about everything, Will also, for some reason, hates baristas. In his day, you made coffee yourself, dammit, and it tasted bitter and you liked it!