B.J. Novak Might Take Over 'The Newsroom'
It was weird enough seeing Kat Dennings on last week's episode of The Newsroom, not to mention a McPoyle Brother for all those It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia fans out there. This week, the list of comedians making guest star appearances on the Sorkin series took another delightful turn. HBO added The Office's B.J. Novak to The Newsroom as Lucas Pruit, eccentric cake eater and "suitor" for control of ACN.
If you remember from last week, Charlie, Reese and Leona Lansing have less than ten days now to buy out the twins and save News Night . There are so many time crunches on this show at this point, my head is spinning. Will McAvoy was also served a court order and Neal's anonymous source and partner in espionage crime, played by Clea DuVall, threatened to leak the Kundu Rebellion story herself (or via GOOP, I kid you not) if Mackenzie didn't air it on ACN in three days.
So Lucas Pruit's two scenes with Charlie were really a warning of things to come. He was a tech analyst who left to start his own company. He's an odd duck. He only drinks cocktails with Schweppes Bitter Lemon and it eludes him that any bar would not carry that item. On the other hand, if he was a man with no choices, he'd kill himself. He has ideas for the network. Leona had the News Night team meet him at the White House Correspondent's Dinner. Which gave the cast to put on fancy dresses and be in one location, like an episode of Gossip Girl. What does our favorite author and funny man have in store for ACN?
Novak's character intimidated Charlie first with the drinks, and then by arguing about their meeting arrangement. He then began to wax philosophical about his vision for the network. He's all about "disruption." What in Edward R. Murrow's name does that mean for broadcasting the news, you ask? He wants to crowdsource the news with user-generated content. He wants hundreds of free channels. There would be a channel about disasters. There would be a channel about stalkers, particularly Danny Glover stalkers. Because people definitely still know who Danny Glover is and would watch that, doncha know?
Charlie Skinner looked at him in horror, particularly after the fiasco that was crowdsourced investigation during the Boston Marathon bombing. Usually, I would roll my eyes at this patronizing fear of the new or unknown. As the phenomenal first scene of "Main Justice" reminded us with a tune from Anything Goes, times have changed. However, while Twitter and crowdsourcing can be an excellent source of news, it is not the news itself. There needs to be a filter. That power is often abused, but we need people to gather facts and then report the conclusions.
Clearly, B.J. Novak's odd character is going to be back. I have a feeling that they're going to have to give "disruption" a try, which will be hilariously painful to watch. It was a such a strange role too, for Novak and the series itself. He seemed more like Tony Stark than Mark Zuckerberg — not the type of big personality you expect from a Sorkin production. Is Lucas' bizarre plan going to succeed? Can Mindy Kaling please show up as a socialite he's in an open relationship with? Whatever happens, it's gonna get juicy.