Season one of The Newsroom demanded a lot from the viewer. Creator Aaron Sorkin delivered his much anticipated series and it left people feeling hot and cold – you loved it or you thought it was ludicrous (and you were likely a news journalist). There was no middle ground. It was unashamedly idealistic and never professed to be a documentary. Season one is solid, watchable drama and set pieces linger long in your consciousness reminding you why it was a must watch series of 2012.

Season two takes the now well established characters and rewards viewers by fleshing them out and demanding you pay attention. The pace is blistering; the dialogue direct; the plot solid and engaging. The interweaving of real-life events into the this fictional cable news station adds gravitas as the characters swirl around the 5 days leading up to the 2012 US Presidential Election while facing a wall of lawyers interviewing them in preparation for a wrongful dismissal claim of a producer after an expose on a military mission has to be retracted. Pay attention.

Aside from that Maggie (Alison Pill) has got a radical new haircut and attitude, Jim (John Gallagher Jr) has his very own Jerry Maguire moment on Mitt Romney’s campaign press bus, Sloan (Oliva Munn) is still struggling to make her mark as more than a hosting fill-in and Neal (Dev Patel) gets involved with the Occupy Wall Street movement. All this while Wil McAvoy (Jeff Daniels) continues to tilt at the windmills of a higher standard of journalism and MacKenzie McHale (Emily Mortimer) has to keep the show running AND rating. Oh, and the legal thing (offering a stellar role to Marcia Gay Harden as ACN counsel Rebecca Halliday).

While McAvoy continues to spin in his own personal mix of ego and relationship hell it’s the growing stories around the other members of the team that continue to add light and shade to what would otherwise be a very dark journey through one man’s soul. Everyone has their own agenda; everyone is closing ranks around what happened with the story on Project Genoa; and everyone seems to be unlucky in love. Who’d work as a TV journalist?!

Again, it’s very wordy Sorkin. A demanding Sorkin. A completely compelling Sorkin. Scenes ebb and flow with an intensity that draws the viewer in yet still find moments of brevity and lightness in the moment. Make no mistake: TV News is big business…

Season two of The Newsroom is 13 episodes of goodness and it’s coming our way.

And what the hell happened to Maggie’s hair?!

The Newsroom season two – Mon 15/07 5:30pm Express/8:30pm Primetime, Showcase.