'The Newsroom' (HBO)

When it premiered last summer in the thick of an election year and took on the failings of a media culture that had helped polarize the nation, this invigorating Aaron Sorkin-penned drama, starring Jeff Daniels as a cable news anchor, proved to be divisive on its own. For its followers, though, it is head and shoulders above the rest.<br><br>

<b>Assessment:</b> "For me it wasn't great TV because it was so blatantly political that the characters felt manipulated to send a message," says McNamara. "Everyone got het up over whether Sorkin should be allowed to trumpet his ideas, and the show almost got lost in the ruckus."

( Melissa Moseley / HBO / February 10, 2012 )

When it premiered last summer in the thick of an election year and took on the failings of a media culture that had helped polarize the nation, this invigorating Aaron Sorkin-penned drama, starring Jeff Daniels as a cable news anchor, proved to be divisive on its own. For its followers, though, it is head and shoulders above the rest.

Assessment: "For me it wasn't great TV because it was so blatantly political that the characters felt manipulated to send a message," says McNamara. "Everyone got het up over whether Sorkin should be allowed to trumpet his ideas, and the show almost got lost in the ruckus."

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