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‘Newsroom’ Playlist: Songs Will McAvoy Might Have on His iPod

Jeff Daniels Newsroom
HBO

As fans of Aaron Sorkin‘s HBO political drama ‘The Newsroom’ gear up for the forthcoming second season, they’re hypothesizing about what lies ahead for the fast-talking crew at the fictional cable news program ‘News Night.’ This isn’t too difficult of a task, considering the show takes semi-recent current events and reimagines what the media’s response could — and perhaps should — have been.  As we amp ourselves up for the inevitable inundation of Sorkin’s idealism, we thought we’d create a playlist that the show’s supposedly affable protagonist, ‘News Night’ anchorman Will McAvoy (played by Jeff Daniels), might have on his iPod. Check it out below.


New Clear Days

‘News at Ten’ – The Vapors

‘New Clear Days’ (1980)
 
 

We think this Vapors song (yes, they had songs other than ‘Turning Japanese’) is an anthem tailor-made for Will McAvoy, who dedicates his entire existence to his work. In fact, it’s still unclear if he has friends other than his co-workers.

 
Volume One

‘I Thought I Saw Your Face Today’ – She & Him

‘Volume One’ (2008)
 
 

The pilot episode of ‘The Newsroom’ opens with McAvoy sitting in on a panel discussion. In the audience, he thinks he sees his old flame, MacKenzie McHale, who soon becomes ‘News Night’’s new executive producer. This scene is the viewers’ introduction to their tumultuous relationship, and while the audience later discovers MacKenzie was, in fact, in the audience, we think this She & Him song might strike a chord with McAvoy.

 
Wilco

‘Country Disappeared’ – Wilco

‘Wilco’ (2009)
 
 

During the panel discussion, a student asks the group, “Can you say why America is the greatest country in the world?” Will then sees MacKenzie holding a sign that says, “It’s not, but it can be” — prodding him to answer the way he truly feels. As a result, Will goes on a powerful rant about how the nation used to be great but is perhaps now a ‘Country Disappeared.’

 
Tourist History

‘Something Good Can Work’ – Two Door Cinema Club

‘Tourist History’ (2010)
 
 

Will and MacKenzie agree to do the news the way they think it should be done -- i.e. veering away from the day’s gossip and irrelevant scandals. Will goes as far as saying that he’s on a “mission to civilize.” OK, so it’s a bit proselytizing, but we think he might want this Two Door Cinema Club track in his back pocket as motivation for his mission.

 
Heartbreaker

‘Come Pick Me Up’ – Ryan Adams

‘Heartbreaker’ (2000)
 
 

After mistakenly sending an email meant for Will to the entire cable network, MacKenzie reveals that she cheated on him with an ex-boyfriend. This Ryan Adams tune, which proclaims, “Screw all my friends behind my back / with a smile on your face / and then do it again. / I wish you would,” might resonate with the anchorman, who seems to dwell in his sorrow and guilt trip MacKenzie at virtually every opportunity possible.

 
Picture Show

‘Everybody Talks’ – Neon Trees

‘Picture Show’ (2012)
 
 

Will is not only infuriated by celebrity gossip -- he's frustrated by the gossip circulating his own office regarding his dating life and past relationship. Therfore, we think he might have this Neon Trees hit on his iPod.

 
Standing in the Way of Control

‘Standing in the Way of Control’ – The Gossip

‘Standing in the Way of Control’ (2006)
 
 

As the ‘News Night’ team commits to doing the news right, they, of course, run into complications. This includes, but certainly is not limited to, the network’s angry CEO and the plummeting ratings that result from not covering stories like the Casey Anthony trial and the Anthony Weiner Twitter scandal. More often than not, Will sticks to his guns, and therefore, he might keep this Gossip tune about overcoming the powers that be on his iPod.

 
I Am a Bird Now

‘Fistful of Love’ – Antony and the Johnsons

‘I Am a Bird Now’ (2005)
 
 

As season one progressed, it was revealed that much of Will’s anger and guilt was brought upon by a traumatic childhood. Due to an alcoholic and abusive father, Will helped raise his siblings, and in present day, he also feels responsible for his co-workers and how his actions as a public figure affect their lives. Therefore, we think McAvoy might relate to this chilling Antony and the Johnsons song about domestic violence.

 
Lost in Space

‘Real Bad News’ – Aimee Mann

‘Lost in Space’ (2002)
 
 

Perpetually disappointed by the state of the media, the government and his own behavior and relationships, we think Will might listen to this Aimee Mann Song, in which she sings, “I’ve got love and anger / they come as a pair / You can take your chances / but buyer beware.”

 
13

‘Coffee & TV’ – Blur

‘13’ (1999)
 
 

As a man who makes a living reporting on the state of the world, Will might understand Blur’s ‘Coffee & TV,’ which includes the pertinent line, “I’ve seen so much / I’m goin’ blind.”

 

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