The Newsreader season two
ABC’s period drama The Newsreader returns for its second season with creator Michael Lucas and director Emma Freeman back in the driving seat. Set a year after the events of the first season, viewers once again join co-anchors Dale (Sam Reid) and Helen (Anna Torv), who are now in a relationship, back in the chaotic newsroom where interpersonal dramas play out against breaking news bulletins. While the former tells an enthralling character-driven drama led by a selection of exquisite performances, the latter allows for moments of pointed commentary on the media industry, alongside the attitudes of the time. After watching the first two episodes, The Newsreader’s second chapter is shaping up to be a remarkable piece of television.
Opening with an all-singing, all-dancing rendition of George Michael and Aretha Franklin’s I Knew You Were Waiting on a talk show, the series wastes no time in establishing its 80s aesthetic. Close-up shots of a retro camera and early cell phones are constant reminders of the era, with the soundtrack sounding like it was taken straight from an old-school drama. An astounding amount of detail has gone into creating the sense of time. But rather than utilising it as purely 80s nostalgia, the show’s rich worldbuilding serves to further immerse viewers within the ongoing plot.
With the first two episodes revolving around the real-life stories of the 1987 federal election and Melbourne mass shooting respectively, the urgency in the chaotic newsroom is palpable as producers frantically relay notes from irate directors and staff are forced to meet tight deadlines that require making difficult ethical decisions. Outside of the immense workplace pressures, characters also struggle with personal and relationship problems. It may sound like there’s a lot going on at once, but the smartly written script elegantly and seamlessly weaves everything together into a well-oiled machine in which no line or frame goes underused.
When it comes to its social commentary, the show engages in broader discussions on the media’s ethical responsibilities alongside gesturing towards themes of sexism and racism, all of which is cleverly incorporated into each episode to further enhance the writing.
Bolstered by sensational performances from the central cast, Newsreader’s second season delivers another thoughtful examination of the media through the lens of an enthralling period drama.
The Newsreader season two is released on 9th November 2023.
Watch the trailer for The Newsreader season two here: