'Alaska Daily' Episode 2 Review: Hilary Swank's drama adds a touch of heart to hardcore journalism

'Alaska Daily' Episode 2 Review: Hilary Swank's drama adds a touch of heart to hardcore journalism
Hilary Swank and Grace Dove in a still from 'Alaska Daily' (ABC)

They say objectivity is key to good journalism, but add a dash of heart, and the entire concept changes to journalists being agents for change — for good or for worse.' Alaska Daily' does its bit to encourage journalism that's more than just someone in the newsroom yelling, 'Stop the Presses!' or writing a story that garners eyeballs over quality reporting. And all the while, the Hilary Swank drama keeps an eye on the larger picture of searching for an indigenous woman whose death reveal has the case shut and stowed away.

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On the plot front, Eileen Fitzgerald and Roz (Grace Dove) make some headway into the Gloria Nanmac case where they finally figure out where Toby Crenshaw, the last person to have seen her alive works. The meeting yields a massive clue but has a vague roadmap charted out. Parallelly, the episode focuses on another reporting assignment where Claire Muncy (Meredith Holz) investigates the case of an age-old diner called Rita's being shut down and having a Big Burger joint coming up. The long-standing Alaskan restaurant taken over by an international brand makes Clare's role more like a crusader saving what was a vital part of her town's history. 

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Minus the storylines, almost every action has a lesson or two for aspiring journalists. While Eileen and Roz are pretty much Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein in their own right, Muncy is the one who can influence change with her writing. One party demonstrates a masterclass in investigative reporting, while the other shows there's more to it than just jotting down the 5W's 1H and calling it a day. For now, 'Alaska Daily' hasn't been the kind of drama that's made it to the thriller category, at least not yet. With some wry humor, courtesy of Swank, whose scowl and straight-faced replies often flummox her team, and some light moments, the show is still very much on the lighter side.

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That said, the elements that made the pilot a good watch are still very much visible in the second episode as well. The show is heavily character-driven and as aforementioned, serves as a Journalism 101 to the uninitiated. ABC's got a winner, the only question is if the series can stay consistent.

'Alaska Daily' airs Thursdays at 10 pm ET on ABC.

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