{TB Talks TV} The Newsroom Review: “What Kind of Day Has It Been”


Tweetable Takeaway: It was a satisfying conclusion to what could have been a disaster on #TheNewsroomFinale

Airtime:Sunday at 9pm on

By: Jeff Iblings, Contributor

Some final thoughts on  are in order, but I don’t know how else to do it, but in the form of a eulogy. Here goes nothing:

Charlie Skinner died suddenly a week ago doing what he loved best – arguing and going to bat for his friends. Maybe we didn’t really know Charlie very well, but he clearly knew us better than we know ourselves.

His handiwork can be seen in all the events that transformed ACN into what it’s been these last three years. He knew the potential of everyone he touched before they even realized it themselves. We were fulfilling his vision in ways I’m not sure any of us realized until after he passed.

One thing is clear in his passing; he was one of kind. Charlie was an old time journalist, which is a rare thing these days in a world where clicks and retweets have boiled everything down to who can be first on a story, facts be damned.

Charlie loved facts. In a newsroom that is graded on the ability to cover stories quickly, he was willing to be last and get it right, rather than to be first on the scene and really muck it up.

Sure there was the unfortunate Genoa incident, but he put it behind him and learned from what happened. Genoa made us better journalists. Perhaps more cautious, but it rooted us back in hard facts.

Charlie knew MacKenzie’s potential when she had already given up on herself. He also knew the effect she had on Will. At a time when, I’m going to be candid for a minute and I hope you forgive me, Will had given up. He was content with coasting, sitting back on his laurels, and just kind of floating through life without being the journalist Will knew he had inside himself. MacKenzie was the kick in the pants both Will and ACN needed.

Who knew MacKenzie would bring Jim Harper into the fold. All due respect to Don, he’s a hell of an EP, but Jim brought a little something extra to ACN, a different viewpoint maybe. I’m not really sure what more to say, but it’s been great seeing the new members of our newsroom mingle with those of us already here, truly making everyone better.

Charlie could be a real son of a bitch. He was the kind of man who could argue like a demon over his principles with his own boss, and leave the situation with a high mutual respect from the same person he was at throats with. If you don’t believe me, ask Leona. I’m sure she has a story or two to tell about old Charlie Skinner.

We will all miss his bow tied and smiling face, that grey hair bouncing in animation as he proved his point with amusement. He had the energy of a man half his age, and as a role model he will be a lot to live up to. I know I just worked off to the side, watching from the balcony, but he always treated me like I really mattered.

Raise a glass to Charlie Skinner!

Screen Grab

More after the break:

–  If you read last weeks review, you’d know that I didn’t have high hopes for the finale of The Newsroom. Episode 5 was the “shit the bed” episode. Things looked so bleak, I didn’t think there was any chance of redemption. I’m not sure how Sorkin did it, but the way the final episode unfolded, made up for all the missteps an hour earlier. Sure it wasn’t a perfect episode, but the way the past and the future came together to show Charlie as the puppeteer that pulled all of the strings at ACN, was a work of genius. I still don’t buy the Pruitt angle, but I’m willing to let it pass.

–  I know Sorkin has said he most likely wouldn’t do a television show again, and that is too bad. I enjoy the worlds he creates.

–  The one thing I find a little contradictory between this season of The Newsroom and Sorkin’s own life is his stance on the Sony hack leaked . I know I can’t be the only person who found his op-ed to be disingenuous after how the main story arch of the season played out. I leave that one to other writers though …


For six months out of the year Jeff is holed up in his home with nothing to do but shovel snow, watch television, write, and dream of warmer climates.
Twitter: @OfSoundnVision

Keep up with all of my reviews for The Newsroom here.
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