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West Wing


Mo Horn
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I did a search for a thread, but came up empty. The search function is always suspect, but if it's correct, I can't believe we've never had a thread on what I think may be the greatest show on network TV. I've been working my way through it again and it's still great. I'm guessing there may have never been a show that used the word "onomatopoetically" before or since, but that was in the episode I watched last night. 

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Never saw this, and it always seemed like it would be a too-preachy political drama.

But my girlfriend is insisting that we binge it. We’re finishing up the last season of The Wire, also at her urging, which is now one of my favorite TV series of all time. So maybe she knows a thing or two about quality shows.

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I’ll bet you like it. A lot. It’s the only show that I remember making me want to be a better person at the end of each episode. 
For a show based around politics, I don’t remember it being polarizing, at all. More like goldfish crackers vs. goldfish fish. 
It aired when I was in college and law school. I’d always get a Schlotzskys original with no onions and bring it back for supper during the show. Good times. 

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top 3 drama for me all time. there have been threads (i think) here and def on the old site. 

seasons 1-4 are about as good as it gets, and that’s close to 100 episodes. 

sorkin basically wrote 11 oscar caliber films per year, for four years.  insanity. 

if you’ve never seen it, i am jealous. 

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There was a thread here but I couldn’t find it either. It 100% leans left, but still one of my favorite shows even though I’m conservative. It is great writing, although often preachy, terrific acting from a great ensemble cast, and shows an idealism we hope for in government leadership. I rewatch the series (having it on in the background) about once a year. 

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3 minutes ago, Murfdogg21 said:

There was a thread here but I couldn’t find it either. It 100% leans left, but still one of my favorite shows even though I’m conservative. It is great writing, although often preachy, terrific acting from a great ensemble cast, and shows an idealism we hope for in government leadership. I rewatch the series (having it on in the background) about once a year. 

the president/administration is supposed to be a moderate democrat (loosely modeled after the clinton administration).  they do a good job of viewing the republicans as "the opposition" not as "the enemy".  /no cr

 

 

Edited by henrygandorf
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1 hour ago, NeverMarryAStripper said:

I can only imagine how the episodes where Goodman became acting President would have played out in today's atmosphere

i think it's a fairly stunning act of patriotism.  and a fairly ordinary act of fatherhood.

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Guest Lobo
2 hours ago, NeverMarryAStripper said:

It's my all-time favorite show.  When it originally aired I scheduled around it.  I went back a few years ago and binged it and it still was amazing.  I can only imagine how the episodes where Goodman became acting President would have played out in today's atmosphere

I have tried to find that clip where the President is telling the Speaker a buncha stuff and Goodman just cuts him off and says, "You're dismissed Mr. President!"  For a brief second, Bartlett looks shocked and angry that anyone would talk to him like that.  But in an instinctual instant, he composes himself, gently nods, and brisk walks out of the room accepting that the only way this will all work for the Republic is for him to get out of the way right now and let the unclouded judgement of the others kick in while he goes to deal with his new massive issue. 

I wanted to use it for a lecture I was giving, but could never find it.  Am I remembering that scene right?  

There's still probably a dozen episodes I've never seen, and the last two seasons were tough to get through as well.  I certainly watched the show back through more of a partisan lens when I first got into it.  Now I watch it to remember what public service and patriotism looked like for a brief part of my life, kinda bums you out at times.  

 

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Damn powerful stuff between Glenallen and Jed an Leo.  I remember him coming back to be sworn back in, also a cordial and respected affair.  

Obviously it hit come cliche notes (Toby's last minute vindication comes to mind).  Nearly every Presidential show or movie has an assassination attempt in which our hero survives, Joseph Campbell-style.  But it developed so much humanity in the characters, good and bad.  This wasn't like watching "All in the Family", this was just 15 years ago.....but you couldn't broadcast this show now...not on network or basic cable.  Maybe on a streaming platform.  Too controversial.  But good writing and good music will always prevail.  

Years ago, when he was CoS for a new U.S. Senator...a friend told me (we were both huge fans of Veep and the West Wing, neither of us had seen House of Cards at that point).....that he envisioned his work would be like on "The West Wing" with complex walk 'n talks discussing important policy matters, running from high level meeting to high level meeting, maybe some inter-Capitol romance, all the greatest hits of the West Wing.  Instead he said is was frustratingly similar to the shitshow you see on Veep, except there's never any comedy...just tragedy.   

Great, now I'll be up all night watching old clips of this damn show.  Thanks a lot...

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This is absolutely my favorite show of all time. I am pretty much always in a loop of watching it going to bed at night. The comedy really works from Sorkin too. Like Josh talking about this building being a serious place for serious people, and then crashing to the floor as he tries to sit and his chair is missing. 
 

“I got the fuzzy end of that lollipop” is an underrated throw away line that I use all time. 

Edited by Frank The Tank
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17 minutes ago, Frank The Tank said:

“I got the fuzzy end of that lollipop” is an underrated throw away line that I use all time. 

though not really a joke, i often use, “i can wait, i’ve got the patience of an adult.”

josh is the best. he actually makes s7 pretty good on rewatch. s5 is the worst. parts of 6/7 are good but only the campaign parts. 

sorkin, mamet, n.simon - playwrights write every syllable and actors play along like sheet music. no improvising, no notes, just straight memorization or drowning. 

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9 hours ago, Frank The Tank said:

This is absolutely my favorite show of all time. I am pretty much always in a loop of watching it going to bed at night. The comedy really works from Sorkin too. Like Josh talking about this building being a serious place for serious people, and then crashing to the floor as he tries to sit and his chair is missing. 
 

“I got the fuzzy end of that lollipop” is an underrated throw away line that I use all time. 

Same here.

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Probably not saying anything not already known, but show evolved out of the movie The American President, which had Sheen playing the Chief of Staff.  Written by Sorkin as well.  A lot of the same sets were used for both.  Sorkin said his script for The American President was like 350 pages long (needed to be 150) and what they cut out became the pilot for West Wing.  I used to listen to a bunch of Bill Simmons on the Rewatchables and the one on The American President goes into it.  Linked below.  Also linked the one to Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, where Sorkin was a guest and discusses some of it.

https://www.theringer.com/2020/11/2/21547090/the-american-president-with-bill-simmons-amanda-dobbins-and-van-lathan

https://www.theringer.com/2019/9/2/20844139/butch-cassidy-and-the-sundance-kid-with-bill-simmons-aaron-sorkin-and-sean-fennessey

 

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2 minutes ago, NeverMarryAStripper said:

Before the next election all of the candidates for President should be locked in a small auditorium and forced to binge watch the entire series

Except for the episode where C.J. goes back to her hometown and her father has Alzheimer's.  That episode gets skipped every time.

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4 minutes ago, Texas St. Armadillos said:

Except for the episode where C.J. goes back to her hometown and her father has Alzheimer's.  That episode gets skipped every time.

I skip that one and the one where they are filming the documentary.

Two episodes out of 155.  Not bad.

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one of my favorite back and forths i watched the other night:

 

toby:

the american dream is opportunity, and together we must give every child the chance to reach for his or her dreams.  this is why we must ensure the opportunity is real, that the dream is neither deferred nor denied, that hope is not a privilege for the few...(to bartlet)  this is sam's?

bartlet:

no, i reworked it.

toby:

...but a promise for all generations to follow.  sir, i've read it twice, and i don't even know where you stand on affirmative action.

bartlet:

yeah, i was trying to avoid a quote.

toby:

as well as nouns and pronouns.

bartlet:

it's purposely nonspecific.  we get the word out to our friends, but i was obviously nodding in the direction of affirmative action.

toby:

how about if we oppose affirmative action and get the word out to our friends you were just kidding?

 

my favorite part is that toby was reading the president's tweaks and could tell instantly that it wasn't sam's writing.

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21 hours ago, Post Oak said:

One of my favorite scenes.

 

the flashback of Josh's experience with the initial campaign is some of the best story-telling. From meeting Bartlett to convincing Sam to join the campaign to Donna's intro. the only downside is that they leaving you wanting more.

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SAM: Who wrote this intro?

SCOTT TATE: I did.

SAM: You're from NASA Public Affairs?

TATE: Yep. SAM You mind if I give it a polish?

TATE: Is there a problem?

SAM: No, it's great. You mind if I change it?

TATE: I'd prefer if you didn't.

SAM: Just the same...

TATE: The Public Affairs has cleared the text. If it's gonna be changed, I'd prefer that the President change it.

SAM: See, that's kind of what he pays me to do, so...

TATE: Look, I don't want to step on your toes. You don't want to step on mine. We're both writers.

SAM: Yes, I suppose, if you broaden the definition to those who can't spell.

TATE: Excuse me?

 

BARTLET: [reads] "Good morning! I'm speaking to you live from the West Wing of the White House. Today we have a very unique opportunity to take part live in an extremely historic event which..." Whoa, boy...

SAM: [waves and smiles] How you doing, Mr. President?

BARTLET: Who wrote this intro?

TATE: I did, sir. I'm Scott Tate from NASA Public Affairs.

BARTLET: [gets up and shakes his hand] Scott. "Unique" means "one of a kind." Something can't be very unique, nor can it be extremely historic.

C.J.: While we're at it, do we have to use the word "live" twice in the first two sentences like we just cracked the technology?

TATE: Look...

C.J.: We're also broadcasting in living color, right?

BARTLET: Sam?

SAM: Yeah.

BARTLET: [to Tate] He's gonna make some changes.

TATE: [following Sam] You're going to clear them with me?

SAM: I doubt it.

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no love for Mary McCormack? 

 

She was always on my older woman i would super smash and her 35-37 year old sweater puppies looked very rude throughout the 3 seasons she was on. (although her and Will not just hooking up but becoming a couple was a little meh).  Although she showed a hell of a lot more non-nude body in "In plain sight"

 

for me, one of the best '3 episode arc character arc" moments was when Christian Slater played the new 3rd shift nuke football security officer and Donna??? is giving him all kinds of shit about why the fuck the navy spent $500 on ashtrays and how it was a massive bit of pork that someone pocketed and got rich.

 

and Slater's character is so pissed, he grabs his own special ashtray and smacks it, showing that the tray breaks cleanly in 3 pieces (as designed).... "you cant have broken glass flying around a submarine when its under attack, if its gonna break thats how it breaks".     ... and then immediately afterward, regrets smacking the tray.

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Guest Lobo

^

that was a great scene with Slater.  Something like "We lead a little different lifestyle underwater, and it costs little bit more money."  I sent that clip to my WWII/Korea submariner uncle years ago when he could still see/hear well, he laughed and laughed.  /csb

Mary McCormack was/is smoking hot.  She was the thinking man's Blair Warner.  

another great inter-show conversation on writing was Sam was visiting some group of Congressmen or DNC folks and they were asking for his help on some messaging for a bill or a campaign (can't remember the details).  But Sam was reading these lines out loud about levying higher taxes on private jet fuel and vacation homes or something and he was first saying their messaging was horrible, so they asked him to change up the writing.  And he agreed but had to correct them on attacking people who still already pay taxes or somesuch, about how when he was raking in cash at his last law firm, he was happy to pay the taxes but doesn't want to be insulted about it.  Anybody remember that scene?  The whole thing was really well done, I'm not doing it justice. 

 

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