Today’s a sad day for me. My favorite show of all time is ending. Trust me when I say that I’m not a TV addict. I didn’t own a TV for many years. But The West Wing changed all that.
Why I love The West Wing:
Peak Performance. In my quest to be a great musician, I have become a peak performance fanatic. Not only are The West Wing’s characters peak political performers, but the actors themselves are masters of their art.
Character. I have to look extremely hard to find integrity, intelligence, or greatness in the world, let alone TV. But these were good people of worldcentric values with enough moral fiber to share with the rest of us.
Content. The issues on The West Wing weren’t watered down for the lowest common denominator. These were high level discussions that didn’t come to quick and dogmatic conclusions but left room for debate. And it really opened me to the world of politics. I even seriously considered going to law school because of The West Wing. No kidding!
Writing. There are moments of literary greatness that I will always remember, like the opening of Galileo (season 2, episode 9). The vocabulary was SAT worthy and the dialogue was witty and real. Whenever I need artistic stimulation I watch my DVD collection.
Humor. It was hilarious! Not many serious dramas can pull off comedy like The West Wing.
Drama. Plenty of sexual tension, conflict, plotting, and cliff hangers. Man, when Zoe got kidnapped and I had to wait an entire summer to find out what happened I freaked out. I think I remember yelling out loud, “NO!” And I definitely counted down the days until I would get to join the story again.
Attention to Detail. Did you know they use Presidential letterhead on all the papers that we don’t see?! There’s tons of little details that bring realism to the show. That’s over-delivering.
Speed. The West Wing was an industry leader of words per minute. I’m a fast thinker and The West Wing challenged me. Many shows entertain me but not many are actually challenging to watch. I had to stay engaged to keep up. And I had to pull out my dictionary once in a while too.
It got personal. I fell in love with Leo McGarry like a dad and when John Spencer died, I cried. There was blood in the game now. And the relationship between Charlie and the President brought tears to my eyes more than a few times.
Tonight, when Jed Bartlett handed Charlie his copy of the Constitution that his father had given him, I cried for the last time. He could have been handing it to me.
Good bye West Wing. Thanks for giving me an example of greatness.
TV’s “West Wing” offered Utopian presidency:
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – American television bids goodbye on Sunday to “The West Wing,” a landmark drama offering viewers a Utopian narrative — some might call it fantasy — of a president and White House staff who always put country above politics.
BBC: West Wing ends seven-year TV run:
The last-ever episode of acclaimed political drama The West Wing is to be shown on US television.
“West Wing” Ends After Seven Seasons With Inauguration Day Transition…:
It was an orderly transition Sunday night as President Jed Bartlet left office and “The West Wing” came to a graceful end.
Goodbye West Wing. Did you know what…:
Goodbye West Wing. Did you know what Mallory’s gift was? Seemed kind of obvious. Fitting end. Corny, for sure, but it worked. Almost like the ending of Gone With the Wind.
“West Wing” finale an emotional goodbye:
LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) – It came on with a bang seven seasons ago, startling viewers who could scarcely believe a TV series could be so smart, thought-provoking, beautifully written and well-acted, all at the same time.
scott k says
Nice piece! One of the best shows in recent times. Like the “lcd” comment, couldn’t agree with it more! The framed napkin was a nice touch. Always made you think, that is rare. Shouid they doa spin-off? “Not so much”
Graham English says
Did you catch the commercial for Aaron Sorkin’s new show, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip? It stars Bradley Whitford (Josh Lyman) and Matthew Perry (Friends and also starred in The West Wing). The cast looks great and Aaron’s such a good writer that I’ll have to give it a look. It’s a rebound relationship, I know. But I just can’t let go yet!
I totally agree with you. The West Wing made me want to become a speechwriter (I love Sam and Toby!!), and now I am studying political science and communications at school. This show is more than good drama; it’s an inspiration to a select few.
Graham English says
God speed, Liz. God speed.