The only thing I’ve done for the past week and a half (besides the snap decision we made on Saturday morning to remove all the old, disgusting carpet from the stairs, oh man has that been an undertaking) has been watch “The West Wing.” I was 14 and not super politically inclined when the show started in 1999, and by the time I got wise to Aaron Sorkin’s general amazingness as a script writer, the show was in its last season. You know how that happens; you’re so far behind in a show you admit defeat and decide not to watch at all. I’m sure I caught a few episodes here and there, but ever since “The Newsroom” debuted last summer and we were reminded after a 5 year absence that yes, Aaron Sorkin still rules, it’s been on my To Do List to watch all 7 seasons of “The West Wing” from the beginning. You can’t say I’m not industrious. Thankfully, the whole series is available on Amazon Prime streaming fo’ free if you have a membership, and I’ve been watching through our Roku player hooked up to the tv.
The undeniably Sorkin-element to the political drama is the dialogue: fast-paced, smart, sarcastic, and witty. This is the man who championed the “walk-and-talk.” If you like “The Newsroom,” (and I do!) prepare to judge “The Newsroom” for being an inferior show when you watch “The West Wing.” The characters! I could marry Josh or Toby. Or Sam. Or Charlie. Or even President Bartlett. And Leo! Either Aaron Sorkin is a psychic genius who wrote scripts that would have relevance 14 years later, or American politics are stuck in a depressing, partisan cycle of horribleness: the first season dealt with gun control, a bill that federally denies benefits to same sex couples, racism, sexism, skirmishes in Pakistan and Syria, opposition to an Hispanic Supreme Court nominee, and the list goes on and on. Sorkin is not particularly shy with his disdain for Republicans, and I’m only up to 1999-2000; the extremists in the Tea Party have yet to even manifest.
But politics aside, the show is just incredible. So incredible in fact, that though I’m already 8 episodes in to season 2, Jamal said he wanted to watch the show, too, so we started over on Saturday. That’s right. I’m watching the first season again for the second time in two weeks. And I’m not even complaining! Herewith, some of my favorite snippets:
I’m already dreading the end of the show and I still have 5 and a half more seasons to go. I need a West Wing support group.