Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Requiem for The West Wing

I learned yesterday that this seventh season is officially the last season for The West Wing. This makes me sad, as it is one of the few shows I really enjoy and can also share with my husband since he, too, enjoys it. But I have to admit that I think it's the right decision.

I didn't start watching TWW until the second season. I can't remember why I avoided it or what changed my mind, but I got hooked hard and fast and have been a faithful viewer ever since. I don't think there is a season that I'd say was worst or better than any of the others; they've all had highlights for me. I can honestly say that I have never been bored. My only complaint is that often I found the dialogue unnatural, especially after John Wells took over. It is always so witty and so quickly delivered it in no way mimics real speech. Some of the actors do better at delivery than others, so depending on who was in a scene stuff like that either amused me or annoyed me. Otherwise, I'd say it's a nearly perfect television series.

I'm an admitted Josh and Donna 'shipper and hope these two crazy kids will get their rewards before all is said and done. I've alternately loved and hated Toby, have always loved CJ, liked Sam but also like Will Bailey, and I don't hate Kate. I'm not a big fan of Abby Bartlett because I find her a bit too shrewish. To her defense, I think the writers are mirroring Abby in Helen Santos, who can grate on me as well with her blatant disapproval of her husband's campaign and the folks running it.

Then again, I find it hard to understand how a first lady or potential first lady can be so openly irritated at the inconveniences of things like Secret Service personel or their husbands having not nearly enough time to spend with the kids. Hello? President/running for president of the United States? Kind of a big job where the drawbacks are pretty well spelled out from the get-go. Should have spoken up a long time ago, and if he didn't listen, shoulda got out then and there.

Anyway, I was so saddened by the death of John Spencer. Leo is one of my favorite characters on any show, and John was an excellent actor. It will be interesting to see how the writers handle this in terms of the upcoming election.

In the end, though, I respect the creators of TWW for calling it a day before things get ugly. I had my doubts about this season, not so sure an entire year of watching a presidental election would hold my interest. But it has, very much so. I'm hoping for a Santos win although Alan Alda's Vinick makes that a difficult call.

Part of me is glad there will be one less show next year to take time away from writing. The other part of me is terrified that this hole means more room for crap reality TV. I don't intend to replace it with anything else, that's for sure.

Either way, I'll miss TWW a lot. It taught me a lot about how our government really works. And it also showed me that you couldn't pay me enough money in the world to be the president.


MaryF said...

I love the West Wing, but it always takes so much energy to watch it, to keep up, ya know? I was really saddened by John Spencer's death, too! I loved him!

Lynn M said...

Oh, yes, I know what you mean. I usually miss 75% of what's going on the first time through. Either I have no idea what's going on politically or I've missed some dialogue whizzing by. It's only if I watch it a second time or catch it in reruns or read a recap do I understand any of it.

Even so, I love it. The show makes me think, and I'm always sad when an episode is over.