October 21, 2004

Yeah, it should be called The Left Wing, but it is still entertaining.

Despite my Republican leanings, The West Wing is still one of my
favorite shows. I'm not really saying anything new when I say the show has
been struggling recently. The last couple of seasons have been mediocre at
best and lousy at times, especially when the show becomes nothing but lefty
wish fulfillment The most obvious of this was 2 seasons ago, when Martin
Sheen's President Bartlett was running for reelection against an
inexperienced and slow-witted Southern Governor, who was likable in a
frat-boyish way. Of course, after slaughtering him in the debate, Bartlett
won in a landslide. Huh, I wonder...

So the last two seasons haven't been up to par, what next? Supposedly, we
have some major changes coming up. It started last night with the premiere.
It did start with a lefty blow to the real world though, as Bartlett makes a
giant commotion out of not attacking Iran after a terrorist attack. The
Pentagon believes that Iran is tied to the guilty parties, but they have
little concrete evidence. Take THAT Mr. Real President.

Anyway, the President, while being pressured from all sides to strike back
after the attack on an American congressional delegation to Israel, goes
with his dovish instincts and attempts to hold a summit between the Israelis
and Palestinians. This reaction seems wrong to most everyone involved, from
the American public to his closest advisors. What makes this episode work is
the realistic conflict that ensues.

The acting is up to the show's high standards, especially John Spencer as
the increasingly haggard Chief of Staff Leo McGarry. Spencer affects a
visible change in the character; appearing so weary he seems almost
emaciated. I have not heard of Spencer having any real health problems, but
the change is so obvious it certainly raises questions. Other standouts
include Richard Schiff as Toby Zeigler, showing fire after an off season. He
also gets the best one liner too, describing the Palestinian courts as
"three guys with pistols and a Magic 8-Ball".

This is a nice start; hopefully they can keep the momentum up. Next week the
new characters are introduced, including Alan Alda as a Republican
Presidential candidate.

Yes, you read that right. Alan Alda, paragon of conservative thought.

Posted by Frinklin at October 21, 2004 06:49 PM


As a fellow WW junkie, I share your distress at the recent downward trend of the show. Based on the information I read on the board, McGarry's haggard appearance is definitely foreshadowing something. Something that will be happening in about two episodes.

Posted by: Mediocre Fred at October 21, 2004 07:14 PM

I would suggest that if they REALLY wanted to boost ratings, they would have another election and vote in a Republican candidate... then, hire some writers with conservative viewpoints...

Posted by: Madfish Willie at October 22, 2004 06:26 PM

That's something that's being discussed, actually, from what I hear. They might decide to have Alda win the next election and bring in a Republican administration. I'm not sure how well it'd work, but it's an idea. I'm for any change that will produce better writing.

Posted by: Mediocre Fred at October 22, 2004 07:06 PM
Post a comment

Remember personal info?