The West Wing S1 Commentary

Here's some words I never thought I'd say: I just finished the first season of The West Wing.

My overall feelings are overwelmingly possitive too, which is even more surprising. Granted, the show is 15 years old at this point. Everything from the clothing to the technology makes me jumpy, and the vast majority of riped from the headlines are things have have long since been resolved, but it is interesting.

Let me clarify: There are moments when the characters take a stand on an issue, or say something, or express a desire for a better USA that is timeless, wellspoken, and inspiring. A lot of the things that go on in the background I couldn't care less for, but there are moments of wonder and they make this show amazingly easy to watch.

Take this from "Six Meetings before Lunch" for instance:

The seal, the pyramid, it's unfinished. With the eye of God looking over it. And the words Annuit Coeptis. He, God, Favors our Undertaking. The seal is meant to be unfinished, because this country's meant to be unfinished. We're meant to keep doing better. We're meant to keep discussing and debating and we're meant to read books by great historical scholars and then talk about them, which is why I lent my name to a dust cover. I want to be your Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights. I'll do an outstanding job for all people in this country. You got any problem with me saying all that to the committee?

And then Leo's speech from "Let Bartlett be Bartlett":

And we’re gonna lose some of these battles, and we might even lose the White House, but we’re not gonna be threatened by issues. We’re gonna put them front and center. We’re gonna raise the level of public debate in this country, and let that be our legacy. That sound all right to you, Josh?

You'd be lying if you say you don't find these inspiring, especially coming in from any politics in the US.

That being said, until that last speech, a lot of what was going on was irritating. I don't like the hooker storyline, it tooke me half a season with wikipedia's help to learn most of the names and positions, and it suffers from having been made in its time. But I enjoy it. We went a whole season where the only sex scene was the aftermath of the hooker thing in the pilot episode - which is outstanding by today's standards. I've come to appreciate the Josh/Donna relationship, and the CJ/Danny thing may be my favourite thing so far. Add in what actors from elsewhere can I spot next and its not that bad.

I will probably never rewatch an episode. But the first time is worth watching.
I'm glad you're not completely hating the experience, anyway :P