Tuesday, May 6, 2014

The West Wing: 1.1 "Pilot"

Series Summary (from Netflix): This powerful political epic chronicles the triumphs and travails of White House senior staff under the administration of President Josiah Bartlet.

I'm watching this because: Honestly, it was on a whim. I was looking for a new show to watch, and I'd pretty much decided to try The Good Wife when The West Wing popped up as a suggestion on Amazon Prime. So I pressed play ...

Recap: Basically, the pilot serves as a vehicle to introduce viewers to the vast cast of characters: President Josiah Bartlet (Martin Sheen), White House Press Secretary C.J. Cregg (Allison Janney), Chief of Staff Leo McGarry (John Spencer), Deputy Chief of Staff Josh Lyman (Bradley Whitford), Communications Director Toby Ziegler (Richard Schiff), Deputy Communications Director Sam Seaborn (Rob Lowe), and others. About a million things happen, but the memorable threads include Josh's near-firing over comments he made about the Religious Right and Sam's one night stand with a prostitute.

Reactions: OK, so now I get what all the buzz is about. The West Wing is completely charming. And though I'm a conservative and the majority of the characters are incredibly liberal, I love them. (Though it does bug me when Christians get stomped on.)

I'll now admit that I'm writing this as I begin the sixth season (less than two months after I began watching)—so obviously, I'm all in! I adore Donna (Janel Moloney) and C.J., am thrilled that Josh is finally figuring out how much he cares for Donna, and eagerly scour the names of the guest stars at the beginning of each episode, hoping that Timothy Busfield's Danny is going to return to sweep C.J. off her feet.

Also, it's so much fun seeing who will pop up as a guest star—Nick Offerman ("Ron Swanson" on Parks & Rec), Matthew Perry, Christian Slater, Lisa Edelstein ("Cuddy" on House) and John Goodman have all shown up a time or two. But I did the most squealing when George Frankly from Mathnet (Joe Howard) showed up in a one-line role!

And it's really a testament to how great an actor Dulé Hill is that I don't even see a smidge of Burton Guster (Psych) in his portrayal of Charlie, the President's personal aide.

I could go on and on, but suffice it to say I'm head over heels for this show!

Keep watching? Absolutely! But what will I do once I'm finished???
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