Monday, February 06, 2006

How The West Wing Was Lost

This was something that I've been meaning to write about for a while now, the cancellation of The West Wing. As much as I hate to see it actually happen, I've seen this coming. (Just a note, NBC talked of ending the show even before John Spencer died.) The shows creator, Aaron Sorkin, left the show either last season or one before, either way, when he left the show went down the proverbial toilet. The guy they left in charge of the show is the same mastermind behind the ER debacle. Their idea of television is "the next most shocking moment in television" and they feel they have to throw these things at us to keep us watching. News flash NBC, you don't. I looked forward to that show, actually both of those shows, every week, and that was before the "most shocking moment in television history" that happened every week, that was magically wrapped up by the first 20 minutes of the show and then on to the "next most shocking moment" set up for next week. I tuned in for the characters, the story lines, and the dialogs, that Sorkin was pretty much responsible for. It was smart humor that didn't insult my intelligence, but wasn't above me either. I loved Josh Lymon's come backs:

Donna: You're a powerful man.
Josh:(pause) Yes, thank you!

Donna: How did you know that?
Josh: Because I know everything

I loved Bartlett's strange sayings to the next visitor to the Oval who had no idea what he was talking about, because it was a joke about the previous event that the new visitor had no idea about.

Bartlett: We're getting high on lawn mower exhaust now[or something like that]
Fitzwallace: Are you guys getting strippers or something?

I know that the real White House is nothing like this, but it entertained me. The story lines where simple and easy to follow week to week. The very first episode dealt with the president falling off his bicycle, the latest "shocking moment" a nuclear reactor problem threatening to blow up half of San Diego. Come on, there is enough crap like that in the world that people are already living with this idiotic sense of fear, that's the last thing they need, more fear from their prime time line up.

So farewell West Wing, I'll miss the early years and I'll have my DVD's and Bravo to keep those memories alive. As for the "Post-Sorkin Era", you've got no one to blame but your producer. NBC do us a favor and kick this guy off your sets. That's two good shows he's ruined.