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Monday, April 10, 2006

West Wing wind-down

While I spent some of this weekend trying to emphasize the "culture" rather than the "pop" (saw the Dada exhibit at the National Gallery which I highly recommend to those of you who will be in DC before May 19) I came back to myself on Sunday night in time for the West Wing. During this week's episode we finally got the outcome of the two-season-long election (no surprise that Santos won) and, very sadly, Leo's death. I know John Spencer actually died months ago, but the episode still made me sob.

This show is definitely ending well. I never fully gave up on the West Wing, I was too invested in the characters to give it up entirely, but there were definitely some dark years. The writers have pulled it together at the end to give the characters the send-off they deserve. Donna and Josh have finally tumbled into bed, and in a believable way, and all the characters are being used in ways that don't make them feel shoe-horned in, but do allow the viewers time to say good-bye. If you ever loved the West Wing, but haven't come back for the final season, you're really missing out.

ETA: According to this article the writers of the West Wing intended to have Vinick win the election until John Spencer died.



Blogger Isaac, your bartender said...

Let me second LH's comments regarding the West Wing, a fine show that has gone through peaks and valleys, but it is definitely ending on a high (and sad) note. Is it just me, or is it obvious that Santos is going to pick Vinick as his VP. It is almost a perfect ending as it fits in with the writers long held view of a nobler vision of politics. Both Santos and Vinick (and, of course, Bartlett) were too good to be true, and there is a logic in picking your opponent in a very close race, particularly considering that there are notdeep ideological differences between the two. It would never happen in the real world, but this is the West Wing.

4/10/2006 9:58 AM  
Blogger Bailey Quarters said...

I totally cried too. I thought the episode was really tense, and I was genuinely in doubt about how would win. Before they announced the show was ending, I was sure that Santos would win because otherwise they would have to replace the entire cast, or rename the show something like "The Think Tank," which doesn't have the same ring. But given that the show is not continuing, all bets are off.

Did anyone else find Santos's speech after Leo's death off-putting? And also the fact that he didn't mention Leo in his victory speech? It didn't ring true to me.

I always thought Dave Grohl was a republican. At least his dad is.

4/10/2006 10:48 AM  
Blogger Isaac, your bartender said...

1. Come on, it was obvious Santos would win.

2. Totally agree on both speeches. Very poorly done.

3. I think Grohl is a Dem.

4/10/2006 11:28 AM  
Blogger Laura Holt said...

The failure to mention Leo at all in the victory speech really bothered me, but I didn't find the first speech about Leo off-putting at all. It seemed like a realistic balancing act between acknowledging a horrible personal loss, and a loss to the campaign, while trying to remind voters, in the nicest way possible, that Santos still deserved their vote, which was something they had to do given the tightness of the race and the polls still being open. It was a terrible situation to be in, and I can't imagine a speech that would have accomplished those semi-incompatible goals without sounding a little weird. What about it bothered you?

4/10/2006 12:01 PM  
Blogger Bailey Quarters said...

Hmm. I can't remember exactly. I agree that he was in a tight spot, but I think it moved too quickly from acknolwedging Leo to saying still vote for me. I also think it had a line that was something like: "But this is not about Leo." Which, obviously is true, but oy.

4/10/2006 12:17 PM  

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