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October 17, 2005

Will Sorkin Save Us?

This strikes me as very important:

THEY'RE saying the President, spending inordinate time working on handling his multiple problems of Iraq, Supreme Court, Karl Rove, gas prices, sliding polls, economy, has begun rehearsing answers to questions that might come up at a press conference. More importantly, he's even watching reruns of "West Wing."

If Bush is really indulging in some season 1-4 West Wing, this whole administration could turn on a dime. All the rest of us watch the Bartlett years and quietly wonder if we could ever work in the White House. George W. Bush, on the other hand, can simply decide to become Jed Bartlett, to rise above these puny misanthropes critiquing his Court choice and join the pantheon of fictional, transcendentally high-minded leaders. Hey, beats indentured servitude to James Dobson.

October 17, 2005 in Bush the Man | Permalink

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» The West Wing from Minipundit
Two things. First of all, Matt's right - last night's episode made no sense whatsoever. Matt Santos - the Democratic nominee for president - basically said (this is my interpretation, as he was very confusing) that he believed in God, [Read More]

Tracked on Oct 17, 2005 8:56:02 PM

Comments

Have you rewatched those old Sorkin shows recently? They're infuriating. A debate opens up, staffer X takes the bold progressive side, staffer Y takes the weaselly compromising side, and at the end Bartlett grins, brings up some anecdote about Cincinnatus or the Pilgrims, says in effect "It's great that I have such bright people working on such important and thought-provoking issues!", and comes to no discernible decision whatsoever. Cue closing credits! Over the four Sorkin years, Bartlett appears to implement no actual progressive policies other than something vague involving mandatory minimums in season one. Any sane liberal in throwing distance would have to be restrained from braining the guy with a brick.

Posted by: Iron Lungfish | Oct 17, 2005 10:01:24 AM

There's also a possibility he may hurt himself walking really fast through the hallways of the White House.

Posted by: davey | Oct 17, 2005 10:48:42 AM

THEY'RE saying...

Well, if *THEY'RE* saying it, then it *must* be true!

Over the four Sorkin years, Bartlett appears to implement no actual progressive policies other than something vague involving mandatory minimums in season one.

"Left Wing" is an informercial for the Democratic party by the entertainment industry. They wish to win elections in the future. They don't put the crazies on TV.

Posted by: Fred Jones | Oct 17, 2005 10:52:06 AM

Is there an actual reason you spend this much time posting here, Fred?

Posted by: Iron Lungfish | Oct 17, 2005 11:26:56 AM

Yeah, I'll join you in hoping that he rises to Barlett-like standards, but I'm afraid that the only lesson he'll take from it is that we should assinate a member of the Kumarian royal family...and he'll spend hours looking for Kumar on a map.

And in the end, all that will happen is some guy on a BBC television show will get offed.

Posted by: DHinMI | Oct 17, 2005 11:31:52 AM

BTW, riffing off of Iron Lungfish's first comment, I think the last couple seasons are superior to the Sorkin years.

Posted by: DHinMI | Oct 17, 2005 11:33:31 AM

Should be interesting when he gets to the 2002 election debate. :D

Posted by: Royko | Oct 17, 2005 12:50:03 PM

Whoa! You think the post-Sorkin years are superior to the Sorkin years?

Really!?

Posted by: Ezra | Oct 17, 2005 1:10:47 PM

Banter and pacing in the Sorkin years was better. But why he copied from a scandal that the country tired of for an entertainment show was beyond me. I got SOOOOOO tired of the MS scandal. And under Sorkin I thought there were some absolutely embarassing moments concerning the Middle East, and on that subject they've been much more balanced since he left.

Also, it was like everything was frozen the first four years; no administration goes four years without major staff changes...um, well, Democratic administrations don't go four years with no major staff changes. I like that they shook up the roles, especially making CJ CoS.

Now, if only they could make the Josh character appear that his learning curve isn't flat...

Posted by: DHinMI | Oct 17, 2005 1:46:03 PM

Is there an actual reason you spend this much time posting here, Fred?

Entertainment, mostly. I also like to go to the zoo and tease the monkeys.

Posted by: Fred Jones | Oct 17, 2005 2:21:52 PM

Man, are all righties sadists when you get down to it, or just the ones that post online?

Posted by: Kimmitt | Oct 17, 2005 2:32:15 PM

I also like to go to the zoo and tease the monkeys.

Like seeks like.

Posted by: Iron Lungfish | Oct 17, 2005 3:50:41 PM

I like that they shook up the roles, especially making CJ CoS.

Yeah, because the policy lightweight press secretary was a great choice for running things in the situation room. In that sense at least, post-Sorkin West Wing continued its trend of aping the actual White House.

Posted by: Iron Lungfish | Oct 17, 2005 3:53:35 PM

I have to say that I actually enjoyed Season Six more than any other season. I don't think anyone can argue that Sorkin isn't the best writer the show every had, but when it comes to being new and fresh, especially in the dynamic between Josh and Santos, I don't think Sorkin could do that.

If you look at, say, The American President, Sorkin is good at writing about a progressive president overcoming scandal and overcoming his own political sense to achieve something greater than himself. That's what you saw Andew Shepherd, that what we saw in the first four seasons with Josiah Bartlett. That's not Matt Santos.

When Rob Lowe left, I naturally moved to Josh as my favorite character. I think he has grown quite a bit as a character. It doesn't hurt that Brad Whitford is pretty good actor. As for a learning curve, Bill Clinton decided to move the party to the center and won two elections by doing it. Yet, last week most of the party and the blogosphere was wrapped up in a discussion over if we need to move the party to the center. Talk about a flat learning curve.

The great thing about The West Wing is that it so mirrors real life politics. I think all us C-SPAN junkies can really appreciate it, so let's not squabble over whether post-Sorkin was worth watching or if Bartlett (a fictional president) is liberal enough. We should be attacking the real enemy: Geena Davis.

Posted by: Nate | Oct 17, 2005 9:42:35 PM

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