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Title: West Wing
Description: RIP

troy - May 10, 2006 12:37 AM (GMT)
Well, the retrospective is officially dead:

NBC is a bunch of cheap bastards

Holland Oates - May 10, 2006 12:54 AM (GMT)
Between this and the crappy John Spencer send-off, a black eye in the show's final season. Hopefully they pull off a great finale, but their recent track record doesn't give me much hope.

troy - May 10, 2006 01:21 AM (GMT)
I agree. Some people liked the Spencer episode; I thought it blew. It actually helps me, my feeling that two out of three episodes are poorly written and saved only by the acting. I don't get as mad at the developments I think are ridiculous, like the Toby thing, and I won't get mad if all the story lines are not wrapped up (like Toby's). It's like fan fiction written by someone rich enough to actually produce the episodes he wrote. Doesn't make it the West Wing.

Joe - May 10, 2006 03:10 AM (GMT)
Just a thought, but I think an interesting conclusion would be to show everyone ten years from now. I think it would be more interesting to see that rather than what I expect will be a pretty bland Inauguration Day.

Incidentally in 1989 I joined the masses attending Bush's inauguration. I'm no fan of Bush but it was an interesting experience that I would encourage anyone to do at least once.

Sully - May 10, 2006 01:01 PM (GMT)
First off, seeing a West Wing thread this morning, well, I can't even properly explain. Sure, the finale is five days away, but I have a West Wing thread on my message board. How freaking cool is that?

OK, what NBC and Wells have done to this show is sad. Overall, I must say, this wasn't a bad season. I liked how Election Day was handled, but the following episode, Leo's funeral, was a waste. The crap about him telling people lies all the time was completely out of character, too.

I have low expectations for this week. Wells himself wrote it. Deborah Cahn wrote last week's, which in many ways I didn't mind. I really don't care if Josh and Donna end up together, this show was certainly never about romance for me, I hate that crap in TV and movies, but I'd like to see a few final scenes between the old crew, maybe one last Oval Office send off with Sam, Toby, Josh and CJ, as the President tells Toby he's giving him a pardon.

Joe -- They kind of did that in the season-opener, when they're at the opening of Bartlet's library two, three years from now.

troy - May 10, 2006 01:10 PM (GMT)
I wouldn't be dreading the Wells-penned finale, for the reason I mentioned above, except for last week's episode, where they rushed through so much just to try to get everything resolved.

I'm setting my standards low. I'll be happy to see everyone and hopefully resolve the shuttle leak story.

Holland Oates - May 10, 2006 02:48 PM (GMT)
Seems odd that everybody getting laid has been part of the show in the last few episodes. There was always the sexual tension between Josh/Donna and CJ/Danny, but it is a drastic move to see them in bed together. Plus Will's relationshp with what's her name.

I don't have a problem with any of it, it just seems strange to have it all in the last few weeks after nothing in all the previous years.

troy - May 10, 2006 02:51 PM (GMT)
Sorkin has said he doesn't do that stuff well. But Wells, with the series cancelled, clearly wanted to give the viewership what he believed it wanted. He just wasn't very subtle about it.

Do you ever check out the boards at televisionwithoutpity? There are a LOT of people who were totally fulfilled about Josh and Donna hooking up, and couldn't care less who wrote it and how realistic it seemed.

Joe - May 10, 2006 04:56 PM (GMT)
Sheriff - Yeah, they could just expand on that episode a bit.

Oh, regarding the stuff they said about Leo, I've been wondering if the lies "Leo" would tell were actually stuff that John Spencer would do and if it was meant as an homage to Spencer.

BobP - May 10, 2006 05:30 PM (GMT)
Please let the ned with one last Bartlett being Bartlett moment and have him pardon Toby..

troy - May 11, 2006 12:54 AM (GMT)
Cast on Ellen DeGeneres show on Thursday. 10 a.m. here in New York.

Sully - May 11, 2006 10:37 PM (GMT)
First off, Ellen has the interview skills of this kid in my special needs preschool who would poop himself twice a day and we were only there four or five hours. He spoke like twice the entire year, once to inform me, "I pooped, you pooped, poop, poop."

I cried for two hours.

Anyway, the show sucked donkey's ears. Nice to see them I guess, cool retrospect to John Spencer with the guy in the hole, but Ellen just annoyed me too much and didn't ask any relavent questions. How do these people get talk shows? Shouldn't talk shows have something to do with being able to, I don't know, TALK TO OTHER PEOPLE.

First NBC pulls the hour-long retrospect Sunday, now this crap. And I've convinced myself Sunday's show is going to be a huge letdown, too.

"I pooped, you pooped, poop, poop."

troy - May 12, 2006 03:17 PM (GMT)
Wow. I actually liked it, Sull. I agree that Ellen is lame, which is weird, because I think she used to be funny, or I thought she was funny. But I liked hearing how Dule Hill actually speaks, since his character has that kind of halting delivery. And the John Spencer thing teared me up. In fact, I think it started driving home to me, finally, that it's all over, and that it meant more to me than I'd thought; when they showed the knife clip between Charlie and the President (which of course I've seen a few times), I had to stop myself from breaking down and bawling. Weird.

Joe - May 12, 2006 03:53 PM (GMT)
From today's Globe if you haven't read it. Fairly interesting...

troy - May 12, 2006 04:24 PM (GMT)
Very. I liked its tracing of the show's arc, but disagree about this season being one of the best. The current writers, although not all bad, can't stand up to Sorkin's legacy.

What was so great about the show before was its density. People had discussions about aspects of the Sorkin episodes that I never even noticed; I had only gotten the surface drama and the wordplay. Maybe you have to watch the episodes a few times before you totally get them. That contrasts so deeply for me with the Kazakhstan plotline this year. Santos went behind Bartlet's back and criticized our presence there so that he could bluff that we'd stay there after he took office WHAT? Who? Before, I couldn't even figure the plots out. Now, they hit us over the head with one big dumb plot that doesn't even make any sense.

I also was interested to see Gilbert, the piece's writer, join the 'too preachy' chorus regarding the Sept. 11 episode. I saw it a couple of years ago, not when it aired, and liked it then. I would think that three weeks after the attacks, that episode probably said some things that really needed saying right around then.

troy - May 12, 2006 05:06 PM (GMT)
So now I'm in a West Wingy sort of mood, and so have poached two good links from the twop board:

Bartlet was Kennedy and begat Stephen Colbert, eh?


Sully - May 12, 2006 07:16 PM (GMT)
Thanks for the links Troy, I enjoyed them both.

troy - May 14, 2006 02:22 AM (GMT)
OK, I have completed my experiment.

Methodology: Drink many beers and then watch the same West Wing episode that you thought was lame a week ago.

Results: I should have been doing this all along. I don't know if it was the Smithwick's or the watching a second time, but this episode was excellent! I feel like Kevin Nealon. "Forget all that other stuff I was saying about the dialogue seeming forced and trite; I don't know what I was thinking. No, what I meant was ..." Debra Cahn can really write, as in like Sorkin-caliber. The billionaire guy's line about how once he makes a certain amount, if he keeps it he starts seeming impolite was vintage. I still have these deep-seated suspicions that I've just drunk the Kool-Aid along with the Smittys, and that it's the actors who are selling mediocre writing, but I really liked all of the dialogue. And Allison Janney; man. C.J. still is far from my favorite character, but that woman is like a world-class actor. I still wish Toby had been a bit more dynamic; he was a bit too whispery for me. But even that scene didn't seem as awkward once I knew it was coming. He seemed to be coming on to C.J. on first viewing, but the scene played pretty naturally this time. I fear he won't be in tomorrow night's episode. By the way, there's a guy on my train to work sometimes who looks just like him, and I think he lives near me, and last I heard he was in a play down in Jersey, so he could conceivably be taking the train to Grand Central and getting to Penn Station to go down to New Brunswick, but I don't think so.

Join me tomorrow, when I down a fifth of Everclear and review the latest episode of Trading Spaces.

Myron Bolitar - May 14, 2006 04:32 PM (GMT)
First of all, I have been a huge fan of the WW since it's debut. However, the show started to go off the track once Sorkin left the show due to his drug problems.

But, the last 2 seasons have been tremndous. Although, the heavly hyped LIVE debate episode was terrible. Anytime a TV show does a LIVE show it never lives up to expecatations. We the viewer are essentially in NASCAR mode - just waiting for a car rash or someone to F' up. Since I abhor NASCAR it's no surprise that Live TV episodes are far down on my "Must See TV".

One other item of note, the COS of the White House would never be asked to join the next Presidential Adminisration. Maybe she could join the team in their 2nd term, but never immediatley following her 8 years in the White House.

Jill D - May 14, 2006 04:41 PM (GMT)
Hey Myron great handle, you are an excellent character. Can't wait to get my hands on the new book. Are you actually a Sox fan? Seems strange for a Jersey guy, although you were a Celtic.

troy - May 15, 2006 12:16 AM (GMT)
HAV-ER-HILL? Are you @#%^@#ing @#^%@#ing me? I missed like 30 seconds of dialog after they butchered that.

BobP - May 15, 2006 08:09 PM (GMT)
You buthcer Haverhill and Barlett goes off. Watching the first show made me realize how great it was and how far we had gone. I will miss it but all good thing s must come to an end.
By the way the best Sorkin show was Sports Night.....

troy - May 15, 2006 08:14 PM (GMT)
Couldn't stay with it. Wanted to, but I didn't really like any of the characters except (possibly) Natalie.

Joe - May 15, 2006 08:17 PM (GMT)

Never understood the venom towards Sports Night in some corners. I liked it. Could've been better, but I liked it.

Myron Bolitar - May 15, 2006 10:59 PM (GMT)

Although I played only one season in Boston, the city has always stuck with me. The answer to your question on the Sox is a resounding yes!

troy - May 16, 2006 06:52 PM (GMT)

troy - May 16, 2006 07:05 PM (GMT)

troy - May 21, 2006 11:25 AM (GMT)
Current voting on twop, Hottest West Wing female:

Donna - 41%

C.J. - 36%

Helen - 6%

Annabeth - 6%

Kate - 5%

Abbey - 3%

Lou - 1%

Ronna - 1%

Margaret - 1%

Debbie - 0%

I mean, no! And no! Right?

Sully - May 21, 2006 01:45 PM (GMT)
Huh Troy? Are you saying CJ is better looking than Donna? I'll take Donna, although none of them really thrill me. Teri Polo isn't bad looking, no great shakes, but not bad.

Who the hell voted for Abbey, isn't she like 60? Thing is, she was better looking in the West Wing than Grease.

troy - May 21, 2006 02:26 PM (GMT)
No big guy, I am saying that neither Donna nor C.J. is in the top two. I'm pretty sure it goes Kate, Annabeth (more the actress than the character, if you saw the FHM photos), and then maybe, under certain circumstances, probably involving alcohol and dim lighting, Donna.

Donna looks like a white Ethiopian. She looks gaunt and haunted, which makes her like near-suicidal.

Actually, it goes Annabeth, Kate:

Yes, please.

Jill D - May 21, 2006 02:32 PM (GMT)
Troy, let's be even-handed here. Is there a poll about the guys? My vote would be Jimmy Smits. While there are others among them I would like to meet, all things being equal, none of them qualifies as a "hottie"

Sully - May 21, 2006 02:33 PM (GMT)
You think Kate is attractive? To be, she's very average and I'm not a fan of whatever that thing is on her face.

Decent pictures, then again, FHM uses enough fake tan, airbrush that I could look like, well, I don't know, someone else that's not overweight.

I agree on Donna, though. I have a feeling we might not be seeing her again, she found her perfect role, hopefully made some decent dough off it. Maybe a few TV movies, Lifetime crap.

troy - May 21, 2006 05:10 PM (GMT)
I'm pretty sure she's that hot.

Have you seen Mary McCormack in other roles? She was Howard Stern's movie wife, and she was fairly hot in that.


Josh - 44%

Sam - 24%

Charlie - 10%

Santos - 7%

Bram - 5%

Leo - 4%

Jed - 2%

Will - 1%

Otto - 1%

Vinick - 1%

_ _ _

I voted for Sam. I can't believe Josh won. You honestly aren't attracted to Rob Lowe?

Jill D - May 21, 2006 05:17 PM (GMT)
Troy, I forgot about Sam, you know out of sight out of mind. THanks for the info

Sully - May 21, 2006 05:57 PM (GMT)
Troy, you're kidding right about voting for Sam? I mean, that's kind of weird, right? Maybe the Rev could offer some insight, but ...

(Rev -- Hope we know each other well enough now, at least through the site, that that joke wasn't insensitive.)

troy - May 21, 2006 06:10 PM (GMT)
Sheriff: You're married now. No one thinks you're gay anymore. It's OK to admit you think one of them isn't ugly. The question is Who is the hottest, not Which one do you want to have sex with.

Rev could provide insight on both sides of the coin. Actually, I wish Rev were gay instead of bi, because my theory is that it's women and gay men who think C.J. is attractive. The guy who recapped most of the last couple of years of episodes at twop is gay, and he included the sentence "God, Allison Janney is beautiful" in his review for the last ep.

Joe - May 21, 2006 07:26 PM (GMT)
Alison Janney has that "classic" beauty look. She's not a girl you'd look at and say "wow" but she's just got a classy, dignified look to her.

troy - May 21, 2006 07:30 PM (GMT)
OK, maybe I'm shallow here, but I'm talking beatiful in terms of visceral physical appearance here. You can be sexy without being beautiful, cute without being beautiful, even pretty without being beautiful, and certainly classified without being beautiful. Mother Teresa may have been a beautiful person, but I'm not voting for her in the West Wing poll. I know it's all subjective anyway, so I have little shame saying I don't find Janney beautiful. Can act the ass off a scene, though.

Sully - May 21, 2006 09:08 PM (GMT)
My wife and I were talking about this over lunch. I think CJ peaked, looks wise, in Season 3, but I agree 100 percent, that being sexy has to do with personality as much as looks. From all accounts, CJ flirted non-stop with every guy on the set, and they all love her as a person. Seems like a cool female to hang out with.

Half of my issues with girls in high school/college, is that the supposed good-looking ones were fake as a used car salesman. You know, the ones who hug everyone. I was never into the hugging thing, shake hands with a guy and just say, "What's up" to girls. I hate the hug. I hug my mother, my grandmother, I don't want to hug some bitch for no reason.

-BB- - May 21, 2006 09:20 PM (GMT)
Hey, my father-in-law is a used car salesman. I knew there was something about him I .didn't like. BB is a hugger, nothing phony about it, just a way of saying I've evolved just a tad past a father who can't show his emotions. Love my Dad, respect and admire him, but pity the fact that he grew up in an environment where it was not proper to show emotion

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