This week, The West Wing tells us: if the war between the Israelis and Palestinians doesn't kill us, the peace process will. As the DCist pointed out this time last week, the White House is still playing a fevered game of "Dude, Where's my Chief of Staff"--except this time, the results are tragic. Or at least tragic in the sense that we are treated to a death scene that is so over-the-top hack that it makes one yearn for those days when Wells would just drop a vengeful helicopter on you.
And speaking of hack: you have to wonder where the White House Staff who were brash idealists, hopeful and prone to taking risks, who were proud to "let Bartlet be Bartlet" and eager to "write a new book" have gone, and where did the callow, lifeless technocrats that have replaced them come from. TWW used to inspire a viewer to believe that public service was a place for inspiration and possibility. Now it's message seems to be: "Never doubt that a large group of dispirited cynics can keep the world exactly the way it is, indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."
And now, some questions for further study.
- Mary McCormack's bangs: they simply have to go! Is it just me or does her haircut make her face look like it's growing out of the back of a cocker spaniel's ass?
- During the rehearsals for the scene where the cast of The West Wing played The Baskbetball Game Upon Which the Fate of the Middle East would be Decided, what is your ballpark estimate for the cast's collective field goal percentage?
- A strange thing happened last night while I was watching the show. In this one scene, John Spencer walks into a kitchen area of Camp David and complained of having indigestion. Suddenly there was a knock at my door. At the door, I was greeted by a man from Western Union, who handed me a large box and said: "Here you go. I had to wait till just now to give it to you." When I opened the box, I discovered it was FULL of telegraphs! Did this happen to any of you?
- Wasn't the long montage of John Spencer walking through the woods and eventually dying of a heart attack, like, the most depressing REM video, ever?
- Wouldn't it have been awesome if the last shot had been of Zombie John Spencer picking himself up off the ground and beginning his season-long shamble back to Washington, culminating in a season finale where he avenges his death by slurping up Martin Sheen's brain?