For the past couple of weeks, Garry and I have been watching (again) all 7 seasons of “The West Wing.” Aside from being a brilliantly written show, it clarifies where we are as a nation. That we are fighting exactly the same battles today we were battling 10 years ago. They are using the same words on the show we are using now. They are fighting the same “refusnik” Senate we have been fighting. Maybe it’s worse now, but it was not much better then.

As you watch the show, it produces a lot of responses:

  1. Realizing there were actually some good television shows with great dialog.
  2. Recognizing the mistakes Democrats made, mostly by trying to be everything to everybody and never being themselves.
  3. Failing to recognize issues which needed to wait until another day would become life and death issues in less than a decade. For example, all those environmental issues they ignored or avoided because it would anger contributors or Republicans or their own members.
  4. Never really confronting the gun issue or immigration.
  5. Often doing half a job and never completely dealing with major issues.

The show is so well written that you see how and why they fail and why even the successes aren’t really successful, how many bills were essentially toothless.

Middle of the road is not a safe place to drive and this show has a liberal president who is essentially afraid to be the liberal he really is. He’s always trying to placate someone and the results leave you wondering if he really accomplished anything. When you drive in the middle of the road, you are very likely to crash into another car or truck or pedestrian.

The show is so well written you feel as if you are actually participating in a government. Our government. Because whatever is wrong with their televised version of “The West Wing,” it is a government. They try very hard to do the right thing. Even though they often don’t get where they should go, they do the best they can. They work very hard. Win, lose, or partly succeed, it was a government, though I think people on it were a bit more clever and witty than they are in real life.

It’s playing continuously on Netflix. These days, because we have been down the Obama and now the Trump path, we know where those decisions lead and why it wasn’t the right way to go. We watched the whole series during the last few weeks and when we ran out of shows, we decided to watch it again. It fills a gap in our lives. It makes us feel that somewhere in the ether, a better government awaits us.

Categories: climate change, Economics, Election, Government, Marilyn Armstrong, Television Review

Tags: , , , , ,

25 replies

  1. Very interesting “dissection” and conclusions. I loved it very much, great acting, it felt REAL. Whereas what I hear now, sound fake, because all this CANNOT BE REAL, can it?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I can’t watch The West Wing anymore. Watching it just reminds me of how totally screwed up our current political situation is and that depresses me.


  3. Wonderful show! Right now, I would take Martin Sheen as our real president or almost any other star who has played POTUS in movies or TV…or an understudy…or the camera crew…or…

    Liked by 2 people

  4. it sounds like a good series, Marilyn.
    I don’t think we get it here.


  5. I love the West Wing too and would happily watch it all again for the third or fourth time if any channel I subscribe to was running it at present. I know one of them will sooner or later. I realise it is fictional but a lot of what I understand about the way your government works comes from watching it.
    I did feel that they didn’t achieve everything they wanted because of the fear of upsetting people or just not being able to get things through.
    There was some great acting in that show though. Really likeable characters and sometimes it was very funny too, especially in the earlier seasons. Those are the best shows, the ones that make you laugh, sometimes make you cry and make you think.

    Liked by 1 person

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