Category Archives: Television

The West Wing, Thank You…

After watching last Sunday’s episode of “The West Wing,” I realized that by the end of May, there will never be a new episode to look forward to.

 

It struck me harder than I thought it would.

 

For all its criticism of being a soapbox for liberal views, those pundits who called that out about the show missed the point. It isn’t a show to reflect your own personal political stand. This is the kind of rare television show that quickly proved TV can produce great art. Yet more importantly, “The West Wing” challenged its viewers to look at both sides proving politics, or even matters of the heart, aren’t clear-cut left or right or black or white issues. If anything the show got many to be interested in our very own real-world issues and to get involved.

 

 

So to “The West Wing,”

 

Thank you for teaching us that not everything is black and white, that there are grey areas and often there is no good choice.

Thank you for giving us a ‘secret plan to fight inflation.’

 

Thank you for raising the level of public debate.

Thank you for ‘decisions are made by those who show up.’

 

Thank you for Big Block of Cheese Days, complete with lunatic mapmakers and wolves named Pluie.

Thank you for showing the entertainment industry that just because a show is popular, doesn’t mean it has to appeal to the lowest common denomenator.

 

Thank you for Josh Lyman, who will always be an inpiration to me, proving that despite the tremendous stress hanging over your shoulders you can never be too smart, too clever or too witty.

 

Thank you for CJ Cregg who showed us that a truly exceptional woman can be tough, fair and funny all at once.

 

Thank you for Toby Ziegler who has the capacity to love no matter what he may think, who was the one person who had the courage to speak up for the point of view that few others had the courage to voice, and in a way that few had the gift to articulate.

 

Thank you for President Bartlet, his passion and drive, who showed us how a Presidency could be run if those in the Oval put Country before popularity.

 

Thanks for Leo McGarry, for his uncompromising wisdom, and redefining what a friend truly is and should be.

 

Thank you for Sam, Donna, Mrs. Landingham, Mrs. Bartlet, Fitz, Nancy, Debbie, Charlie, and yes, even Kate. Thanks for Will, Carol, Ginger, Bonnie, Ed and Larry. Thanks for President-Elect Matthew Santos.

 

Thank you for giving me a springboard from which to start writing again. Thank you for teaching me what good writing sounds like when it dances off the page.

 

Thanks for electrifying my creativity when it needed a jumpstart.

 

Thank you for teaching us that complexity isn’t a vice. That actions are immoral, but opinions aren’t.

For being a comfort to your friends in times of tragedy and celebrating with them in times of triumph.

 

Thank you for making me laugh.

Thank you for making me cry.

Thank you for making me think.

Thank you for inspiring me to always be the better person.

 

What’s next?

Mr. McGarry, You’ll Be Missed

 

In Loving Memory of John Spencer
20 December 1946 – 16 December 2005

 

“This guy’s walking down the street when he falls in a hole. The walls are so steep he can’t get out. A doctor passes by and the guy shouts up, ‘Hey you. Can you help me out?’ The doctor writes a prescription, throws it down in the hole and moves on. Then a priest comes along and the guy shouts up, ‘Father, I’m down in this hole can you help me out?’ The priest writes out a prayer, throws it down in the hole and moves on. Then a friend walks by, ‘Hey, Joe, it’s me can you help me out?’ And the friend jumps in the hole. Our guy says, ‘Are you stupid? Now we’re both down here.’ The friend says, ‘Yeah, but I’ve been down here before and I know the way out.’ “

 

~ Leo McGarry (John Spencer) from “The West Wing”