Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Vacating The West Wing

After 156 episodes and 9 months of devotional watching, Sky Atlantic’s marathon re-run of The West Wing wrapped up yesterday evening, and how I wished the series has done an FDR and ran for another term. The final episode to my relief avoided a big show of sentimentality in favor of a quiet and dignified finale. I resolved to keep my emotions in check, but in the scene where President Bartlet said his goodbyes to Charlie Young, the dam inevitably broke. The series exists now as one nebulous whole, and it's difficult to pick out favourite episodes, but some highlights along the way: Season’s 2’s “In The Shadow Of Two Gunmen” when Bartlet and Deputy Chief of Staff Josh Lymon were fighting for their lives after an assassination attempt; the “Two Cathedrals” episode where Bartlet rails against God, in Latin no less, following the funeral service of his secretary; John Goodman’s bullish Speaker of the House stepping in as acting President in Season 4 episode “Twenty Five”; the Middle East peace summit of Season 6 episode “The Birnam Wood” in which Chief of Staff Leo McGarry is iced out of the inner circle and suffers a heart attack. So many hours of electrifying television. Incidentally, I never cared for Snuffy Walden’s bouncy West Wing end credit theme music so I rounded out last night’s screening with something fittingly majestic, from the soundtrack of Michael Mann’s Heat

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