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Small Talk: The Mess

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The Small Talk topic is for:

 

  • Introductions
  • Off-topic chatter
  • Having virtual tea with forum buddies

 

This is NOT a topic for actual show discussion. When you want to talk about the show:

 

  1. Figure out the nature of the topic you want to talk about
  2. Look for an existing topic that matches or fits
  3. If there is NOT an existing topic that fits, CREATE ONE!

 

Examples of topics that populate show forums include (but by no means are limited to):

 

  • Character topics
  • Episode topics
  • Season topics
  • Spoiler topics
  • Speculation topics
  • In the Media topics
  • Favourite X topics
  • ...you get the idea

 

Happy trails beyond Small Talk!

Edited by BizBuzz · Reason: Updating Small Talk

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turnitwayup, I'm going to move the most recent posts into the General Discussion thread. Hope that helps out!

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I think this maybe goes here. If not, apologies. I didn't think it was necessarily appropriate for the Josh Lyman thread since it has to do with work Brad did after The West Wing (& should, therefore, be off-topic for the forum, if not that thread, anyway). Anyway...

According to a recent post on the tvshowsondvd.com website, amazon.com is now (FINALLY) selling DVDs (produced through their Create A Space program) for the 1 & only season of The Good Guys. If you forget, that's the comedic cop show Brad did, with Tom Hanks' son Colin & Diana Maria Riva (Santos campaign staffer Edie Ortega in TWW S6-7; she also appeared in Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip with Brad), among others, which aired 21 eps on Fox the season after Studio 60 crashed & burned (I think)--if it wasn't then, it was on during the TV season after Brad & Jane Kaczmarek's divorce was announced (that, I'm positive of--not so much if it was the season after Studio 60 or not). In the show, Brad & Colin were cop partners; Colin was a by the book "Joe Friday" type, while Brad's character loved hard rock music, was usually drunk on the job & bumbled his way through solving the crime of the week as a result, & Diana Maria played the Lieutenant who was their boss.

If you're interested, the few details that are available on these DVDs can be found here:

http://www.tvshowsondvd.com/news/Good-Guys-Season-1/20444

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I think we should change this title to "the Mess" which is what they called it in the West Wing not the Commissary, but that is just my opinion.

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I think we should change this title to "the Mess" which is what they called it in the West Wing not the Commissary, but that is just my opinion.

I actually agree with you. It is called the Mess (from Mess Hall) in the White House, so Mess is more appropriate than Commissary. I think there's a place where we can request changes, new forums, etc. If I find it again, & remember, I'll write a post asking about the change.

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I actually agree with you. It is called the Mess (from Mess Hall) in the White House, so Mess is more appropriate than Commissary. I think there's a place where we can request changes, new forums, etc. If I find it again, & remember, I'll write a post asking about the change.

Thanks, I wasn't sure where to do it either.

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I think we should change this title to "the Mess" which is what they called it in the West Wing not the Commissary, but that is just my opinion.

 

 

I actually agree with you. It is called the Mess (from Mess Hall) in the White House, so Mess is more appropriate than Commissary. I think there's a place where we can request changes, new forums, etc. If I find it again, & remember, I'll write a post asking about the change.

 

 

Thanks, I wasn't sure where to do it either.

 

Your wish(es) is my command!

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If we're listing all the food that ever appeared in TWW, please include a pot of chili and a five-gallon tub of ice cream with two spoons.

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My favorite:

 

AINSLEY: Because it's humiliating! A new amendment that we vote on, declaring that I am equal under the law to a man. I am mortified to discover there's reason to believe I wasn't before. I am a citizen of this country. I am not a special subset in need of your protection. I do not have to have to have my rights handed down to me by a bunch of old, white men. The same Article 14 that protects you, protects me. And I went to law school just to make sure. And with that, I'm going back down to the mess, because I thought I may have seen, there, a peach.

 

 

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Don't forget all those foods President Bartlet would list as being served at various White House dinners/banquets &, as I remember, at that big bash for 1 of Abbey's birthdays--the 1 where (I think) Lord John Marbury kept asking if he could grasp Abbey's breasts & (I also think) Donna was thought/discovered to be Canadian & not allowed to attend the dinner for some reason connected to that. Unfortunately, I think the only food I can remember Jed mentioning was chèvre (cheese).

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Oh yes, the getting drunk with the First Lady scene is one of my favs.  CJ going on because she doesn't even have a cat, Donna totally stepping over the line with Abby and the Canadian National Anthem and Abby calling Jed Jethro....another of my favs.

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The night the Jed talked to Leo about how he made a deal with Abbey for only one term?  Abbey was supposed to be there, so the table was set up all romantic like and Jed says to Leo, we will just pretend there is no candlelight, and Leo and that we aren't homophobes in anyway.  HA!  Jed said the chef was serving saffron chicken and some dessert called tomate du saltambique.  Seriously, anytime Jed told me what was on the dinner menu, I wanted it right then and there.

 

When you get that calorie count, can you email it to every single person on the Internet?  I'm sure that will work out ok.

 

But wouldn't I get accused of being a hacker, and all these emails will be going back and forth and back and forth at sub atomic speed.

 

Oh wait, I passed the point where you were interested haven't I?

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This has been fun, for sure ...

 

So then, answer me this ... why is it that when I saw this

 

I think I'm in love with all of you.

 

that the first West Wing quote that came to my head was:

 

There's literally no one in the world that I don't hate right now.

 

Gotta love Toby.

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Here I am, eating this salad, which, by the way, you could cover this thing in barbecue sauce and it still tastes like the ground, and I'm getting heckled from the gallery!

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Sorry for changing the topic, none of you have fries to steal. This could have gone to the Newsroom forum but it is relevant to West Wing as well, and since I no longer watch Newsroom, I thought I'd share it here. 

 

What do you guys think about Aaron Sorkin saying he's leaving TV, that he's had more failures than successes? Is the self-deprecation a manipulative move to stem the overwhelming criticism of Newsroom in its finale season?

 

"I've had much more failure, as traditionally measured, than success in television," Sorkin said. "I've done four shows and only one of them was The West Wing." Link

 

 

He made an admission without really making an admission. He's not been unsuccessful, but he has been according to tradition. 

 

I don't know if it's lessened but reviews were brutal when I was still paying attention. The show was so bad I stopped watching midway through season 2, so while I don't disagree with the criticism, I felt it was a tad harsher than it ought to be. It is not the worst show airing by any means, I reserve that spot to Homeland.

 

I've only watched West Wing and the first season of Newsroom so I am not a good judge of his work in television. I was astound that the same guy who gave us the main characters of West Wing is behind The Newsroom. Maggie and Mac got the most criticism but their extreme awfulness served as a camouflage for the other lazily drawn characters. You can't hide terribly drawn characters behind sexy times. Sloan is tooted as this able woman because she what? Has a mean left hook and wears peer suits? Oh she also has the PhDs that on paper should make her this capable woman but is the character multi-layered? No, what you see is what you get.  Don was an awful boyfriend to Maggie but that is okay because he and Sloan have chemistry, and Maggie just suck ass so he was in love with Sloan within months. Like, where is the development?  But it makes fans happy and lord knows he needs some positive feedback. Mac, the supposed award winning journalist became a shrew when you throw her in her work environment, the place she is suppose to excel at. I am not sure even Allison Janny could make that character work. It is like AS went out of his way to make her caricature. 

 

I kept an open mind going in. Hell, I was freaking psyched that the man who created my favorite show of all time has a show on a network that was more creatively lenient. That they wouldn't keep him on a short leash like he was on NBC.

 

I finally came to the conclusion that Aaron Sorkin wasn't behind the success of West Wing. It was his conception but he didn't create it. Not alone anyway, he was only one of the many who made the concept a reality.  It was him, John Wells who is given little to no credit by critics and fans alike, and maybe more importantly, it to was the credit of a group of talented actors who made West Wing. 

 

Sorkin may be good at writing snappy dialog but he needs a cast who can deliver in a manner than it not off putting. One of my favorite scenes of West Wing was Jed's first appearance in the pilot. My God, I wanted to get and cheer. I am not sure I would've felt the same if the delivery was by someone other than Martin Sheen. AS needs a partner to help develop characters he creates. That is where Wells come in as was evidence in the back 3 seasons. Aside from the co-creators, AS had a Deborah Cahn who knew the characters in and out on his staff. Breakdown writers like her gave the characters he created more depth. He also had Wells who I thought was responsible for most of the character evolvement we saw before Sorkin bailed. 

 

In short, I am not taking credit from him at all, but it took a village to make West Wing the success it was. If he wants another successful Television show, he has to put together a team that can work together to make it succesful. He shouldn't beat himself up over it, a creator/writer alone can't get the job done.

Edited by Deputy Deputy CoS
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I, too, only lasted partway into Season 2 of Newsroom. I found nearly all the characters unwatchably horrible, especially Maggie and Mac.  I never saw any improvement. The sanctimony, the incompetence, it was just horrible. And I was pretty excited, considering the creator of West Wing had gotten his hands on Sam Waterston, star of my dearly loved L&O.

 

Unlike you, I've watched all of Sports Night and all of Studio 60. I watched Sports Night years after it aired, on Netflix, and I think it was a good show that just wasn't a hit. A friend of mine loves it to pieces, and rewatches it the way I do WW.  I watched it once, enjoyed it well enough, and that was that. Studio 60 started really rough despite an outstanding cast, and forgot to be funny on a show about SNL. I watched 2 or 3 episodes live before I abandoned it, and when I went back to complete the series after it had been canceled, I was surprised how much I didn't hate it. It did improve, just not a quickly as it needed to.  Had that been the show he was doing on HBO, I think things would have gone differently - given a season 2, it might have continued to correct its flaws.  It's hard to have a hit show right from the off.

 

All of that said, I think Aaron Sorkin is a troubled egomaniac, and his quote feels like whining to me.

Edited by aethera
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Season 2 of The Newsroom was bad, but not horrible.  I rewatched it before Season 3 started, and liked it better when watched in a binge.  That was because the season was much more plot driven than character driven and the plot only was interesting if you remembered everything from every prior show in the season.  Season 3 is back to character driven and it's much better.

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Sorkin may be good at writing snappy dialog but he needs a cast who can deliver in a manner than it not off putting. One of my favorite scenes of West Wing was Jed's first appearance in the pilot. My God, I wanted to get and cheer. I am not sure I would've felt the same if the delivery was by someone other than Martin Sheen. AS needs a partner to help develop characters he creates. That is where Wells come in as was evidence in the back 3 seasons. Aside from the co-creators, AS had a Deborah Cahn who knew the characters in and out on his staff. Breakdown writers like her gave the characters he created more depth. He also had Wells who I thought was responsible for most of the character evolvement we saw before Sorkin bailed.

 

I absolutely agree that the actors incredible ability to deliver that dialogue was a MAJOR (if not THE major) reason for the success, but I think you left out on of the most important players in the greatness that was the first 4 seasons-the steady hand of Tommy Schlamme, who also directed many of the best Sports Night episodes-he was responsible for oh, the Pilot, What Kind of Day Has it Been, ITSOTG (I and II) etc.... and was another producer when he was not behind the camera. Wells was always given short shrift but he was central to getting the show made to begin with and keeping it going when Sorkin got into trouble with the network. 

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Here's an article about Republicans using Twitter to get around campaign finance laws.  

 

http://www.cnn.com/2014/11/17/politics/twitter-republicans-outside-groups/

 

The West Wing connection is:  

 

One Twitter account was named after Bruno Gianelli, a fictional character in The West Wing who pressed his colleagues to use ethically questionable "soft money" to fund campaigns.

 

A snippet of the show appears at 1:02 of the included video, wherein Bruno says "Well zippidee-doo-dah, Sam".  

 

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I absolutely agree that the actors incredible ability to deliver that dialogue was a MAJOR (if not THE major) reason for the success, but I think you left out on of the most important players in the greatness that was the first 4 seasons-the steady hand of Tommy Schlamme, who also directed many of the best Sports Night episodes-he was responsible for oh, the Pilot, What Kind of Day Has it Been, ITSOTG (I and II) etc.... and was another producer when he was not behind the camera. Wells was always given short shrift but he was central to getting the show made to begin with and keeping it going when Sorkin got into trouble with the network. 

 

How could I forget him.

 

I think the most remarkable episode he produced was 17 People. They made the budget constriction work in their favor. I didn't know it was because there couldn't be more lightening due to the lack of funds. I loved the ambience. The low lightening, the small amount of actors used made it the only intimate episode of West Wing. 

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How could I forget him.

 

I think the most remarkable episode he produced was 17 People. They made the budget constriction work in their favor. I didn't know it was because there couldn't be more lightening due to the lack of funds. I loved the ambience. The low lightening, the small amount of actors used made it the only intimate episode of West Wing. 

 

I have been enjoying the conversation about Sorkin and writing and such, I haven't been able to contribute because my time is very limited due to an offline project, however, I wanted to thank you for this snippet of information.  Never knew that about this episode.

 

17 People is in my top five fave of all episodes of The West Wing.  My top five bounces around a lot, but it's always the same five.

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17 People is not on my Top 5 List....actually, I only have a Top 10 List since I can barely limit it to 10 and my head might explode limiting it to 5 (i.e. would ITSOTG count as 1 or 2 episodes etc...), but it is admittedly a great episode. I was going to go back and read the great recap at TWOP, but that website is all kinds of messed up and I can't get past the first page of any recap-still a really good first page.

But all you 17 People fans will enjoy this

http://seventeenpeople.com/

 

ETA: Yes, in the last hour I did feel the need to come up with a My Favorites/Top Ten List, but could barely do it by counting the double episodes as 1 episode.

Edited by AriAu
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17 People is not on my Top 5 List....actually, I only have a Top 10 List since I can barely limit it to 10 and my head might explode limiting it to 5 (i.e. would ITSOTG count as 1 or 2 episodes etc...), but it is admittedly a great episode. I was going to go back and read the great recap at TWOP, but that website is all kinds of messed up and I can't get past the first page of any recap-still a really good first page.

But all you 17 People fans will enjoy this

http://seventeenpeople.com/

 

ETA: Yes, in the last hour I did feel the need to come up with a My Favorites/Top Ten List, but could barely do it by counting the double episodes as 1 episode.

well now that was a delight. I'm going to have to go home tonight and watch!

 

Mine  - in no order because as you say, who can choose: ITSOTG 1&2. 17 people. The Supremes. Shibboleth. The Pilot. Two Cathedrals. let bartlet be Bartlet. The Hubbert Peak, strictly for ""Plus, I've got that, you know, boyish thing.""

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