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Josh Lyman: He Wants to Mock People

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Oh Josh, him and his "New York" sense of humor.

To be honest, I preferred Josh to Sam as a "protagonist growing up on the show" because there was something more... real to him.  That included real buffoonery at times, of course.  But he had an emotional timbre that came from a deeper place; perhaps he had more relevant connections to the other staffers.

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One of my least favorite characters.  Not a fan of the way he treated people and good lord, the guy handled romantic situations with about as much maturity as a middle schooler.  

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One of my least favorite characters.  Not a fan of the way he treated people and good lord, the guy handled romantic situations with about as much maturity as a middle schooler.  

I have to agree there. He was funny, and I liked him, but less than the rest of the principle cast. I just found him overbearing and condescending (which he was supposed to be, I suppose) too often. And I resented the attention devoted to his love life, and Amy Gardner's presence on the show. I was never invested in Josh/Donna as anything other than a source of B or C plot humour in an episode.

His tragic past was laid on a bit thick as well, in my view. The dead sister and father, the gunshot trauma and PTSD. 

Like I said though, I did enjoy his character, and thought his relationship with Leo was really nice, with the surrogate father/son elements, and I liked the hints that Josh's family and Leo's were friendly before the show began. But that was never really built on, in usual Sorkin style.

To me he was already too much of a Washington cynic to ever really be the "protagonist growing up on the show". He was too much of an insider, and I think that showed when he immediately understood that Sam was being manoeuvred into prominence in Mandatory Minimums, so they could hit him with Laurie, or when he knew all about Leo's past before anyone else, and told the others off about being upset about the censure in H.Con 172.

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I probably came to like Josh more because I found out what a great guy Bradley Whitford is.  He was married to Jane Kaczmarek (the mom in Malcolm in the Middle) and together they supported a bunch of charities, including "Clothes off our Backs."  It was a rare case of having so much admiration for the actor that I was willing to give the character more of a chance. 

He was flawed, certainly, but I don't see that as a bad thing because he felt like a genuine character.  Personally, I liked the PTSD story in "Noel" because it was an early depiction of the condition that promoted discussion (rather than to just use it as an excuse for someone going crazy and killing people). 

Perhaps he served more as Sorkin's self-insertion character than the others, so that might have contributed to some annoyance with him. But Lemon-Lyman.com = awesome.

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Josh was actually one of my fave characters of the series. To me, he was real. Maybe the reason is that I find similarities between him and my brothers. Quick to be riled up, quick to be egocentric, but will give you the shirt of his back when the time comes. Although the later seasons never did much for me for West Wing love, the whole making the trip to Germany to see Donna was one of the most touching things I remember about their relationship.

And I go all goo goo when I see Inauguration Part 2 when he stops just for a moment to see how pretty Donna is and then offers his arm to escort her to the car. I am like, awwwww.

I think I gave him a lot of leeway also because of the actor himself too Zalyn, he has done so much good in the world with his fame.

Noel was great, but one of the reasons I like Noel so much is because of Adam Arkin, he can make me swoon.

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Well said, Bizbuzz.  He served well at the beginning as "the kid" to give the others some craziness/immaturity to react to. "Post Hoc, Ergo Propter Hoc" and "Take This Sabbath Day" (first appearance of Joey Lucas) both exemplified this.

Josh Lyman: Victory is mine, victory is mine. Great day in the morning, people, victory is mine.

Donna Moss: Morning, Josh.

Josh Lyman: I drink from the keg of glory, Donna. Bring me the finest muffins and bagels in all the land.

Donna Moss: It's going to be an unbearable day.
--------

Josh Lyman: Someone give me a river to forge, a serpent to slay.

C.J. Cregg: What's his problem?

Donna Moss: He's been drinking from the keg of glory. We're to bring him all the muffins and bagels in the land.

Toby Ziegler: We heard.

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I still use "victory is mine!" online. I used it once in real life, and people didn't get the muffins and bagels part at all.

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Leo McGarry: The Citizen's Stamp Advisory Committee has a...

Josh Lyman: There's a Citizen's Stamp Advisory Committee?

Leo McGarry: Yes.

Josh Lyman: Made up of members of the "There But For the Grace of God Go I" club.

Leo McGarry: You wanna mock people or you wanna let me talk to Toby?

Josh Lyman: I wanna mock people.

 

One of my favorite all time exchanges.  But I must admit I love it all the way to its conclusion:

 

Leo McGarry: What are you smiling at?

Josh Lyman: Nothing, I just... Toby got the stamp assignment.

Toby Ziegler: Leo, I might need some help.

Leo McGarry: Take Josh.

Toby Ziegler: Thanks. Congratulations, you're choosing the next stamp.

Josh Lyman: Wow, that happened fast.

 

From "I want to mock people" to the "Wow, that happened fast" , I still giggle every time.

 

Anyway, great thread title!

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Josh was actually one of my fave characters of the series. To me, he was real. Maybe the reason is that I find similarities between him and my brothers. Quick to be riled up, quick to be egocentric, but will give you the shirt of his back when the time comes.

 

 

I totally agree. Underneath the egomaniac exterior laid a very mushy man.  Yes, he was an insider and very much the politician but he was a walking prove that politicians are not always bad people. He gave a new meaning to patriotism. 

 

I feel in love with Josh in the Crackpot and These Women. He loves fiercely. Coincidentally, that was when I started seeing Josh and Donna as more than work colleagues. 

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I think Josh during the entire Gaza arc when he was at Donna's bedside showed the vulnerability and the man underneath the bravado.  We also first saw a glimpse of the real Josh in season one The Crackpots and These Women.  He is fiercely loyal to those he loves.

 

Edit:  or what Deputy deputy cos said :)

Edited by muffinsandbagels
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I probably came to like Josh more because I found out what a great guy Bradley Whitford is.  He was married to Jane Kaczmarek (the mom in Malcolm in the Middle) and together they supported a bunch of charities, including "Clothes off our Backs."  It was a rare case of having so much admiration for the actor that I was willing to give the character more of a chance. 

 

This is how I first came to know him too. And then he appeared on MITM ('Company Picnic' two-parter) as crazy Susan Sarandon's crazy husband. And then I saw him on TWW. 

 

Apparently they're divorced now. :(

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This is how I first came to know him too. And then he appeared on MITM ('Company Picnic' two-parter) as crazy Susan Sarandon's crazy husband. And then I saw him on TWW.

Apparently they're divorced now. :(

Yeah, they've been divorced since 2009, I think (somewhere around there--I know they were divorced by the time Bradley did The Good Guys, which briefly aired on Fox around 2010, I think; that was his series between Studio 60 & last season's Trophy Wife). And that was 1 Hollywood divorce nobody saw coming, really.

And honestly, I kinda stopped being a fan of his ex, Jane Kaczmarek, around the time of the divorce. She did some (mostly print) interviews for various things around then, & the subject of their separation/divorce came up & she came off sounding rather bitter & sort of snotty about it, & sort of not so happy with Bradley, to me. And that made me rather sad.

Edited by BW Manilowe
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Bradley's gonna be on The Talk on CBS (the daytime talk show hosted by Julie Chen, Aisha Tyler, Sara Gilbert, Sharon Osbourne, & Sheryl Underwood) tomorrow, Tuesday, April 28th.

The Talk airs at 2PM Eastern/1PM Central on CBS (but please check your local listings to make sure of the correct time & channel in your area, so you don't miss it if you're interested). It runs an hour, if you need to set a recorder for it.

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Bradley won the Critics Choice TV Award for Best Guest Star in a Comedy, last night, for his role in Transparent (which airs through amazon.com Prime video).

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/critics-choice-tv-awards-winners-799031?utm_source=twitter

The paragraph that talks about his win, including a funny comment from his acceptance speech, is 2 paragraphs below a sort of box which starts with READ MORE in red.

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Bradley has been named the Host of this year's A Capitol Fourth concert, airing on PBS on July 4th from the lawn of the US Capitol in Washington, DC. He replaces the most recent Host, Tom Bergeron (from Dancing with the Stars & formerly of America's Funniest Videos), who Tweeted a few days ago he'd be unable to host this year, since he'll be at a location that hasn't yet been disclosed to him--but is likely out of the US--filming an episode of the celebrity biography/genealogy show Who Do You Think You Are?, which has aired its most recent seasons on TLC.

Here's a link to the announcement of Bradley's hosting gig, along with information on the artists appearing with him on this year's show.

http://wtop.com/lifestyle/2015/06/actor-bradley-whitford-to-host-capitol-fourth-concert/

Edited by BW Manilowe
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Bradley is now a 2-time Emmy winner!

He won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series at Saturday night's Creative Arts Emmy Awards presentation in LA, for his recurring role as transgendered woman Marcy, a friend/acquaintance of the lead character, transgendered woman Maura, in the Amazon Prime Video series Transparent. Here's a link to the complete winners' list; I think Brad's category is at/near the end.

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/creative-arts-emmys-2015-winners-822621

If anyone's interested, the Creative Arts Emmys will air on FXX (not FX) network this coming Saturday, September 19th, at 8:00 & 10:30PM ET & PT.

Also, the winners in the Outstanding Guest Actor/Actress in a Drama & Comedy categories usually go on to present awards during the main Primetime Emmy Awards ceremony; so we can now probably expect to see Bradley as a presenter this year. The Primetime Emmy Awards will air next Sunday, September 20th, on Fox at 8PM Eastern/5PM Pacific Time.

Edited by BW Manilowe

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Josh was actually one of my fave characters of the series. To me, he was real. Maybe the reason is that I find similarities between him and my brothers. Quick to be riled up, quick to be egocentric, but will give you the shirt of his back when the time comes. Although the later seasons never did much for me for West Wing love, the whole making the trip to Germany to see Donna was one of the most touching things I remember about their relationship.

 

I'm binge-watching this show and haven't gotten to this part yet, but I'm looking forward to it.  (I'm also binge-reading spoilers because I like knowing what is coming.)  While I make it a point not to "ship" characters in any show, I do love their breezy, playful interactions.  She has his back; he has her back.  I'm glad she never appeared to be jealous of Amy, a character I dislike intensely and hope to see disappear soon.  (Or maybe it's the actress that I dislike.)

 

I give Bradley Whitford a lot of credit for making Josh Lyman so likable. I think his character could grate in the hands of a less capable actor.  With Whitford, we see Josh's vulnerability beneath the brash confidence.  

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Bradley Whitford as Hubert Humphrey in "All the Way" (HBO) -- wow, I never would have recognized him -- he really became Humphrey.  Great production.  Nice to see him in the Oval Office again. 

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I have seen Bradley on a number of TV shows, and most of them have been quite enjoyable; but try as I might I will always see him as the arrogant, aloof, belittling, funny, self-conscious, awkward, self-absorbed, politically brilliant Josh Lyman!

Bradley completely nailed the role, and really came into his own during the middle of S6 and all of S7 when he Santos' campaign manager, and the show was more or less all about him!

Edited by Only Zola

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8 hours ago, Only Zola said:

...the arrogant, aloof, belittling, funny, self-conscious, awkward, self-absorbed, politically brilliant Josh Lyman!

I always think of him more as an elitist, Harvard fascist missed-the-Dean's-list-two-semesters-in-a-row Yankee jackass!

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Josh Lyman: "Let me tell you something (Danny) mi compadre. You guys have been coddled! I'm not your girlfriend, I'm not your camp counsellor, and I'm not your sixth-grade teacher you had a crush on. I'm a graduate of Harvard and Yale and I believe that my powers of debate can rise to meet the Socratic wonder that is the White House press corps." 

Danny: "Okey-dokey!

I loved Josh's massive fall from grace in that scene, and especially his "secret plan to fight inflation!" 

Arrogant to the last, but he has such an enduring appeal that you can somehow forgive his little foibles.

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Brad Whitford really had a wonderful post-TWW career. Certainly, Rob Lowe and Allison Janney found very successful, lucrative, steady work on beloved sitcoms Parks and Recreation and Mom (both of which, I didn't care for or stick with). However Whitford didn't find a long-term home on a series, he's ended up in some of my favorite of Hollywood's recent projects where he's gotten to play very varied characters as a true character actor. All the Way, Cabin in the Woods, Transparent, Get Out, even Saving Mr. Banks. 

Edited by Melancholy
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Season 6: 10 "Faith Based Initiative"

Quote

Josh - I'm trying to get some distinguished members of the Congress to remove a hateful, gay-bashing amendment from the Budget.

Maria (Josh's temp sec) - By bribing them with taxpayers' hard-earned money?

Josh - I don't know if you read the memo, but I set budget policy. You, alphabetise and sort!

Season 6:16 - "Drought Conditions"

Quote

Josh (to Margaret) - Here's the part where, due to my years of service, you suspend for a moment the Teutonic allegiance to protocol and shift thyself out of the way!

Margaret (to CJ) - Josh Lyman to see you?

Season 7:19 -  "Transition"

Quote

Otto - I figured you had your office e-mail

Josh - Don't figure! Don't use initiative. It's an overrated quality when it comes to assistant work.

Otto - I don't want to be an assistant!

Josh - Know how to not be an assistant? By doing it great! Not by leaving your boss electronically stranded for what feels like an hour! This isn't airplanes and hotels and "Guess where I am now, mom?" It's three yards and a cloud of dust. If you can't hack what I need from you now, you sure hell won't be asked to do anything more. Get the BlackBerry now!

Sam  - I got it!

Josh - Otto gave you that? What, you scared to face me, you little....."

 

A few of the many "Josh" moments whereby I could quite cheerfully shout EXTREMELY rude words at the TV!

Josh is without doubt a Prize A, condescending anal-orifice of the highest order!

...and yet, he has that special "something" that makes me still like him. (I feel dirty now: need to take a shower)

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Given that Josh is soon to be eliminated (see Elimination thread here), I have become very motherly towards him for some unfathomable reason!

My previous post in this thread just about covers all bases in terms of my feelings for him, and yet he just keeps pulling at my heart strings during those very rare moments when we see that tough arrogant veneer stripped away, and we see a very vulnerable, pitiful Josh, and those large puppy-dog eyes that make me want to give him a hug!

Not many male actors have that affect on me;  not many men at all in fact, but Bradley Whitford played Josh brilliantly from start to finish! 

My feelings can be best described by the man himself ...

Quote

I really... I'm... bewitched! I'm ensorcelled!

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I love Josh.  :)  It looks like he'll wind up fourth, which is very respectable!  

I love his sarcasm and dry wit.  

tumblr_lrtih4DrEB1r3sn7jo5_r1_250.gif

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I love him as well.  It was a tough pick - it was so touching (great acting by both characters) when Jed when to the airport to see Josh when Josh's dad died.

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I love Josh. I also think it's interesting that even though he plays the craven, cynical careerist power dater politico, he actually takes huge risks with his career to pursue getting the right candidates elected. He left leading front-runner Hoynes to work for dark horse Bartlet which seemed like the biggest career sacrifice of the main staffers. He left his Deputy Chief of Staff job to get dark horse Matt Santos to run and then, played the pragmatist role but ultimately frequently endorsed Matt doing the riskier but honorable thing. He also rejected Campaign Manager job offers from more likely front runners Hoynes and Russell.  

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On 14/07/2017 at 7:07 PM, Zola said:

Given that Josh is soon to be eliminated (see Elimination thread here), I have become very motherly towards him for some unfathomable reason!

My previous post in this thread just about covers all bases in terms of my feelings for him, and yet he just keeps pulling at my heart strings during those very rare moments when we see that tough arrogant veneer stripped away, and we see a very vulnerable, pitiful Josh, and those large puppy-dog eyes that make me want to give him a hug!

Not many male actors have that affect on me;  not many men at all in fact, but Bradley Whitford played Josh brilliantly from start to finish! 

My feelings can be best described by the man himself ...

Re-watching Season 1, and I still - without a shadow of a doubt - love this guy!

My favourite character will always ALWAYS be Leo; but Josh comes a very close second. I know I keep banging on about him in previous posts, but his character is so chameleon-like, that you just cannot forget him - he leaves a lasting impression, on me at least! His arrogance and down-right snobbery makes me want to scream at the TV (and have done so, many times), but then the guy is so gifted, such a brilliant political chess-player than you can forgive his maddening eccentricities. 

I also think that because I hadn't heard the name of Bradley Whitford all those years ago, I believed in the character far more than the likes of Rob Lowe playing Sam or Martin Sheen playing Bartlet. For those latter two I found it hard not to stop thinking "oh, that's Rob and Martin playing two characters!"

I am so pleased and grateful that Josh stayed the course from seasons 1 through to 7. The character development through that time frame is astonishing.

He d'man!

Edited by Zola
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