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1 hour ago, deaja said:

Okay, let's do worst per season instead. That might be easier.  

Season 1: 20 Hours in LA (I do like and watch this episode, but Season 1 is so full of great episodes!)

Season 2: The Stackhouse Filibuster - the whole premise was so ridiculous

Season 7: The Wedding

Season 1:  Mandatory Minimums.  

Season 2:  The Stackhouse Filibuster.  I still watch it since it is the first of six episodes that I consider to be the best multi-episode arc of the series.  

Season 7:  The Debate.   

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1 hour ago, PeterPirate said:

Season 1:  Mandatory Minimums.  

Season 2:  The Stackhouse Filibuster.  I still watch it since it is the first of six episodes that I consider to be the best multi-episode arc of the series.  

Season 7:  The Debate.   

I'd banished the existence of The Debate from my mind. 

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The Stackhouse Fillibuster is ridiculous but I got a lot of warm fuzzies when I used to watch it as a tween and a couple of years ago on a rewatch. Even though it doesn't make much sense I still love it for the ending when all the Senators walk on to the floor to help out. For a long time I thought Filibusters were always used for noble or at least understandable reasons! (oops). 

Although there's one line that I always remember was an eye roll even then "Stackhouse would have to know as much about Senate procedure as Josh and that was unlikely". He was a 20 year senator who had planned this filibuster, you don't think he knew the rules especially of this specific thing, better than Josh and Donna who had never been senators?

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For me, it's episode arcs that I don't like rather than the episodes themselves. The ones I like the least are the Zoe kidnapping story, the Gaza story and the solving the Israel-Palestine conflict episode.

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Oh God, I cannot remember the episode title because I skip it everytime, but: when Toby decides to save Social Security because he figures some Senator isn't running for reelection. Yikes. And yawn.

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From "Enemies Foreign and Domestic"
Claudia Jean 'C.J.' Cregg: Outraged? I'm barely surprised. This is a country where women aren't allowed to drive a car. They're not allowed to be in the company of any man other than a close relative, they're required to adhere to a dress code that would make the Maryknoll Nun look like Malibu Barbie. They beheaded 121 people last year for robbery, rape, and drug trafficking, they've no free press, no elected government, no political parties, and the royal family allows the religious police to travel in groups of six, carrying nightsticks and they freely and publicly beat women. But "Brutus is an honorable man." Seventeen schoolgirls were forced to burn alive because they weren't wearing the proper clothing. Am I outraged? No, Steve. No Chris. No, Mark. That is Saudi Arabia, our partners in peace. Bonnie, then Scott.

Edited by ProudMary · Reason: Added episode title from which the quote was taken.
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I've reached the end of S6. It's interesting that the Republicans have been the "enemy" throughout the show but they've created such a likeable Republican candidate for President. Was that a result of the change of showrunners or did they do that because they thought this would make it less obvious that Santos would win?

It's strange that while Vineck considers his VP no one points out that if he brings in a moderate Democrat he may not need the conservative Republican base because he'll probably get the majority of the Independent vote and a healthy amount of the moderate Democrat vote, too. Of course, if he'd nominated a Democrat as VP, none of the Democratic candidates would have stood a realistic chance, so he couldn't nominate a Democrat. Still, I think someone on his team should have brought that up for consideration.

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"One egg is an oeuf".

"I'm ensorcelled".

Two classic West Wing lines that Aaron Sorkin used in The Trial of the Chicago 7, for which he won the Golden Globe for Best Screenplay.  

 

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After the discussion, I paid close attention to the leaker story. I don't believe CJ did it. I believe she was a red herring. First, she's the obvious choice. Second, she had numerous phone calls to the reporter in question and if she then leaked the story to him, she would be more than stupid and she's not. Third, she's genuinely surprised when she realizes she's the suspect. Yes, this is a show and this is acting but they also get directions from the director and CJ isn't an actor, so if she did it, I think she should have reacted differently. Likewise, when Toby asks if she's got a lawyer.
And, lastly, she's hesitant about the pardon. I don't think she would have been so hesitant about the pardon if she had been the leaker. Of course, it would have still been difficult for her to bring it up with the President but she told others that she doesn't even know if she should bring it up and if she had done it, I think she would have said something along the lines of she wants to because Toby has been a loyal member of the team up until then or something along those lines. I also think that she would have tried to push the President into signing the pardon if she had done it. I'm not even sure she would have allowed Toby to take the fall had she done it. He wasn't facing a slap on the wrist, he was facing jail time. I don't think she is the kind of person who would have let the father of two children go to jail for something she had done.

Also, there's a scene between her and Danny when she wants to leak him a story and he refuses because he thinks she'll regret it the moment he's out the door. Yes, characters can change but we haven't seen any indication that she changed in that regard.

There is also the scene between the President and Toby when the President tells Toby that CJ is the focus of the investigation, then Toby says they're wrong and the President says that they don't seem to see it that way. The President's words do something to Toby, there is not eye-contact and this whole scene feels like the President could know that it was Toby or at least, have an idea that it might have been him.

For a moment I wondered if Leo did it because CJ tells Toby that Leo is in trouble. But, again, if Leo did it, I believe CJ would not have hesitated about the pardon. I think the fact that she's so hesitant about the pardon is the strongest indicator at Toby truly being the actual leaker.

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I don't think there is any way to wiggle around Toby being the leaker.  The only theory I've read that I think makes sense is if he was covering for his brother's widow.  Which, I don't think an astronaut's widow would have access to the reporter needed to leak it the way it was.  As much as I hate that plot line, I think in show universe, it only makes sense for it to be Toby.

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All I remember is that in one of the commentaries, two members of the production staff said they never wanted to think about two plotlines again:  Kazakhstan and the Shuttle Leak.  

And Santos only won because of an emergency at a nuclear power plant.  Diablo Ex Machina.  

Sigh.  Except for the last three, stellar episodes, Season 7 was a hot mess.  

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On 2/25/2021 at 4:36 AM, CheshireCat said:

I didn't think ["The Long Goodbye"] was a bad episode per se as in, the acting was good. It just wasn't necessary and had little to do with the White House. Did someone from the show want to raise awareness for Alzheimer's?

I think it had more to do with the family history (father) of the playwright who wrote the episode. He wrote nothing else for The West Wing, so I assume he was a friendly peer of Sorkin's.  

That one came up recently in my first-ever complete rewatch of the series (now I'm slogging through season 5). I liked it less than I'd remembered. It was going to be a tough sell, because it was so unlike anything else in the series, not even being set in Washington. They had to nail it, and I don't think the script did that. Alzheimer's is not an unusual subject for drama, and it's been handled better elsewhere, before and after. We'd just barely heard about CJ's father before that, and the episode seemed rushed. This was understandable and necessary, but still so. We raced through all the obvious, familiar dementia scenes: Dad's forgetting things he should know in his first scene; in his second scene, he doesn't recognize CJ herself; then there's the obligatory doctor's visit; the car ride that turns perilous, etc. It was like a disease-of-the-week film compressed into 40-odd minutes. And the scenes with the love interest played by Matthew Modine did nothing for me.

Overall, it reminded me of those ER episodes with a single character on a trip to California, Mississippi, Africa, or wherever. Those were never my favorites.

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On 3/2/2021 at 12:55 PM, deaja said:

I don't think there is any way to wiggle around Toby being the leaker.  The only theory I've read that I think makes sense is if he was covering for his brother's widow.  Which, I don't think an astronaut's widow would have access to the reporter needed to leak it the way it was.  As much as I hate that plot line, I think in show universe, it only makes sense for it to be Toby.

I think one or two posters said a few pages back that they thought CJ had actually been the leaker, so I watched the story with that in mind because I hadn't been under the impression that she was and Toby was covering for her. I think if she hadn't been torn about the pardon, it would have been possible that it had been her but I think by making her torn about the pardon, they confirmed that it wasn't her or Leo and that she has no idea that it was someone else if Toby is supposed to be covering for someone.

I'm not a fan of that story either but I guess it was their way of reducing Schiff's hours. I would assume that they wanted to have all the actors on the final season but in order to do so, they all needed to have reduced hours on set. From how much they appear on the show, I would think that Schiff, Sheen and Spencer were the most expensive actors, hence, the once with the least amount of screen time.

On 3/4/2021 at 9:59 PM, PeterPirate said:

Sigh.  Except for the last three, stellar episodes, Season 7 was a hot mess.  

I could have done without the leaker story but other than that, I don't mind it so much. I like both candidates and I like that they did the campaign. I wish they had shown us more about the White House, too, because apart from the episode when CJ meets Danny again and he sort of pokes her, it seems that they barely did anything in the White House anymore other than play defense. It seems that they didn't even try to pass some of the stuff that they wanted to do. They started it with Leo who made a list but they never followed through on that which I think is a pity. However, I liked the candidates enough that I really would have liked to see the West Wing continued with the Santos administration (though maybe not with Josh as Chief of Staff, I don't know. But it could have been interesting if they had focused on foreign policy so that we would have seen interaction with Vineck. ETA: And I think it would also have been interesting if they had shown more of Helen, how she adjusts to her new role and what she chooses to do).

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I would have liked to have the show continue with the Santos administration. I am a big fan of Alan Alda, so having Vinick spar with members of the Santos administration would have been very entertaining.

I do wish the how would have done more flashbacks on how Bartlett won the first election . IIRC they never showed the GOP nominee that he beat.

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3 hours ago, CheshireCat said:

I could have done without the leaker story but other than that, I don't mind it so much. I like both candidates and I like that they did the campaign. I wish they had shown us more about the White House, too, because apart from the episode when CJ meets Danny again and he sort of pokes her, it seems that they barely did anything in the White House anymore other than play defense. It seems that they didn't even try to pass some of the stuff that they wanted to do. They started it with Leo who made a list but they never followed through on that which I think is a pity. However, I liked the candidates enough that I really would have liked to see the West Wing continued with the Santos administration (though maybe not with Josh as Chief of Staff, I don't know. But it could have been interesting if they had focused on foreign policy so that we would have seen interaction with Vineck. ETA: And I think it would also have been interesting if they had shown more of Helen, how she adjusts to her new role and what she chooses to do).

I've only seen the final two seasons once (I have "The Supremes" coming up in the Great West Wing Rewatch of '21), but I enjoyed the Santos/Vinick era first time around. We had seen some of the campaigning side of politics in season 4 and in the occasional flashback to Bartlet's first run, but I love that stuff, so I liked getting a deep dive into it with Bartlet's two would-be successors and those who fell short of the nominations. I felt the candidates and their supporting characters gave an old show some new life, and it was the point when The West Wing finally found an identity post Sorkin.  

A few bright spots aside, season 5 has been as much of a chore the second time around as I'd remembered. Episode after episode is a big shrug. Things that should be huge are no more consequential, compelling or moving than the B-story filler. I'm surprised the ratings stayed as steady as they did in that season. 

But I also felt that Sorkin's later two seasons, especially 4, showed a falling-off in quality. More of the sides of him I don't like were getting into the scripts: the lecturing, the stagy tics like repetitive dialogue, the apparent trolling of his critics. The inspiring oratory wasn't as consistently inspiring, either. (However, no matter how bland it was, it always got thunderous applause, reminding me a little of those Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip sketches we were told were hilarious.) I don't want to overstate the case, though. There are magnificent episodes that are favorites of mine in seasons 3 and 4. Far fewer in 5.

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8 hours ago, CheshireCat said:

From how much they appear on the show, I would think that Schiff, Sheen and Spencer were the most expensive actors, hence, the once with the least amount of screen time.

When Janney, Schiff, Whitford, and Spencer banded together to renegotiate their contracts after the show became a hit (Rob Lowe and, of course, Martin Sheen, were already being paid more), didn't they all get the same amount?

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On 3/1/2021 at 5:53 PM, PeterPirate said:

"One egg is an oeuf".

"I'm ensorcelled".

Two classic West Wing lines that Aaron Sorkin used in The Trial of the Chicago 7, for which he won the Golden Globe for Best Screenplay.  

 

And Aaron was nominated earlier this morning for another Oscar for writing the movie (he won for The Social Network in the adapted screenplay category in 2011; he’s been nominated for other Oscars since winning, & before today I’m pretty sure). Hopefully he’ll win that second Oscar this year & finally get the other half of his pair of “Oscar bookends” he started back in 2011. Since he already won the Golden Globe, hopefully that’s a good omen.

Edited by BW Manilowe · Reason: To add some comments to clarify meaning.

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12 hours ago, BW Manilowe said:

And Aaron was nominated earlier this morning for another Oscar for writing the movie (he won for The Social Network in the adapted screenplay category in 2011; he’s been nominated for other Oscars since winning, & before today I’m pretty sure). Hopefully he’ll win that second Oscar this year & finally get the other half of his pair of “Oscar bookends” he started back in 2011. Since he already won the Golden Globe, hopefully that’s a good omen.

After his win for The Social Network, he was also nominated for Moneyball and for Molly's Game, but went home without his other bookend. 😥 How he didn't receive a nomination for Steve Jobs is beyond me. I walked out of the theater and said to my friend, "They should just start engraving Aaron Sorkin's Oscar right now." So much for that prediction. 🙄 Most of the predictions I've been seeing online have him as the front-runner for the Original Screenplay Oscar for The Trial of the Chicago 7. I hope that holds, especially since he was snubbed for the Best Director nomination. 😠

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I'll definitely give this one a watch.
‘Wonder Years’ Reboot Pilot at ABC Casts Dulé Hill, Laura Kariuki
 

Quote

The project will show how a black middle-class family in Montgomery, Alabama in the turbulent late 1960s, made sure it was The Wonder Years for them too.

Hill will star as family patriarch Bill Williams. He’s a music professor by day and a funk musician by night – described by Adult Dean as “The baddest guy I knew.” Almost always calm and composed, his favorite words are “be cool.” Bill wants his family and their black, middle class neighborhood to remain self-sufficient and he puts his money where his mouth is.

 

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So this happened. On March 19th, so over a month ago, but better late than never to post it here!

 

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4 minutes ago, ProudMary said:

In case you haven't seen it, first round voting for The Primetimer awards is happening this week. You have until Friday to vote for the Greatest Show of All Time. Even if you're not interested in voting in the other categories, just head on over to this link and vote for The West Wing!
The GOAT: Greatest Show Of All Time

I did. Now I just hope the run-off doesn't pit WW against BrBa, because I'm not sure what I would do. 😟

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