West Wing Challenge

Not going to lie, this was blatantly stolen from a friends blog (speaking of which, why not check it out at http://www.blog.creativeemyoung.com). She knows my obsession with this programme and as soon as I read this on her wall, I had to steal it.

West Wing Blog Challenge:

I already think answering these questions is going to be difficult, i’ve spent hours rewatching (for research obviously) ….

Favourite character: Toby, hands down is my favourite character, blunt, staid, calm, funny, sarcastic, balanced and often a voice of reason and anger in equal measures…..very much like myself. I know that over the years and re-watching of this series, I have fluctuated between CJ, Josh, Leo and Toby but as a story arc, Toby has it all. Given what happens at the end with Toby, I actually agreed with the actions he took. I’d like to think if I was able to save others despite damaging myself, I would have the wherewithal to do it.


Least favourite character: This is a tough one for me,  at least she was only in the first season so maybe it was the writing which didn’t pull me in, but anyway, my least favourite is Mandy.  A love interest for Josh, a combatant and how I imagine how PR or the like actually is. I wasn’t totally anti her but I was glad when she didn’t make it back for series 2 and on.

Favourite pairing: Hmmm, well, there’s so many options, I mean, Donna and Josh are spectacular together but I also very much enjoy the Debbie/Bartlet coupling, Margaret’s badgering of Leo throughout or even the Charlie/Cj battles. I even love Pres and Dr Bartlet together – the scene where she cuts his tie is superb, and the love they share for each other is something I aim for with the man.

leo sabbath

I think that’s a beauty of Sorkin’s writing, he wrote so many good lines and so many great patches of dialogue that I feel every episode has special moments, and it’s not just main characters who get flessed out and the prime cuts, even smaller characters get some classics whereas some shows I have seen it’s a case of, if you aren’t the lead or one of them, you’re saying basically nothing throughout the run of the show.

Favourite episode: I cannot answer this, in any way, there’s just far too many to choose from. I’m not lying when I say I watch all series back to back and then just start at number 1 again. I kept thinking there would be 1 that stuck out, but I would think of one, then get caught up on another, then revert back to yet another. Sorkin’s writing and the team that was in place even after he left is simply (to me) mind blowing. They made the West Wing a binge worthy and yet “clever” show. I like the fact that if they were talking about something I knew nothing about, I would go and look it up. I loved the fact that it wasn’t all laid out in front of me in bite sized pieces. This show may not be 100% accurate but still, it has most definitely educated me.

Some of my favourites include Big Block of Cheese day – CJ gets to meet a set of cartographers looking to change the way we look at the world. Galileo 5 is inspiring and beautifully written. Take this Sabbath day is wonderful and that’s where Josh met Joey Lucas for the first time. In Excelsis Deo is touching and depressing all at the same time.  Two Cathedrals also really sticks with me, following the death of a major character and the President’s diagnosis AND an entire scene in latin without subtitles…..there are no words to how fabulous I find this.

Favourite cliff-hanger:  “What kind of day has it been” is a truly wonderful episode. Seriously, without the last 3 minutes or so, it’s just a normal episode but it’s one of the few TV shows that I was so pleased to have series 2 ready to go straight-away, I’m not sure I couldn’t have lasted 6 months of waiting!!


Favourite Series Opening: Probably “20 Hours in America” part 1 & 2 are my personal choices. From the one liners, to the serious behaviour Donna has to display, to the Time Zones snafu…it’s all brilliant.

Wait. Wait. No. No. You’re not… We changed time zones? We changed time… We
changed time zones?!

It’s a-a common mistake.

Not for the U.S. government!

What kind of schmuck-ass system could this possibly…

That’s good! That’s perfect!

How did…? I don’t understand.

Perfect. Just the break I’m looking for.

What do…? What do…? People, they just… They reset their watches when
they commute?

I can’t take working here.

They just change their watches every time they cross a time zone? What is
this, a joke?!

Serving my country.

Okay, this is a whole new thing now. My guys are going to need to walk this
off a bit before
they can regroup. Kiki, you and your friends get back to school. Tyler,
you and I are going
to come up with a plan to get us to a commercial airport.

Okay, how long are they going to be?

They turn around to se that Josh walking across the bridge and Toby has
picked up a big stick
and is whacking the guardrail.

A couple more minutes.

Favourite Monologue: I spent a long time again, trying to work out my favourite but again, there’s just too many options. From Leo’s speech to Josh about a guy falling down a hole, to he first meetings we have of Ainsley, the fight won by Toby and Charlie, the tear jerking “Too Many Angels” speech. Honestly, there’s just too many options, however I have added my current favourite set of line (which ironically is something that has been used by me and towards me to show off intellect – meant I knew my optician was brilliant!!)

C.J.: Sir, this may be a good time to talk about your sense of humor.

Bartlet: I’ve got an intelligence briefing, a security briefing, and a 90-minute budget meeting all scheduled for the same 45 minutes. You sure this is a good time to talk about my sense of humor?

C.J.: No.

Bartlet: Me neither.

C.J.: It’s just that it’s not the first time that it’s happened.

Bartlet: I know.

Toby: We’re talking about Texas, sir.

Bartlet: I know.

C.J.USA Today asks you why you don’t spend more time campaigning in Texas and you say it’s because you don’t look good in funny hats.Sam: It was big hats.

C.J.: What difference does it make?

Bartlet: It makes a difference.

C.J.: The point is we got whomped in Texas.

Josh: We got whomped in Texas twice.

C.J.: We got whomped in the primary and we got whomped in November.

Bartlet: I think I was there.

C.J.: And it was avoidable. Sir.

Bartlet: C.J., on your tombstone it’s gonna read ‘Post hoc ergo propter hoc.’

CJ: Okay, but none of my visitors are going to be able to understand my tombstone.

Bartlet: Twenty-seven lawyers in the room, anybody know ‘post hoc, ergo propter hoc’? Josh?J

osh: Ah, post, after hoc, ergo, therefore… After hoc, therefore something else hoc.

Bartlet: Thank you. Next? Leo.

Leo: ‘After it, therefore because of it’.

Bartlet: ‘After it, therefore because of it’. It means one thing follows the other, therefore it was caused by the other. But it’s not always true. In fact it’s hardly ever true. We did not lose Texas because of the hat joke. Do you know when we lost Texas?C.J.: When you learned to speak Latin?

Bartlet: Go figure.

Favourite season: I enjoy all the seasons, even the last one which obviously focuses more on the future of the West Wing. I feel the addition of both Jimmy Smits and Alan Alda (one of my favourite actors of all time) was excellent, and to be honest, if Vinnick had won, it wouldn’t have been all bad. Despite that his beliefs are Republican, I can honestly say that I could have come round to that way of thinking. But I digress, I think series 3 is a brilliant series, full throttle, a multitude of storylines and also the brilliant teleplay “Isaac and Ishmael”, I wouldn’t say it was my favourite or the best but it is definitely one I am happy to pick up and just binge in a day.


Least favourite season: I will say that the writing was (for me) less compelling within the 5th series. I mean, there are still good episodes and wonderful lines, but for me this was the slowest series.

Most Moving episode: This turned out to be the easiest question for me. The most moving episode is one which every time I see it, it makes me cry – I should say that because of this, I tend to not watch it. The most moving for me is “The Long Goodbye” where CJ goes to visit her father who, it becomes apparent, has dementia or a disease of that ilk which is stripping the man she has always knows away and leaving her hero ravaged. It makes me think about my relationship with my father and how scared I am of losing him, especially in this way to something so awful. The way that his illness is also dropped into later episodes is another sign of great writing, it’s not just a story that is used then forgotten, it does come back and unfortunately, you hear the deterioration from CJs half of the conversations and that breaks my heart. Every time.

So there you have it, some random thoughts and questions about the West Wing, are you also a fan? Have comments or thoughts on what I’ve said. I’d love to talk to more people who are fans and if you didn’t agree, I’d love to see what your views are.

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