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"He had a theory that musicians are incredibly complex, and know far less than other artists what they want and what they are; that they puzzle themselves as well as their friends; that their psychology is a modern development, and has not yet been understood." – E. M. Forster

Tuesday, 23 May 2006

We’ll always have ‘The Jackal’

I’m still here. And for those who asked/wondered, yes, I watched the series finale of The West Wing. I actually watched most of the final episodes this season, and thought that one of the best scenes by far was the one between C.J. and Toby in the second-to-last show. (Everything about it crackled, except when C.J. said she wanted to make a chicken like that…I’d think she’d know already — after all, she offered to cook Christmas dinner for Leo once.)

Back to the final episode, though. It made me wistful — it made me remember just how much I loved the characters — the old band, to borrow a phrase. I won’t quibble about it or how the series changed (now, anyway), but I will say that it was interesting to see how everything got wrapped up.

My favorite moments:

President Bartlet walking through the west wing and thanking the staff. It was especially nice to see some of the past recurring characters, e.g. Ed and Larry, Ginger, and Nancy (with an amusing inside-joke greeting to her mother — Nancy was played by Renée Estevez, Martin Sheen’s daughter). One of the strengths of the earlier seasons of the show was how well the minor characters were written.

C.J. finding herself walking into the empty press briefing room, and then standing at the podium. I didn’t expect it — it was a nice touch.

Over winter, I got a chance to watch the season 1 DVDs — what a treat. It’s hard to believe that it’s been over six years already. They were engaging, but it was a more than a little bittersweet seeing John Spencer on screen — he will be missed (I watched the DVDs just a few weeks after he died). Such great writing, and the conflicts used to be countered with such fun. “Take This Sabbath Day” and “In Excelsis Deo” rank up there with some of the best television ever created. Thanks to DVDs and digital magic, they’ll live on. And of course, we’ll always have “The Jackal.”

Posted at 10:32 pm | Filed under Television

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2 replies

  1. I’m glad we got to see past the election, but I really would have liked an ep with the Santos administration, to give us a taste of what we could have had.

    A few weeks ago, I picked up S6 on DVD so I started watching the whole series (again) from the beginning. Just finished S2, the backhalf of which is just amazing. Something that bugged me was they dropped Mandy between S1 and S2 without a word. Likewise, Ainsley disappeared around S3 with no mention of her going to Miami… 😛

  2. It was good to see Ainsley again towards the end, even though the scene was too short. (Speaking of short scenes, I thought Sam’s screen time/dialogue in the finale was pathetic. Yeah, he had more to do in an earlier episode, but still.)

    I’m in that state where it’s hard to believe that there’s no WW anymore. It’s going to take some getting used to.

    I hope Sorkin’s new show is worthwhile.