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*He is not a secret agent. Not at all.



And so, the time has come.

The West Wing, by virtue of coming to an end, is retired from the Currently Digging in the sidebar. Make no mistake, it will continue to be dug. My DVDs are in danger of having the bits stripped off them like the gears in a manual transmission driven by the likes of me.

It has served well in its two terms in office. It pulled off the previously unthinkable by successfully reinventing itself midway through its run when Aaron Sorkin (who appeared in the finale in a single shot while Keb' Mo' was playing) and Tommy Schlamme left the show. It was thought-provoking television, it was music. It made my living room into a cathedral when it was on (to not only paraphrase, but remix and mutate the words of AS).

I can't say enough about it, but I will say that maybe there was a missed opportunity here. An Arnold (Alan Alda) Vinick win (which according to a Lawrence O'Donnell interview in the NYT, was going to happen until John Spencer's death), a whole new administration (cast) with Stephen Root as an incredibly different communications director. Patricia Richardson as chief of staff (I would presume). A whole new view on The West Wing from the other side of the aisle. It could have followed up the mythical effectual Democrats with the equally mythical Republicans that put the country before their own agendas.

In its departure, a small token. A promo spot for Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. If the pilot script and those few seconds are any indication, it will surely fill the hole where my soul is supposed to be. And its setting will allow Sorkin to look at public issues through the scope of backstage at a topical sketch comedy show. If you know me personally, I pity you, as I will likely slag on you for not watching it until I convert you, as I have just about anyone else I have had to set straight on some TV-related fucker.

If I could vote for Bartlet, MS and all, I would. Chicago style.

I'd even vote for Vinick. It's just a better world there.
©2024 Michael Patrick Sullivan
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