The West Wing (TV show review)

I’m late, again, on my post. I’ve had, again, that peculiar combination of busy, not busy, and unmotivated that fiddles with my productivity.

But now I’m watching The West Wing and I’m inspired to write a TV show review which I haven’t done since Law and Order. I think.

I’ve had The West Wing recommended to me a few times but I never really picked it up. I kinda thought of it as a political procedural, like a police procedural. My experience with those has been that they’re great for a while but get less great over time.

I have a strong hunch this will not be the case with this show. I recognize these faces as actors whom I have developed a deep respect for and the dialogue is clever as hell.

Additionally, one and a half episodes in and they’ve hit hard on two big topics close to my heart: the Christian Right and Sex Work. I’m already blown away by the fast pace, the quotability, and their ability to hit stereotypes so hard they shatter them.

My partner has been watching a few other nineties shows; My So-called Life, Dawson’s Creek, the obligatory Law and Order… I’d been thinking recently that wee are in the golden age of television when watching Black Mirror and Breaking Bad but if this was on  regular television a couple decades ago and what I see on cable now is house hunters and reality TV then I am so, so wrong. These shows cover real topics like homosexuality, teen sex, young love, abusive relationships, in such a nuanced (if dated) way. Like, no one reacts to these things with moral condemnation, they react with problem solving and personal revelations. Yeah, some of it is to make TV interesting but making it interesting without reverting to car chases and gratuitous violence.

The way the characters in The West Wing deal with each other’s irritations and differences is with humor, anger, tolerance, intolerant discussions, yet a distinct desire to overcome differences and get things done is inspiring. I’m looking forward to finding how it unfolds as I binge it.

Anyone who wants to chat with me about it, feel free but NO SPOILERS! 😉 I’m only a few episodes into the first season.