West Wing Season 2 Commentary and Thoughts

(Continuing my harder trivia. What’s the connection between this movie (Ang Lee’s The Ice Storm) and this post? Answer at the bottom.)

Denisa and I have been totally binge watching The West Wing. We just finished season 2, and we’re still thoroughly enjoying it. There’s plenty of drama and back room shenanigans, and it makes me really wish this is how politics actually worked in our country. Unfortunately, I really don’t think it is. A few thoughts:

The show is definitely slanted to the left. I’m okay with that, mainly because I think any president’s people are going to be slanted one way or another in today’s day and age. To have a truly centrist party in power, I think it would just lose all believability. That said, I dislike how the show tends to demonize the right from time to time. They don’t do it outrageously (most of the time), but there’s this constant undertow message that anyone on the conservative side is one step away from a troglodyte. Dismissing an entire side like that is foolish and cheap, and whenever they go too close to it, I bristle.

Then again, this is politics, and passions run hot in politics, so I suppose a show that managed to not make me bristle would be a failure of a show. I wonder if the show made Democrats bristle as often as it did Republicans. Something tells me it didn’t.

Another thought: These people are all so good. So idealistic. They run because they believe they can make a change for the good of the country, not because they want to keep getting a paycheck. That said, I think it’s very easy to start focusing on keeping your job because that keeps you in power. At first, you do that because you want to keep doing good, but you can switch over to staying in power just for the sake of staying in power.

The show makes it seem like real things can happen every week. Like politics actually gets stuff done. I don’t feel like that’s what I see in reality. If things are actually getting done, our government does a really poor job of communicating what those things are. So sometimes I watch the show and sort of roll my eyes.

But I still watch the show.

In the end, I keep watching because I wish politics were like this. I wish people were more steadfast in their beliefs–whatever they may be. I wish it would be about ideas and not about personalities and grudges and parties. I hope it gets to be like that someday, but part of me really wonders if it ever was like that to begin with.

In any case, on to season three! Very curious to see how they handle 9/11 . . .

(Answer to the trivia? The Ice Storm stars Kevin Kline and Sigourney Weaver, who also starred opposite each other in Dave, the movie about the guy who becomes president for a limited time. Was that too difficult? I’m trying to tune these trivia questions a bit.)

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