I am watching the last season of what I consider to have been the best written television series … perhaps ever – “The West Wing.” No show about politics EVER went as far, as deep and as literate as this compilation – mainly because so many of those involved actually worked in Washington, D.C. at one time (DeeDee Myers and Lawrence O’Donnell for example).
But beyond that, beyond the brilliant performance of Martin Sheen as President Bartlet (hands down the best TV president ever and perhaps best in Hollywood history), beyond the magnificent ensemble cast, the scripts were unbelievably spot-on.
Down to the 2008 election, presented in the 2005-06 season and written in advance of the filming.
So much of what was placed on the show actually happened (some of it never could but the similarities were astonishing):
The president-elect, the first minority in U.S. history to win, places his biggest electoral rival in the post of secretary of state.
Matt Santos’ platform consists primarily of national health care and insurance reform, lobbyist reform and raising education standards. Sound familiar?
The outgoing administration leaves a messy foreign policy quagmire involving massive amount of U.S. troops in a faraway land. Sound familiar?
The new First Family had two young children and youth played a major factor in the victory, versus the age of the opponent. Sound familiar? The Republicans had a VP candidate to play to the right-wing evangelical base to offset the somewhat right-center main candidate. Sound familiar?
Some of the storylines were purely fictional, but it was uncanny how close to what WOULD happen in two years’ time.
While I love my “NCIS,” I miss such beautifully scripted, intelligent and masterful shows. Looking at the new lineup, hope does NOT spring eternal for future “West Wings.”