My friend Lisa and I have begun watching the first season of The West Wing and will share our thoughts at our blogs. Check out Lisa’s post about episode one and my thoughts on episode 2 below. Be sure to tune in each Wednesday for more!
also, do yourself a favor and check out lisa’s whole blog http://www.lisaisbusynerding.com/
I’m Laura and I’m super excited to be talking about the awesome show West Wing. You should know before reading my segments that I am no Sorkin apologist, and I’m probably going to make fun of his over-earnestness and his descent into crack-addictry, so what im trying to say is, stick to Lisa’s posts Mrs. Sorkin!
Anyways, I’m here to talk about episode 2, “Post Hoc, Ergo Propter Hoc” which is just about the most West-Wingy title in the world.
-Josh’s ex-girlfriend Mandy (who is THE WORST) jumps out of her BMW convertible and yells at her client for not running for president anymore. Now she has no campaign to manage and she’s jobless! Wahhh! “I LEFT A JOB AT A FORBES 500 COMPANY, I HAD STOCK OPTIONS” she shrills. Then she threatens to hit her ex-client with a shoe.
-She’s clearly one of Sorkin’s trademark fully developed female characters, think Rashida Jones in “The Social Network” but with less depth. Seriously though, it’s frustrating to have one of the main female characters on this show be such a poorly drawn caricature of the gender, hopefully the later episodes will redeem her. (to be fair, Sorkin has responded to allegations of sexism by saying that he just happens to write about institutions in which sexism exists
-CJ and Toby are doing a concerned “walk ‘n talk”, a staple of the West Wing. Apparently Prez Jed has made an inappropriate joke and it’s a PR disaster, the Rider Cup team won’t even come to The White House for a photo op, which is apparently a huge deal.
-The joke, for the record, involved Prez Jed responding to an inquiry about not spending more time campaigning in Texas with “because I don’t look good in funny hats”. I found it interesting that this episode of WW aired 10 full years before the controversy over President Obama’s comment that he bowls like he’s in the Special Olympics. I’m in no way comparing the two comments, obviously fictional Jed’s hat comment is wholly benign, and Obama’s was probably in poor taste, it’s just an example of what makes WW great. You can absolutely imagine a flock of real CJ and Toby’s descending on Obama’s office the morning after the infamous Tonight Show appearance, and it feels like you’re witnessing something secret and exciting, it’s a backstage pass and I love it. PS is 129 really a bad bowling score?
-Next, Prez Jed drops some serious knowledge on CJ. He tells her “post hoc, ergo procter hoc” (after therefore because of) is gonna be on CJ’s tombstone because she so frequently erroneously attributes bad events (the Rider Team declining a photo op) with the most obvious cause (the Texas joke). Anyway, Jed rocks, he’s the wise grandpa we roll our eyes at, but secretly love and learn from.
-All this un-presidential joking is making everyone around the White House think they need a new media director to put a spin on Prez Jed’s bike accidents, hat jokes etc
-Press Secretary CJ is running a press briefing when one of the reporters drops a bomb on her. Apparently, the Vice President has been quoted saying “this is a time when the president needs our support”—which is a huge diss! Everyone on staff is so pissed and they’re ready to snap into action
-Everyone, that is, except Sam, who just wants to unload his heavy conscience on Josh, telling him that he accidently slept with a call girl. Josh almost does a spit take, then tells Sam that he’s an idiot (which he is) and warns him not to try to save the prostitute.
-CJ tries to approach VP Hoynes about his major diss, but he blows her off and says “CJ, I’ve got my own press secretary” Whoa! A villain within the administration, I love where this is going!
-The president is in a check up with a really friendly young doctor. They have a pretty great exchange about how Doc has a 10 month old child, and they joke around. This scene is going to be significant at the end of the episode, but WW is subtle enough to not highlight and triple underline it’s eventual importance. Prez Jed goes on to tell the Doc that “I know this country has enemies, but I don’t feel violent towards any of them”. Foreshadowing guys! The doc tells Jed that he’s a once in a generation man, and they go their separate ways.
-Sam admits his friend-of-hooker status to Toby, and Toby is pissed too. He asks if anyone saw Sam that night, and Sam is like “ummm only ole’ Billy from the New York Times, can’t see how that would be a problem” and everyone is YIKES. I know Sam is supposed to be naïve, but come on, he is really exhausting in his earnestness and in his stupidity.
-Plumbing the depths of his stupidity, Sam decides to stalk the hooker. To say a proper goodbye or something? Anyway he finds her at a restaurant—with a John—and says that if she won’t leave the table with him he’ll call his BFF, the Attorney General. Way to keep a discrete, low profile Sam! Anyway blah blah Sam tells the hooker he really likes her, and they have a drink together. Are we actually supposed to invest in this relationship and this plotline? Thank God Rob Lowe’s cute or I would snooze through all these segments.
-Leo, Chief of Staff and my fave character calls CJ in to ask if she’s told off the VP for being such a dingleberry. CJ covers for meanie VP and says he was responsive, and that the quote was truncated. Leo’s too perceptive for this BS, and sees right through it, he confronts the Veep directly. VP is defensive and asks how long he has to follow orders from “you and your pal”. Leo is filled with rage and says “Excuse me…but are you referring to the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES”. The VP shrinks in his chair under the awesome Leo, but Leo keeps at him saying he can continue to follow orders, or choose to host celebrity golf matches for the rest of his life. LEO ROCKS, you guys.
-The episode’s last scene begins with a timecard telling us it’s 3:35am at the White House. We learn that the friendly doc’s plane has been shot down by Syrians. The prez is upset and says “I am not frightened. I am going to blow them off the face of the earth with God’s own thunder”. Whoa.
Can’t wait to see what happens next Wednesday in Lisa’s post.