West Wing to End

Now I’m sad.

The West Wing makes a very good challenge for my favourite tv show of all time and the only reason the position is challenged is because of a blip in the quality after Aaron Sorkin left. The first 4 seasons of this show are absolutely superb – they’re interesting, funny, dramatic, touching and sad. I can go back and watch almost any episode and be moved by it even after half a dozen other viewings. After Aaron Sorkin left the show floundered a bit, with some poor choices of plotline and a hole in the writing that just never quite filled. But the first half of season 7 I’ve seen put me back on the edge of my seat, I was physically jittery when I ran out of episodes, desperately wanting to know what was going to happen.

The loss of John Spencer hurt, and I’m almost dreading watching the episodes dealing with his passing. I’ve been re-watching season 3 and it’s painful to think of the show without him. It’s almost cruel that having found a way to keep him in the show following the change of administration he passed so suddenly. Season 8 of the show would already have to stand the loss of several of the characters we’ve followed, not least the president himself (the fact that for all this show’s awards, Martin Sheen has won very few, nominated five times for the emmy and never winning it).

I can’t quite understand cancelling the show now. While the ratings have fallen, that’s hardly surprising given the move to a Sunday night time slot and the transitory nature of the year. While I’m not surprised The West Wing has been cancelled, I am confused by the lack of a partner announcement for a spin off series for the new administration. If the West Wing is failing, why cancel it just as they’re about to have a huge shift in nature of the show?

Maybe it is better for the show to end at this point, but I’m going to miss these characters. I have a huge number of show quotes on my site but so many of the things that make The West Wing great were not the words, but the things that were not said, because they didn’t need to be.

Favourite West Wing Moments

  • Josh and Leo, end of season 6: “You”
  • Toby’s speeches
  • Josh and Donna: If you were in an accident, I wouldn’t stop for red lights.
  • Almost anything Charlie ever said. Or didn’t say.
  • Epic steady-cam shots
  • Latin
  • Every time the president flips his jacket
  • Josh and Leo: a guy’s walking down the street and he falls into a hole
  • Dire Strait’s Brothers in Arms, Tori Amos I Don’t Like Mondays, Jeff Buckley Hallelujah
  • Big Block of Cheese Day
  • Gail!
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