The West Wing: Season 3

I like to call this Season Three: A conversation between friends

HBragg:

1. I feel like Sam isn’t getting any of the good scenes anymore. I miss shows centered around him, because he’s a really funny, passionate character.

2. How can you just STOP TALKING ABOUT characters? Mandy (glad she’s gone, but still….), Mallory, the prostitute. And to some extent, Danny and Zoey. I know they both make re-appearances, but it feels like their storylines were just dropped. Weird.

3. I miss the camaraderie of the first season. You know how at the end of some episodes, they’d all be sitting around eating pizza and drinking beer? They don’t really do that much. Sad.

4. I don’t know if this pans out or not – but do you feel like C.J. and Toby have pretty great chemistry? They pretty much just need to get room.

5. John Spencer was only 58 when he died?! He looks like he’s about 65 DURING THE SHOW!

Jen:

Good thoughts! I’m listening for people to dial into a wrong number for a conference call, so luckily I have time to respond right away! I LURVE talking about The West Wing. Can you tell?

1. I know what you mean. I guess it’s because they’re phasing him out. They don’t want you to go cold turkey, a la…

2. …Mandy, Mallory & the ho. Mallory gets some brief scenes, Danny and Zoey do come back and they give a good reason for Danny. You’ll like it! My mom has to return the disks to me, though, so next week. Next week, Danny; I promise. I would feel bad saying this is a spoiler, but you already know he’s coming back, so…no spoils.

3. I know what you mean. I think they do a really good job of addressing it with all of the “We’re negative more than we used to be” and “It’s starting earlier” language and that kind of thing. Behind the scenes, I wonder if it’s because these actors were really coming out into the leading role world (except for Lowe & Sheen) and might have taken on other gigs and needed more breaks from the show? Harder to get everyone together = less “reunion” time (that’s how I like to refer to all-cast scenes). I know what you mean, though. When I think about my favorite shows (WW, The Wire, LOST), they’re all ensemble casts, not stars and supporters. I love a good all-cast moment.

4. CJ and Toby are GREAT! I love that in the second season they show that Toby was responsible for bringing CJ in. I like how she’s the sole remaining West Coaster (since Sam became an East Coaster) and they let her “vibe” play on that. CJ has some great Sam moments, too. I would’ve loved a CJ/Toby storyline, but…it’s the White House. Maybe if they worked for a lobbyist or something, but in reality, they’d probably both be asked to resign…or at least one of them. I guess the writers were trying to keep it real?

5. RIGHT?!? At times, I feel like he has on pretty heavy makeup, though. I don’t know if it’s his skintone and lighting, or if they added lines to his face. Have you noticed that? If they shot in brighter light (aka if this was a poorly-produced British show), then maybe it wouldn’t be so odd-looking…

I have some thoughts on Will Bailey…I’ve outlined them and just need to flesh them out. I’m such a WW nerd (the fake one, unfortunately. I can’t name anyone but Obama and Biden in the real WW now that Rahm is out. I do know that I’m glad they’re replacing that crap Press Secretary, though. He’s like a Stephen Root character in real life. He creeps me out.)

HBragg:

1. Do you know why Rob Lowe left the show? (Not Sam, but Rob) – I could probably figure it out, but I’m afraid I’ll discover too many plot points. Also, I’m really dreading his departure. I really don’t think that I liked Rob Lowe until this show. Mainly because I did NOT like his character on Brothers and Sisters. Same goes for Allison Janney – I thought she was just kind of kooky, but I’m really looking forward to seeing her in Matthew Perry’s new show. Also, she was fabulous in a guest appearance on Studio 60. Speaking of Matt Perry and Allison Janney – coincidence that they are both Sorkin alums?

1a. Which leads me to this – I wish (and there might be) there were some sort of website that stated the “coincidences” in Sorkin’s three shows. Seems to me that there are a lot of intentional overlaps. Not only with the actors he works with (Busfield, Whitford) but in character names, etc.

2. I love Danny. I forgot to mention that Timothy Busfield was also in a few eps of Entourage. When did I start having crushes on men older than my father?

3. Yeah, I meant to include that in my point – that they do talk about having to start earlier, so it’s not as relaxed as it used to be. But, even in the flashbacks of the first campaign, they were pretty relaxed. (I keep accidentally typing relazzed.) Don’t get me wrong, I still think there are some great cast moments. But I agree with you, my favorite shows are ones where relationships are almost familial or types of traditional (Modern Family, FNL, Veronica Mars to an extent) and non-traditional families (LOST, Friends, Sex and the City). Those “family moments” in television is truly what makes me love a television show, I believe. Which might be the reason I have such a hard time following reality shows like The Amazing Race and Top Chef. Both shows I love, but if I miss an episode, it’s no biggie.

4. Yeah, I guess so – I mean, they all certainly seem to be close in a way that a romantic relationship wouldn’t make much difference. But whatevs. Does Tobes ever get some lovin’?

5. It’s not out of the question that they added lines to his face – but why? When you look at Mallory, she’s probably around our age. And Jenny wasn’t old-looking that I remember. And Jordan, his lawyer that he asked out (that’s as far as I’ve gotten – I haven’t seen if anything has developed), seems younger. So, I guess I don’t understand how old they WANT him to look.

I just finished Season 3’s State of the Union episode. I’m taking a break to clear out my DVR so that it won’t be bogged down when I get back on Monday. Although, I’m sure I’ll get in a couple more before I leave – and might even take it with me to watch in the hotel.

I bet we could write a research paper on The West Wing.

Jen:

Oh, we could totes write a research paper. We’re basically outlining it now…

1. I don’t know, but I think it was to star on another show that was later cancelled. He never should’ve gone so early… I’ve loved Rob Lowe since St. Elmo’s Fire, though. I mean, who wouldn’t crush on a slightly douche-y, rich boy saxophone player who leaves girls high and dry?

1a. You’re going to see even more Sorkin crossovers (and I say that knowing that there are probably MANY more, since I’ve only seen The American President, Bulworth, TWW & SportsNight). One in particular had me cracking up and I can’t wait until you get there so that I can point out why I think it’s so funny. I didn’t catch it until I watched it this third time after Christmas…

2. I do love Danny. On Busfield: I think it’s his softness. His voice is soft, he’s kinda…doughy, but not in a hulk kinda way…his red hair isn’t carrot top red. Just…soft…

3. Yes on FNL. I think that’s where Grey’s Anatomy lost me, even…when they started bringing in the new characters and putting so much conflict with the old ones; releasing some actors from contracts and others pissing people off. It just didn’t seem familial anymore.

4. Tobey…I can’t COMPLETELY remember his storyline, but I remember enough not to want to give anything away. You’ll feel…emotional.

5. Jenny looked to be in her late 40s to early 50s to me. Let’s see…Leo has known the Pres for 40 years, but isn’t from New Hampshire. He was the Secretary of Defense for another President, but obviously not the immediately preceding one because he was running the campaign (unless he left to run the campaign). He’s a Vietnam war vet. So. Basically we should look at John McCain. Yeah. He was supposed to be OLD…at least five to ten years older than he really was, you think? (For reference, McCain is 75 now…I Googled it.)

HBragg:

I watched the episode last night when the Prez played chess with Sam and Tobey. Loved it. And I thought what he said to Sam at the end was great – and something that I kept thinking in the few episodes before. Every time Sam had an encounter with him or Leo, I thought – “they’re going to say something about how he’d make a great President.”

I was right. 🙂

Jen:

YES…Now that you’ve seen that episode, I have to admit that it’s a TV wildest dream of mine that Sorkin do another run of TWW with Sam as Pres. He’d have to wait another couple of years to get the timing right, though (since they elected a new Pres at the end of the series and all…unless they wanted to make a MAJOR mistake and have something crazy happen to the sitting Pres, which is not for TWW. Save that stuff for 24, right?)…

HBragg:

I thought the SAME thing last night!! I’d love to see Rob Lowe in that role again.

I think that even though I’m more physically attracted to Josh and Tobey’s voice/eyes make me crazy – Sam has the personality that I’m most attracted to. Funny, sweet, charming, passionate.

Love him.

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