Wednesday, July 21, 2010

If You Celebrate Christmas In July And Have A LOT Of Disposable Income, Put Me On Your Gift List. If Not, Help Cast The Latest Film!

Oh, where to begin? I am filled with longing and revulsion, nostalgia and anticipation, regret and satisfaction. How could these diametrically opposed sensations all coexist in me at once? I can answer you with one simple reply:

The West Wing.

Please tell me that you were a fan of this show, this Washington, D.C. politics-fest, walk-and-talk brainfood series of 154 episodes that won multiple Emmys and ran for 7 years (1999-2006). This show was Destination Television for me all of those years, and believe me, it took me probably three years to get my mother trained NOT TO CALL ME on Wednesday nights at 9:00, or she would hear me say this when she said Hello and right before I hung up: "Mom, are you kidding? It's time for The West Wing. Goodbye."

Yes, I am serious.

Watching The West Wing made me wistful for a Bartlet presidency. I wanted a President that smart, that passionate, and that much of a great US historian. I wanted that kind of a committed staff in the White House. And when that show went off the air, I was downright bereft. There's never been another show quite like it, and I haven't seen many of the cast members do much of note since. It's as if they know that anything after that would be quite a comedown.

I started thinking about The West Wing when my sister Patti casually mentioned that Bravo network was rerunning it weekday mornings. Not helpful for those of us who work every weekday morning, but this summer, I managed to catch a few episodes here and there in between KittenOlympics and other summertime things. Then it fell off my radar until I saw this little news tidbit regarding the movie treatment of (John Edwards campaign manager) Andrew Young's book The Politician. Aaron Sorkin--the writing genius behind The West Wing--has decided to adapt and possibly direct the film. As much as I hate to have Democratic Dirty Laundry aired on the page and/or silver screen, I am glad to have this slimeball's true nature exposed. I was one of the many who was blithely taken in by Candidate John Edwards, I'm ashamed to say, so I'll be interested to see the development of this movie as well as its final cut.

And, I am already starting to cast the lead. My first thought to play John "Rev. Dimmesdale" Edwards was Robert Sean Leonard (most recently Dr. James Wilson of the television drama House.) But today, after catching two episodes of The West Wing, and falling in love all over again with one of my Original Crushes, I'm not so sure that Rob "I Am So Pretty" Lowe can't do it. Here's a Casting Triptych of sorts, for your perusal. What do you think?

Or, failing either of those two, who would you cast? (I tried to find one of RSL looking suitably prayerful, but alas! Not successful.)

Now I am obsessing over The West Wing, and guess what? TFB, as they say. The price tag for 154 episodes is...well, pricey! And I broke up with Netflix last summer when, er...economics dictated a few changes around the Dept. Not being one to watch telly on the computer, (Rick had to get a new laptop, and it does not use the magic Hulu cable-to-tv-hookup that his other one did), I'll just have to suck it up and catch a few random episodes here and there to get My Fix.

Sigh. Another one of Life's Little Tragedies. How ever do I manage?


  1. Ooh I LOVED the West Wing. But I quit watching when they killed off Mark Harmon. That was tragic. I couldn't get over it.

    I think both of those choices are good, but what about a couple of other brats - Judd Nelson or Andrew McCarthy?

  2. Did you throw away your VCR? I've heard those still work sometimes. You could tape it. I know, duh, you threw away your VCR. Sorry yet?

    I don't want to watch this. I am sick of people's private lives being put out there for our entertainment, no matter what kind of idiot they may be. And I still think there's a difference between what he did in private (asshat) and his overall political philosophy. I have not seen anything that contradicts this view, though I haven't gone looking, because it doesn't matter, his career is (justifiably) over. But he was the only one who spoke up for the poor. And that spoke to me.

    Don't misunderstand. It's not that I think it's ok to act as he did, or that I think people should be given a pass on being asshats in private, as long as I agree with them in public. It's not that. I just think there is more a person than their failings. So while I shun him and his attitudes and his asshat girlfriend, I still agree with what he got up and said when running for President, and I don't feel like that was a mistake.

    Who to play him? I like Rob Lowe. What about Robert Downy Jr.? They both have that public career/private shame thing in their own lives, so they can translate it to the camera.

  3. j.@jj--I absolutely understand the Larger Point re: public life vs. private life. But denying that you are the father of a child, asking someone else to claim paternity, stepping out on a terminally ill all adds up to be such a sickening heap of crap for me that I can't stand it. I just can't reconcile his Lofty Ideals with his Gutter Behaviour.

    No, I do have a VCR--someplace-- but it's not the same as having all those episodes nicely IN ORDER, watching plots and characters enter and exit, develop, etc. Besides, after years and years of VCR ownership, I still have Zero Idea of how to record unless I am watching at the same time. I know. I am Sad And Pathetic.

    The Bug--Here is a recent pic of Judd Nelson, who still has those scarily prominent nostrils. I think those alone make him unsuitable. Now, Andrew McCarthy could be a better face casting, but not if he still does that weird thing with his eyes. You know, how he involuntarily (seemingly) widens them every few seconds or so. Very off-putting. Very. You bring up Mark Harmon, who also might be a good choice! They look somewhat similar, and are only a couple years apart in age, too. I'm off to IMDb to recall Harmon's part in TWW. Didn't make that big an impression on me, I'm afraid. He's very handsome, though.

  4. We have the same taste in men, dear. I, too, was taken in by Mr. Edwards, the cad! And I love Rob Lowe in just about anything, even those Breakfast Club-esque flicks of so long ago. Mr. Fairway decidedly does NOT look like either of these fair gents. In fact, in his younger years, he bore more of a resemblance to John Belushi...

  5. Anonymous2:24 AM

    Love, love, love the West Wing! I couldn't watch it during the "Dubya" years because it depressed me too much, but I catch it now and then in the mornings.

    Mark Harmon played a secret service agent that was guarding CJ Craig when she had some kind of stalker/death threat scenario going on. CJ and Mark's character did a bit of flirting that was about to develop into something more when he was killed in a convenience store robbery.

  6. I never watched West Wing, though it might be one of those shows where I buy the entire series on dvd and have a marathon watching until my brain is soft.

  7. aplo--Save up, then. If you didn't click my link, it's $200. If you do buy it, watch it quick and then loan it to me!

    Anon--Yes, it was a terrible trial to contrast J. Bartlet with The Angel Of Death, wasn't it? I hit up IMDb and took a look at the M. Harmon series synopses to remind myself of his role. He was only in it for 4 episodes, but obv. made a big impression on The Bug. LOL.

    Melissa B.--Oh, I have varying tastes in men. I can go from a pretty boy like Rob Lowe or Orlando Bloom to Hugh Laurie. Your mister is a Belushi ringer, huh? Mine is a Keith Urban lookalike, though considerably greyer now. I am not, however, the least bit a Nicole Kidman ringer. No pale strawberry blonde here.

  8. Do not sully the reputation of RSL with that tripe. He is far above it. I think JE should be forced to play himself just for the humiliation factor. Without being able to get a $400 haircut!

  9. Mark Harmon played some secret service guy - he & CJ were having a little romance when he was shot & killed during a convenience story robbery - I think while CJ was watching. I decided that was TOTALLY unnecessary & quit watching :)

  10. The Bug--Yes, Anonymous above filled me in. I'm not sufficiently interested myself to look at the timeline, but maybe MH was offered NCIS and wanted to bow out after 4 eps to do his starring role there?
    Sounds like some homework for you. ;-)

    Sputnik--RSL has a great gig on HOUSE, but he hasn't had a film role in ages. (I don't think. More homework!!) I really like him as an actor. Wouldn't mind seeing him do more. In anything.

  11. Either actor would be good. I just don't know if I could get into a movie about this scum bag. The worst thing about JE is that we all got sucked into thinking he was one of the few honest politicians out there, and that he really cared about grassroots stuff and the poor.

    I really don't care where any of these guys put their peters as long as they treat us like we have 2 oz. of brains. And if you're gonna cover up about an affair with some DNA behind it, just don't do it while you're married to a woman with terminal cancer and still think you can run for president like none of this is true.

    Never seen WW. It coincided with weekly club meetings I used to go to. Maybe I'll record the re-runs. One thing I love about our DVR: a push of the button and you can record an entire series without even having to think about it.

  12. Bellezza11:11 PM

    The West Wing was directly responsible for my first ever foray into Democratic politics in my small, east Texas town. I envisioned the position of Democratic County Chair eventually leading to a basement office at the White House and coffee with Donna & CJ every day. Is it wrong to still fantasize (occasionally) about “getting busy” with Toby Ziegler? Sigh

  13. Belleza--What a brave soul you are, being "OUT" as a Dem in TX. I have a buddy who also had the hots for TZ, in addition to a few other not-so-traditional love interests. Nothing wrong with that.

    Ortizzle--I couldn't have put it better than your second paragraph, darling.

  14. I was so mesmerized by the photo of Rob Lowe that I didn't read the post. Anyway, thanks for letting me gaze at Rob's Perfect Face, Hair, Eyes, and Smile at the Department.


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