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RE: The West Wing - Aria - 09-06-2010 09:54 AM

I loved Glen Close in "The Supremes", her scenes with Josh and then with Bartlett and the other nominee at the end were brilliant. I thought a spin off of her character into another show would have been great, especially given her personal history.

RE: The West Wing - JHyde - 09-06-2010 10:08 AM

Funny trivia about that episode: Glenn Close, Allison Janney and William Fichtner also did a movie together just a few months later called 'The Chumbscrubber'. It also had Jason Isaacs in it, although his guest spot didn't happen until right at the end of season 5/season 6.

The film didn't get release for a long time, but it's worth seeing and has a great cast. Janney and Close are superb in it and it also stars Jamie Bell. Or Billy Elliot.

I was watching 'Take This Sabbath Day' last night. I got a bit teary knowing that it was Karl Malden's last screen appearance. He worked until he couldn't anymore, although he only died mid last year after a long illness. It's also a really interesting episode, from the point of view that it is one of the few times that Bartlet's Catholicism is really dealt with and whether it is appropriate or not in his role.

Sorry to post so much on this thread, guys. I really, REALLY love this show. I basically grew up with it.

RE: The West Wing - nothingisasitseems - 10-06-2010 12:28 PM

Sam Seaborn was my favourite character and I lost touch with the show when he left but there was also the chicken and egg situation. It lost viewers and C4 started moving it about to unsocial time slots, fewer watched etc. If it had continued in its usual slot I probably would have continued to watch.

I eventually caught up with it on DVD when HMV had the whole series on offer and I received it as a Christmas present.

Post-Sorkin was obviously different but I have to say I enjoyed the later Seasons in their own way. It was going to be hard to keep all the actors together for 8 years although they eventually squeezed it into 7. Obviously the last couple were going to concentrate quite heavily on the Presidential election but I enjoyed them and Alda and Smits were excellent in their roles.

In fact the episode which I rewatch the most and others have already mentioned it is from S5 - The Supremes. I like Glenn Close although I was never her biggest fan but she was amazing in that episode, her interviews with Toby and Josh were masterpieces and the whole thing just encapsulated the Series showing how political machinations worked - it was also Josh's finest moment.

Interestingly they must not have wanted to pay a fee but in a later episode when the Chief Justice appeared they introduced her by name but it was somebody completely different!!

Certainly the "second" cast wasn't as strong as the first but Lily Tomlin was almost worth watching on her own. Her first couple of interviews with Bartlett were a hoot and although she might sometimes have been thought disrespectful to the President she almost only had to appear on the screen to have you laughing.

If I am rewatching the whole Series the one episode I fast-forward is The Long Goodbye where CJ goes home - it seems to be out of context with everything else and bores me.

Despite the falling viewing figures at least the Network treated the fans with respect and saw the Series out. I might have liked the final Season a couple of episodes longer and seen some more time devoted to what was happening inside TWW and the first couple of months of the new administration but then the ending with Bartlett flying into the sunset was probably the right one.

One thing which struck a raw note was the library scene at the beginning of the final Season. It really was an odd gathering. Why no Abby, Donna or Debbie? Since he was back and left on amicable terms Sam would have been there but obviously he wasn't on the cast at this stage - maybe they hadn't even decided yet to bring him back.

As far as I'm aware John Spencer was still alive at this stage and also when it was aired so it is really odd that he was missing. Obvious fortuitous for them he wasn't included, I wonder if they had some foreknowledge of what mihgt happen?

But it did destroy the ending to some extent. We knew either Toby was pardoned or turned out not to be the leak and it gave away the path CJ chose. I thought she and Danny were a really odd couple and didn't see much chemistry between them - CJ's best match was Simon Donovan but then I'm a Mark Harmon fan. I don't see how that could have worked into the Series though.

I felt they left a couple of things regarding Sam unfinished. There is no way he would not have been at Leo's funeral if possible. They maybe didn't want to pay him a fee but there could surely have been a line between him and Josh "I was sorry to miss but ..................."

Sams' re-introduction was superb mirroring his initial recruitment by Josh but the glaring omission was ignoring a reunion between him and Toby considering their close relationship during the first four year's of the Bartlett administration and the fact that Toby stood shoulder-to-shoulder with him during the California 49th by-election. I can't decide how the idealistic Sam would have re-acted to Toby's betrayal.

Foreign policy was a big part of the later Seasons but on the whole I preferred it when they stuck to domestics.

The best TV programme ever - after SPOOKS, of course!

RE: The West Wing - JHyde - 10-06-2010 12:46 PM

I think the main reason John Spencer and Donna were missing in that scene was that they were trying to leave it open about who won - that final shot before the credits only shows someone stepping out of the car, not who it was. Even with Josh coming in, it wasn't clear who the President of three years hence was. As you say, they lucked out too.

I actually remember reading press at the time that Vinick would win, but with Spencer's death they decided to let Josh and Santos win.

I loved Alda in his role that won him an Emmy so many years after Hawkeye. M*A*S*H was a huge source of inspiration both for Sorkin and for John Wells, so I'm not surprised that they tried (successfully) to get him on the show.

I think the reason they never had a scene between Sam and Toby in season 7 was because they had Rob Lowe for 3 days to shoot his scenes and Richard Schiff only on limited time too - he wasn't a regular that last season. I remember a lot of fans asking about it at the time. That scene in season 4 with them in the bar with Toby saying that he wants to stand next to Sam as people throw rocks at him - so beautiful. The Toby/Sam dynamic was very touching at times, despite it mostly being comedic.

The show got jerked around a lot out here too, nothingisasitseems. It jumped networks and timeslots multiple times and they took almost a full year to show the final season here after it aired in the States.

Debbie got the best line ever in the show - 'Does that come with tights and a cape?' in response to Bartlet waxing lyrical about some rubbish skill he 'possessed'. I ADORE Lily Tomlin. It's so funny how now she plays Kathryn Joosten's sister on Desperate Housewives. Strange how things work out.

RE: The West Wing - nothingisasitseems - 12-06-2010 11:09 AM

Thanks for the heads up re. Rob Lowe, JH.

I wasn't aware of how little time they had for his shoots.

There is a mystery surrounding the ending of the show. Lawrence O'Donnell the leading producer said that it was intended Vinick would win but John Spencer's death changed their thinking and the last episodes were then re-scripted by John Wells. However Wells denied this and in fact the scripts showing Santos winning were written long before John Spencer's death.

Then in another interview in 2008 O'Donnell contradicted himself saying that it was planned at the outset for Jimmy Smits to win but Vinick came on so strong that it became a real contest in the West Wing writer's room and they left the final decision until the very last minute.

Various other producers on the show have also given conflicting accounts of what was intended.

I thought it was a good ending. I can't begin to imagine how it would have gone if Vinick had won.

RE: The West Wing - JHyde - 12-06-2010 11:15 AM

I'm not surprised there was conflict over who did what and when. It gets confusing but it was a pretty major deal - who was going to win. I think they probably started out the season wanting Alda to win and maybe came around not long before Spencer died just before Christmas. At which point everything had to be re-written anyway.

Yeah, I also found it very poignant. I love the final episode, particularly the scene with CJ and Josh with the post-it saying 'WWLD'. I've also spoken on this thread at length about how Toby's presence hangs very heavy on this episode, even though RS isn't in it. You can really hear all those amazing scenes with Richard and Martin taking place all over again as the President wrestles with whether or not to sign the pardon for him.

I honestly think that the show was at its best in the scenes either in Leo's office or the President's office and some of my very favourite episodes are based around Toby taking to the President. Some of Sorkin's very best writing.

That thing about how long Lowe was on set was something I learned from an interview Rob Lowe did with TV Week in Australia in 2007, by which time he was working on Brothers and Sisters. They threw in a couple of questions about The West Wing because the final couple of episodes were screening here around the same time as his new show was screening for the first time on another network. He was only working with Janel Moloney and Brad Whitford, pretty much and that was 'cause he was only around for a few days. He was around for Janel's final shot on the show as well as his own, and he said that was really moving.

The West Wing is a bit of a cult show here in Australia. A lot of good friends from uni love it (we're all nerdy, political, writing types), but I find in the broader population it's not so well known at all, compared to the commercial hit it was in the States.

RE: The West Wing - Silktie - 30-07-2010 05:24 AM

Another thing West Wing and Spooks have in common: Both shows did PTSD storylines - in WW it was Josh after being shot, and of course in Spooks it is Adam after Fiona's death.

RE: The West Wing - Kazters - 30-07-2010 03:31 PM

joshs one seems to only really be one ep, which is over the time frame of 1 month where as i think adams goes on for months getting worse and worse! that said Noel is one the best eps of the west wing and TV in general! the line about a man falls down a whole gets me everytime!

i love the west wing josh and donna shipper and adore CJ she reminds me a lot of Ros

RE: The West Wing - Silktie - 30-07-2010 04:39 PM

(30-07-2010 03:31 PM)Kazters Wrote:  i love the west wing josh and donna shipper and adore CJ she reminds me a lot of Ros

That's interesting. In what way does CJ remind you of Ros?

RE: The West Wing - JHyde - 30-07-2010 04:42 PM

Brad Whitford is doing a live chat on The Washington Post web page today at 12 noon EST. He'll be answering questions about The West Wing as well as his current show.

If anything interesting comes up I'll post it here.

I thought I'd provide the link to the interview. He does a lot of paying out Josh Malina, with whom he is actually very good friends. They've worked together since A Few Good Men on Broadway.

It looks like the show's full run of episodes will at least be shown.