Not that I don't love the Pilot episode

but what happened to the West Wing retrospective? I was promised interviews and clips, not an episode that I (and everyone else who has stuck with the show for most of a decade) have seen so often that I can quote whole pages of dialogue.* Will I watch it? Sure. But I'll whine the entire time.

Anyway, this is not new territory, and if it turns out that they finished the special and didn't air it because they wanted to keep it for the dvd sales, NBC is going to have some really pissed off fans. Who would have bought the damn dvds anyway, and wanted some fucking CLOSURE.


What else? Ah, yes, tonight's episode. Better than last week (at least we got a great CJ & Toby scene) but still not as good as I expected this late in the game. I love Danny Concannon, was pleased to note that Gail the goldfish seems to have weathered the changeover, and Danny and CJ had great lines, even if Twitchy!CJ gets on my nerves.

Mind you, if they wanted to have the big Josh and Donna conversation about how hard it is to do the whole personal life thing, why not just script it with, well, Josh and Donna. So that it made sense.

Seriously, CJ was never the workaholic everyone else was,** so why play out the "I don't know what to do with myself" storyline with her?

If you can't use Leo, and you gave Josh some sort of one-way ticket to the tropics three episodes back,*** don't shoehorn the regret and uncertainty into the closest available romance. The audience will still get it. This is a big deal. Half the staff is checking out early, and the other half is waiting for President Prom Date to ask them to the new adminstration.

What's sad is that this failure to weave all the hanging chads of the West Wing universe together is going to be glaringly obvious next to the Pilot next week. That episode manages to introduce multiple characters, get the audience involved in their lives, and still have a plot.**** All at once. The current efforts to wrap up one storyline in each episode feels like a waste of time, and they don't do justice to the series, which is an ensemble. Not a set of unrelated people who happen to work in the same place.

I really didn't want to end the show feeling irritated at the writers and producers. But I'm really worried about next week being all about the President moving on, with Extra-Special Scenes of the Rest of the Cast stuck into it. I'd hate to have the show go out with a whimper.

* Why can I quote the West Wing and not, for instance, Waltz? Dunno. Probably has something to do with the combination of text and visual imagery. Or else it's because Waltz doesn't look hawt in a sweater.

** By which I mean, she was a workaholic, but she also managed (better than anyone else on the staff) to have a life. One with dating, and conversations, and a cancelled fly-fishing trip.

*** Isn't anyone else worried that he took a week off in November, and now it's the week before the Inauguration, and he seems to have disappeared? Did Donna chop him up and feed him to a shark or something? It isn't rocket science to have more than one set of characters appear in the same episode, folks. It can be done. You have the power to do it. So stop screwing around with this soap opera Law and Orderish crap.

**** Along with a "sudden arboreal stop," one of the greatest euphemisms ever coined.


At 5/08/2006 10:15 AM, Anonymous serena said...

LOL sounds like you are having abumpy end of the season/forever for WW

At 5/12/2006 2:49 PM, Blogger Elizabeth said...

That's one word for it. I prefer the phrase "John Wells is evil incarnate."

But maybe that's just me.


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