Hi there, everyone! I hope that you’re all doing well(: I recently had a new idea for a series of posts (I’m always coming up with them, lol), and it was inspired by a show I began watching a few weeks ago with my mom! It’s called, as you saw from the title, The West Wing. It’s an intriguing political drama TV show, and it revolves around the lives of the main characters who work in the Oval Office.
Since I’m taking American government for 12th grade right now, I’m able to recognize different terms and statements used that I wouldn’t have understood even a few weeks ago! I’ve really enjoyed what I have seen so far, and after the first few episodes, I thought that it would be so much fun to write posts on what each episode is about, as well as my favorite parts from them. It will be nice to look back on later, and definitely fun to write right now!
For each post, I’ll do four episode summaries / analysis, and as I just found out, there are over 150 episodes! Depending on how long I watch the show, this series could go on forever, haha!!
Let’s jump right into this.
Episode One – Pilot
Summary: We are introduced to the main characters who work in the White House, as well as two main problems in the storyline: the President, newly in-office, had a bicycle accident, and the director of communications has a domestic issue that needs to be dealt with.
Thoughts: This episode moved along soooo fast! I almost couldn’t keep up with the constant talking and swiftly-moving camera. Much of the show follows the main characters around the office as they walk from room to room, which means that there are a lot of scenes where the actors are practically chasing the camera crew, haha! With each of those scenes, I am in awe at how smoothly and quickly the camera whizzes through the halls and around sharp corners. I’m sure the blooper reel is fantastic! My only complaint about the Pilot is that they take quite a few minutes to introduce Mr. President, and I wasn’t a fan of that suspense, but hey, that’s just plain ole me being impatient.
Episode Two – Post Hoc, Ergo Proptor Hoc
Summary: Disagreements between President Bartlet and the Vice President come to the surface, and news of an attack on Americans reaches the White House.
Thoughts: The main thing that stands out to me from this episode is the title, which is how Bartlet describes the press secretary after she says something that gets her into a bit of trouble. I was cracking up during the whole scene that played out, especially when Bartlet tried to get everyone in his office at the time to translate it, which they failed at. The ending of Post Hoc, Ergo Proptor Hoc was very sad, and led into the third episode.
Episode Three – A Proportional Response
Summary: President Bartlet takes action against the attack first addressed in the previous episode, weighing the options on what the “proportional response” should be. Meanwhile, C.J., the press secretary, works at solving the problem Sam (the communications director) got himself into.
Thoughts: The main thing that captured my interest from this episode were the two scenes that Bartlet met with the military leaders to decide upon the proportional response to the terrorist attack. He basically stated that if they told the terrorists where they were going to strike back (which they had), that group of people would have time to prepare and evacuate (which they did). Bartlet said that an image he saw via satellite showed that the area they planned to bomb was abandoned. The reason that stood out to me was because it reminded me of something Trump said, I think at the beginning of his presidency. A news reporter had asked him how and when he was going to attack [select country], and Trump said, “If I tell you that, then they’re going to find out!” I agree with both Bartlet and Trump. By letting the enemies know our strategy plans pretty much foils the purpose of the attack.
Episode Four – Five Votes Down
Summary: The episode begins with President Bartlet giving a speech and, while it definitely pleases the crowd and is a big success, the important people voting weren’t as impressed. Over the course of a couple days, the Oval Office ferociously works toward getting the five votes they lost (and still need), all in the midst of the President struggling with an infirmity.
Thoughts: Leave it to me to find the most joy in the silly/stupid scene of an episode! Pretty close to the ending, the President invites his closest staff to an impromptu meeting in his office, while wearing sweatpants and a college sweatshirt. He had taken more pain pills than he was supposed to, and in his confused state, snuck out of his bedroom to interact with everyone who happened to be in his office at the time. I was cracking up the whole time! And as for the rest of the episode, the whole debate/press conference/losing votes ordeal wasn’t very clear to me, as I couldn’t understand much of the jargon. That might be why the drugged Bartlet scene was so hilarious to me!
Thank you sooo much for reading! I had fun writing this. Let me know in the comments below: