I haven't had a TV since 2010. Actually, that's just been fixed, but that story is for another day. I've spent the past few years doing a lot of reading and watching DVD's on my laptop in the evening. Even before I gave up my TV, I didn't watch a lot of network stuff; I was kind of addicted to HGTV. So when my friends Maggie and Bill very generously offered to let me borrow their DVD collection of the entire "The West Wing" series, I really didn't know what a treat I was in for.
Watching the series, sometimes two or three episodes a night, in its entirety, straight through was a unique experience in television viewing. I'm probably not telling you anything you don't already know...the series was absolutely superb! The writing was flawless, the dialogue snappy and real. The political and world issues tackled in every episode are as timely today as they were when the series aired from 1999-2006, maybe even more so And the show was a lesson in civics for me. I found myself more than once logging onto the Internet to get answers. When's the last time you thought about things like cloture, the rules of the filibuster, and who is in the line of Presidential succession after the VP and Speaker of the House?? Watching as I did, I really became immersed in the characters which were very well developed. I feel as if I became friends with them all especially CJ, Josh, Donna, and Toby. Even some weeks after finishing season 7, I find myself wondering if Danny and CJ are happy in California, if Josh and Donna are making their complicated relationship work, and whether Jed and Abby Bartlet are surviving retirement and each other! And don't even get me started on Jimmy Smits...oh la la!
One surprising thing I noticed in this series was the music. I don't remember ever being so drawn into music in a TV dramatic series. I've shared the final scene of the final episode of season 3 here. This is the song that first drew my attention to how effectively music was used to enhance the drama. Maybe I noticed because I cried all the through these last 5 minutes of the program!
If you're interested in other music from the series, here is a link to the site I used to purchase and download various songs to a playlist on my computer.