Friday, April 21, 2006

I Bet I Would Be Good At It, Too

I've been watching the first season of "The West Wing" on DVD lately, one episode after another. I didn't start watching this show until fairly late, probably in season three or so, but I became an instant addict. It almost always made me cry at some point during an episode, and often took my breath away with the idea that government could actually do some good in the world. I was waitressing when I started watching, and I used to devote my limited television time to a group of shows that I taped every week and played back a half hour or so at a time, in between classes and work. Basically, it was the NBC Wednesday night and Thursday night lineups: The West Wing, Law and Order, Friends, whatever the 8:30 show was (Scrubs being by far my favorite over the years), Will and Grace, whatever the 9:30 show was (though I often fast forwarded through this and sometimes through the 8:30, if it sucked, as it often did), and ER. At the end of the West Wing episode, I always felt like calling Hulio and screaming "I'M MOVING TO WASHINGTON TO BE A WHITE HOUSE STAFFER! I'M GOING TO SAVE THE WORLD!". Sometimes, I actually did call her and say that (but I didn't scream, I'm a good friend that way).

It's funny how much things have changed since this show started, and I don't just mean the precipitous decline in the quality of the show's writing after Sorkin's cocaine-fueled departure. For example, in one of the episodes they go on about a budget surplus and how it should be used at length, and I had a little jolt as I thought to myself "Ohhhhhh, yeah... we used to have a budget surplus. Damn, I miss the Clinton era."

And in the vein of plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose, Everytime the theme song starts to play, I lunge for the remote to fast forward through the commercials, even though I know full well that I'm watching a DVD and there will be no commercials. Then I feel a little foolish, even though I'm the only one there to see.



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