Now, going back to The West Wing....
Sorkin and the Art of Interruptus
Did Sorkin have some kind of moral objection to not filming some of the coolest scenes? So far, I'm irritated by the following missing scenes:
1.) When the president asked CJ to be Chief of Staff.
I freaking deserved to see that. I wanted to see CJ's reaction. I wanted that. Following CJ for five long seasons and her moving from Press Secretary to Chief of Staff is gorgeous. It was career development, it was character development, it was noticeable progress and I wanted to see her asked.
(I would also love to know why Leo chose her. I am never not happy to hear praise of the awesome of CJ.)
2.) Season three starter--while I liked the pick-up, somehow the dramatic tension of the end of season two was totally destroyed by how they framed it. And the end of season two was awesome and yes, I do love musical numbers thrown in, so that was part of it, but also part of it was the momentum they carried those last ten minutes that the beginning of season three, with the immensely important announcement, was just not there. And I know it's not just watching like this that's doing it; I watched it at first airing too and was irritated that it didn't have the same pacing or cadence or focus.
3.) Season six, last ep, Democratic convention. The rush and focus and drama was fantastic. And then just flattened out after Santos' speech. What really irritates me is up to that, all the action was actiony and exciting and breathless and the win by Santos should have damn well been a dramatic climax to everything that went before, but it was pretty much told second hand and my God, Santos was told to leave the race. I wanted to see that moment of realization that they won.
There are others, but those are the ones I watched in the last four days, so those are the ones on my mind.
Don't get me wrong, I applaud the idea of lowering melodrama. But there's lowering melodrama and then there's freaking coitus interruptus to get up for a snack.
About the Women
I love Donna and CJ to the point of crazy. I mean, from the first season to last, tehy are never not awesome. CJ especially, being brilliant and competent and together and so amazingly good at their jobs. Competence is such a turn on.
Donna as much as CJ, because it's neat to see her evolution from assistant to press sec for the VP's campaign to deputy press for Santos to Chief of Staff for the new First Lady. It's neat to see her learn and grow, what she learned from Josh, from CJ, from the entire senior staff, how she became this incredibly well-rounded, complex individual with ambitions and goals and a practical understanding of politics, but remained an idealist all along.
I did like Abby Bartlet a lot, but she wasn't a character that had that kind of journey, so leave my love here as she was fantastic, just not in following along with developmental thingie.
Which is more than I can say for Toby (who I love, but has a strong tendency to irritate me when he stops being a brilliant political adviser and starts being annoying as hell; what is up with that?), Josh (my adoration is pure, but he needed more naps like whoa; I mean, I totes recognize the symptoms from Child and really wanted to drag him into an emtpy room, give him some juice and require thirty minutes of a power nap sometimes), Leo (this is complex, because he was complex in his roles and his functions), Charlie (okay, I lied. Charlie is my future husband. He transcended awesome; new words are needed).
Wanted to beat the president a lot (out of love!) and send him to nap at the same time Josh did, because seriously, people. Naps are love. And Christ did they need them.
I missed Sam, but I also like the fact that he and Leo both left and came back and allowed for a natural expansion to the character list without losing the spirit or energy of the show. Leaving of the real world reasons why the characters left or moved to recurring, to me in watching, it kept the show fresh with new personalities and new problems and new solutions. And a part of me does wish they'd moved CJ to Chief at fifth season instead of sixth to take advantage of the natural evolution of a White House staff.
I did not fall in love with Will. I don't know why. I didn't hate him, but he got on my nerves without having the buffer of my adoration. Not sure what was up with that.
I never ever thought Margaret was anything but an awesome higher alien life came to earth to make sure we didn't blow up.
Annabeth Schott, the one that coached Toby to be a workable press secretary, started to grow on me a lot. More screentime, she'd be up there with CJ. Though I wonder if her quirkiness, which was very very quirky might or might not have gotten on my nerves if exposed too much.
And--some other people who were there. I really didn't hate any characters, though anyone who was Speaker of the House (with the exception of John Goodman, who rocked his Republicanness when he was Acting President) I watched warily.
I seriously had a thing for Josh and Donna. Despite teh fact it was dragged out seven years, and possibly because I watched this show in like, two weeks, their development in a relationship totally worked for me. I like that it came after she wasn't his assistant or his employee, and I love that it happened long after she'd found herself and what she wanted to do with her life.
(I seriously get a kick out of the potential future of the president's chief of staff and the first lady's chief of staff being married. That kills me.)
Points of Irritation
The biggest problem I had, which is common to media so it's not just Sorkin, is the reluctant/unhappy/not wanting this political wife. Okay, call me crazy here, but I don't buy dozens of women marry men who plan to run for office with the idea they will, you know, not run for office. While I understand it can be disenchanting, one deeply and positively supportive, committed wife would not be the end of the world. When one hears that one's husband might be president, one does not look grim and depressed and make him sleep on the couch. One says "WHEE!" Unlike "Wiii!" As you can see by the different spelling.
WHEE. PRESIDENT. I will chart out my reaction if I ever got married to a man who wanted to run for president.
"WHEEEEEE!" But probably in more presidental-like inarticulate sounds.
This is the presidency. Yes, it will suck in some ways, but not-suck in many, many others, not least of which is it is the Presidency of the United States and it's not like that kind of job comes around all that often.
Then again, this isn't restricted to the presidency. There's a strong, strong, strong edge of martyred or reluctant wives for astronauts, presidents, CEOs, or any high-profile or powerful job. I can't tell where this is coming from except the idea a wife shouldn't want their husband to lead a space mission, country, or world, but instead should stay home and work on the gutters (see my irritation wtih Apollo 13 like whoa, where all the wives, who married astronauts--my God, what did you think he was going to do, take up crochet?--were utterly miserable and hoping they'd leave that line of work already.
I do not get this at all. Then again, I don't get that the candidates, to be good candidates that we sympathize with, also never want the job or drag their feet on it and look depressed at the idea of running for office. It is the presidency of the United Freaking States and I hate to say it, but while it's modest and maybe it is supposed to show how you are a reluctant leader and not interested in power, mostly it actually shows you are an idiot and should be beaten with a copy of the Constitution because you cannot sit there and complain about the leadership and then completely horrified by the idea of being in the leadership.
(I'll be honest; if I had a husband and he tried to stay around fixing the gutters all day, I would kill him and hide the body. That is too much together and also, the gutters do not need that kind of work and nothing throws off writing long, loving, kinky porn quite like a hovering person that isn't fannish wondering what you are doing. Really. Ideally, my marriage would have a lot of AIM convos and sharing sci-fi collections. You see why I have no intention of getting married unless they can verify a massive love of a major online role playing game or an obsession with some sort of out of the house sport; I need space.)
And...going back to watch more season seven. I am dreading the Toby thing. I really am.