Ugh, I hate West Wing finales.
I watched the first season and the finale blew my head off - assassination attempt! Wow! So upsetting, but we spent the entire summer going, "Toby was IN the car, so he's not shot ... CJ got leveled by someone close by, so the person who shielded her might be hit ... Josh wasn't anywhere near the car, so fer shur he's good."
So, since you all don't watch (except my precious DudleyFan, who tried), I'll let you know how that played out: Josh. Got. Shot. Riccochet, my friends, ric co chet. Major bummer. Such a bummer, I was in tears for three episodes.
CJ had a necklace torn from her neck in the shooting, and weeks later, it found its way back to her. She didn't remember, she'd blocked it out, but Sam (Rob Lowe) shielded her. So much for his wus liberal ass, he saved the cool girl who cracks wise to the press. Go, Sam! She also didn't know that Mark Harmon was there that night on the security detail, and she later fell in love with him, and *sigh* DF already told you how that ended. Here's a hint: Regarding Henry.
So, the president is injured but alright; the rest of the staff is good; Charlie (Dule Hill, who dated the pres's daughter, Zoe) is devastated that he was the target of the assault, but he's okay.
So far, this season has been less than thrilling. The wars going on in real life have reigned in the regular flippancy with which Sorkin and Schlamme put together a show. That zip and fire, fast-paced dialogue and comraderie between the youthful staff members, staffers who know the system and teach us a little and then hit us over the head with a line, has always been the appeal. For me, anyway.
I'm a fan of <!--EZCODE ITALIC START--><em>The American President</em><!--EZCODE ITALIC END-->, for the most part, too. I just like the way Sorkin writes fallible as normal, and plops it into the heart and mind of a ridiculously powerful human being (just as Carville and Stefanopolous tried to do for Clinton - see, <!--EZCODE ITALIC START--><em>The War Room</em><!--EZCODE ITALIC END-->, a pret ty interesting documentary about the 1992 campaign). One campaign, and , voila! a formula is born.
And if ya didn't already know it, I love <!--EZCODE ITALIC START--><em>SportsNight</em><!--EZCODE ITALIC END-->, the short-lived situation comedy ABC was ever blessed to broadcast into my likewise blessed home. I now set my alarm on Sundays to watch it on Comedy Central, chillin in my jammies, coffee in hand, at 7 am. Big Sorkin fan over here. Yo! If you watched the show, Jeremy (Natalie's boyfriend? Joshua Malina - love him) succeeded Sam as deputy chief of communications (Rob Lowe, who left because The Man wouldn't pay).
But formulas grow tired after a couple of seasons and dozens of shows. They might be trying something new now, perhaps easing into new writers, as I heard recently that Sorkin will leave the writing post on The West Wing. Wow, it hurt my fingers to type that. Some kind of dispute with NBC, I have no idea, but the point is, there's a chance they knew this was going to happen and haven't been dominating the writing process for awhile. Sorkin's no idiot, as soon as these wars started, he knew his time was limited on NBC. It's all about playing ball on NBC. Make nice-nice with the country.
I taped last season and the first part of this season of The West Wing for L.A. Liz, and somehow I've been missing the show over the last few months. Major re-runs got me out of the habit. So, reminded by a radio advertisement, and somehow duped into thinking it the season finale, I tuned in last week. Well! Zoe has been kidnapped, y'all, and the FBI lost a few terrorists they were keeping an eye on - hmm.
I have to say, there's some weird shit going on in this show, now that I'm paying attention to it all. Weird, weird shit.
First of all, Zoe has been seeing a French aristocrat or prince or something. Now, we have two angles to work with this Jean Paul dude, because Charlie (Dule) is in the mix. Jean Paul began as virile competition for Charlie, early in the season. He was there, Charlie was hurt, Zoe was all about JP, and it looked as though things were over between them.
Later on in the season, Charlie is all about getting Zoe back. Jean Paul wanders into Charlie's office in the West Wing, looking for Zoe (never would happen in real life, Charlie's office touches the Oval Office - which makes me think Sorking ain't driving the bus no more). They're to meet at some shin-dig in the White House, and he can't remember where he was supposed to meet her. He's high. He's five feet from the most powerful office in the world, and he's fucked up. No kidding. Oh, and he's French, don't forget!
So in the last ep, Zoe graduates from college, and she and Charlie meet before she goes to a party she's promised to attend. She arrives late, and her SS detail are on her like fly on poopie. JP is there, and already wasted. He drugs her drink with Exstacy ("just a little bit") and she feels unwell, and goes to the ladies room to splash her face with water.
There are four secret service in Zoe's detail. One out front, the sore thumb with the big car and big ass gun, wearing a suit; and the blenders - dressed down and posted, two inside with Zoe, one outside the alley entrance.
Zoe never reappears from the ladies room, and head guy eventually finds the alley watcher in a pool of blood, dead by gunshot to the head. Zoe is gone.
Zoe is gone, kidnapped presumably by terrorists, and it's the French guy's fault. NOT the FBI's, who lost the three in question, but the French guy's, because he put Exstacy in her drink, and she had to go to the ladies room, and from there she was kidnapped.
Weak. Weak. Weak. A not a little too pandering.
I'm wondering, though, if they'll lay off this little thing, Jean Paul's Frenchness and wreckless disregard for an American citizen's health and safety, not to mention an American President's health and safety, one that cost one life, and threatens the happiness and security of all Americans.
Maybe this is like that State Dinner, in <!--EZCODE ITALIC START--><em>The American President</em><!--EZCODE ITALIC END-->, where the French were again the focus, boring and seemingly rude. Turns out, they wanted to have a dance, and no one even tried to speak their language, so they were *almost* dismissed as pains in the ass, but then, someone took a close look at what they said and did, and gave their idea a chance. Dance. Talk French. Drink their bubbly wine.
It's all very interesting, to say the least, to my perhaps overreading brain.
Let's see what they do with Jean Paul tonight, and maybe we can spend the summer thinking about it.