Hey gladiators! It has been a while since we visited the White House and there is still at least two weeks until the 27th. But since I was missing my Oval Office connection, I decided to check out an oldie but a goodie on Netflix. Aaron Sorkin is the master of intelligent television with brilliant satires like “The Newsroom” and “Studio 60 0n the Sunset Strip” . Sorkin’s tribute to politics was “The West Wing” It plays out to be a more nuts and bolts approach to politics compared to Shonda’s romanticized version. Sorkin’s White House staff seems to be more like a family than the backstabbing gang on “Scandal”. Sorkin used a lot of political jargon in his scripts and took viewers on a whirlwind tour of a presidential campaign. If you want to learn about politics, check out the last two seasons where two television heavy weights , Jimmy Smits and Alan Alda play Presidential candidates Matthew Santos and Arnold Vinick. They will amaze you in their no holds bar debate in “The Debate” An acting tour de force indeed.
Martin Sheen plays the gentle, but human POTUS “Jed Bartlet He is a President who is brilliant , but crippled by his MS in later seasons. Stockard Channing plays the stand by your man First Lady, Abby Bartlet. The show ‘s guest stars read like a who’s who of Hollywood with guest stars like Ed ONeill, Gary Cole, John Goodman, Matthew Perry, James Pickens Jr., Rob Lowe, Tim Matheson, Teri Polo, Kristin Chenoweth, Lily Tomlin, Janeane Garafalo, Patricia Richardson, and the list goes on. “West Wing ” alumni include Elizabeth Moss of “Mad Men” Allison Janney of “Mom” Bradley Whitford of “Trophy Wife”and Dule Hill of “Psych” . This was not their first romp in the Capitol, “Scandal” cast members on the show include Jeff Perry, Bellamy Young, and most notably Joshua Malina played White House communicator Will Bailey.
Each week, viewers were treated to a special insiders view of the workings of government and also the private life of the President and his family. The scripts are brilliant and intelligent. It is definitely worth looking at.
Stepping out of his Chandler Bing role on “Friends” , Matthew Perry played Joe Quincy , White House counsel on the show. Later on, Perry would co star with Whitford in “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip” another Sorkin show.