The West Wing 03-31-04

Discussion in 'TV Shows' started by Lew Crippen, Apr 1, 2004.

  1. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    Last night’s episode was definitely sub par. Sometimes these ‘special’ edition shows are interesting or provide interesting character background.

    But the decision to focus on CJ by making her the subject of a TV quasi-documentary was so clearly only a way to crank out a show with minimal involvement from the rest of the cast. CJ had almost no interaction with the regular cast members (the majority of their time on-camera was as ‘talking heads’). And some of the shots clearly came from footage left over from other episodes.

    What is worse, the references to her performance in a related FBI incident had her in an unattractive hairdo and wearing glasses, in addition to her performance as a wimp.

    Perhaps I’m just not remembering, but I don’t think that she was ever portrayed as having looked like that.

    Was this the moment that The West Wing jumped the shark?
     
  2. Kevin Porter

    Kevin Porter Supporting Actor

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    C.J. unattractive?! I didn't see the episode last night but let me say that (in my opinion. I may be alone on this one) C.J. Cregg is one of the most if not the most beautiful woman on television. I'd take her over Sydney Bristow, any day of the week. That assertiveness, that voice, that wit, that smoothness in the press room. (These are all qualities from Seasons 1-4 of course) You want your heart to break? Watch Season 3's "The Women of Qumar" ("They're beating the women!") or "Posse Comitatus" (Which uses Jeff Buckley's Hallelujah to a perfection beyond words). Want to laugh so much it hurts? Watch Season 1's "Celestial Navigation" ("I haa roo canaw") and "Six Meetings Before Lunch" (The Jackal). By far the best female character to come across television in the last 20 years.
     
  3. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    I could not agree with you more, Kevin. But in the flashbacks, many of those qualities you mention were missing (assertiveness, wit, confidence)—of course it was all to prove a point (and perhaps show that she had grown), but I don’t think she was ever shown that way before. Plus she wore glasses (nothing against them in general—but they deliberately chose a pair that made her look a bit young, unsure and frumpy) and her hair was not at all the professional look we have come to expect—more of a bit of a frizzy perm—just sort of going all over.

    Here the writers went for easy things to make a point in this episode only—forgetting (or probably not caring) the image that had been crafted before. Sorkin is no doubt shaking his head—if he still cares about someone else’s show that is.

    Lazy writing.
     
  4. Lance Nichols

    Lance Nichols Supporting Actor

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    About 30 minutes into the episode, I did the unthinkable, at least for me, with TWW. I thought "I't not over yet", then flipped over to "Call for Help".

    It was a very brief flip, but oh, oh.
     
  5. Roberto Carlo

    Roberto Carlo Second Unit

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    I wasn't crazy about the episode, although it did look great in HD.[​IMG] Forgive the digression but does anyone have any feeling for the show's chance of being renewed for next season? I know that ratings have dropped over the past few seasons and there's the temptation of showing nothing but "Average Joe" and "The Apprentice" interrupted with the ocassional "Law & Order" episode (which I like, BTW). It's just that there are unresolved story lines and, even with the post-Sorkin slippage, it's still usually better than most of the stuff out there.
     
  6. Kevin Porter

    Kevin Porter Supporting Actor

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    There was an article in Variety predicting it would go out next year but the cast is signed up to the 2005-2006 season. There have also been reports that the head of programming at NBC has said it will go out next year.
     
  7. Rob T

    Rob T Screenwriter

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    They apparently forgot that CJ was a recently fired employee of a movie/TV studio (or something like that) living in LA when she was hired as part of the campaign team. She was never working in a law firm in NYC.
     
  8. Roberto Carlo

    Roberto Carlo Second Unit

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    If I may, what Toby said was that he first met her when they worked on a NY senatorial campaign together. That's consistent with his coming to get her after she'd been fired by that public relations firm. As I recall, the head of the firm told CJ that CJ always thought that the job was beneath her.

    Thanks for the info, Kevin.

    BTW, I meant that I like Law & Order, not the other two shows. :b
     
  9. Craig S

    Craig S Producer
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    Good grief, it wasn't THAT bad.
     
  10. Kevin Porter

    Kevin Porter Supporting Actor

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    I'm pretty sure we're already past that moment. The season 5 premiere was the moment The West Wing jumped the shark. Sorkinless show = soulless, witless, bore of a show. I haven't bothered to watch an entire show from season 5 so can anyone else back me up on this one?
     
  11. Brad Porter

    Brad Porter Screenwriter

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    This was the first episode of the series that I have missed.

    The USA network is burning off those unaired episodes of Karen Sisco in the same time slot for the next three weeks, and I have to have my fix of The O.C.. That scheduling dilemma left both of my TiVos occupied and no room for TWW. By the sound of your reviews, I didn't miss very much of substance.

    How sad is it that I'd rather watch an episode of a cancelled show and the Melrose Place of the 21st century than tune in to one of the consistently best shows of the past five years.

    Brad
     
  12. Rob T

    Rob T Screenwriter

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    Well I liked it.
     
  13. PhilipG

    PhilipG Cinematographer

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    You are not alone! [​IMG] [​IMG]

    But what a wretched episode. I really, really, really hate these documentary-style shows. It would have been so much better without that "angle".
     
  14. chuck_b

    chuck_b Supporting Actor

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    mmmm....as a Press Secretary yes, as for other things.....
     
  15. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    Right you are, but there have been occasional flashbacks to earlier years.
     

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