Honestly, I'm not sure what tonight's episode was titled. I at some point read the word "undecideds" and thought it was an awkward word with an unusual spelling. I could look at the NBC website, but my sleep deprived mind would rather not mess with a site that always wants me to download Macromedia or something of the sort. I really should be sleeping, but knowing I'll be awake again in an hour or so I thought I'd delay the inevitable and give my commentary on tonight's episode. And let me just say it was refreshing to have TWW on again! Frankly, Cold Case on CBS was wearing on me.
I often wonder how The West Wing has stayed afloat without writer Aaron Sorkin. It is missing something very important. Don't get me wrong...I like it, I like it a lot...but an essential element or timing is gone that once existed. Tonight it was nowhere more evident to me than Will planning Ellie's wedding. Though I love Will and I think his character has a charming geekiness, was there nothing better for him to do than go through the entire list of wedding invitees?? Granted, CJ was quite wrapped up in the China/Russia/Pakistan dilemma. It is Pakistan isn't it? Too many weeks away from the hour drama and I had almost forgotten that there had recently been an assassination.
So what I'm not saying is that really my problem with the wedding plans is the simple fact that it is Ellie's wedding and not Zoey's. I like Zoey. I like Charlie. See? In my humble opinion I just feel that if a Bartlett daughter is going to get married in the White House it should be Zoey (and of course her marrying Charlie because that French kid was a piece of ...), not the lesser known daughter who happens to be pregnant. Hell, the other daughter would have been a better choice, but then again her character is played by Annabeth Gish (of the last seasons of The X-Files and I am biased). The wedding should be nice next week and hopefully no catastrophe will keep the President from his fatherly duties.
Santos can climb out of a hole just as quickly as he can dig it. It may never cease to amaze me that his character is at times so naive and arrogant and then so humble and considerate. His "speech" in that church was amazing. How can you bridge a gap between two people in one speech? Sending a presidential candidate to a church in LA hoping to bridge a gap between Latinos and blacks is like sending a rookie in to hit against The Rocket in the World Series. There is not much hope there. And gaining votes is about as likely as getting an accidental walk. Not gonna happen. Santos does a nice job of playing the common man card even though I despise men/women who use Dr. King in a speech hoping to bridge a racial gap.
Two more things about Santos and I will move on... perhaps his wife is my problem. She's too frumpy. She's young, blonde, and I would suppose attractive, yet she doesn't stand out. She isn't the typical candidate's wife or not in comparison to recent real-life wives. She's no Elizabeth Edwards I guess is what I am saying. She needs to step it up. She detracts from his strength and charisma. And she's got big shoes to fill. West Wing fans have grown to love and appreciate the zeal of Abbey Bartlett (Stockard Channing). Last comment on Santos--or shall we say the Santos/McGarry ticket-- Leo looks awkward in a church. Not that I thought the roof would cave in or anything, but a white guy in a black church with numerous known indiscretions just struck me funny. I feel bad for Leo. It would be hard to have had such an amazing career as the wing man for a guy you love, admire, and would do anything for and then have to move on knowing every other candidate will never be Jed Bartlett. If Santos wins it will be interesting to see what happens with Leo, if he'll be a kick-ass VP or if he'll leave the office entirely. In earlier seasons when Leo looked at the President you could see the loyalty, trust, and undying admiration in his eyes. Leo doesn't have that look when Matt Santos is in the room.
At this rate I might just be here all night---
Tobey. A few weeks ago I had a little marathon. I can't quite remember what episode it was, but Tobey said to the President: "There's no one in this room that wouldn't rather die than let you down." It still is a shock to me that Tobey was the man at fault in the leak case and even more surprising is that he no longer works at the White House and can't speak to his friends. Josh was not the best representative to seek Tobey out. I half expected them to duke it out in his living room. Wouldn't be anything new. Bottom line---Josh admires Tobey. Cynical, ruthless, and angry Tobey.
Last and certainly not least, CJ Cregg is amazing. I have determined the reason for which I can't stand Commander-In-Chief with Geena Davis-- she doesn't have the clout of Chief-of-Staff CJ Cregg and never will. If Geena Davis could walk into a room the way Allison Janney does, commanding the same respect without reaching for it, then I might think "Hillary in the White House" (as one guy calls the new CBS drama) was worth an hour of my time. Not that in my sleeplessness I don't have all the time in the world...
Now that I have rattled on and feel like Andy Rooney (random commentary on meaningless things with no apparent solution), I will call it quits for the night. Lucky for you all I don't want to explain to you the brilliance of Orson Scott Card, as proven in his recent article, or why people shouldn't make overly long biopics of men like Johnny Cash and all his failures when I'm already sold on his unparalleled talent.