5
Mar 05

why the WEST WING is so brilliant part a squillion

Do You SeePost a comment • 299 views

why the WEST WING is so brilliant part a squillion

ok the ep wz the part two of the zoe=kidnapped story, which closed the series just broadcast on c4, and all through the early part of this last ep mark s = “ambushed” by “unexpected” emotion (ie blubbin as per usual), so hence i’m NOT gnna talk abt that aspect anymore thank you

what i wish to advert to here-and-now is the BRILLIANCE of the choice of JOHN GOODMAN as stand-in preznit (under invocation of the 25th amendment, whatever that might be)

now i am aware that republican viewers are fairly sardonic towards this prog, referring to it as “the left wing” haha and similar somewhat routine sneers—-but at least here wz captured, momentarily and marvelously, an aspect of bartlett-love which is as well analysed by the UNconvinced as the convinced, which is to say (to quote c.hitchens on sidney blumenthal’s book abt the hounding of clinton), “When speaking later [ie to hitch] of their experiences, several [former Clinton associates] called to mind ex-members of a cult (…). It all makes sense as long as you stay inside the encampment, and it all has a hallucinatory quality in retrospect.”

So here now’s goodman striding down the west wing’s corridor, carrying with his towering bulk and self-composure memories of the killer in ‘barton fink’, sweeping equally pitlessly down passageway in a hotel bursting into flames, as well as roseanne’s husband dan, fred flintstone, king ralph, a long sequences of strong characters entirely alien to the little (barton-finkish?) fishbowl world the west wing has cultivated such a sense of, so well. The sight of the intruder-newcomer was genuinely dismaying and disorientating, i think exactly bcz it suddenly woke up you the VIEWER to the enclosedness of the bartlett camp to date, and how much you loved this and loved being in it and part of it, us against the foolish world, and how seductive this sense of community is and how – potentially – catastrophic, morally. And yes, how easily broke up: leader’s charisma and style no longer relevant, the whole scene falls. In fact the “(…)” in that hitchens quote is this: “its inner dynamic the assuaging of various exorbitant appetites on the part of the leader”. Even as a crit of clinton this is surely a little overblown: as a comment on bartlett, it’s very nearly unworkable – except isn’t part of the appeal of bartlett as a character, an idea, that he’s the clinton that clintonites (inc.esp.blumenthal) WISH clinton had actually been…. ?

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