Channel Surfing

THE WEST WING seems to be going out with a snore rather than a bang. The second-to-last-episode, which aired Sunday night, was a total snooze. I expected much more of a build-up to the series finale. Instead, this once-great show has just sort of petered out over the last few episodes. It’s sad.

Maybe that’s because a lot of John Wells’ best writers are now working on THE UNIT, my new guilty pleasure. It’s invigorating,  action-adventure silliness, and I’m loving every minute of it. The show is like nothing else on television… except perhaps DEADWOOD, in that it’s one of the few series today where the characters, as a group, have a unique voice, a distinct way of speaking (in this case, you could call it Mamet-speak). It’s the best show CBS has put on the air since the original C.S.I.

Speaking of DEADWOOD, I can’t wait until the third season premiere next month…I think I’ve come to enjoy it even more than THE SOPRANOS (Is it just me, or has THE SOPRANOS become more of a comedy this season than ever before?)

7 thoughts on “Channel Surfing”

  1. This year’s Sopranos has showcased some awesome performances, but the writing seems even more aimless than usual, and that’s saying something. It’s like they keep building up to some big plot point in each episode, but nothing really happens. Last night’s was a little better in this regard, but not much.

  2. I think “googlability” soon will become one of the considerations when choosing titles. Hadn’t heard about this show, so I highlighted the title, left clicked to google search, and… got an aol tv listing page where I didn’t see anything about the show in a quick scan, and not much else that looked relevant.
    Man, if it’s hidden from google, it’s in trouble.

  3. Lee, I agree with you on The West Wing, and its a shame. I don’t watch much television (I’m not a cultural snob, I just don’t have much time), and I didn’t find the West Wing until they started showing it on Bravo. I’ve become a fan, but if they don’t end the series well, there is no way it will survive in syndication.
    Good ending: MASH – almost thirty years in syndication.
    Bad ending: The Wonder Years – Fred who?
    I’m nostalgic by nature. I want to find a rerun of the West Wing when I’m 70 and say, “Man, they just don’t make shows like that anymore.” Hell, they don’t make ’em like that now.

  4. I think I’m the only one who liked the WW episode. The opening scenes of this final season showed Bartlet and crew three years in the future at the opening of the Bartlet presidential library, giving us the glimpse of how things are going to turn out. We know from this flash forward that CJ winds up with Danny, Will was a Congressman, Toby somehow wasn’t in jail and wrote a book. They couldn’t anticipate the death of the actor, but Leo wasn’t there. This episode showed how these situations came about.

  5. Got to agree with Lee on this one. When I think of what could have been done….. The episode with Leo McGarry’s funeral made the death of the character into the “B” story. No private moments with Bartlett, who had just lost the best friend he’s ever had and his right arm in the White House, no interaction with Leo’s daughter Mallory, no reaction from Bartlett at all. And what’s this nonsense about the Pilot Episode followed by the finale? Dear God, a two hour finale would be so easy to do. They’ve got so many loose ends, you could fill two hours easily. The only thing I’m liking this season is the Josh/Donna resolution. It’s about time those two figured it out.
    Ah, well…. I prefer to remember WW in is glory days, Seasons 1-4. X FILES seemed to lose steam after the 4th season (personal opinion, I think “Paper Hearts” was *THE* XF episode, and even that could have been two hours/two parter).
    Then again, I’m not running a network series, nor am I head of programming for NBC, and there’s probably a reason for that….:)

  6. I really enjoyed West Wing in its “hay day” but I agree that it’s just sad what’s happened to the show. It is just beyond me how they can make a close presidential election between two great opponents, the death of a major character and the end of the series into a big snooze-fest. I have to fight to stay awake and not change the channel.
    Now they’re not even going to give us a retrospective as once promised. Instead NBC will give us a reairing of the pilot — just to rub in how far the series has sunk. Sigh.


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