The West Wing Finale…

….is one of the reasons why God invented the "fast forward" button. What a snooze. It’s sad to see a once-great series end so badly (bad move airing the pilot first, it only illustrated how far the show has fallen).  But TV Critic Alan Sepinwall got all choked up and so did Bob Sassone over at TV Squad, who went one step further describing the episode’s obvious and maudlin final scene:

Could you have wished for a more orgasmically satisfying ending? Beautiful.

8 thoughts on “The West Wing Finale…”

  1. Oh, I don’t know. There was a lot that was right, but so much more that was not touched. Why they didn’t do a two hour finale is beyond me (I’m sure there are reasons for it, but….) which could have given a little depth and addressed some things that were not touched (a Bartlet/Ziegler scene was a slam dunk; sparks would have flown) but it’s done. Seasons 1-6 on DVD sit on the shelf, Season 7 will probably be out shortly, and a chapter in television history is now closed.

  2. I agree. I thought it was a total wimp-out. And Toby wasn’t even IN this episode! Give me a break! It had the feeling as if the entire staff said, “Let’s get this over with.”
    And personally, both my wife and I feel they copped out on the Toby Zieglar leak story. We don’t believe it. We were both convinced that Toby admitted to the leak because at the time, Leo McGarry was going to be subpoenaed while he was running for VP, and Toby was convinced it would ruin the party’s chance for election, so by admitting to the leak (a noble act, you might argue, from a self-righteous idealist), he would be saving the party. We’re convinced that Leo’s and CJ’s secretary, Margaret, was behind the leak, probably by accident, and the reporter overheard it or saw some paperwork on her desk–if you remember, she kept getting called back before the Grand Jury and grilled on her schedule.
    I usually don’t bother trying to second-guess TV writers, but I thought, even given the way they were going, they could have had Bartlett, upon seeing the pardon request for Toby, call him in to the Oval Office for a final tongue thrashing, and at some point Bartlett might shout, “Why did you do it, Toby? Whatever would possess you to do this?” And Toby could quietly say, “I didn’t, Mr. President,” and explain himself.
    But no. Toby got a pardon at the last minute. And even last week’s bit about Toby finding a typo in the Constitution got dropped.
    It’s better to burn out than fade away, as the saying goes, but man, West Wing just kind of faded.

  3. I was actually expecting worse from The West Wing, so I was sort of happy it wasn’t as bad as I had anticipated. Although I wish they’d reversed the last two scenes and ended the show with “what’s next?” But, hey, what do I know? I’m not a professional writer (yet).

  4. Funny thing is, I actually kind of liked the last few episodes previous to the finale. (Didn’t mention it for fear of incurring your righteous scorn!) I even enjoyed the will-CJ-and-the-30somthing-guy-get-together storyline and the Will Bailey’s going to run for congress non-story. But the finale… almost as dull as a real inauguration. John Wells is probably a good showrunner, but what a snooze of a writer!
    (Does Wells have anything new on the air this year? Because if I were him, I’d be worried — ER’s got a year left at best — unless all seven of NBC’s new dramas tank — and without that platform, he may find himself a has-been. An incredibly rich has-been, though….)

  5. I believe CBS is going to pick up Smith from John Wells and Christopher Chulack, the premise of which sounds a lot like Thief and/or Heist.
    P.S. I also hear that previous reports of Close to Home’s demise were exaggerated.

  6. I thought the West Wing finale was very good. It concentrated on poignancy rather that an event-driven plot. The moments were well-written and well-realized. Aaron Sorkin is a gifted writer but to think that every episode he didn’t write collapsed into oblivion is nonsense.
    This was a nice exit for a show that that became pretty un-even in the last three years.
    Good on Mr. Wells for a nicely written piece.

  7. I was somewhat surprised by the series finale.
    I have to admit my expectations were pretty low considering the rest of the season. How do you make the death of a major character and a presidential election between two great actors boring? Well, they did…
    The finale however was enjoyable and was a nice way to close out the show. Certainly not totally fufilling but it could have been much worse.
    Now the finale I liked was Malcolm in the Middle…


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