West Wing & Downton Abbey

Jim comes home from work, frequently desperate for diversion…food, wine and immersion in a great movie or TV show. He pours every ounce of himself into his work and revives by losing himself in great drama.

For years, he watched ‘The West Wing’, all seven seasons. When the show ended, he started again with season one and cycled through all seven seasons again several more times, lingering many many times on his favorite episodes – Josh getting shot, Josh listening to Ava Maria, Donna and Josh finally acknowledging their love for each other, Josh in therapy, Toby meeting a Vietnam vet in the park whose brother had been found dead in Toby’s donated coat, and giving him a hero’s burial in Arlington Cemetery, Abby and President Bartlett hiding his MS, Sam sleeping with the call girl, brilliant CJ and the press room,
and dear sweet Leo who passed away during the filming of the sixth season, when the cast lost their north star and their heart for continuing the show.

Our family lived with these characters even as we were busy doing other things around the house. The quick, clever banter and repartee, the emotion, the crises, the world that was the White House during Jed’s presidency, was a part of our life.

The score from The West Wing couldn’t be avoided no matter where you were in our house. Snuffy Walden, the composer, became a household name, known fondly as ‘the Snuffs’, and when the show began, night after night, Brooke and I would chime in doing our best to embellish Snuffy’s score.

Aaron Sorkin is one of Jim’s heroes. He loves his writing, his wit, his fondness for the characters of his creation and his razor-sharp dialogue in an otherwise dumbed-down world…Einstein in a world of Snookis.

For years we tried to introduce Jim to a new series to break up our own monotony – Mad Men, 24, House. NCIS came close….helped by Mark Harmon’s brief appearance as a Secret Service Agent in The West Wing.

But my recent addiction to Downton Abbey caught Jim’s attention. There is little that interests me on TV, so he was amazed to see my enthusiasm and allegiance. And like him, I played one episode after another and cycled back through them again. Jim began to linger and….
Downton has become his new obsession.

Each character is so perfect. Who doesn’t love the exacting Mr Carson, the biting wit of Lady Mary, the dashing Lord Grantham, and despicable Thomas. The Dowager Countess, Violet, must be a favorite of Julian Fellowes, Downton’s brilliant writer – he saves the best lines for her.

But please hurry Mr Fellowes!
Two seasons won’t keep Jim occupied for long.

More West Wing is a certainty, unless you deliver more brilliant episodes, soon.

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