Category Image The West Wing 

What would a Repulican-centered West Wing look like? 

So I'm a bit of a West Wing junkie. At least I don't watch The OC. I didn't watch Dallas or Falcon Crest or Beverly Hill 90210 either. My tastes are more elevated, you see (yeah right). Anyway, this season The West Wing is dedicated to the "upcoming" presidential election and it's one of the better seasons I've seen. I remember reading some interview some time ago where Martin Sheen or Aaron Sorkin was talking about how the original idea for the show aimed to focus almost exclusively on the White House staff, with the President (i.e., Sheen) only appearing very infrequently. Of course, Sheen's popularity basically changed all that and the President has been a major character in the show. This season, though, the focus seems to have returned to the staff as they've split into competing presidential campaigns. As such, the focus of the show has moved away from the usual importance of the President and various crises of global significance. Also, Alan Alda's role as a Republican candidate is getting a lot of screen time. Combined with what I feel to be the show's usual sharp writing (though the constant wittiness and repartee can get overbearing at times), it's made for an entertaining season so far.

Which brings me to my flight of fancy. If the "current" President is nearing the end of his term, and the show is focusing on the next President, what would it be like to have a Republican-centered West Wing? I have no doubt that the show currently does well with viewers like myself who lean toward the same beliefs and ideas fought for by the current incarnation of the show. But, Alda's Republican character, Arnold Vinick, is made out to be one of those McCain-like "mavericks" who apparently appeals across party lines somewhat. In short, he's not the typical scary vulture Republican the show usually features. Vinick is the Republican nominee, but we're also told the Dems don't have anyone to really stop him. The "election" is going to be close, to be sure, but what if the writers let Vinick win? Because he's a maverick who shares some of the same views as some of the Dems in the show, it's not as though a Vinick victory would be the elevation of Rush Limbaugh to Sean Hannity to the presidency. Granted, it's all just TV, but I'd certainly watch the show if the writers simply decided to keep going with the show but with a Republican White House. It's obvious they'd need some help and practice with the writing so as not to make the Republicans and their views seem cartoonish (real-life Republicans don't think of themselves as cartoonish), but it could be an intriguing show. Also, what if Sorkin and his leftie pals simply "gave" the show to right-wing screenwriters? I couldn't think of any off the top of my head but that's because they don't write for broadcast TV. Surely, though, there are some writers out there who could tell interesting stories, but from a right-wing position. I dunno. Just a thought on what might be... [my apologies for the non-edited-ness of the above. I'm supposed to be in bed by now.]

In other news, the first commercial following tonight's episode was an ad for Maybelline cosmetics, some new lipstick or other. The ad started by asking the question "What do you get when you mix/cross lipstick with lip gloss?" and proceeded to show two sets of lips, one with lipstick one with gloss, merge into each other. It then proceeded to give us a complicated answer to the question -- something about something I don't remember. However, the short answer (and better answer) to the question is really just "glopstick." Sometimes I'm too funny... 

Posted: Wednesday - March 23, 2005 at 10:36 PM