Friday, 3 September 2010

Friday Favourites

Sometimes as a blogger inspiration is somewhat lacking when it comes to deciding what to write about, well it is for me at least! So, I was racking my brains this morning trying to think of what I could share with you all. Dori has already described, in wonderful detail and great pictures, our trip up to London last weekend for what we thought was going to be a visit to the theatre but ended up being a delicious meal, a walk around Covent Garden, a visit to the Science Museum and a bit of relaxation in Hyde Park. So, what else can I write about today?

Looking around the room for inspiration, my eye fell (not literally you understand!) on our DVD collection, and I had what passes for a brainwave in my head. So, today I am starting yet another semi-regular series on this blog – Friday Favourites, and yes I am spelling it like that :-) Now, as with everybody, my favourites come and go and change over time and with my mood, so there may well be different subjects appearing in these blog entries under the same topic. For example, my favourite song very much depends on whether I am feeling happy, sad, optimistic, melancholy, etc.

Anyway, the first in this series is my favourite TV show. Now there are many shows that I could have plumped for under this title, from way back in the 70’s as a kid when I was watching the Banana Splits or The Six Million Dollar Man or Star Trek, through the 80’s and 90’s with Inspector Morse or The Simpsons, and into the new millennium with current shows such as Brothers and Sisters or Monk. Some of you may also remember that I wrote a guest post on Dori’s blog about the cancellation of Eli Stone, which I thought was a wonderful and original series and was ditched way too soon.

But the show that I have decided to highlight today, and which is my first Friday Favourite is The West Wing. It is one of a very few shows of which I have the full DVD collection. I may tell you sometime what the others are ;-) The West Wing premiered in September 1999, which incidentally was also the month when the moon was knocked out of Earth’s orbit at the start of Space 1999, but I may be getting a little sidetracked there! The show ran until May of 2006, clocking up seven seasons and 156 episodes. It won countless awards including three Golden Globes and 27 Emmy awards.

For the few of you out there who might not know, The West Wing chronicles the ups and downs of a fictional Democratic administration in the White House. Starring Martin Sheen as President Jed Bartlet, the show also featured Allison Janney, Bradley Whitford, Rob Lowe, the late John Spencer, Richard Schiff, Janel Moloney, Dule Hill and many others.

The dialogue is consistently sharp, funny and very well written. Like many West Wing fans, I prefer the first four seasons of the show which is when Aaron Sorkin was still the main writer and creative driving force behind it. But right up to the very last episode, this show never failed to deliver a combination of incisive writing and great acting. I am constantly remarking to Dori how some current situation in the world reflects what has already happened on The West Wing. For example, they solved the Israel/Palestine situation many years ago on the show, and we currently have the two sides in talks as you read this post!

As another example, way before the 2008 Presidential election, the show’s writers modelled their own Democratic candidate on a relatively little known Senator from Illinois (Barack Obama) and the Republican candidate on Arizona Senator John McCain. I guess they really did have their fingers on the pulse of Washington politics!

I love this show for its realism, its humour, its drama and its message of hope. And, when I have the time, I love nothing better than to sit myself down on the sofa and watch episode after episode after episode. Bliss.

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