Last year I picked The West Wing's "The Indians in the Lobby" episode as a standout episode of the series. It just so happens that we're blessed with two Thanksgiving episodes of the show that are standouts. This one is called "Shibboleth."
The plots: While President Bartlet has to figure out what to do with dozens of Chinese immigrants who have stowed away on a freighter, Toby tries to get Leo's controversial sister nominated for an education post, C.J. has to pick one of two turkeys who will get to be pardoned by the President, and Charlie goes shopping for the perfect carving knife for the President.
Just like Ari on HBO, Ari Emanuel is Hollywood's toughest agent and Endeavor Talent Agency is the tops in the business. Ari's brother Rahm has a reputation for being just as ambitious, aggressive and forceful. He likes to play hardball and has been known to twist arms and bust heads, metaphorically, to get things done.
We've said it here a million times (and by "we" I'm including TV Squad readers): Toby would never have leaked classified information the way he did in the last season of The West Wing. And in the off chance that he did, it would only be because he was covering for someone else. Now, Richard Schiff (in the pic on the right with his wife, actress Sheila Kelley) says he agrees (this is an addendum to an article from last year).
In an interesting interview in The Independent, Schiff says that he felt let down by the writers in the last season, and in fact to get through it he actually made a fictional plot in his head as to why Toby was acting the way that he was.
While I appreciate a literate show and Mr. Sorkin's banterfests, I think a handful of problems persist over at Studio 60. Starting with, does anyone really care about the Harriet-Matt relationship? I'd much rather see "Josh Lyman" and "the guy from Friends" at the core of the show. They've got better chemistry, and the show is much more fun when they're on the screen together.
Without putting too much thought into it, here are a few of my faves (and my list shows a far inferior knowledge of television):
- Claire Huxtable, The Cosby Show, the perfect balance of cool mom, tough love mom and working mom;
- Elaine, Seinfeld, for being one of the guys;
- David Brent, The Office (British version), because he's wickedly, uncomfortably funny;
- Capt. Mal Reynolds, Firefly, for being a funny, loving man underneath a thick shell of mean;
- Fox Mulder, The X-Files, for not giving a rat's ass what others think and believing in the wholly unbelievable;
- Dana Scully, The X-Files, for being the perfect complement to Mulder.
[Via Pop Candy]
And I found out that Bradley Whitford is a lot like Josh Lyman, except for ... well, I'll let him explain that.
While Josh tries to get Sam back in the White House, the President-Elect runs afoul of the President ...or does he?
First up tonight is a nice opening with Martin Sheen, a short tribute to John Spencer explaining what type of person he was like and that tonight is the first in five remaining episodes that will feature Spencer.
Tonight's ep mostly centers around Leo and how he is screwing up the prep for the vice presidential debate. That stuff is really interesting, but it's surrounded by these really lame domestic scenes with Matt Santos and his family. Eh. They aren't bad for some other show (I guess), but it's just not the whip-smart show The West Wing used to be. Still, Spencer's performance, the stuff about the inner workings of the debate prep, and that one scene with Josh and Toby on the phone (Josh: "I forget, in D.C., can felons vote?......Too soon?" Toby: "Little bit.") make it all worthwhile.
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