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.
"The Indians in the Lobby"
Originally aired on November 21, 2001
There are so many ridiculously great episodes of The West Wing, trying to pick one out is like trying to pick out the best note in a piece by Mozart. But since it's November, I figured I'd choose the best of the show's Thanksgiving Day episodes, "The Indians in the Lobby" (and yes, fans of "Shibboleth," I love that one too, but this one has just a little bit more.)
It's Thanksgiving, and President Bartlet is making the stuffing ...
In other comedy news at the Tiffany Network, they have ordered a pilot for a show called Fugly. Written by My Name Is Earl creator Greg Garcia, the show tells the story of three not so attractive sisters who pool their money to get one of them an extreme makeover. The plan is for the three of them to then take advantage of the sister's good looks. It's an interesting premise, and I think Garcia could do a lot with it, but I suspect a name change is coming if the show actually makes it to air. I can't see the management mucky mucks at CBS actually putting a show called Fugly on their schedule.
[ via cynopsis ]
Well, I know what I'm giving myself for Christmas this year.
Warner will release The West Wing: The Complete Series on DVD November 7. The set will include every single episode of the series (154 episodes) on 45 discs. The set will contain the same sets as the individual sets already released, but will also include a copy of the pilot script, including a special intro by creator/head writer Aaron Sorkin. The set will sell for around $300.
The set for the last season will also be released that day, separately, with bonus materials.
The series finale got so many things right and also a few things wrong. Let's talk about them.
Judging by the tone of de Moraes' article, she isn't taking the actors' side. I don't blame her; all they're doing is sitting and talking about the show that paid them handsomely for seven years. If it were me, I'd be so grateful for the opportunity WW gave me (before this, for example, Allison Janney was best known for a New York Lottery commercial and a small role in Private Parts), I'd do the retrospective for scale. But I'm just a lowly blogger, so what do I know?
[Thanks to Karen for the tip.]
Then Andy walked into C.J.'s office and asked her to ask the President about pardoning Toby, and that's when the episode kicked into gear for me.
Ah, someone from the cast who feels the same as longtime West Wing fans.
Richard Schiff, who plays Toby Ziegler on the show (yes, I say "plays" even though he's been fired - he'll be in upcoming episodes) wanted to leave the show. In this article about a play he is in, Schiff talks about the show:
"It’s been time for me to move on for quite a while actually. You know, the money was very good and that’s what kind of drew me back because I felt like after five years of 70-hour weeks that I kind of deserved to get a little bit of a payoff. And the money got very good in the last two years. I wanted to leave and then we kind of made a compromise that I would come back and give them a story that they could use to lead me going out. They came up with firing him... That wasn’t my idea!
Between you and me - and you can print this - Toby wouldn’t have done that in ten million years! But, you
know, it’s not my show...And now it’s even greatly sad because of John Spencer’s passing. I certainly,
honestly, don’t want to go back for another season without Johnny there. I couldn’t imagine The West Wing
without Toby Ziegler and I couldn’t imagine it without Leo McGarrey as well. It’s just not possible. So, it
might move on and become another show and that’s fine.
It’s important for people to know that I really, really loved this Toby character. And I really loved the people on The West Wing. Allison Janney is my soulmate on the set and John Spencer was just one of the most fascinating, wonderful human beings I’ve ever met. And Martin Sheen is singularly the best human being I’ve ever met. Tommy Schlamme who used to run the show and Aaron Sorkin and his writing and some of the writers who tried to fill his footsteps are truly wonderfully gifted and they’re family and I love them to death. I just feel like it’s time to get out of the kitchen once in a while. It’s time to move on."
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