meddow: Lix Storm (Default)
Oh, Emmys. Using music written by a composer you snubbed, for a drama show you snubbed, in the drama montage.

Fat!Lee salutes you!

(Hey, I'm happy. I've been looking for a good excuse to use this Fat!Lee gif for ages).

On to the actual subject of this post. A random thought that's come to me while watching lots of Sports Night: The West Wing is my Star Trek.

You know how you hear from engineer, scientists, actors, politicians and all manner of people in all manner of jobs that watching Star Trek back in the day helped them to go into those careers because it was a show that presented a vision of society and the world as it could be that inspired them. Well, that's how I feel about The West Wing, and Sports Night for that matter. That the world should be filled with smart, witty, passionate people who are genuinely compassionate and devoted to what they do. Work colleagues should be like family and a place of work a home. Reasoned debate conducted at a rapid pace while walking down corridors should rule decision making. And being a big dork should get you everywhere in this world

Aaron Sorkin's view of the world is one that's hopeful and positive, and thing is, coming back into the Sorkin's worlds after something of a break, I've realized how much that world and those characters meant to me how it's my idealized society, and I'm never going to stop wanting that world, just as I'm never going to stop wanting to be CJ Cregg when I grow up, or just as much as I'm never going to stop amassing a mind full of useless trivia. I'm always going to want to find that workplace and those colleagues and it's never going to stop driving my actions.

Of course, all this would make Aaron Sorkin my Gene Roddenberry, which is unfortunate since I think Aaron Sorkin is a jackass. But it does make Toby Ziegler my Spock, which I can totally live with.
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Right now it feels like I'm the only person in the whole world who hasn't seen the new Star Trek movie. Seems like half the posts on my flist right now are of people raving on about how good it is. I wanna go see it, but I'm waiting until cheap ticket day Tuesday.

So I'm going to talk about a completely different movie. Last night I watched my favourite romcom in the whole wide world – The American President. I own it, and I've seen it so many times now over the years that Martin Sheen playing the Chief of Staff and not the President in an Aaron Sorkin scripted work no longer weirds me out. Anyway, outside of West Wing fans, there's really not enough love of the movie out there, so I'm going to pimp it out a bit.

Basic premise: She's an environmental lobbyist. He's the President of the United States. He's trying to pass a crime bill and run for reelection, she's trying to get emission standards improved to help stop global warming (this movie was released in 1995, btw). They fall in love. Drama and comedy ensue (e.g. the
slow down plan
.) There's also over worked White House staffers who are clearly prototypes of Leo McGarry, CJ Cregg and Sam Seaborn, the questioning of the virtue of a proportional response, and a one-dimensional evil Republican villain.

The movie wins for me because I love fictional politics (I am a RL politics junkie, but I find the stakes are too high to make it enjoyable, so I love fictional politics more), I love romcoms that are actually smart, have intelligent females at the heart of it with proper jobs and ambitions, and rely on snappy dialogue rather than tired slapstick, I love Aaron Sorkin's work and I really really love when high political offices and love stories mix (I have no idea why, I just do). Alas, romances for Prime Ministers and Presidents are is not a common. There's what – The American President, Love Actually, Battlestar Galactica and sort of The West Wing (which went through the ups and downs of Jed and Abby's marriage, which is a love story, but not really a romance)? I can't think of the top of my head think of any others.

It is a bit of sad commentary on American politics in that that the issues of emission standards and gun control at the fore of the discussion in the movie are still hotly debated topics fourteen years later. But now Obama's in power, it's not as depressing.

Anyway, I'm all happy and on a Sorkin bent because I found out that after seven years of waiting, Sports Night is being released DVD in my region. Yay!
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I've mentioned many times before that The West Wing was my very first fandom, and lately I've been feeling nostalgic for it. This nostalgia was quite possibly because David Tennant and Catherine Tate are the biggest West Wing geeks ever and seem to be constantly and adorkably going on about it whenever interviewed it seems. Wingnuts rule the world! Or at least Doctor Who. And I think the world desperately needs Doctor Who/West Wing crossover fic now, with confusion ensuing around the Donnas.

Anyway, the West Wing is very important to me, since gave me C.J. Cregg, who is my idol, made me comfortable with being a great big nerd, and taught me how to swear in Latin (If you have never see the Cathedral rant, you must click on that link, it is one of the greatest moments in television).

So I have been scouring YouTube looking for good vids, despairing slightly at the rareness of CJ/Toby vids (OTP!), but found two wonderful gen ones:

Little Wonders by AngelColey, which is a season two vid, capturing the joyful moments and the bad days.

The Smartest People in the World by fafers8 which is a collection of the vast amounts of physical comedy in the show (all brains, no commonsense as my Grandma would say), mostly from the first five seasons.

Not a vid, but the most wonderful West Wing related post I've found on LJ is [ profile] cnnjunky's 50 Reasons to Watch the West Wing

Of course, being a West Wing fan is not always easy. I don't think any showrunner has ever managed to show the same level of distain for internet fans that Aaron Sorkin has managed. Though thankfully, he was funny when complaining

Unfortunately, due to a clash of schedules, I never got to watch past the first few episodes of season Six, and only caught the final episodes of Season Seven. And most of Five is a blur, so I'm only familiar with the Sorkin days. I really need to watch the later seasons when I have time.

The West Wing was my show. My formative years were spent with the ideals, characters and wit of this show. And I shall leave this post with five links to absolutely wonderful scenes

The Brothers in Arms scene from Two Cathedrals
Pardoning a Turkey from Shibboleth
Margaret's got the President's signature down from The Shadow of Two Gunmen
The secret plan to fight inflation from Celestial Navigation
What is the virtue of a proportional response? from A Proportional Response
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Rumour has it that Ashes to Ashes is going to start in early February. I have my doubts about it with the changed location and missing Sam and Annie. On the other hand, it’s got the Gov, so I’m really looking forward to it.

I was flicking through TV a few nights ago when I had a “Hey! It’s Toby” moment. Richard Schiff was in something or rather. Unfortunately, after about five seconds and one line, his character was shot dead, which I suppose beats being torn in two by a pair of T-Rexs.

I do miss The West Wing. I remember falling in love with it when I was young an idealistic. I do have a strange relationship with it though, since I was forced to give it up a few episodes into the six seasons and only watched the final after that, and the fifth season is a haze, so really only the first four exist for me.

Anyway, this sudden appearance of Toby on my TV brought back a wave of nostalgia. And then I watched Hairspray the other night, which is good but doesn’t have nearly enough Allison Janney in it, and that brought back my West Wing OTP: CJ/Toby. It was the greatest ship, there was little to nothing textual other than the fact they knew each other before the campaign and it was pretty much entirely based on the chemistry of the actors. Yet it seemed to be the fandom consensus that they were at it like bunnies. Actually, shipping the West Wing was glorious. It took six and a half seasons for Josh and Donna to get together. CJ and Toby never did, she ended up with Danny.

Thinking about it, I like having my ships only on the verge of being canon. Or a sideline couple that rarely gets attention. It makes you work for them. It’s like a scavenger hunt through canon for those little moments and you get wonderful shipper joy out of an exchange or a glance and revel in just having the two characters in a scene together enjoying each other’s company. And really, the lines left unsaid and the stories untold can be so much more interesting because if you’re like me, you come up with them yourself, and then they are subject to endless revision and told with so much more detail than the show would ever give you. The ship becomes yours because you’ve put so much effort into it.

I think this explains away most if not all of my favourite ships. CJ and Toby had this backstory that was never really touched upon and a chemistry between the actors that was undeniable. We were only given the briefest snapshots of Remus and Tonks’ relationship, leaving so many endless possibilities of how they got there. Elizabeth and Norrington is so much about his inability to express his devotion and her failure to see it. Sarah and the Fourth Doctor’s relationship is entirely about those moments they can’t look at each other and the things they don’t say to the other, and the subtlety of those that they do. Sandra and Noah have at most five scenes devoted to them in 35 episodes and under the perfect exterior such a complex mess of a marriage that’s only ever touched upon.

So you can have your confessions of love and your romantic kisses and the endless will they-won’t theys and the occasional spectacular break-ups along the way, and that’s fine But really, just give me two actors with chemistry or two interesting characters in a relationship with some mystery and I’m better than good, I’m enjoying myself.
meddow: Lix Storm (Default)
*Sigh* How in seven years of the West Wing did CJ and Toby not hook up? That was such a great ship and I loved it so much. There was a time when I had pretty much read every CJ/Toby fanfic on the net.

I’ve been watching a lot of The West Wing lately, spurred on by the Christmas episodes and the fact that Allison Janney is getting her own TV show. I’m slightly hesitant since it’s apparently a sitcom being produced by the people who are behind Two and a Half Men. On the other hand I would gladly tune into Allison Janney reading from the phone book every week.

Still, a West Wing spin off would be more awesome. CJ Cregg is my idol and has been since I was 15 and as much as I like various characters in other TV shows, none have quite managed to fill the CJ shaped hole.
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[ profile] ishie keeps on going on about The West Wing at the moment which has had me drag out my old DVDs and remember just how much I adore that show. I was just watching The US Poet Laureate, which is probably the wankiest episode of TV in existence. In a plot aimed directly at the fandom we are compared to both The Lord of the Flies and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.

CJ: Let me explain something to you. This is sort of my field. The people on these sites? They're the cast of 'One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest.' The muu-muu-wearing Parliament smoker? That's Nurse Ratched. When Nurse Ratched is unhappy, the patients are unhappy. You? You're McMurphy. You swoop in with your card games and fishing trips.
Josh: I didn't swoop in, I came in the exact same way everyone else did.
CJ: Well now I'm telling you to open the wardroom window and climb on out before they give you a free frontal lobotomy and I have to smother you with a pillow.
Josh: (pause) You're...?
CJ: (nodding) I'm Chief Bromden, yes, at this particular moment. I'm assigning an intern from the press office to that website. They're going to check it every night before they go home. If they discover you've been there I'm going to shove a motherboard so far up your ass... What?
Josh: Technically I outrank you...
CJ: So far up your ass!

Since that was particularly aimed at the TelevisionWithoutPity boards, which I was active on at the time, that is my wanking claim to fame. Good times.

It’s okay, Aaron Sorkin. I still love you.

I’m going to finally see An Inconvenient Truth tonight. I’m hoping it will give me a kick up the arse and out of my current apathy towards everything. Goodness knows I need it.
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So, if anyone likes my fanfic, you should be reading Growing. I’ve been working on it forever since I didn’t want to start posting it before I had the whole thing written out as a draft so I could avoid plot inconsistencies. It’s a Neville centric story with secondary leads of Andromeda, Ted and Tonks and it’s pretty much going to be the only thing I will be focusing on for the next few months and while you may complain it’s boring now, I promise of action (of the violence kind, this is Gen) before the fifth chapter. Yes, I am shamelessly plugging myself.

Also, my first fandom, The West Wing, will be airing its last episode in the states in the next day and I decided I needed some closure. As a result we have:-

An Ode to the West Wing )

Yep, when I was fifteen I was obsessed with a show about politics. Now at twenty I’m obsessed with books written about kids. I think I’m growing down.


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February 2014

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