As I mentioned a while back, I’ve been rewatching The West Wing. I started over the summer and finished last week. Some of it I’ve seen a lot—I think I can probably recite most of Season 2 from memory—some of it I’ve only watched once. Actually, I think either my memory is shoddy or there are entire episodes in Seasons 6 and 7 I never saw in the first place. Honestly, I think it’s my memory being shoddy, but still…
There’s an upside to this. Because I didn’t watch those later seasons obsessively (and yes, it’s true, the reason I didn’t obsess over them is because they weren’t as good) is that I get to experience them almost like they’re new. And it’s been a long time since I saw new West Wing episodes.
First, I have to note, that while compared to the first four seasons, the last three seasons are not as good, they are still much better than most shows on television currently. There are actually a lot of awesome things about these seasons, Season 7 in particular. It has: Josh and Donna’s first kiss (seven years in the making), Josh and Donna having sex for the first time, that moment where they go on vacation together… (no, I make no apologies for my Josh/Donna shipperiness). Then there’s also CJ and Danny finally getting together. The live debate episode (though I recommend you don’t ever watch that episode in close proximity to watching an actual presidential debate. It will leave you so disappointed).
Also, a couple of awesome guest stars. Jon Bon Jovi is at the top of my list as far as guest stars are concerned on account of him being Jon Bon Jovi. When Emily Proctor made a guest appearance as Ainsley Hayes, one of my first reactions was, “Wait, she could take a break from CSI Miami, but he can’t take a couple days off from The Lions Den to guest on the show that made him a serious actor again? Then he was in the next episode. Clearly, I should not be so judgey.
Altogether, rewatching The West Wing is almost as good as watching The West Wing for the first time. Highly recommended.