Summer of Sam Seaborn

44 separate DVDs.

154 episodes.

It took a while.

Jackie and I started watching The West Wing. The Complete Series.  (Warner Brothers Television’s caps) the week after Father’s Day. 

We finished last night.

A month-and-a-half of Toby Ziegler, C.J. Cregg and Josh Lyman. Six weeks of Donnatella Moss, Charlie Young and Matthew Vincente Santos.

(Though utterly believable as Abigail Bartlet, to me, Stockard Channing will always be Rizzo. "Look at me. I'm Sandra Dee.")

45 evenings of compelling subject matter and thoroughly endearing characters. Jackie and I are each (both?) partial to Sam Seaborn, idealistic patriot.   

C.J.: “Did she break up with you because her name woulda been Lisa Sherborne-Seaborn?”
Sam: “Yes, that’s exactly why we didn’t get married.” 

The fact that my wife and I know a thing or two about the political process makes it easy to see why we’re wild over The West Wing.

I’m not sure you could describe us as political junkies but we admit we’re powerless over quality television writing on a subject matter that holds meaning in our lives.

Time for a television intervention?  

More than any other work of fiction, in any media (medium?), The West Wing captured the real, on-the-ground dichotomy of what we aspire to be – and the tangible, difficult barriers that too often block our way. 

Toby: “How’s the speech?”
Will: “Bloodless, compromising and half a loaf.” 

Another reason I like campaigns better than governing.

The West Wing aired on NBC from September 22, 1999 to May 14, 2006. There is not what we precipice-approachers would consider a “network television program” on the air today that I make it a point to seek out and dedicate my precious time to.

We’ve agreed to watch The West Wing. The Complete Series. again in four or five years. Next time, we’ll take notes and jot down our favorite lines of dialogue (I know. Please try to contain your excitement). 

By then I’ll have completely crossed over the precipice into middle age. The thrills seem to be getting cheaper.      

It’s a TV show, for gosh sakes.

Abbey: “What are you thinking about?
President Josiah Bartlet: “Tomorrow.”

We invited these people into our family room every night since the middle of June. 

I miss them already.