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April 1, 2004

Storyteller West Wing Sty-lee

So... West Wing concept episodes... It's probably easier to criticise because it wasn't quite fantastic, but the gesture again is that of "we've had 4 seasons of Sorkin, and that can never be reclaimed, so lets go get dialectical on everyone's asses".

Perhaps it's because I've been watching Chris Marker documentaries (which I was trying to tell Cari about) but I had high hopes for the episode at the beginning. The immediate reaction at the end was of "not too bad", and yet 5 mins after, now, here, things are rather more like puddles of piss (ie fluid). The way the episode resolved, not even polemically, stating accusations and then putting the bow around at the end, demeaned the enterprise.

This is the reason we stopped watching the west wing after the first season, because it became insufferable at a certain point for the soft core of it's politics and the ejaculation of it's glow. What's more, the collusion of the diegetic documentary maker was all the more cloying for the looping sensationalism. Granted I came back to the earlier episodes later and couldn't find it, but I find it now, and something tells me it's different.

The digital look was fun, the press staff was fun, the use of sets was fun.

You get the feeling that the meandering of the earlier seasons served the broader aesthetic purpose, that resolution is constantly deferred, that like the trope of nation building, there is always constantly more work to be done. Now when things wrap up like candy wrappers, the twisting at the ends leaves your fingers sticky like cookies when you eat me.

It's all the more infuriating that the documentary is meant to have gestated till after the end of everything, the end of the second term. I'd never wish any series cancellation, but I wonder if I'm missing something.

I want a muffin.

Posted by subtitles at April 1, 2004 7:00 PM | Personal