Tales from the Cultural Wilderness - Journal

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2002-04-09 Entry: "Monday Night Politics"

I spent all last night watching politics. That sounds really dull, until you realise that some crazy person at Warner Brothers has decided releasing The West Wing on DVD would be a really good idea.

Now, I claimed for most of the first series (where I appeared to be the only one watching it) that it was the best thing on television. With the advent of the second series on Channel 4 I've managed to hook my sister, and she pretty much agrees with me, so I'm not completely crazy.

So, with the three shiny disks in my hands (the first half of the first series), I settled in for a quiet night. It would have been vastly more pleasant if I hadn't been bribed into running my sister to the station (which involved getting the car out, taking a corner too tight and bouncing it off the kerb, and putting the car back in the garage... there was actually some driving involved between those events, but they were the salient points).

But anyway, four episodes watched. Martin Sheen should be president - he'd be far better than that trained chimp they've got at the moment. Donnatella is a great name (and hopefully far enough removed now to avoid turtle references). Tobey just flies off the handle at the slightest provocation. The Vice President is much better as a small town werewolf (or sheriff even) than deputy leader of the free world. Charlie always comes across as half asleep. And were those chairs really made from the timber from a pirate ship?

I'm not sure many of those observations make sense unless you watch the four episodes concerned. Some probably make as much sense as anything else I've come out with recently. It's a pity there are only another seven episodes in the set (and I don't think they've announced the second half of the series yet). I'm guessing these are a non-US release (due to the usual syndication wrangles in America and the fact that TV on DVD is a bit of a hit and miss affair), so I'll have to import the second half when I get to Dallas. Which means I'd probably better find out what the import restrictions are...

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