With Snowmagedden 2016 and the back-to-school-blues settling in, there is no better time to begin a new Netflix binge. Buried deep down in your feed are yet undiscovered treasures. "The West Wing" is no exception. It will make you laugh, make you cry, and make you want to rip your hair out. What more could you ask of a TV show?
1. 90's Nostalgia
Questionable fashion, beginnings of technology, and dated references - this show has it all. As a 90's kid myself, I experience a special kind of comfort when I see the President receive a fax or the Senior Staff angrily snap their large and sturdy Nokia cell phones shut. The great thing about "The West Wing," however, is that the show isn't trapped by the past. The ideas and questions asked by the show are still relevant almost 10 years after it went off air.
2. Fast-paced banter
As an avid Netflix user, I have seen my fair share of television shows. It always starts the same way, with excitement and attachment for the characters. Then, as the seasons progress, I start to lose interest. It isn't that the plot is hard to follow or that nothing ever happens. The show is just too slow for me. I get bored. "The West Wing" has kept me engaged through each episode and I attribute this to the fast paced and interesting dialogue. The hardly ever stop speaking and it makes you wonder how they don't run out of breath. With a dialogue style so similar to "Gilmore Girls" is it any wonder I fell in love?
3. Stockard Channing
Arguably one of the most underrated actors in Hollywood, Stockard Channing seems to shine in whatever she does. In Grease she stole the show with her sassy, heartbreaking, and queen bee performance. She does it again in each "West Wing" episode that she appears in. Her character, Abbey Bartlett, is the First Lady. She stands by her husband through elections and facing acts of terrorism. She is able to support her husband while simultaneously reminding him that he's only human. Stockard's charm makes you root for her and those around her. But, seriously, is it any surprise? Its Stockard Channing. Of course she's amazing.
4. Fabulous and famous guest stars
If the main cast wasn't already stacked with amazing actors like Stockard Channing, Martin Sheen, and Bradley Whitford, the guest stars would put it over the edge. "The West Wing" showcased some incredible stars. Actors like Alan Alda, Matthew Perry, and Kristen Chenoweth made appearances and enriched the show. Even Big Bird guest starred. That's how you know you're successful right?
5. All seven seasons
The issue I often run into with binging television shows is the length. Either there's only two seasons, or I have to wade through 11 and I've lost all interest by the eighth. There are seven seasons of "The West Wing."So by the end, I don't feel duped, I feel happy and ready to move on.
6. Real problems
One of the things that makes television so hard to relate to is the problems that the characters face. Either nothing terrible ever happens and the characters are always happy, or something terrible happens every time the opening credits roll. "The West Wing" is different. Yes, it is true that most people aren't dodging bullets in an attempted assassination, but many of the trials "The West Wing" characters face are something that the public can relate to. One of their dear friends dies in a car accident and another from a heart attack. Through it all they come together and they overcome.
7. Politics for dummies
I will be the first to admit, I know absolutely nothing about politics. But hey, I didn't know anything about medicine before watching "Grey's Anatomy," and now I'm qualified to be a doctor, right? Well, no, probably not. But the point is that "The West Wing" teaches without overwhelming. And not only does it teach, it showcases different viewpoints as well. During the series, the White house is run by the Democrats and there is almost always a point in each episode where they fight with the Republicans about an issue. "The West Wing" also discusses real questions that are still relevant today. Things like drug abuse, gay rights, gun control, and education are at the forefront of this show. And even if "The West Wing" doesn't make you want to be president, it will at least make you think about the issues at hand.
8. Young Rob Lowe
Young Rob Lowe. Before his "Parks and Rec" days, Rob shines as a member of the Senior Staff on "The West Wing."His character is a ladies man who fights for what he believes is good. How much more lovable can he get?
9. Smart and relatable characters
After the fast-paced dialogue, the guest stars, and the problems my favorite part of this show is the characters. Each character has depth and a distinct personality. And there is a part of each character that I, or anyone, can connect with. Of course, it helps that the actors don't look like they just stepped out of an Abercrombie & Fitch add.
10. Overarching theme of hope and political integrity.
At a time when another Presidential Campaign is approaching and trust in government is extremely low, "The West Wing" reminds us that it doesn't have to be that way. That there can be hope for the future and while we should be educated about what is happening, we can also have faith in those who run our country. This show, aired at a time when America was at its best, reminds us that we can get there again.
11. The Jackal
Finally, this is probably the best reason to watch "The West Wing."I could tell you that this is a great scene where the characters can let loose and have fun. I could tell you that this scene shows the spirit of the show and the goal of coming together to be happy. I could tell you that, but really there are no better words to describe this clip and this show: Pure genius.