This Is What Great TV Looks Like

One of my favorite televisions series of all time is The West Wing. The Writers Guild of America ranked it no. 10 in its “101 Best-Written TV Series” list. It has received praise from critics, political science professors, and former White House staffers and has been the subject of critical analysis. The West Wing received a multitude of accolades, including two Peabody Awards, three Golden Globe Awards, and 26 Primetime Emmy Awards, including the award for Outstanding Drama Series, which it won four consecutive times from 2000–2003.

The series aired for seven seasons from 1999-2006, and is currently available on Netflix, but perhaps only until the rest of the year.

A one-off special, A West Wing Special to Benefit When We All Vote, will premiere on HBO Max on October 15, 2020.

While there are many memorable scenes from the show, there is one I found particularly moving.

First, some background.

Josh Lyman, the Deputy Chief of Staff, is struggling with PTSD after being shot at the end of the first season. While Josh is doing well overall at this point, his boss and his secretary both notice that he’s been struggling in the recent days. They arrange for Josh to see a therapist and during that session, Josh expresses his concerns that his PTSD might be grounds for losing his job at the White House. After the meeting, as he is walking through the White house he runs into his boss, Leo McGarry, the Chief of Staff, who has been waiting for him. Leo is a recovering alcoholic.

Here is the clip:

We could all use someone like Leo in our life…

*image from Variety

74 thoughts on “This Is What Great TV Looks Like

  1. I didn’t watch much television while I was working. Lately, I’ve started to go back and watch some of these old popular series on Netflix to see what the fuss was all about. People are amazed at all the shows I’ve never seen. At the start of the Pandemic, I started watching West Wing and was hooked. I’ve never binge-watched anything, but I did watch one or two episodes per day and went through every season. The characters were all great, but I think my favorite was CJ Craig. The writing was fabulous!

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Now I’m just finishing up Madam President. It’s been excellent too. Leo is a great character. I like how these shows aren’t afraid to tackle current societal issues.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Madam Secretary, of course. Thanks for the correction. In the last season, she becomes President. I suppose that’s the reason for my gaffe. At least, that’s my excuse this time. 🤣🤣

        Liked by 1 person

  2. This show was a combination of exceptional screen writing coupled with seasoned and talented acting. It is the rarity of this marriage that makes this a must watch show. You picked a touching and moving scene to share, Jim. If you ever find yourself in a hole, make some room because I am jumping in!

    Liked by 2 people

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