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West Wing from the beginning

(93 Posts)
misslaughalot Sat 26-Jan-13 21:26:24

As there are many Nov 2012 mums currently enjoying maternity leave with much time on the sofa, we've recently been discussing which TV programmes we are enjoying watching. The West Wing has repeatedly come up as a programme that is on people's 'to watch' or 'to rewatch' for the zillionth time list, so here's a place where we can do it together!

Each Saturday night I'll post the titles of the episodes we will watch in the coming week, then we can come back here for chat, discussion, thoughts, questions and perving over the wondrous Josh

Anyone who'd like to watch with us is welcome too! But please no spoilers for those who are enjoying it for the first time!

So lets start with the first two episodes of series one:
Series 1, episode 1: Pilot
Series 1, episode 2: Post Hoc, Ergo Propter Hoc

ChunkyChicken Sat 26-Jan-13 21:34:02

<takes seat far too near tv, puts specs on & gets out notebook, & popcorn. Writes 'favourite things about Josh' on one page and 'which WW female am I most like?' on another>

Okay, I'm here!! Press play already grin

<whispers> when's the deadline again?!!

MadamGazelleIsMyMum Sat 26-Jan-13 21:36:21

Checking in. I've watched series 1-5 doing night feeds, but so as not to wake the rest of the household, did it with subtitles. Now I will hopefully be able to pay attention and perve on Josh. Will also need Wikipedia to hand to understand th political bits and pieces. American politics is confusing!

ubik Sat 26-Jan-13 21:38:31

Oh you are all in for such a treat

PetiteRaleuse Sat 26-Jan-13 21:39:01

Damn. Going to have to put the Wire on hold and buy WW now

misslaughalot Sat 26-Jan-13 21:46:12

Chunky we'll go Saturday to Saturday with 2 episodes a week to start with though I can polish off a series in a few days I realise other people may actually have a life

Madame we'll definitely be here to help each other with the bits that are confusingly political!

I am quite envy of those seeing it for the first time

MadamGazelleIsMyMum Sat 26-Jan-13 21:49:19

Am so going to have to remember that some haven't seen it before and contain my excitement by not skipping ahead as I too lack a life and referring to things in future series and mistakes because I am a loser like that

MinnesotaNice Sat 26-Jan-13 21:50:00

Oooh, I'd forgotten that I have WW in the cabinet. Started watching with DH ages ago but he didn't care for it so we didn't make it very far...maybe season 3? Am dusting it off and just informed him we are watching it after he finishes his movie (Couples Retreat).

tribpot Sat 26-Jan-13 21:51:49

Marvellous. Almost worth having a baby just to go on mat leave to watch TWW again grin

ChunkyChicken Sat 26-Jan-13 22:01:16

Excellent MissL.

Now how do I get DH to agree to watch it in lieu of all the things we've got recorded, w/out mentioning MN & making it sound like homework??!! hmm

Brockle Sat 26-Jan-13 22:23:43

It is scary how excited I am by this thread. Count me in grin

MrsLyman Sun 27-Jan-13 01:39:49

Hello, this sounds like fun it's been ages since I watched this so could definitely do with digging out the boxset. Very exciting, but I must warn you all I can Only tolerate so much prevuing over my husband wink

Catbag Sun 27-Jan-13 10:01:44

I'm so excited I may have to do the jackal grin

laughalot Your rendition of 'I'm too sexy' may me giggle a lot on the other thread. It also meant that I went around the house humming it in the way CJ sings it. Made DH smirk grin

Dixiebell Sun 27-Jan-13 13:02:03

Ooh can't wait!

StuntNun Sun 27-Jan-13 20:37:33

I have just bought season 1 from eBay so hopefully I'll get it in time for the discussion. I haven't seen a single episode so I hope it will be my thing. I'm fairly clueless about American politics short of knowing who the president is.

misslaughalot Wed 30-Jan-13 10:04:48

Well babylaughalot was up early this morning so have taken the opportunity to get started with the first episode.

I watch the whole 7 series at least once a year, and each time there are certain episodes that I skip. Mainly these are the standalone ones that don't fit into the timeline of the show, but I usually skip the pilot episode too so it's been a while since I've seen it. I think I find the introduction of some of the characters a bit twee, and the almost constant background music a bit off putting. It just didn't feel like a 'proper' WW episode because I know the rest so well, but I quite enjoyed it again this morning.

Some observations:
- Leo has a NICE home!
- Toby knows a lot about the plane he's flying in!
- The first walk and talk with Leo and Josh really shows off the enormousness of the set and how grand it is
- The press room is really different to how it appears in the rest of the show
- I love Sam's history of the White House, it's a shame he gets cut off as I'd love to have heard what else he would have said!

Some questions!
- Wouldn't Laurie, as a law student, know what POTUS stands for?
- Why does Mallory have a different surname to her dad Leo? I'm sure she's never been married
- what do the tally marks on Josh's chalkboard signify?
- having seen the rest of the show I'm sure we don't see the presidents 12 yr old granddaughter Annie, I'm sure they're all younger or am I wrong? Is it just one of those pilot episode things that got altered later?

Quote of the episode: whilst cycling the President came to a sudden arboreal stop!

Will try and fit in episode 2 later grin

ThenWeTakeBerlin Wed 30-Jan-13 12:48:55

Can I join in please? I'm not a mum (longtime MNer though) I've only just discovered TWW and LOVE it!

How's it going to work, are we going to discuss ep's 1 & 2 next Saturday, 2nd Feb?

misslaughalot your observations and questions;

I think Toby served in the military (Vietnam?) maybe that's why he knows so much about aviation.

Leo and Josh's walk - I think the creators wanted to show how vast the WH is, how many people work there, and how much goes on. It's not just the Oval Office. I think the show was originally supposed to be about the support staff and not the pres himself. Martin Sheen was so impressive in the pilot though, he became a regular.

Laurie - Admittedly I've never been to the US, but even I know what POTUS stands for, with no legal or political knowledge! I didn't really like her character. I hate any kind of glamourising of prostitution, it being presented as an 'empowered' career choice.

Mallory - Maybe she's been married and divorced? Or maybe the writer's didn't think that one through smile I quite often see errors like that in TV. A character refers to their deceased mother/granny and then at some point in the future talks about them in the present tense.

ChunkyChicken Wed 30-Jan-13 18:01:36

Dr: "In the event of a military coup, what makes you think the secret service would be on your side?"
POTUS: "That comment's going to fester".


Maybe Mallory has her Mum's maiden name??! Otherwise, that's daft, unless they had thought she would be married but changed their minds?

The eldest of POTUS's daughters has 2 daughters I believe, but they are definitely not 12yo in later episodes.

Laurie: uses pot, is a call girl. Wtf? Never going to get a job as a lawyer surely??!

MadamGazelleIsMyMum Wed 30-Jan-13 18:09:43

thenwetakeberlin - no, it was Leo that served in Vietnam. In a later series Toby describes how his draft number was 91, and the draft only went up to 78 that year (those may not be the exact number). However, his brother is a NASA employee, so that might be it?

The thing with Laurie is annoying, as am sure she would know about POTUS. However, they need a mechanism to explain things to the audience - they use Donna talking about stuff with Josh a lot to explain arguments for and against policies, and to explain some of the mechanics of American politics too.

DillyTante Wed 30-Jan-13 18:14:58

Ooh have literally just started again for zillionth time this week!

poshme Wed 30-Jan-13 18:18:47

Ooh! We have recently got into WW and are now on series 3. Never watched it before. We follow this thread & try not to do any spoilers.

misslaughalot Wed 30-Jan-13 19:00:42

Yeah, I understand that they need a way to do exposure, and I actually like the way that Donna gets used in future episodes to explain plot points or carry out a debate, but here it seems a bit sloppy to have a law student not know POTUS. The air stewardess also mentions it when she's giving Toby the message, surely she's less likely to know and they could have introduced it there some way?

Or am I over thinking it?! grin

In episode 2 we also get the first mention of a caucus, which I always let go as one of those American political terms that I didn't understand but it wasn't really important. It always seems to be used as a reason for characters to be somewhere or cut a meeting short 'we've got a caucus' but today I looked it up. Wikipedia tells me 'A caucus is a meeting of supporters or members of a political party or movement, especially in the United States'. I could have guessed that much

ChunkyChicken Wed 30-Jan-13 19:11:27

I think I knew 'caucus' from Alice in Wonderland...confused

I think the Laurie thing, whilst necessary perhaps, is sloppy given the normally excellent dialogue. Perhaps have her say 'POTUS is the acronym for... too isn't it?' And Sam respond somehow, confirming her thoughts rather than enlightening her, as it seems he does in the pilot.

misslaughalot Wed 30-Jan-13 19:39:53

Having watched episode 2 today also, I really love how the relationships start to emerge. It's great to see the senior staff gang up on Josh to get Mandy hired (although the less said about her the better) and little things like Mrs Landingham denying Toby a biscuit but offering Sam one right in front of him grin

Think my quote of the episode has to be: I don't understand, did you trip over something? wink

OliviaMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 31-Jan-13 00:04:09

Mandy Schmandy
SO JEALOUS OF you all starting from the beginning.
Gratuitous Sam photo

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