My favorite show, The West Wing, concluded its seven-year run on Sunday night. The show hasn't been the same since maybe the middle of Season 4, but I just couldn't abandon it. It picked up this season, although I couldn't ever get on board with the campaign episodes, and was incredibly bored whenever C.J. (Allison Janney) wasn't featured in an episode.
I thought I would be more upset that the show was ending, but the final episode just showed me that I probably would have faded out if it had continued another season. I don't care that much about Josh and Donna (in fact, they should have never gotten together- Josh treated Donna so badly while they were working together; she could have found someone who didn't patronize her like he did), and did not find the candidates compelling, except for Alan Alda in The Last Hurrah. While many viewers hated this episode, and maybe I only liked it because I watched it a week after it aired, right before watching my tape of Institutional Memory, I thought watching Vinick moping around not knowing what to do with himself was fascinating and sad, especially in contrast with the hustle and bustle of the Santos transition. Alan Alda is really good. Never let it be said that The West Wing suffered from crappy acting.
I felt that watching the Bartlet administration wrap up (both literally and figuratively) was a fitting ending to seven years of the smartest show on TV, even in its dumbest years. (although in its dumbest years, "smart" did not necessarily equal "entertaining.")
And now, I look forward to the next projects of the cast, especially Allison Janney, and I am more than a little excited about Aaron Sorkin's new project Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, which will have not only Bradley Whitford and Timothy Busfield from WW, but also Nate Corddry from The Daily Show! Sports Night and The West Wing were so good and so smart that I think lightning will strike a third time (never mind that Sorkin's movies are also really good. The man can write.). There's some concern that it's been overhyped, but I doubt it. I have high hopes.
And failing that, there are always my The West Wing DVD sets.